ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – After nearly two and half hours in session, the Abilene City Council approved 24 items on the meeting agenda and denied one item.

One Abilene couple voiced their concerns regarding rezoning land near Old Anson Road and Huckleberry Lane to build a new apartment complex. It could be built just 15 feet from their home. The concerns for their safety and the close proximity prompted the council to deny the motion. They could revisit this item again one year from now.

A few items that were approved by the council included the $52 million bond election that voters will see on the ballots this November. This bond will allocate $28 million to recreational center improvements, specifically GV Daniels and Caesar Chavez. Nine million will go toward building a 10K hike and bike trail around Kirby Lake, similar to Cedar Creek Waterway. Finally, $15 million will go toward expanding the Abilene Zoo, doubling it in size and adding a unique cafe that will overlook the exhibits. Zoo director Jesse Pottebaum told KTAB/KRBC this will be a two-story cafe.

“The cafe is not your normal, typical cafe. It’s a very majestic building. There will be opportunities for people to eat on the bottom floor, as well as the top floor, and view these magnificent animals while they’re enjoying their lunch,” said Pottebaum.

Members of the Abilene pickleball group showed their appreciation for the approval of the 2023-2024 budget, which includes funds that will go toward adding eight pickleball courts at Rose Park.

“It is just another asset for Abilene to have pickleball to improve the quality of life,” said Abilene pickleball player John English.

The 2023-2024 property tax rates were also approved and will go into effect immediately. The adoption of the tax rate of 0.7328 cents per $100 is effectively a 4.9% increase in the tax rate. The new property tax rates will be reflected on residents’ tax bills fall of 2023.