Repairs at city parks were reported as completed at the council meeting Monday, Sept. 25. Included in those repairs were the entrance at Soccer Park, and fencing replacement and benches at Perry Sampson Park. (City of Center photos)
Center’s city council heard a response from Gene Keenon with Republic Services on an amendment for previously requested service adjustments of possible changes in the city’s solid waste contract for trash pickup.
The presentation addressed pricing for adjusting current residential and commercial hand-loading customers to a standard 95-gallon cart/tote remote control loading service. The new program would reduce collections to one pickup per week and reduce residential charges by $3 per month.
No action was taken pending further evaluation of the options.
Amending budget changes
The council approved an annual ordinance comprehensively amending budget changes for FY23 (the current budget) during the current fiscal year.
Most of the adjustments included changes authorized to enhance the Vehicle/Equipment Replacement Fund by expanding the equipment included for future replacement increasing monthly allocations from various departments.
Also noted were increase costs of chemicals, utilities and several major water/sewer repair projects and significant equipment replacements at the wastewater treatment plant.
In addition to other asset maintenance for roofs, painting and air conditioning, the special projects approved included the broadband initiative and facility generators. All adjustments are offset by increases seen in revenues or projects, according to the council packet.
Cooperative Purchasing Program
The council also approved the city’s participation with the Tarrant County (Texas) Cooperative Purchasing Program allowing an alternative procurement method for purchases, particularly current police vehicles and equipment.
The Tarrant County contract includes greater availability of vehicles and quicker expected delivery at similar or less pricing, and unlike some other coop programs, will presently lock in orders and prices.
Aiken Water Plant Rehabilitation
Unanimously approved were actions relating to the Aiken Water Plant Rehabilitation. One was amending a work authorization for the Aiken Water Plant Rehab to find an effective point for the project to transition from the preliminary engineer, EGA, to the design/construction engineer.
The other was a Task Order with KSA created under the council’s prior approved General Contract for Engineering Services to outline the scope of work to initiate final design and construction plans.
Fire department recruit training program
The council approved a recruit training program for the Center Volunteer Fire Department based on the recent success of the police department’s recruit program. The program will allow the chief to hire as a trainee, a current CVFD member to complete the Fire Academy for certification and permanent firefighter position. The city will pay academy costs with a minimum two-year commitment of employment before the individual is released from repayment agreement.
An application for taxicab permit was on the agenda. According to the council packet, the council has not dealt with a taxicab for a very long time. The code and state law requires approval by local government for vehicles for service or hire, except for “ride share” which is solely regulated by the state. The city code requires information, annual fee and approval by the city council. Periodic inspection of vehicles and background check is required for completion by the police department. No action was taken as the application is still in review.
Appraisal District appointees
The council approved reappointment of Mayor David Chadwick and Council Member John Howard to the Shelby County Appraisal District Board. Both are currently serving on the board.
Items of Interest (no action required)
• Sales Tax Report for September was presented.
• Financial Dashboard for expenses through end of August was presented.
• Park Items - Several repairs at various parks were delayed through the summer but the council packet included photos of recent completions including the entrance at Soccer Park (insurance claim), and fencing replacement and benches at Perry Sampson Park.
• Downtown Lights - The half block on San Augustine has been off because of wire damage.
• Water System - Drought Management Plan - Stage I Stage 1 mandatory use restrictions remain in effect that govern waste, general cleaning and landscape irrigation, generally obtaining compliance. As weather patterns cool and rain accumulates, lake levels should rise, allowing restrictions to be rescinded.
The availability of sufficient drinking water and integrity of the system allowing sufficient water for fire response are the priorities that dictate the stage of restrictions implemented.
Lake Levels and Drought - Current lake levels have stabilized with the recent rainfall but remain at elevations that reduce some volume of raw usage. While dissipation and decline have slowed dramatically from last month, neither lake has yet to experience any increase in levels.
Aiken Treatment Project - The TONKA Pilot Study was delivered and set for sample treatment to begin this next week.
ETEX Broadband - Construction activity continues to increase pace. Most of the work can now be seen along Tenaha St and Shelbyville St moving toward downtown to connect to the hub location at 301 Nacogdoches Street