City Hears Fire Department Cost Accounting Program

The Eastland City Commission met Monday night with Commissioners Larry Vernon, Jerry Mathews and Mark Pipkin present. City staff present included City Manager Ron Holliday, City Secretary Shirley Stuart, Attorney Lois Rockefeller, Planning Official Bill Dolen and Public Works Director Bobby Jacoby.

Holliday gave a brief financial report in the absence of Finance Director Leslie Zander. He said he was pleased to report there was a slight increase in the sales tax revenue for October.

Fire Chief Phillip Arther made a presentation to the Commission on the cost accounting system the Eastland Fire Department is using to determine costs for each run the department makes. He detailed the tracking and reporting mechanisms, noting that reports will be made on both a calendar year and on the city’s fiscal year basis, which runs from October 1 through the end of the following September

Arther noted the program which he developed would become more accurate over time and is also being used by the Cisco and Gorman Departments. This program captures the major direct operational costs of the calls but does not contain indirect costs or equipment/apparatus replacements.

The Commission complimented Arther on development and implementation of this important tool and thanked him, the paid firemen and all the volunteers for their considerable contributions to the Eastland community.

The Commission then heard from Holliday in reference to a request to construct hangars to house mid-sized planes at the airport. The request from Mike Batteas, Robert Jackson, Duane Hill and Russell Kilpatrick asked for the same considerations given to others in previous hanger contracts from the city. Holliday noted the consortium would pay all construction and engineering costs in return for a 30 year lease. Upon expiration of the lease, the hangers would become the property of the city and continued use would be under a new agreement set at that time. After a brief discussion with Batteas the board approved the request.

Eastland Historic Design Guidelines previously approved by the Eastland Historic Preservation Board and the Planning and Zoning Board, were presented for approval by the Commission. After a brief explanation by Dolen of how the guidelines and a potential grant process would be followed, the guidelines were approved.

The Historic Design Guidelines can be viewed in their entirety at www.eastlandtexas.com/historicPreservation.html.

There was considerable discussion regarding a proposed ordinance that would update the city’s oil and gas drilling and production policy applicable within the city limits. City staff will continue to make modifications to the draft policy and bring it back to the Commission for consideration in December. It was noted the current ordinance covering these matters passed in 1951 and has not been modified since.

A new city logo was approved by the board. The new logo, designed by Eastland Economic Development Inc. Board, will be used on city stationary, cards, etc. as present stock is used up.

Holliday noted the generosity of a number of people having made donations for the cemetery and animal shelter. Although the city is able to track these donations using the present accounting system, the City Finance Director asked for authorization to establish two new bank accounts for these purposes. The new accounts will streamline the accounting process and they were approved.

The Commission retired into executive session to discuss signage with the City Attorney, returning approximately 30 minutes later and took no action. The meeting adjourned shortly thereafter.