Abilene council to talk repurposing vacant building, advisory board for disabled


ABILENE, Texas - Abilene City Council will discuss selling a vacant building, creating an advisory board for people with disabilities, and revising an ordinance regarding liquor stores on Thursday.

"It's one of the things that Mayor Williams talked about as being inclusive of all peoples," Abilene City Manager Robert Hanna said of the advisory board. "It's one thing for me to read a statute and say, 'This is what's required.' It's another thing for somebody who may be in a wheelchair to say, 'This is what it says, but this is how it actually works.'" A vacant building on Pine Street may soon come to life if council allows the Development Corporation of Abilene to sell it. Hardin-Simmons University is interested in purchasing AbLabs for $2 million to use it for their physical therapy program. "I think it's $1.5 million. There is about $725,000-$750,000 economic incentive to go with that to bring the cost up to $2 million total," Hanna said. Also on the agenda, the city needs to revise a liquor sale ordinance to comply with state law. Currently, liquor stores are at least 300 feet away from a school, church or hospital. The state law is stricter and more specific. "You go from the front door [of the liquor store] and you draw a straight line to the right-of-way, then you go down the road and cross the street at a 90-degree angle to the next front door of the other business," Hanna said.

At a special-called meeting Tuesday night, there will be a software presentation for OpenGov. OpenGov is a software that allows citizens to access the city's budget and run reports to see where money is being spent.

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