City annexes commercial property near high school /Council names police chief

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : June 16, 2017

By Erik Walsh
Monitor Staff Writer
KEMP–Kemp city council members held two public hearings in one night to speed up annexing a commercial property into Kemp city limits June 13.
The property, located across the street from the high school on Highway 274, belongs to Elfega Picena Sanchez, who plans to open the third location of a chain of Mexican drive-through restaurants called Little Mexico. The other locations are in Gun Barrel City and Kaufman.
Even though the property is across the street from the high school, awkward zoning still puts the lot outside of the city limits. To be a part of the city’s water and sewer system the property needs to be annexed into the fold.
Kemp Mayor Laura Peace said there wasn’t a squeak of opposition to the annexation after posting a notice at least five days prior to the council meeting.
“If anyone had something to say against the annexation we wouldn’t have moved on this so quickly,” Peace said.
Council members were also introduced to new Kemp Police Chief Bradley DeLaughter. DeLaughter is a familiar face around the Kemp police force, as he has been with KPD since August of 2015. He became Chief last Friday after candidates were interviewed Thursday. Former Interim Chief James Cook is back on regular patrol duty.
The council also continued taking steps to be eligible to apply for grants from the Texas Water Development Board. The final obstacle for application was adopting a water conservation plan, which the council unanimously approved Tuesday. Mayor Peace said the plan can be amended later after the city’s needs are made clearer, but stressed the need to implement it quickly to become eligible for grant application. Peace and councilwoman Christi Neal stressed the importance of conservation.
“We want to promote community conservation,” Peace said. “It’s possible that we will introduce some watering restrictions in the future.”
“We need to be pro-active,” Neal said. “We don’t need to be in the middle of a drought to conserve water.”
In other news, council members:
• approved a resolution authorizing a continued partnership with the Atmos Cities Steering Committee and authorized the payment of two cents per capita to ACSC. An Atmos rep at the meeting said, “This is an attorney fee to keep Kemp represented in the committee.”
• approved City Administrator Regina Kiser to sign the grant application documents to the Texas Water Development Board.
• heard during staff reports of a six-inch main water line that needed repair on Pearl Street the past month.