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Council asks for State’s help for sports complex

January 23, 2019

The Odessa City Council unanimously approved supporting legislative efforts to use hotel tax funds to build or expand a sports complex in the city.

Mayor David Turner said the idea for the sports complex came about after a member of the local hotel association approached him about the idea, which many city officials believe could be a big revenue source for Odessa.

In order to get the complex built, the City is asking the Texas Legislature to allow them to allocate 20 percent of their hotel tax fund toward the project, Turner said.

One question many had for the city, At-Large Council Member Peggy Dean said during the meeting, was how the city could draw families to this complex for tournaments when hotel costs are so high.

“There is a pretty significant commitment by some hoteliers to reduce rates on the weekends for three years for $99 to $119,” Dean said. “So many people have said ‘how can people afford to have a sport event here because the hotel rates are so high?’ That’s being looked at and a solution seems to already be in the works for that.”

District 3 City Council Member Detra White previously said she had some concern about how this would affect other entities who receive funding from the hotel tax, and would like to know which groups receive funding from hotel tax.

“I want to see those numbers and see who those recipients are before I’ll commit one way or the other to it, but I am very interested in seeing what we might do,” White previously said.

The project is nonbinding, Turner said, so the City can still later decide not to go through with the complex.

That wasn’t the only item passed supporting legislative efforts during the meeting. The Council also unanimously approved asking the Texas Legislature to consider ways to increase the ability to curtail illegal activities in game rooms. This item had been looked at by council members last month, initially asking the Legislature to allow the City to ban game rooms, but was tabled after Dean and District 1 Council Member Malcolm Hamilton had concerns about outright banning all game rooms.

“The intent of this resolution is not to ban or otherwise do away with game rooms,” Interim City Attorney Gary Landers said. “It’s talking about the already illegal activities that might be occurring in a game room or in the area around the game room.”

Council members and the Odessa Police Department also accepted a donation from and showed their appreciation for Randi Spenser, an 11-year-old girl who raised $17,093.52 for OPD’s K9 unit by selling hot chocolate.

Spenser started her fundraising last year, when she raised about $7,200. Her goal this year was to raise $12,000 to allow the OPD to purchase a new K9, Chief Mike Gerke said, and she wound up raising more than $17,000, allowing OPD to purchase a new K9 and a new training officer.

Gerke and the OPD’s K9 division presented Spenser with a plaque thanking her for her efforts, and she was given a standing applause by the entire room.

“So much of the time we hear about kids that have done something wrong, and it is so fantastic to be able to hear good things, hear about a special young lady,” Turner said. “On behalf of the council, I can’t say enough words about our gratitude. You make Odessa safer because of all your hard work.”

IN OTHER BUSINESS, THE COUNCIL

>> Approved City Council minutes, Jan. 8, 2019.

>> Approved City Council Work Session minutes, Jan. 15, 2019.

>> Approved the request by 2012 Cross B, LLC, owner, for original zoning of Special Dwelling District (SPD) on an approximately 55.47 acre tract of land, Section 46, Block 41, T-1-S, T&P RR. Co. Survey, Ector and Midland Counties (northeast of the vicinity of proposed E. Yukon Rd. and Aaron Parker Rd. south of the city limit line). (Ordinance - Second and Final Approval).

>> Approved the request by Crossroads Fellowship and Compass Academy Charter School, Inc., owners, and LCA, agent, for original zoning of Multi-Family-One (MF-1) on an approximately 6.1 acre tract in Section 9, Block 41, T-2-S, T&P RR Co. Survey, Ector County, Texas (southeast of the corner of 56th St. and Billy Hext Road). (Ordinance - Second and Final Approval).

>> Approved a resolution accepting a donation from Oxy Occidental Petroleum Corporation to the Odessa Police Department and appropriating the funds from said donation.

>> Approved an interlocal agreement between the Ector County Hospital District (ECHD) and the City of Odessa regarding radio communications.

>> Approved amending the Odessa City Code Chapter 1, “General Provisions”, Article 1-2, “Administration”, by adding a new section 1-2-7 “City Limits in 1998” uncontestable finding. (Ordinance - Second and Final Approval).

>> Approved amending the Odessa City Code Chapter 1 relating to board members, their appointment and terms. (Ordinance - Second and Final approval).

>> Approved necessary signatures in connection with Municipal Court Cash Bond Account Funds.

>> Approved necessary signatures in connection with City Funds.

>> Approved a resolution authorizing the advance of $200,000 per month temporarily to MOUTD/EZ Rider for continued operations as a result of the partial federal government shutdown.

>> Approved a bid award for the purchase of golf carts for Ratliff Ranch Golf Links for $249,585.

>> Approved the purchase of a sweeper truck for Street Department for $238,707.

>> Approved the purchase of trucks for various departments for $101,060.

>> Approved a bid award for the Downtown Street Rehabilitation Phase 2 for $1,859,121.67.

>> Opened a public hearing to consider approval of the request by Weatherford US, L.P., owner, and LCA, agent, for original zoning of Planned Development-Light Industrial (PD-LI) on an approximately 47.5 acre tract and original zoning of Planned Development-Light Industrial-Surface Drainage (PD-LI-SD) on an approximately 7.2 acre tract in Section 27, Block 41, T-2-S, T&P RR Co. Survey, Midland County, Texas (southwest of the corner of Interstate 20 and Faudree Road). (First Approval).

>> Consider approval of an ordinance amending the City Charter in accordance with the results of the special City Charter amendment election held November 6, 2018. (First Approval).

>> Approved an ordinance amending the City Code Chapter 1 relating to the number of members of the City Council in accordance with the results of the special City Charter amendment election held November 6, 2018. (First Approval).

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