Thursday evening, the Lubbock City Council unanimously passed the budget for the 2016-17 Fiscal Year. The new effective tax rate works out to a little more than 53 cents per $100 property valuation.

The council includes freshman council members Juan Chadis, Sheila Patterson Harris and Steve Massengale, along with the freshman Mayor Dan Pope. The group discussed the second reading of the budget, very briefly, after adopting an amendment proposed by council member Jeff Griffith that excluded the city attorney, secretary and manager from receiving a cost of living pay raise.

In other council business, a split council voted to allow the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office and the Lubbock County Criminal DA’s Office to access limited information from Lubbock Power and Light and the City of Lubbock’s utility database.

Discussion revealed that the DA and Sheriff’s Office would be able to access customers’ information through this method only “marginally faster” than from obtaining a subpoena from the county. Council member Latrelle Joy said making all customers’ information readily available was a disservice regardless of how narrow the scope of information provided is. Joy, Chadis and Patterson Harris were the dissenting voters.

Finally, former Lubbock Mayor Glen Robertson’s request to council to rezone a portion of the depot district to accommodate a shooting range was approved.

The former mayor and congressional candidate entered the request on behalf of Four Bar R Investments Limited. District 2 Councilwoman Sheila Patterson-Harris was the lone dissenter to the zoning change after a citizen from her district commented that he was uncomfortable with the idea of a shooting range next to many of Lubbock’s night clubs.

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