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The fall out of legislative action on city fees and a request from the county elections administrator top the agenda as El Campo City Council prepares to meet Monday.

Most concerning, City Manager Courtney Sladek said, is the recent passage of HB 852. As it goes into effect, “We cannot charge residential permits based on value. It has to be based on square feet,” she said.

The common practice had been to review plans and charge a permit fee based on the value of the structure being put into place – the equivalent of a metal shed costing less to build than a brick addition to a home, permit wise.

“Now, we cannot do that,” Sladek said.

The fiscal impact is still to be determined.

A plea to assist with local voting also appears on the city’s agenda Monday, coming from the Wharton County Elections Administration.

Tasked with assisting elections ranging from city council’s to the local national vote for president, the department requesting use of the El Campo Civic Center at no charge during March and November of even numbered years. The request is for Election Day voting only, not the extended early voting period.

“We would set up on Monday, Election Day is Tuesday and we would remove our equipment Wednesday,” Election Administrator Cindy Richter said in her May 29 request letter.

There would be two elections in 2020 and 2022 each – a total of six days use over the three-year period.

To use the Civic Center’s Myatt Room typically costs $150 per day with a $100 deposit.

The El Campo City Council meets at 6:30 p.m. Monday in chambers, 315 E. Jackson. The meeting is open to the public with time specifically designated for citizen comments.

Other items before Council include:

• Updated policies for staff travel, purchases and training will be presented to Council for approval.

Among the proposed revisions is a requirement to have any out-of-state travel for training be approved by the city manager and an increase in the authorized spending limits of department heads, the finance director and city manager.

A department head – the public works or police chief, for example – is currently only able to spend up to $500 without seeking approval.

• The new consent agenda appears this meeting as well. Items set for approval in a single vote are three sets of minutes, interlocal agreements to share equipment with the City of Wharton and Wharton County when needed (at a fee) for street repairs, civic center sound system repairs to be paid for out of the civic center reserve and sewer line repairs in the general area of the high school.

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