Comanche City Council approves budget

by Todd Brooks

Following a called public hearing, the Comanche City Council approved its 2023-24 fiscal budget.

The budget features increases in all major accounts including the general fund, Comanche Public Works and Comanche Land Management.

The Comanche Public Works Authority will, as usual, have the largest budget at $3,017.125, up nearly $30,000 from the current budget. The general fund will have a budget of $1,124,300, up $57,000 from the current budget and Comanche Land Management Authority budget will be $110,800, up $1,500 from the current budget.

In the Comanche Land Management Authority portion of the meeting, following an executive session, the council agreed to sell the incubator building at 309 Church Street to a private buyer who was interested in the property.

The money received from that sale will go towards the purchase of the old Cowboy Opry at 300 Oak Main.

“Since we had used grant money to build the incubator building we would have had to give the grant money back after selling the property or find another project the grant could be used for,” said Chuck Ralls, city manager.

When contacted Monday about plans for the building, Ralls said the city has some ideas what to do with the building but no decision will be made until they get approval from the grant people.

In the PWA portion of the meeting, the trustees approved entering into a contract with TrueNorth Mapping and Solutions to map the city’s entire water, sewer and electric system.

“They are going to map 100% of our electric lines, in ground as well as overhead,” Ralls said. “They are gong to GPS locate every single transformer and give us all the specs on the transformers. They will map every single water line, every water meter and its location. Where every shutoff valve is.”

They will do cemetery mapping as well and be able to tie names back to them.

Ralls said it will enable city workers to access the information so more people will know where everything is instead of just one person.

The initial cost is $25,000 for the setup and $1,000 month service charge, which Ralls said is well worth it since it would cost the city around $80,000 year to hire a full-time employee to do the job. He added the city may be able to get a grant to help pay for the cost.

Ralls said the most recent map the city has is probably from the 1950s.

During the city council meeting, the council members approved a contract for smoke and fire detection with monitoring.

Ralls said the fire out at the water treatment plant could have been less severe if they would have had a system in place.

The buildings for the proposed monitoring would be City Hall, the water treatment plant and the cemetery building.

The total cost would be $25,000, but they will be able to spread the cost out, doing one building a month as finances permit.