By RUSSELL HUFFMAN
STEPHENVILLE (September 6, 2016) – CH2M OMI Services, the company that provides operation and maintenance services for Stephenville’s wastewater treatment plant, reported it would need a 3.8 percent increase to continue its contract with the city during the regular monthly meeting of the Stephenville City Council Tuesday.
Project manager Johnny Davis outlined the services being provided, while CH2M OMI Services Project Manager Steve Carpenter was also on hand to explain how the company is experiencing cost increases as well. Carpenter also pointed out steps were being taken to keep costs low and even included the installation of LED lighting systems to help reduce electricity usage.
CH2M OMI Services provides hauling sludge, chemicals and a FOG program and the council approved the increase of $18,872.62 with a unanimous vote bringing the costs of those services to $763,569 annually.
Money was on the council’s mind throughout the meeting as the Stephenville Economic Development Authority (SEDA) executive director John Hubbard asked the council to approve the organization’s upcoming 2016-17 budget. SEDA’s budget is based on sales tax revenues, which Hubbard has projected at $489,941 for the next year and was approved by a unanimous.
Mayor Kenny Weldon made it be known he wanted to see some action in the economic area of a grocery store and Hubbard was happy to report there had been contact from a grocery chain within the last week.
Cross Timbers Fine Arts Council executive director Julie Crouch presented her annual report and received approval of her proposed budget for 2016-17. Crouch reported there would again many sponsored activities for local residents to enjoy including Paint the Town, Art and Manner Camp and a repeat of the Don Edwards concert that drew so much praise last year.
No residents stepped forward to speak at a public hearing on a tax increase which will be set at $0.04900 per $100 of taxable value. The council also adopted the new fee schedule for the city, adopted the annual budget and approved the sale of a small lot located 824 Tarleton Street to Joseph Borges.
Director of Public Works Nick Williams presented information concerning the construction project for Hyman and First Streets. The project included a complete street replacement to include curbs and cost $326,939 to complete. The project also has a one-year warranty against construction defects.
The concern about constructions defects has leapt into some council members minds after last month’s report about a lane of street sinking almost four inches below another after recent storms. Councilman Jerry Warren questioned the streets construction method and asked about whether or not iron rebar was properly placed during repairs made to the road.
Many residents may remember the street was never closed down all the way during those repairs and the city’s own demand for the street to stay open may have helped contribute to today’s issues. Wednesday the section of the street affected had been shut down and work on the area had begun. Last month, Williams estimated the project would cost around $25,000, but did stress he had not been back to reassess the damage after recent rains.
Stephenville Director of Finance Walter Wood received a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting during Tuesday’s monthly meeting of the Stephenville City Council. The award is given yearly by the Government Finance Officers Association and this the 31st year in a row Stephenville has earned the honor. The award was presented by Stephenville City Manager Pat Bridges and Mayor Kenny Weldon.
Cowgirl Travis Felts with the board of directors for the Cowboy Capital of the World Rodeo spoke during the Council Citizen’s comments section and broke the good news that the Stephenville rodeo has been nominated for an award as the top medium-market event in the country.
Felts also took time to remind people the rodeo just wasn’t for people wearing boots and spurs, saying fashion events like The Show were for everyone.
Felts generated even more excitement as she reminded those in attendance of the nomination and “Stephenville is going to be NUMBER ONE!” when the competition was done. The nomination is based on payout, attendance and more. Stephenville Rodeo Heritage Week kicks off Sept. 13 and has a slew of daily activities until Sept 25. To find out more about the upcoming PRCA rodeo log online at www.cowboycapitalprcarodeo.com .
Stay Plugged into The Flash Today as we update you on the Tarleton Methodist Branch Sanitary Sewer Relief Project and its schedule of construction.