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By Emily Banks Wooten
The City of Livingston is changing its solid waste provider effective Aug. 1 – from Republic Services to Piney Woods Sanitation – so city residents will soon experience changes regarding their garbage pickup, most notably moving to a once-a-week pickup schedule as opposed to the previous twice-weekly schedule.
In response to a request for proposals for waste collection and disposal, Council heard from representatives of Piney Woods Sanitation, Pro Star Waste/Waste Connections and Republic Services during its May 9 regular meeting.
During a subsequent special called meeting on May 16, Council reviewed the score sheets completed independently by Utility Billing Supervisor Julie Miller, City Secretary/Assistant City Manager Ellie Monteaux and City Manager Bill S. Wiggins. Council also reviewed a pricing comparison spreadsheet as well as the city’s current rates and the number in each classification. Following some discussion, Council approved awarding a contract for waste collection and disposal services – of both commercial and residential garbage – to Piney Woods Sanitation with contract negotiations to be completed by May 31 and the effective date of the contract beginning Aug. 1.
Piney Woods Sanitation will begin delivering 90-gallon residential carts on Monday but asks that the carts not be placed out for collection until Aug. 1. They will collect up to two items beside the cart every week. Bulk or extra items need to be bundled and weigh less than 50 pounds. Residents may get a second cart for $10 a month by calling the city. Route maps will be put on the city’s website at www.cityoflivingston-tx.com on Monday.
The Livingston City Council met July 11 for its regular monthly meeting. During his monthly city manager’s update on projects and events, Wiggins apprised Council of the status of various development projects currently underway. City staff is currently reviewing plans for a remodel of CVS at 1500 W. Church St.; construction of a Denny’s at 103 U.S. Hwy. 59 Loop South; a Livingston Urgent Care at 1501 W. Church St. Suite 800; and a proposed four-plex housing unit at 115 Pan American. Work is ongoing at CP Homes Memory Care at 1864 N. Washington; Bryan Garzon office lease spaces at 109 W. Abbey; Highway 190 Apartments at 909 E. Church; Danny Moseley townhomes at 209, 211, 213 and 215 Jack Moseley Blvd.; the courthouse restoration project at 101 W. Church; Stella’s Bakery on U.S. Hwy. 190 West; an Edward Jones Investment Agency at 500 W. Polk; a remodel of Walmart at 1620 W. Church; duplex homes at 1300 and 1302 S. Houston; and six new residences at The Retreat Living LLC.
Completed projects include the new LFC Fieldhouse at 601 W. Church; The Vault Venue at 415 N. Washington; and a residence in The Retreat Living LLC.
Although Council was slated to consider action on a proposed ordinance conditionally vacating, abandoning and closing a portion of North East Avenue adjacent to Blocks 41 and 42 of the original city townsite from East Polk Street northward to East Milam Street, the matter soon became a moot point.
On behalf of Central Baptist Church, Christopher Scott addressed Council, stating that he wanted to withdraw the church’s petition for the closure of a portion of North East Street and that he wants to work with the city on traffic control in that area.
A public hearing was held during the June 13 council meeting to receive comments regarding the petition. Numerous church members spoke in favor of the petition, citing concerns regarding the protection and safety of the church’s children, youth and staff, as there is a lot of pedestrian traffic on Wednesdays and Sundays crossing the street from the main campus to the Family Life Center which is now used predominantly for children and youth. An additional reason they cited is the need to reconfigure their parking lot to better accommodate their handicapped and senior citizen members. During that same hearing, two people spoke against the petition, commenting that the street is a frequently used thoroughfare. At that time, Council tabled the matter for further review. Following the church’s decision to withdraw the petition, no action by Council was necessary.
Council approved authorization to execute an engagement letter for the employment of Steve Palmerton and Kevin Bienvenu with the firm Harper & Pearson, PC as the auditors for the fiscal year that runs from Oct. 1, 2022 through Sept. 30, 2023.
The reappointment of Dr. Elias Kanaan as the city’s health authority for the 2023-2025 term was approved.
Council approved two proposed resolutions setting public hearings. One will be to consider the determination of an unsafe and/or dilapidated building, specifically, 1008 Dunbar Ave., owned by Dunbar Livingston 1008 LLC. The other will be to consider the determination of an unsafe and/or dilapidated manufactured home located at 1931 S. Washington Ave. No. 51, owned by Jeff McCullar, Amy McCullar and Carlos Barron. Both public hearings were set for 5 p.m. on Sept. 12.
Other business included approval of the minutes of the June 13 regular meeting and accounts over $500.