LAMPASAS — City officials are one step closer to filling an open seat on the City Council after Place 5 member T.J. Roberts tendered his resignation two weeks ago.

With the filing deadline for the position closed, City Manager Finley deGraffenried updated the council Monday night.

“There were four applications for the vacant seat, and now staff is seeking direction from council as to how you want to proceed,” deGraffenried said.

Council members decided to ask the applicants to make presentations during the July 8 council workshop, and asked City Secretary Christina Marez to place the issue as an action item on the July 8 regular council meeting agenda.

In other business, the council heard another request from resident Robert Guptill to build a wind generation unit on his property. He has asked the council to approve the unit several times in the past year.

Guptill said he believes his construction plans include safety features previously overlooked in his presentations to the council. For example, the blades will have a 25-foot clearance from the ground to the bottom tip of the blades, which he claims is uncommon in surrounding communities, such as Burnet, that allow wind generation units.

The city’s main concern was the structure’s height, which at 43 feet exceeds the city ordinance that limits height to 35 feet.

The council agreed changes could be made to the existing ordinance to accommodate the unit and directed city staffers to take the issue back before the planning and zoning board.

“I want to put this to rest and to see an end to this,” Mayor Jerry Grayson said.

The council discussed implementing a tax freeze on homestead properties for seniors age 65 and older, an issue addressed by Lampasas County Commissioners on Monday. DeGraffenried conducted an elderly tax freeze workshop for council members, showing research results from surrounding communities that offer the benefit to their residents.

“Low tax rates don’t always mean low taxes,” deGraffenried said, noting he is neither for or against the tax freeze.

The council unanimously agreed to let voters decide the issue, and asked Marez to research placing the item on an upcoming ballot.


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