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Council to raise fines, questions increase of potholes
STOCKDALE -- As the city waits to receive funding for infrastructure improvements, other problems have cropped up -- outdated ordinance fines and potholes.
City Manager Banks Akin informed the council April 3 of the need to update fines, after vandals were caught spray-painting playground equipment in the city park. According to Akin, the maximum fine per violation is $50, in the ordinance dating back to 1986.
“The fine does not match the crime,” Akin said, adding that the municipal judge said the fine should be $200.
Akin is asking the council to update the ordinances and asked if each ordinance should be amended individually or if a “blanket amendment” could cover all ordinances at once.
Mayor Johnny Stahl said the state Legislature has set the minimum and maximum fines allowed, with the municipal judge setting the fine according to the case being heard.
Councilman Scott Soden remarked that the present vandalism ordinance “does not have teeth.”
The council instructed Akin to research further and return to the council with recommendations for further discussion and action.
After addressing the holes in the city ordinances, the council contemplated potholes, with Soden questioning David Tillery, Stockdale public works director, about why potholes are not being filled within the city limits.
“The community is very impatient,” Soden said.
Tillery responded that weather conditions, breakdown problems due to outdated equipment, and manpower availability have contributed to the backlog. He also said recent growth in the city had necessitated installation of more utility connections.
Tillery added that he gave “priority to the gas, water, and sewage systems ... or we get penalized [by the state].”
Akin said he will meet with Tillery to help prioritize street repairs, as well as utility issues.
Also during the meeting, the council:
•Certified the unopposed candidates in the May 2012 city election as Scott Soden, District 3; Becky Adams, District 4; and District 5 as “vacant.” Anyone wishing to serve District 5 should contact City Hall. The council cannot appoint someone to fill the vacancy until its June meeting.
•Canceled the 2012 city general election, set for May 12. Voters still will decide the fate of the city’s gas utility May 12.
•Approved to divide the Floresville Electric Light & Power System (FELPS) 2012 Summer Youth Program funds between the Sarah Bain Chandler Public Library and youth activities in the city park. FELPS will forward the city $664 -- $1 for each meter in the city -- and the city will match the funds.
•Canceled an interlocal agreement between the city of Stockdale and the Ministry Resource Center for use of storage facilities.
•Authorized the city manager to sell excess utility trucks.
In attendance: Mayor Johnny Stahl, councilmen Sherry D. Lambeck, Saul Bosquez, Scott Soden, and Becky Adams, City Manager Banks Akin, City Secretary Thania Santos, and Public Works Director David Tillery
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