Friday, April 18, 2014
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City Council works to revise renaming policy

One of the main items on the City Council agenda for Tuesday night was the adoption of a revised policy for the renaming procedures of buildings and streets.

A policy was created and adopted when a community organization proposed to renamed a street in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. This request ultimately served as a guinea pig for the policy, finding that the policy was lacking and needed revisions.

 

Council members revisited the policy with the new information provided by the first request results and determined where there were areas of improvement needed. In the initial policy, all adjacent property owners were provided with a ballot to vote yes or no on the renaming of the street. The problem was that in the original policy 70 percent of the property owners had to be in favor and unreturned ballots counted as a no.

In the revised policy, the council elected to keep the 70 percent criterion, but changed the policy to reflect that only the ballots returned would be calculated.

Another couple of changes to the policy include that the public properties (City buildings, schools, etc.) can choose whether or not they wish to vote, and ballots will be sent out certified mail to ensure that property owners received them.

The organization wishing to propose a Martin Luther King Jr street in Belton will have to start over, but now have a better chance of success.

Assistant Fire Chief Bruce Pritchard was also honored during the meeting for completing the TEEX Senior Leadership Training, a 40-hour training course held at Texas A&M University.

Also occurring during the meeting was the swearing in of two new police officers to Belton Police Department, Anthony Adame and Ben Rieves. Adame is a Lubbock native while Rieves is a Temple native. This will be the first job in law enforcement for both officers. Their significant others were present to pin them with their badges.

Police Chief Gene Ellis also presented an ordinance for approval to reduce the amount of false burglar alarms in residences and homes. The ordinance presented would request that alarm system owners register their alarm with current contact information with the City with a renewal fee of $15 every two years. This ordinance will keep the PD informed of the most up-to-date contact information so the officers can contact the owner/point of contact at the time the alarm sounds. Chief Ellis stressed that this ordinance is not being put in place to create a revenue stream for the department, but to reduce the man hours spent by officers responding to false alarms as well as to further protect the residents and businesses in Belton. The ordinance was tabled until further discussion can take place about the specifics of the ordinance.