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Council moves to rezone property on NE 20th St to multi-family dwelling for planned apartment complexes

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The following article is currently being updated.

The Paris City Council met at 5:30 p.m. on Monday for their regular scheduled meeting to recognize Amanda Willows and Coleman Morris’ Adopt-A-Cop program; to discuss future street repairs via tax increase, matched funding for new hangars at Cox Field, and natural gas inspections;to approve the rezoning of a large vacant lot to Multi-Family Dwelling off of NE 20th St, a new noise ordinance, and taxi cabs.

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UPDATED: Paris Council meets Monday to discuss removing 2 members from the Historic Preservation Commission

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The Paris City Council will meet on Monday at 5 p.m. at 107 E. Kaufman St. for a special session to discuss two agenda items.

The council will first consider taking action on the issuance of municipal bonds. City Manager John Godwin said that the city will be selling $8.8 million in bonds for 2017 water and sewage projects. That amount is what is left over from the $45 million worth of bonds that the citizens of Paris approved in 2013.

Second, the council will discuss and act to remove Skipper Steely and David Alarid from the Historic Preservation Commission pursuant to Sections 2-302, 2-303, and 2-306 of the city ordinances. Those sections can be found at the end of this article.

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City delays decision on architect for EMS station

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Paris city council met Monday night to talk about the new EMS station, various zoning changes, and Kimberly Clark.

Cleonne Drake, who represents District 6, asked to pull the EMS station from the consent agenda for discussion.

Drake asked why City Manager John Godwin recommended Ron Hobbs Architects of Garland over the two local firms– Denney Architects of Paris and W.C. Ferrell Architects of Commerce.

“(Hobbs has) built over 200 public safety facilities,” Godwin said.

Having worked with him before, Godwin said that he’s good to work with and has done extra work when something unexpected came up without charging an additional service fee.

Both of the other candidates had experience with public safety projects, Godwin said.

Godwin said Denney was “extremely competent,” but cited a lack of information on W.C. Ferrell.

“Ultimately, (I went with) the firm that had the most total experience related to public safety facilities,” Godwin said, recommending Ron Hobbs Architects.

Once an architect is chosen, the designs are expected to be completed in the next several months, and construction should begin in 2017.

The $100,000 reserved for a new EMS station in the 2016-17 budget represents about half or one-third of the total construction costs, Godwin said, and the rest will come out of the 2017-18 budget.

Designs are expected to account for $30,000 of that total.

The new station would have two bays for ambulances, two bedrooms, a kitchen, a living room, a utility room, and two bathrooms. It would be located just outside of Loop 286 on Northwest 19th St. and would replace the current station located at Paris Regional Medical Center.

Most of the council seemed to be favorable of the city manager’s recommendation. Drake wanted to think more about it.

Mayor A.J. Hashmi wanted to see the council decide between Hobbs and Denney as soon as possible, and asked Paul Denney of Denney Architects if he could finish the designs in the same time frame.

“We could jump right on it,” Denney responded, saying business was slow at the moment.

Dr. Steven Clifford, who represents District 4, asked Paul Denney if he had designed any similar buildings in the past.

“It’s not the most complicated building to ever be designed,” Paul Denney said, saying that his company could, “more than handle it.”

Denney said that if there was any weakness in his experience, he would be more than willing to look at other facilities and ask what was liked and what didn’t work.

“Because of the small to medium size of it, I feel like we can do it satisfactorily,” Denney told the council.

Mayor Hashmi motioned to table the item to bring back it back at a later date. Drake seconded, and the item was unanimously tabled.

The council went into executive session to discuss a financial agreement with Kimberly Clark.

Upon reconvening into open session, Mayor Hashmi announced that the council found them to be in compliance with a previous financial agreement and that no action would be taken.

Other items discussed at the meeting:

  • The consent agenda was passed without the item authorizing City Manager John Godwin to execute a contract with Ron Hobbs Architects
    (Clifford motioned, Drake seconded. All were in favor.)
  • After deliberation, the council denied a petition for a specific use zoning permit to allow a mobile home in the 1400 block of West Walker St. The Planning and Zoning Commission and it’s staff also recommended denial of the petition. No one from the neighborhood spoke out against the petition at City Council nor at the Planning and Zoning meetings. A letter from Timothy Waugaman and Vera Wright stated that the property only has one neighbor who says they’re okay with putting a mobile home on the lot. The pair said they are both disabled, and would greatly improve the property. Some on the council, including Mayor Hashmi, initially seemed receptive of the petition to the point of at least directly asking those in the neighborhood for their opinions on the issue, but once Godwin stated deciding in favor of this petition could set a precedent against current city ordinances concerning mobile homes, the council unanimously swayed towards denial.
    (Hashmi motioned to deny, Lancaster seconded. All were in favor.)
  • The council heard from Lesa Coder of Crest Water Properties– the new owners of the Pavilion Apartments and the storage units at 425 NE Loop 286– concerning the company’s petition for a special use zoning permit to allow the existing storage facility to be in compliance with the commercial district zone in which they’re located.
    (Clifford motioned to approve, Drake seconded. All were in favor.)
  • The council opened a public hearing for a specific use zoning permit for auto fuel sales at 2735 S. Church St. No one from the public spoke at the meeting, and the public hearing was left open until a later date.
  • Downtown parking restrictions will be loosened, after the council agreed to lift the time-limits on overnight and Sunday parking.
    (Hashmi motioned to approve, Clifford seconded. All were in favor.)
  • A second reading of and a vote a franchise agreement with Oncor Electric Delivery Company to use of the city’s public right of way. A third and final reading will take place at the next meeting on Oct. 24 at 5:30 p.m.
    (Hashmi motioned to approve, Drake seconded. All were in favor.)

Downtown parking, EMS station, and Kimberly Clark on today’s City Council agenda

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The Paris City Council meets today, Oct. 10 at 5:30 p.m. for their regularly scheduled meeting.

The council will convene into executive session to discuss a financial agreement with Kimberly Clark. Check back at Tuesday morning to see whether or not action was taken.

Downtown parking limits are also on the agenda.

City Manager John Godwin suggested in a memo to the mayor and the council that there are two issues with the two-hour parking limit in the downtown area. “First, the city’s traffic control map,” Godwin wrote, “has not been consistently and accurately updated.” And the map doesn’t represent all of the time-limited parking downtown.

The second issue, he wrote, was that there is a growing number of people living downtown that need to be able to park over night.

The proposed ordinance would allow for unlimited parking at night and on Sundays by reducing the use of two-hour limits to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday. It would also allow for, “police enforcement of the existing signage and markings regardless of whether or not the traffic control map has been timely updated,” Godwin wrote.

The consent agenda includes an authorization from the council for the city manager to execute an agreement of services with local non-profits.

Traditionally the city has, a memo from Godwin reads, “partially funded some nonprofit agencies whose services either overlap city services or provide services less expensively than the city could provide those services.”

The recently adopted 2016 -17 City budget provided funding for the following nonprofit agencies:1

  1. Lamar County Historical Society
  2. New Hope Center of Paris
  3. Children’s Advocacy Center
  4. East Texas Council on Alcohol & Drugs
  5. CASA for Kids
  6. Lamar Co. Human Resources Council
  7. Safe-T Shelter Agencies
  8. NE Texas Trail Coalition

The consent agenda will also include a council authorization for the city manager to execute an agreement with Ron Hobbs Architects of Garland for a new EMS station just outside the loop on Northwest 19th St.

According to a memo sent out by the City Manager, up to $30,000 has been included in the 2016-17 budget for the designs. A quick review of proposed budget shows that there is $100,000 allotted for “New station” in the buildings section of the Emergency Medical Services.

This new station, which will serve almost the entire northern half of the county, would replace the station currently located at the Paris Regional Medical Center campus.

EMS Section of Proposed 2016-17 Budget

Also on the agenda:

  • Second reading and vote on Oncor agreement
  • Approving Sept. 26 council minutes
  • Approving committee minutes
  • Approval of four plats
  • Public hearings on two commercial zoning changes
  • Public hearing on one residential zoning change

And it looks like the city council again will decline to take up the issue of ‘cost of living adjustments’ for retired city employees at this meeting. The PEDC’s spec building is also not on today’s agenda.


  • A memo from City Manager John Godwin to the City Council states: “Funding requests are made during the budget process with the agencies filling out an application, providing information on the services performed, and providing requested financial information. Agencies funded in the City budget must sign an agreement with the City to provide those funded services.”



Clifford, Lancaster come out strong against spec building

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The Paris City Council met 5:30 p.m. Monday in the City Council Chamber to discuss the proposed PEDC spec building at 2305 NW Loop 286.

PEDC Executive Director Michael Paris presented the council with the bid it received from Bobby Smallwood Construction1 for their spec building project, which totaled $738,380. A bid bond and a surety bond will also be included in the final costs. The Builder’s Risk Insurance was already included in the bid, making the second insurance estimate redundant.

According to Adjusters International, builder’s risk insurance is coverage that protects an organization’s insurable interest in materials, fixtures and/or equipment that’s being used in the construction or renovation of a building or structure should those items sustain physical loss or damage from a covered cause.1

Prospects, primary jobs, and the public’s perception of the PEDC

Paris addressed the perceptions that have overshadowed the PEDC’s efforts.

“The reason we wanted to do this spec building was to recruit primary jobs to Paris, Texas, and since it is already zoned heavy industrial, we wanted to use this asset to capture a prospective market that we are not capturing right now,” Paris said.

The Texas Economic Development Corporation suggests that about 75 percent of companies coming to the state are looking for an existing building, Paris explained. Even eliminating those prospects that demand an interstate or a nearby international airport, the City of Paris still not capturing a prospective market that needs to be looking at Paris, Texas, he said.

Paris explained that colleagues in Sherman, Denison, Mount Pleasant and Sulphur Springs have spec buildings that they’re able to show to potential businesses.

If we build it—will they come? Dangling carrots, and other questions

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City Council looks to adopt 2016-17 budget

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The Paris City Council will meet in special session at 5:30 p.m. today to potentially adopt the 2016-17 fiscal year budget.

Here is the agenda:

Notice is hereby given that the City Council of the City of Paris shall meet in special session at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, September 19, 2016. The meeting will be held at the City Council Chamber, 107 E. Kaufman Street, in Paris, Texas.  The matters to be discussed and acted upon are as follows:

1. Call meeting to order.

2. Conduct a public hearing on amendments to the FY 2016 -2017 budget.

3. Discuss and act on an Ordinance authorizing and directing the Director of Finance to transfer funds from unencumbered appropriation balances to over – expended accounts for FY 2015 -2016.

4. Discuss and act on an Ordinance adopting a budget for the ensuing fiscal period beginning October 1, 2016 and ending September 30, 2017.

5. Discuss and ratify the property tax increase reflected in the budget as required by Local Government Code Section 102.007(c).

6. Discuss and act on an Ordinance fixing the tax rate and the tax levy and levying ad valorem taxes for the City of Paris for the year 2016 upon all taxable property within the City of Paris in conformity with the Charter provisions and Ordinances of the City.

7. Adjournment.

Council shoots down adoption of International Property Maintenance Code

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The Paris City Council struck down an attempt Monday to adopt an amended version of the International Property Management Code that would regulate the minimum maintenance requirements for existing buildings within city limits.

The proposed codes would have established a minimum maintenance standards for basic equipment, light, ventilation, heating, sanitation and fire safety.

Those in attendance spoke both for and against the adoption during the citizen’s forum. Sybil Colson complained to the council about the short notice of proposed changes. One resident wondered why the city should introduce new codes while the current ones are not being enforced, while another hoped to see the codes strengthened.

During the meeting, the council unanimously approved ordinances for solid waste permits to Trashy Business and Sanitation Solutions. Council members also unanimously approved a final payment of $60,337.75 to B. Bray Construction  to close out Contract B1 of the 2013 bond fund projects that allowed water line and sewer replacements at four different locations in West Paris. 

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Paris City Council meets today

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City Council will meet today, September 12, 2016 at 5:30pm in the city council chambers located at 107 East Kaufman Street.

On the agenda:

  • Approve minutes from August 22 meeting
  • Receive reports/minutes from PEDC, Library Advisory Board, and the Traffic Commission
  • Issuance of solid waste permits for Trash Business and Sanitation Solutions
  • Final payment of $60,337.75 and project close out for contract B1 with B. Bray Construction
  • Discuss City Manager’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2016/17
  • Second public hearing to increase tax revenues from preceding tax year and to set tax rate for 2016
  • Public hearing on an ordinance regarding the petition of Timothy Waugaman and Vera Wright for a zoning change at 1450 West Walker Street
  • Authorize City Manager to execute a contract with Cobb Fendley & Associates for hydraulic analysis of Big Sandy Creek tributaries 4 and 6 for an amount not to exceed $85,000
  • Amend Chapter 7 of Paris Code of Ordinances by amending Section 7-16; providing for adoption of the International Property Maintenance Code and certain local amendments
  • EXECUTIVE Session to deliberate the purchase, exchange, lease, or or value of real property, PEDC property discussion with reference to Powder Innovations
  • Future events for City Council/Staff pursuant to Resolution No. 2004-081
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