City Manager David Mitchell released the results of focus group assemblies involving “Exploring New Heights: Quality of Place Report 2017 at Tuesday’s Harker Heights City Council meeting.

Mitchell told council members, “This report embodies the thoughts of the focus groups, a number of civic organizations within the city, input from Harker Heights High School Knights of the Round Table and citizens interviewed during National Night Out 2017.”

A series of focus groups met from July through October 2017 concentrating on the question “What do you wish from your city?”

“As a staff, we intentionally refrained from setting constraints on the discussion and used probing questions to clarify the input collected from participants,” Mitchell said.

Sixteen individuals, seven organizations and three staff members participated in the focus groups.

Topics discussed included: Lake Town U.S.A.-Capitalizing on Stillhouse Hollow Lake, Communication, Entertainment/Activities, Shopping, Restaurants, Infrastructure and Public Safety.

Mitchell said, “Our sincere hope is that the input in this report builds upon the successful ‘Exploring New Heights’ reports from 1996, 2000 and 2007. We are extremely thankful for those who gave time and energy to participate.”

The city of Harker Heights has completed the 10-year Sanitary Sewer Overflow Initiative agreement with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Leigh Cerda and Michelle Lacks of Burgess and Niple, Inc. reported on the followup monitoring and analysis of the city’s 18 sanitary sewer basins.

The city is required to submit the final report to the TCEQ no later than Dec. 31 outlining the inflow-infiltration reduction results from the 10 years of sanitary sewer rehabilitation projects.

Some of the findings, according to Burgess and Niple, show the overall success of the program included a “tightening up” of the sanitary collection system to reduce storm water and ground water from entering the system during heavy rain events.

The goal is to reduce storm related sewer overflows and reduce storm water flow to the wastewater treatment plant.

Based on the results of the 2006 system study, defective manholes were the leading cause of storm water entry followed by private sanitary sewer service line defects.

Since the beginning of the program in 2006 until the current time, $2.6 million has been spent on the collection system with significant positive results.

In other business, Finance Director Alberta Barrett reported on unaudited financial statements for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2016-17.

A summary of that report indicates that as of Sept. 30:

General Fund-revenues-$19,954,788/ expenses- $19,376,093/fund balance-$10,388,806

Utility Fund-revenues- $9,434,995/expenses-$9,747,713/fund balance-$3,321,778

Drainage Fund-revenues $809,281/expenses-$812,931/fund balance-$63,483

Sanitation Fund-revenues-$2,120,775/expenses-$2,077,044/fund balance-$88,456

Debt Service Fund-revenues-$2,927,484/expenses-$2,791,727/fund balance-$191,225

Hotel/Motel Fund-revenues-$95,708/expenses-$58,103/fund balance-$122,348

Restricted Court Fund-revenue-$93,259/expenses-$53,525/fund balance-$211,455

In other action, the council approved:

the serving of alcohol at the Theta Psi Upsilon Sorority at its first-ever Founder’s Banquet

an ordinance authorizing the publication of a Notice of Intention to issue Harker Heights, TX Certificates of Obligation

a resolution authorizing the delivery of an amended and restated addendum number five Water Supply Contract with Bell County Water Control and Improvement District No. 1

the waiver of liens in the Valley View Addition

a rezoning request on property described as Lakeside Hills Section Three

The workshop set for Dec. 19 and regular council meeting on Dec. 26 have been canceled. Council meetings will resume at 5 p.m. Jan. 9.

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