Lubbock City Council meeting, members approve next years budget

Lubbock City Council meeting, members approve next years budget

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

City council approves next year's budget including a one cent tax increase.

It will mostly go to funding the city's public safety initiative. The $60 million project includes constructing three police substations, a new police headquarters and other facilities. City Manager Jarrett Atkinson said if the tax increase had been rejected, the city would need to cut about $2.8 million from its budget to fund the construction projects.

The council also approves LP&L's rate plan. No one's rates are going up next fiscal year for the first time in five years. It does eliminate the seasonal difference for electric heating customers, similar to the change the power company made during last fiscal year. The rate plan also eliminates the payment arrangement fee to improve customer relations. LP&L will also allow customers to get their meters tested every four years without charge. Extra tests cost $50.

Both the budget and LP&L plan go into effect on October 1st.

Council members give preliminary approval to an ordinance allowing dogs in certain outdoor dining areas. Policies from the State Health Service provide cities must establish variance procedures to allow it. The proposal would allow business owners to "opt in" to the variance. It maintains the minimum sanitation levels required, names a $100 annual fee and defines outdoor patios that would be allowed. Specifically, dogs can't go inside a building at all, nor on playgrounds for children and side-walks don't count as dining areas.

Before final approval, City attorneys want to check on legal issues surrounding business owner and customer rights.

Council gives preliminary approval to amending city code, specifically its bike and scooter sharing articles. It would change some terminology Primarily aimed at creating a pilot program for "bird" scooters to operate inside the city limits. The program would evaluate the use and regulation of bike and scooter sharing programs like this to use the city's right of way. The City indicates it would offer a new transportation option, increase mobility in the city, maintain all current uses of streets and sidewalks and regulate the placement of these scooters with no fiscal impact.

Council members will have to give final approval to both these ordinances at another meeting.

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