By JESSIE HORTON
DUBLIN (May 19, 2015) — Public Works Director Cory James came before the council to discuss the city’s current sewer lines and drainage situation. He told the council that lines on Eagle Street from Mesquite Street to Harris Street, sewer crossings on Blackjack Street at the alley running parallel to east side of Patrick Street and E. Blackjack where the line crosses Camden Street were all in need of immediate replacement. This is why there are professionals out there that can assist with issues like these. If you are someone who works within this environment or have an interest to do so in the future, you may want to visit WH&S. As this will mean working in small, confined spaces, you will get the right training in order to complete jobs to the best of your ability.
James said these lines were all clay line that has been giving city crews trouble for a while now, however, with recent rains and flooding in the area, the lines are becoming a major issue and at risk for complete blockage or possible collapse.
“I’ve brought these three sections of line to you because it’s become an emergency situation for us,” he told the council Monday night. “We can no longer get our machines in those lines in sections. We just hit it as hard as we can from each side until we know it loose. Every time we do that, we come back with chunks of that clay line. At some point it’s going to completely collapse in there, or come loose completely.”
Council members unanimously approved the replace lines for all three sections James requested. Members also authorized Jacob and Martin Engineering to start the process to replace sewer line along W. Liveoak Street from Harrell Street to Highland Drive and other sections as required by state law requirements.
James advised that the state requirement for cities with clay sewage lines still in use to replace at least 1.5 miles of that line per year. A major portion of that requirement will be met by the previously approved replacement of line along W. Liveoak. The approval of Jacob and Martin Engineering is the first steps of that process, James said. He included the wording “and any other area(s) as part of the 1.5 miles of sewer line required by year, per our agreement with TCEQ” to allow that work to continue should the Liveoak project not meet the entire requirements.
A number of major items on the Dublin City Council agenda were sent to the city’s Finance Committee, which meets before the council meetings each month, including fees for a taxi service in Dublin and the plan to lease vehicles for the police department from Defender Supply.
Dublin City Manager Nancy Wooldridge told the council a number of the city’s police vehicles are “bashed and broken” and said the department was looking into leasing replacements from Defender, a company Erath County also uses. Wooldridge said she did not have numbers as the officers working with the company hadn’t heard back yet, but recommended the city do something as the current vehicles were in distress.
“Some of that responsibility should fall on the department or at least whoever was driving those vehicles and hit the reset button when the service light came on,” a council member pointed out. “Does the contract with Defender talk about who is responsible for regular maintenance? Because we apparently cannot maintain the vehicles we have.”
Before getting further into discussion on maintenance, Wooldridge and Mayor David Leatherwood recommended the council take the matter to the finance committee before action is taken. The measure was tabled.
Wooldridge also informed the council that her staff has researched the cost of having the city ambulance service on stand-by for Dublin High School football games and while the school district does pay the city for the service, Wooldridge said it comes nowhere near covering the cost. She recommended the council put the item before the finance committee. Finance committee members recommended they invite DISD Superintendent Dr. Rodney Schneider so they could discuss the situation with him.
The council also sent a measure setting fees for a taxi service in Dublin to the finance committee. Council members agreed that since the city has never had a taxi service before, they would like to further research the fees to ensure everyone is getting a fair deal. Wooldridge said officials with the city of Hico were also looking into the same thing and recommend the two cities work together, with the help of Stephenville officials, who’ve already approved taxi service fees.
All three items were sent before the finance committee, who set a special meeting before the next council meeting.
In other business, the council approved the reappointment of Fred Buchanan to the Upper Leon River MWD Board for another three-year term, the canvass of the general election votes and requiring a recently reappointed police officer to work weekends because, “according to our attorney, it is unfair to the other officers on shift to allow one officer weekends off when they have to work every weekend.”