ABILENE, Texas - It's the start of a new year – and what big changes could be made in the city of Abilene?
KTXS spoke to city council members to learn about the outlook for Abilene in 2013.
Mayor Norm Archibald, Councilmen Robert Briley and Joe Spano said they all want to tackle and complete the sign ordinance.
The city started a comprehensive plan to review all parts of the land development code in order to improve the appearance of the city.
The sign ordinance has been an ongoing debate for the last couple of years. It decides what signs need to come down and which ones can stay up inside the city.
"The sign ordinance is something that needs to be looked at," Archibald said. "There's a lot of old dilapidated, 25 years out of date, maybe, 40 years out of date signs that need to come down."
The goal? To clean up the appearance in Abilene
Spano and Briley agree with the mayor.
"There's an ordinance that has been worked and reworked two or three times in the last couple of years," Spano said. "I think it's time to put it to bed."
Briley, a business owner, wants to make sure the ordinance isn't over regulating.
"There's a lot of need for good laws," Briley said. "We just don't want to over do it."
Spano said he also wants to create a better quality of life for people in Abilene. He would like to see the Cedar Creek Waterway project come to life. The plans are to add hiking, biking, and jogging trails from Kirby Lake north to Lake Fort Phantom.
"Private and public partnerships, I think, would be very important in the future because tax payers can't do it all," Spano said.
Private funds could help transform Lincoln Middle School.
Also, sales tax revenues are projected to go down in 2013. Just this month Abilene's sale tax rebate, which represents November sales, is down nearly 23 percent when compared to the same time last year, according to the city.
The mayor and council members want to keep a tight budget.
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