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Lockhart Community News
City Council Recap March 16,2021

Rezoning for high-tech farming, the city’s annual financial report, new language for the animal shelter, and an update on the American Rescue Plan Act are among the highlights of Tuesday’s City Council meeting.


Iron Ox Rezoning: City council rezoned a 24.5 acre property on 1205 Reed Drive from Agricultural-Open Space to Industrial Light District. Initially, Iron Ox—a high tech hydroponic farming company—wanted to construct a 200,000-250,000 square foot facility. The zoning change will allow them to double it. The City Planner said no opposition was expressed against the rezoning. An Iron Ox representative said plans are to break ground by April and operations to begin by the end of the year. “We appreciate you choosing Lockhart,” said Mayor Lew White. “We’re looking forward to this partnership.”


City of Lockhart & LEDC Annual Financial Audit: City council also accepted the FY 2019-2020 Annual Financial Audit. Harrison, Waldrop and Uherek, CPAs from Victoria, Texas, commended the city’s financial reporting. Lockhart’s city charter requires an annual financial audit from an external auditing firm, along with a change of firms every five years. The City, which received a “clean” audit opinion, which is an indication that the city’s financial statements are presented fairly in all material respects and conform to generally accepted accounting principles.


Animal Shelter: The City Attorney recommended language to amend city ordinances to align with a 2016 Texas Supreme Court decision. The amendment clarifies that a pet owner’s failure to reclaim an animal within a specified time transfers the title of a dog to the shelter and then to an adopter. This change ensures future animal adoptions from the shelter are valid.


City Manager Report: The City Manager addressed how the approval of the American Rescue Plan Act will impact Lockhart. He said the city will receive $3.08M. The Texas Municipal League cautions it will take time to fully understand the stipulations of that funding. The U.S. Treasury Department is anticipated to release guidance on how the money can be spent. The deadline to spend ARP funds is December 31, 2024.


Executive Sessions:

                Public power utility: Staff was directed to prepare payment plan options to address a potential $3M financial exposure created by Winter Storm Uri.

                Solid waste collection/recycling agreement: City agreed to extend current contract with CTR for an additional two months to complete contract negotiations for a possible extension of the current agreement.

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