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City council set to consider grant approval, discuss ban on homeless camping

Monday, September 20, 2021

The San Marcos City Council will discuss the approval of a $30,000 grant from the National Park Service’s Underrepresented Community Grant to the Dunbar Historic District.

Previously, the district was awarded the grant, with the funding going toward the nomination of the historic Dunbar Home Economics Building, the Calaboose African American Museum, and the Ulysses Cephas House for the National Register of Historic Places.

The city council will also hold a discussion that involves banning the homeless from camping out or panhandling in San Marcos city limits or extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ). 

The discussion item will also include what San Marcos police need to help with the effort of enforcement and provide direction to the City Manager. 

The Texas Legislature passed House Bill 1925 during the 87th Legislative Session, which creates a statewide ban on camping in a public place. The bill was signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott and went into effect on Sept. 1. 

According to a memo from Director of Public Safety Chase Stapp, camping in public places, public lewdness, begging in public areas and littering are all currently prohibited by city code. Stapp added that larger homeless encampments within the city are on private property and aren’t covered by the current ordinance. 

“Any people who are displaced because of enforcement actions will likely just relocate to another location within the city,” Stapp wrote. “We are working toward real solutions rather than just problem displacement. On October 4, 2021 staff will facilitate a council discussion in hopes of identifying a more global approach to solving these issues through appropriate funding and resource management.”  

In other business, a staff presentation and public hearing will be held in regards to setting the tax rate for the 2021 tax year at $0.6030 on each $100 of taxable value of real property that is not exempt from taxation. 

Approval of the ratification of the tax rate reflected in the proposed budget of $0.6030 per $100 valuation. If approved, more revenue will be raised from property taxes than in the previous fiscal year. 

The council will consider the approval of an agreement with Enterprise Fleet Management, Inc. through the Texas Interlocal Purchasing System for the lease and maintenance of 35 vehicles and the purchase of miscellaneous equipment and maintenance for use by several city departments over a five year period, with the purchase estimated at $988,836 in total. 

Council members will also discuss and consider appointment(s) to fill vacancies on the Ethics Review Commission. 

Throughout the meeting, the council will have a conversation regarding Councilmembers receiving event tickets to funded and non-funded events that the city allocates money towards or supports, and provide direction to the City Manager. 

Those looking to participate in the meeting can send comments via email to citizencomment@sanmarcostx.gov prior to 12 p.m. on Tuesday.

Residents looking to watch Tuesday’s regular meeting can do so online beginning at 6 p.m. at http://sanmarcostx.gov/421/City-Council-Videos-Archives or on Grande channel 16 or Spectrum channel 10. 

San Marcos Record

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P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666