The Greenville City Council approved the canvassing of its Nov. 3 election results Tuesday morning.
The election included three propositions, for which the final vote tallies were:
• Proposition A, the city property tax freeze for seniors, passed with 84.93 percent out of 7,842 votes.
• Proposition B, the legalization of local retail liquor sales, passed with 67.69 percent out of 8,312 votes.
• Proposition C, the $4.5 million bond for the extension and reconstruction of Roy Warren Parkway, passed with 58.39 percent out of 8,042 votes.
Greenville’s municipal elections on Nov. 3 also included one contested race on its city council, with challenger Kristen Washington winning with 54.06 percent out of 1,010 votes to represent District 3 against incumbent John Turner.
As for District 4 – a post served by Council Woman Holly Gotcher, who reached her term limit – Tim Kruse was the only candidate to file in the seat, so he was unopposed.
The senior tax freeze, or Proposition A, is not a freeze on a senior’s property tax rate or the property’s appraised value, but a freeze on the tax dollar amount paid on the owner’s homestead (or the house in which they live) and not any rental or commercial properties they may own.
During the petitioning and campaigning process, the freeze was enthusiastically supported by many seniors in the community who are living on a fixed income such as Social Security benefits or pensions.
Now that the senior property tax freeze has been canvassed, residents who have already been approved for Greenville ISD’s senior property tax freeze will automatically receive the exemption for the city, without having to apply for it separately, Brent South of the Hunt County Appraisal District told the Herald-Banner.
However, those who have just turned 65, or those who are 65 or older but have not yet applied and been approved for the school district’s tax freeze, may apply for the exemption through the Hunt County Appraisal District office.
Meanwhile, Proposition B had to do with the legalization of the sale of hard liquor for “off-premises consumption” in Greenville (i.e. liquor stores).
Finally, Proposition 3, which also passed, was for a $4.5 million bond for the extension and reconstruction of Roy Warren Parkway.
The extension of Roy Warren Parkway relates to suggestions made by Freese and Nichols, a consulting firm that has been offering guidance and the development of Hunt County’s roads.
At a city council meeting in July, a representative of Freese and Nichols recommended that Roy Warren Parkway be connected to FM 1570 and to Aerobic Lane, in their thoroughfare study as a way to potentially improve traffic flow in Greenville.
Greenville City Manager Summer Spurlock has projected that the improvements to Roy Warren Parkway could encourage growth including the construction of 1,800 to 2,600 homes and that the city could – if impact fees are reinstated – bring in $5.5 million to $7.8 million in fees.
Impact fees are fees that are imposed by a city government on new or proposed development projects to pay for all or a portion of the costs of providing public services to the development.
At their Oct. 27 meeting, the city council selected engineering consultation firm Kimley-Horn to conduct a study on the potential economic effect of impact fees. The impact fee study will be done for the city for a fee of $135,000 and the study is expected to take about eight months to complete.
As for the contested race on the city council, challenger Kristen Washington said she is enthusiastic and appreciative about the opportunity that winning the District 3 seat presents.
“I am beyond excited for this new chapter not only in my life but for the community,” Washington told the Herald-Banner. “I look forward to serving and working alongside some incredible individuals as we work together for the better good of Greenville.
“I want the residents of District 3 to know that I am here for them and I appreciate their faith in me to address their concerns and needs as we better District 3,” she continued.
“Better communication, better understanding of the role of the city council and how working as one can be very beneficial for our future,” Washington said. “My overall goal and greatest priority are to increase and encourage resident involvement and education with issues we face as a community.”