Apr

02

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : April 2, 2015

By David Webb
Monitor Correspondent

GUN BARREL CITY–The Gun Barrel City Council approved moving forward with the development of a weekly farmers market at the City Park Pavilion.

March 24, Councilman Marty Goss presented the idea to the council, and he recommended that Councilman Ron Wyrick be appointed as the liaison to the operation. The farmers market would be open every Saturday from 7 a.m. to noon.

Goss said the Economic Development Corp. would be asked to designate $2,500 to the project for signage and other advertising.

The motion passed, 3-2, with Mayor Pro Tem Dennis Baade and Councilwoman Carol Calkins objecting to the plan as presented. They cited a lack of information in their opposition.

Calkins said she supported the concept of a farmers market, but the absence of a business plan concerned her. The councilwoman said the city launching such an operation in the middle of the budget year made poor financial sense, and that she is already concerned about the city’s ability to stay on budget this year.
A previous attempt to open a farmers market at the City Park Pavilion failed because of poor attendance by the public.

“Since we have held the EDC to high standards of packaging a project complete with background check, financial statements, business plans, insurance requirements, etc., should we not also have a similar packet to review for a project proposed by a council member,” Calkins said.

Calkins said the appointment of a council member to run the operation raised questions about the integrity of the plan because the City Charter requires communication with city staff to be channeled by the city manager. “Have you gotten our attorney’s clearance that a council member can serve in this role?”
EDC President David Skains also voiced concerns about the EDC being asked to provide funding for a project without being presented a detailed request with supporting documents. “Who are we supposed to write the check to?” he said.

After the meeting Goss dismissed the concerns of Skains as “sour grapes” because he opposed the EDC’s recent failed plan to open a weekly farmers market at the vacant site of the old City Hall building on Hwy 334. The council voted down the EDC plan recently over the objections of Calkins.

Wyrick said he would present a detailed plan to the EDC now that the council has approved the concept and appointed him as the liaison.

In other action, the council:

• authorized the city manager to apply to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Facilities Direct and Guaranteed Loan Program for funding in the form of a low cost loan to develop new facilities in the city. New facilities under consideration would be a new police department, fire department and a senior citizens recreation center. Baade said the council needs to carefully consider the options in a strategic planning meeting. “We need to take our time in deciding what we need to do,” Baade said. “The city has a lot of needs.” The motion passed, 4-1, with Calkins opposing the motion. She advised postponing the application until after a strategic planning and budget workshop.

• heard an update on the proposed $3 million Country Place Homes assisted living community. Baade said the project is stalled until the developers and the city manager get state officials to re-negotiate the Texas Capital Fund Grant requirements. State officials wanted high-equity performance bonds established by the developer and the city that complicated the process, he said. State officials now appear inclined to drop those demands, the councilman said.

Once the grant is approved, ground could be broken on the project in 30 days, according to city officials.

Aug

10

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : August 10, 2014

Monitor Photo/Erik Walsh Henderson County Precinct 3 Commissioner Ronnie Lawrence (middle) and  Precinct 4 Commissioner Ken Geeslin (right) raise their hands to adjourn court August 5 at the Henderson County Courthouse Annex.

Monitor Photo/Erik Walsh
Henderson County Precinct 3 Commissioner Ronnie Lawrence (middle) and Precinct 4 Commissioner Ken Geeslin (right) raise their hands to adjourn court August 5 at the Henderson County Courthouse Annex.


By Erik Walsh
The Monitor Staff

ATHENS–Henderson County Commissioners gave their final nod of approval Tuesday, authorizing documents needed to receive a grant from the Texas County Transportation Infrastructure Grant Program.
Henderson County could qualify for up to $346,311 of the TxDOT administered grant. The money is collected from taxes to oil and gas companies and allocated by the Texas Legislature to repair county and state roads.
Commissioners identified improvements needed in each precinct to put roads in good condition. The estimated cost of those improvements is $4,626,895.
On Tuesday, commissioners unanimously approved the grant resolution.
They also took action to execute the agreement with the State of Texas concerning the grant.
“This is the culmination of about six months of work,” Precinct 2 Commissioner Wade McKinney said.
In other action on Tuesday, commissioners ratified county road maintenance on Butler Road in Precinct 4.
Precinct 4 Commissioner Ken Geeslin said the road is up to county standards, but has not been officially entered into the road system.
“It appears in the mid-80s, but has since fell through the cracks,” Geeslin said.
Commissioners also voted to enter an interlocal agreement with the City of Tool in Precinct 1 to allow the county to use labor and equipment on two roads in the city.
Commissioners acted on two sets of bills. The first totaled $170,182.41, and the second $160,665.18.

Nov

23

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : November 23, 2013

Monitor Photo/David Webb Payne Springs municipal judge Karen Juica administers the oath of office to newly elected council members (from left) Ron Spahlinger, Ethel Hagin and returning member Linda Carr, who was named mayor pro tem.

Monitor Photo/David Webb
Payne Springs municipal judge Karen Juica administers the oath of office to newly elected council members (from left) Ron Spahlinger, Ethel Hagin and returning member Linda Carr, who was named mayor pro tem.


By David Webb
The Monitor Correspondent

PAYNE SPRINGS–The Payne Springs City Council installed two new members at its Tuesday meeting.
Mayor Pro Tem Michael McDonald stepped down from the council, and new members Ron Spahlinger and Ethel Hagin took the oath of office along with returning incumbent Linda Carr. Then the council appointed Carr as mayor pro tem.
Mayor Rodney Renberg presented McDonald with a plaque of appreciation and praise for his many years of service on the council.
Before the new members took their seats, the council took up several items of existing business. The council rejected a motion by McDonald to move the seating of the new members up on the agenda after an objection by Carr. “I feel we have some issues this council needs to address before we seat the new council,” Carr said.
Immediately after police Sgt. Matt Edmonds presented his police report, Carr asked for an item regarding police issues on the agenda addressed by the council in executive session. The council retired to closed session for about 35 minutes, but it took no action when it returned. Closed sessions generally involve personnel or legal issues.
Several residents attending the meeting who live in the area of FM 316 and CR 2851, CR 2854 and CR 2852 asked to be disannexed from the city because they complained the city had failed to properly maintain their roads.
McDonald said the disannexation did not make sense because the area is within the geography of the city. Council members promised the city would soon make repairs to the roads, and it tabled the agenda item for later review.
A request for a business permit to open a scrap metal business to be known as Just Scrap It led to a divided council vote. McDonald said he supported the plan for the Malakoff business owner to expand to Payne Springs because it would be 90 percent contained in an inside environment and not an eyesore. Carr objected to it, saying she didn’t want Payne Springs to become known as a center for scrap metal businesses. Council member Michael Juica sided with Carr while council member Nathan Gilbreath voted with McDonald.
Renberg broke the tie by voting for the business permit’s award. “This man is running a clean business, and I can’t turn him away,” he said. “I vote for it.”
Don Kinney presented his 2012 audit to the council, saying the city appeared to be in “reasonably good shape financially.” He noted the impound lot made about $30,000 profit. “I have not seen too many impound lots that make money,” Kinney said.
Council members noted that the land for the impound lot is leased to the city for only $268 per year, which is the amount of the property taxes on it.