GARLAND – A vision to offer a place for local children and teenagers to shoot hoops outside was looking a little gloomy, but it may become a reality in the near future.
During a Monday special meeting, Garland’s Board of Commissioners voted to set aside more than $8,000 and build a separate account for basketball goals and a court. The funds will be used during next year’s budget cycle.
“That will give us time to do the proper work out there,” Commissioner Ralph Smith said after making the suggestion.
The decision came about a week after the commission approved a freeze on all spending, except for essential services, staffing and emergencies. Town officials said the purpose behind the freeze was to be cautious with finances for the current budget year.
For several weeks, recreational improvements have been a topic of discussion. The commissioners approved $8,000 for basketball and softball improvements, but that decision was made before the halt in spending last week.
Previously, town officials wanted to use the money before the next budget cycle.
“I just didn’t want to see the money lost,” Commissioner Carolyn Melvin said.
Through the action, the city will have $16,000 to make improvements. Half of those funds will come from more than $8,000 in the recreation department.
During meetings in the spring, Mayor Pro-Tem Haywood Johnson and Melvin presented the idea of building a basketball court in town.
Softball improvements were also mentioned briefly in the Monday evening discussion.
Commissioner Denise Toler made a suggestion to have a separate meeting to select a location for the court.
“We made a promise to these kids and we need to act on it,” Toler said.
Smith also mentioned the possibility of receiving donations and researching the regulations, which comes along with it.
The town of Garland is scheduled to present its proposed budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year, with no proposed tax increase, during a public hearing Monday, June 30.
According to documents, the property tax rate is proposed to remain at 72 cents per $100 in assessed property valuation. The water and sewer rates for customers are expected to remain the same. Personnel pay will not increase as well.
The general fund amount is $422,900. The largest expenditure is administration at $91,008, followed by the sanitation department ($88,000) and the police department ($87,144). More than $81,000 is expected to be set aside for streets and highways.
One change includes a state general statute that privilege license fees can only be assessed on a business with a “physical structure” inside the town limits. This action may reduce revenue for the town. An amount was not specified.
The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday at 190 S. Church Ave.