Peters honored for service at City Council
Monday, 21 January 2013 by Matthew Girard
The first Belton City Council meeting of the new year was an emotional one as former Councilmember Clifton Peters was honored with a reception before the meeting and then presented with a resolution in recognition of his service to the City.
Peters, who resigned last month because of a recent diagnosis of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease), received a standing ovation after Mayor Jim Covington presented Peters with the resolution.
The Council then officially declared a vacancy on the City Council. In accordance to Section 3.03 of the City Charter, the Council now will have 30 days to fill the vacancy. The Council is expected to take action during the Jan. 22 meeting to fill the seat.
In other business, the Council disapproved the forgiveness of outstanding liens filed against 207 Smith St., which was purchased by Melverne Kelder.
Liens on the property total $15,242.46 through Jan. 8, which Kelder hadn't realized at the time of the purchase of the vacant lot.
The liens included payments to Waste Management and associated City personnel to clean the lot; and for house demolition and the mowing of the property.
Kelder had purchased the lot with the intent of constructing a home on the property, but City Manager Sam Listi advised the Council that the forgiveness of the liens could set an undesirable precedent.
Although the Council disapproved the forgiveness of the liens, members did express a desire to work with Kelder and others in the future.
"The City continues to give up revenue opportunity," Councilmember John Agan said. "We need to come up with a formula or a happy medium to not only address this particular deal, but put us in a comfortable position for future deals that come up."
The Council also received a report on Fire Operations and Data Analysis Study developed by ICMA by Belton Fire Department Chief Francisco Corona. Corona presented the Council with the 29 recommendations from the ICMA and updates the department's progress.
The City also declared that the population of Belton is 18,981 as of Jan. 1. Last year's population was 18,665.