Clarkson okays tax rate; vetoes fireworks ordinance

Brittany Wise Reporter

October 15, 2013

The Clarkson City Commission gave a final seal of approval to the 2013 tax rates at their regular meeting on Monday, Oct. 14.

Real property tax rates will hold steady at 7.92 cents for every $100 of appraised value - the same rate as last year. Tangible personal property rates remain set at 9.139 cents per every $100 of appraised value; and vehicle and watercraft rates are set at 10 cents per $100.

Clarkson residents will be able to receive a small percentage discount by paying taxes early, and will be charged a penalty percentage for late payments, as in previous years.

A separate ordinance, which was also receiving a final reading, did not meet approval on Monday, however.

Ordinance 2013-07, which would have placed strict restrictions on the use of fireworks within city limits was not passed.

The ordinance was written at the request of a Clarkson resident who felt that fireworks being set off on non-holidays were creating a disturbance.

Commissioner Bob Vincent said at this month’s meeting, “We’ve had one person complain, and we’re going to write an ordinance to effect 1,000 people. That’s setting a dangerous precedent.”

Vincent pointed out, also, that there are already laws in place concerning “disturbing the peace,” which could be enforced if necessary.

The group agreed that a better alternative to the proposed ordinance would be to look at fireworks-related holidays on an annual basis and determine set time frames for fireworks within the city on a year-to-year basis.

In other Clarkson city news:

- The groundbreaking ceremony for Clarkson’s new City Hall and Community Center will be held on Thursday, Oct. 17 at 12 noon.

Mayor Bonnie Henderson was pleased to announce on Monday that a sizable financial burden has been lifted from the city, as Scotty’s Contracting has offered to donate nearly all of the blacktopping work and materials for the new center.

“This is huge, huge, huge,” Henderson said, explaining to the group that the company’s owner chose to make the donation in honor of his grandparents.

- Nancye Hemphill, a representative from Boondoggle, a canine sanctuary new to the Wax area, spoke with the council in an effort to get the word out about her organization.

Hemphill said that the never-kill sanctuary works largely with special-needs and elderly dogs. The facility also hosts a ‘canine hospice’ with a goal to “make sure they can live their lives out safely without fear of being euthanized.”

Hemphill is a former grant-writer who explained that her organization is in the process of applying for grants to be used to offer assistance for Grayson County dog-owners who cannot afford medical and food bills for their pets. They also hope to offer a spay and neuter program and free shots at some point in the near future.

Boondoggle will be hosting an open house soon when the organization’s new 36’ by 90’ building on Peonia Road is completed.

- Mayor Bonnie Henderson, with support from commissioners Keith Higdon, Bob Vincent, Kay Gibson and Scotty Gore, signed into effect a proclamation naming October 28 - 31, 2013 Red Ribbon Week.