Budget and Tax rates were the main focus of the Melissa City Council’s agenda with a following work session centered on the reorganization of the 4B Board and Melissa Park Advisory Board on Tuesday night. The consent and regular agenda items were read by Melissa Mayor Reed Greer, and the council then gave the floor over to a couple of citizens who wished to have their concerns publicly noted.
It is the policy of the Melissa City Council, as all other city councils, to allow citizens the chance to appropriately address council members directly with city-related issues they feel to be of import before at the beginning of every city council meeting. Citizens are allowed up to three minutes to speak to their city representatives, after which the council has the option to include the issue on a future agenda. Two Melissa citizens addressed the council with grievances at Tuesday’s meeting. Richard Meshulam’s grievance concerned the removal of an old-growth tree line located close to his home on Surrey Circle by developer D.R. Horton. The permit, which gave D.R. Horton the right to remove the foliage, was issued years ago and the land was included in the planning of The Villages of Melissa’s Phase 2 construction efforts.
Meshulam spoke passionately about the landscape’s alteration. He furnished a prepared statement which detailed his account of the events which led him to bring this grievance before the council,
"At 7 a.m. on Saturday, July 20th, the bulldozers started ripping these trees out. There was no benefit to either of us, the property owners in Country Ridge or to D.R. Horton to remove these [50-plus] year-old trees. The only requirement the City of Melissa has is that they replace each tree somewhere in their development with the total circumference of the trees taken down," he said.
Meshulam stated that he will now have the shine of Melissa High School Stadium coming through his windows every Friday night when the lights and noise will be at their brightest and loudest. Meshulam also said he and his neighbors have since been experiencing an influx of feral animal activity in their neighborhood. Shortly after the removal of the old growth tree line Meshulam has had to fish armadillos out of their swimming pools on more than one morning.
Meshulam and his neighbor Michael Moore’s main concern overall was what the possible long-term effects of his newly unobstructed view of both the stadium and City Hall will do to his and his neighbors’ property values. Having already spent nearly $40,000 on home improvements, Meshulam said he does not wish to abandon his neighborhood and the City of Melissa which he has come to embrace as his home.
"According to the Mayor, it was a permit that was done many years ago. Some of us haven’t lived here many, many years." Meshulam continued,
"It’s like a middle of the night deal, for them to show up on a Saturday morning at seven o’ clock, fire up the bulldozers and level them." Meshulam compared the feelings he had of the event to a scene from the film "Medicine Man." "They wiped out the cure for cancer; they were wiping out the rainforest. That’s what it felt like. Was I going to stand in front of a bulldozer with my family? No."
Meshulam closed his written statement by saying, "Both Michael Moore and I are asking for the matter of the raping of our privacy and property values [to be] placed on a future city council agenda for mitigation purposes. This could happen to you tomorrow the same way it happened to us several weeks ago."
Another citizen who does not wish to be identified was concerned with a dense, high speed traffic area’s close location to her neighborhood’s residences.
The council continued the meeting and approved a resolution accepting the 2013 Certified Appraisal Roll, the Certification of Anticipated Collection Rate and Excess Collection. According to the Collin County Tax Assessor’s Office the collection rate for the City of Melissa is 100 percent.
Council then discussed the proposed fiscal year 2013-14 tax rate and budget. The council voted unanimously to set two public hearings to be held in the city council chamber on Aug. 27 and Sept. 3, where the proposed budget and tax rate will be officially approved.
Council discussed a lawsuit filed against the City of Melissa by Farhad Nayeb, owner of Kim’s Korner. The matter of the suit was included on the council’s agenda. The council considered and acted upon a resolution authorizing City Manager Jason Little to execute any and all pleadings, documents and any other information arising out of and/or related to the case.