Pharr City Report for 8/17/2020

City Approves Ordinance Allowing Outdoor Dining

Pharr City Commissioners approved an ordinance on first reading which will allow restaurants to use up to 50% of their parking lot for outdoor dining. The ordinance is temporary and will continue to be adjusted as needed. Through this ordinance, the City of Pharr hopes to provide additional opportunities for Pharr restaurants with limited capacity to serve patrons in outdoor spaces in efforts to stimulate the recovery of the restaurant business in the City. “This will give them an additional income stream to keep them afloat, while still abiding by CDC and local guidelines,” said City Manager Ed Wylie.

Commission Approves Date for Public Hearing Regarding the City’s Tax Rate

Pharr City Commissioners voted to hold a public hearing on the city’s proposed tax rate, as required by law, on September 8, 2020, at 4:00 p.m. The city wants residents to know that they are NOT raising property taxes in the City of Pharr. The city is proposing to keep the tax rate the same at 0.7176 per $100 valuation. Since the values of the properties went up, the city is now generating more income than they did last year at the same rate and must now hold a public hearing. “We want to let residents know that this is NOT a tax increase and that our tax rate in the City of Pharr will stay the same,” said City Manager Ed Wylie. He continued, “if your taxes go up, it is because of the value of your house.”

Pharr Votes to Seek Reimbursement from Hidalgo County for CARES Act Supplemental Funding

Pharr City Commissioners voted in favor of seeking reimbursement from Hidalgo County for CARES Act Supplement/Emergency Funding. The City of Pharr has exhausted the original award as outlined in the Cares Act Interlocal Agreement and still has outstanding expenses. As outlined in the original agreement, the city is seeking access to the original full award of $134 per person. Hidalgo county kept approximately $5 million additional dollars (the difference between $114 and $132 per person) in an emergency fund.

Commission Approves Purchase of Kiosks, Making Payments More Accessible to Citizens

Commissioners approved the purchase of two payment kiosks for the Municipal Court and Utility Billing from AdComp Systems Inc. utilizing CARES Act funding. With the city continuing to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic, these kiosks will provide a safe and contactless exchange for citizens, while limiting traffic and exposure. The kiosks will be integrated with the municipal court and water utility payments for cash, check or credit card payments as well as provide change on cash payments. One in-wall unit would be installed in the Utility Billing drive-through at City Hall and the other indoor unit would be installed in the Police department lobby.

Pharr Approves Interlocal Cooperative Agreement for Emergency Debris Removal, Monitoring, and Planning Services

Commissioners approved an Interlocal Cooperative Agreement between the Cities of Edinburg and Pharr to utilize Tetra Tech for Emergency Debris Removal Monitoring and Planning Services. “This company is already accepted by FEMA and will allow the City of Pharr to get reimbursed more timely,” said City Manager Ed Wylie.