By Jan White
CROCKETT – At the City Council meeting held on Monday, June 6, the board voted to reject Oncor Electric Delivery Company’s proposed rate increase and join a consortium to negotiate those rates. The board also voted to award the contract to KSA Engineers, Inc. as the engineering firm for the Downtown Revitalization Program.
In his City Administrator’s Report, City Manager John Angerstein gave an explanation about a couple of major topics – the water and sewer work taking place on Goliad and Houston streets and updates on the construction of the new swimming pool.
The water improvement project will be time-consuming because of the extent of repairs and replacement of the water lines under those streets. Meters will have to be replumbed. Old pipes under the roads will be replaced with larger pipes to help increase water pressure. Angerstein also reiterated that the work will result in detours and will be an inconvenience. The work is slow work. It isn’t an easy job and doesn’t happen in a week. Angerstein hopes that residents will be patient and concentrate on the results of the finished product and the long-term benefits as opposed to the short-term inconvenience.
Angerstein also gave an update on the swimming pool. Funds of $750K had been set aside for construction, but recent bids came back from 20% to 30% higher than initially expected. Angerstein explained that the city was asking for the build during the summer months, which is the peak construction period. He said they are now looking at delaying construction until fall or during the off-season to try and decrease the cost.
Two agenda items were related to the CEIDC. The board approved the check processing procedure submitted by the CEIDC, which would alleviate problems previously reported by city auditors. The other agenda item was the approval and appointment of Elizabeth Guzman as a CEIDC board member and Calvin Hawkins as an Ex-Officio member of the board.
Added agenda items were an amendment to the City of Crockett zoning ordinance regarding specific use permits and an ordinance amending provisions for short-term rentals such as VRBO and vacation home rentals.
During the comments from the audience, several speakers addressed the council on their concerns about financial matters and the handling of CEIDC funds and loans.
After the remarks, Councilman Gene Caldwell recommended adding an agenda item to the next council meeting, suggesting a third-party forensic investigation into the matter. Cauldwell noted that since these concerns are from their constituents, they had a right to have those concerns investigated.