The Eastland City Commission met for their regular monthly meeting Monday evening, April 19, 2010. Present were Commissioners Larry Vernon, Jerry Mathews, Mark Pipkin, Norman Owen and Richard Rossander.
City staff present were City Manager Ron Holliday, Secretary Shirley Stuart, Finance Director Leslie Zander, Planning Official Bill Dolen, Public Works Director Bobby Jacoby and Chief of Police Cecil Funderburgh.
Holliday and Zander gave a financial report pretty much repeating their same reports for the past couple of months. Both indicated the sales tax report for April, showing sales for the month of February, continue to show a slight downward trend.
All are optimistic things will look some better once the tax reports begin to show sales from the new car dealership.
A request was heard and approved for financial assistance to the Eastland Centre for the Arts for roof repairs to their facility currently under renovation on the west side of the square.
ECA Chairman Terry Simmons presented the request for the $15,000. He informed the commission his board had received three different repair proposals from an area roofing company ranging from a minor fix for $6,000 to a complete roof for $21,000.
Simmons reported his board had approved the middle of the three that would include adding flashing and a new layer of tar to the current roof for around $11,000 and was asking for an additional amount in the event other issues were uncovered during the repair work.
Simmons noted in the event the work stayed near the proposed amount, his board was requesting to use the remaining funds towards the installation of the Lyric sign and marquee which is expected to run in the $5,600 area.
Holliday noted the city had set aside $33,000 from hotel/motel tax funds for Historic Preservation. He informed the board that to date some $13,000 have been used to restore the old rock building at the park into a new concession stand for the swimming pool at the park. He said some additional funds would be needed for electrical work.
James Norris then made a request for funds to assist with two upcoming State Youth Baseball Tournaments set for July of this year in Eastland. He reported the tournaments would draw some 13 to 16 teams each from around the state with teams coming from as far away as Marfa and Presidio and others.
Norris told the board repairs to the Pony League field were needed and currently there was some $5,600 already donated towards the cause that would cost around $8,000.
During the discussion it was noted there would be other expenses necessary that could hamper the repair project without assistance. By the end of the discussion the board approved $3,000 from the hotel motel fund to pay for umpires which would allow the Sports board to use other funds for the field work.
Holliday then gave the board an update on an issue related to the upcoming sewer project on the east side of town.
He reminded the board of action they took some two years ago when they approved the increase of $3.40 to the utility bills for the city services each month. He noted without their foresight the city could be facing a major financial dilemma.
Holliday then said the $975,000 loan obtained through the Texas Water Development Board for the sewer project and the water line replacement currently underway has hit red tape.
He said the TWDB has placed a requirement on the project that calls for bringing the city’s ‘main’ sewer lift station, on the east side of town near the Leon River and football stadium, above the flood plain. He informed the board the project involves adding an 8 foot tall ‘canister’ type structure to the top of the current lift station along with a service crane for a cost of $82,000.
Holliday then reported to the board a $70,000 contingency fund had been budgeted in the current project and could be used leaving the project $12,000 short, but these funds could be pulled from the ‘340 Fund’ set up from the utility fees increase.
All agreed this project must go forward due to the heavy sewage load on the east end of town.
During his City Manager’s Briefing Holliday complimented the Eastland Community Foundation and others who stepped up when needed. He went on to explain his daughter was married Saturday evening at the Connellee and the event was set for the 8th floor. But late Friday evening it was discovered that a large hole in the roof of the cupola atop the building was allowing the water from the torrential rains to flow down into the elevator burning it out.
Holliday thanked all those who helped move the event from the 8th floor to the lobby and gardens.
He then informed the board all documents have been completed for the property exchange between the city and the EISD and should be finalized soon. This item involves the city exchanging the property where the new EISD Ag Facility is currently under construction at Eastland Lake with the school district for the district owned baseball field at the baseball complex.
With no other business to discuss the meeting adjourned at 6:45 p.m.