As the culmination of two years’ research by the Eastland City Commission, staff and consultants on the most cost effective alternatives to improve the city water system, in action taken Monday night, the City Commission awarded the bid to build a new water tower to Kentucky based Phoenix Fabrication. The $1.1 million dollar project is a major element of the King Kong project that will also include rehabilitation of the one million gallon water storage tank on the east side of the city.
The new tower will not only improve drinking water quality, but coupled with the water line replacement portion of the King Kong project currently underway, it will help improve the water pressure throughout the city.
Funding for the new tower will come from a combination of the low interest loan acquired from the Texas Water Development Commission last year and required local matching funds contained in the City’s current budget. The new tower has a life expectancy of about 100 years.
The smaller of the two existing standpipes will be demolished during the early winter and the new tower will be built on its footprint. Once the new tower is operational, about this time next year, the larger standpipe will come down.
In other agenda items the Commission gave preliminary approval to a proposed historic District overlay boundary around the Courthouse Square. Bill Dolen noted the proposed district boundary was approved by the City’s Historic Preservation Board and the Planning and Zoning Board.
Dolan said the next step would be to notify all property owners within the proposed district as well as those within 200 feet of the boundary regarding the proposed zoning change. This will be followed by two public hearings before a final decision will be made by the Commission. The boundary proposal was approved with a slight modification on its east side.
The City Commission approved a 2010 Census Proclamation to encourage all citizens of the city to participate and cooperate to make the census as accurate as possible. City Secretary Shirley Stuart informed the Commission that the U.S. Census Bureau said the 2000 Eastland census may have been as much as 35% under the actual number of residents.
The City Commission approved a contract offered by Eastland County for payment of some of the actual costs of fire protection in the rural portion of the Eastland Fire Department service area. It was noted that a planning process is underway by the County to explore means of providing adequate funding for county fire protection.
Eastland City Manager Ron Holliday gave a brief City Manager’s report, acknowledging the recent selection of Eastland City Secretary Shirley Stuart as the Bluebonnet Region of the Texas Municipal Clerks Association Municipal Clerk of the Year. All commended her on the fine job she continues to do for the city.
Holliday also reported that the City would be using approximately $13,000 of the $33,000 set aside for historic preservation to protect and renovate the old rock concession stand at the city pool into a working concession building. The Commission agreed this was a good expenditure and would be preserving another piece of history of Eastland.