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Eagle Ford: City’s growth spurs service, infrastructure needs
Dennis Snow with the La Vernia Parks Foundation presents information May 9 to the La Vernia City Council regarding improvements in the La Vernia City Park.
Wilson County NewsMay 15, 2013 3,931 views 1 comment
LA VERNIA -- As the population in the La Vernia area continues to grow, the city works to address infrastructure and administrative needs in its efforts to provide services to citizens.
During its May 9 regular meeting, the La Vernia City Council discussed ongoing issues, such as city staffing levels, a new water well, and other infrastructure issues.
A new municipal well has been in the works for several years, and progress is imminent. But a start on the well is being hampered by the lack of a sanitation easement agreement with one landowner, said Mayor Robert Gregory.
“Folks, I need some help!” the mayor told the council, advising that two letters have been sent and phone calls made, but no response had been received to the city’s request.
“We need that easement,” Gregory said, advising that it should be in place before the city presents its information to the Environmental Protection Agency for approval to begin the work.
Councilman Marie Gerlich offered to make a personal visit, in an effort to obtain the necessary agreement.
Also regarding infrastructure, the council considered rolling over water and sewer funds in a CD. Discussion included whether or not to employ the funds for waterline replacements on D.L. Vest Street. Councilmen Gerlich, Randy Leonard, Eloi Cormier, and John Richter unanimously approved committing the funds for 12 months in a CD and revisiting the waterline project at a later date.
In other matters, the council addressed customer-service issues, considering the benefits of adding a part-time clerical assistant to the city staff, to assist when the city clerk or city secretary-treasurer is absent or workload presents extra demands. Also, Gregory said, it would facilitate providing customer service at lunchtime, when the office currently is closed. The discussion extended into the city’s needs for landscaping, also on the agenda. Additional clerical help was not allowed for in the budget, Leonard advised.
The council and mayor decided to address staffing requirements and budgeting for these needs.
Also during the meeting, Dennis Snow with the La Vernia Parks Foundation presented information regarding improvements to the La Vernia City Park, specifically requesting the city’s assistance to meet the costs for extending the black metal fencing across the park frontage on San Antonio Street.
The costs for the project are approximately $19,000. The foundation has approximately $5,000 allocated. The council approved committing the $10,000 set aside in the city’s budget toward the project, as well as amending the budget to offset the remaining $4,000 for the project.
The foundation also plans to widen the park entryway to allow for two vehicles to pass.
“We’ll probably spend $100,000 in the park this year,” Snow said, outlining the foundation’s projects, including planting 10 trees, playground equipment awaiting installation in time for Bluebonnet Fest May 17-18, and a water fountain to be installed, as well as the fencing and other improvements.
“We hope to have the fence done in time for the barbecue cook-off,” Snow said. This signature fund-raiser for the parks foundation takes place each August.
Also during the meeting, the council heard from Jennifer Moczygemba with the La Vernia Planning & Zoning Commission regarding proposed changes to the city’s code of ordinances, Chapter 38, Zoning. Moczygemba said the commission’s work on this is incomplete, so the matter would not be presented for council action. A public hearing was set during the meeting for input on this; it was convened and closed within a minute, as the matter was moot. No council action was taken.
Prior to adjournment, Councilman Richter presented a token of appreciation to the city on behalf of the family of the late Councilman Bobby Richter, who passed away earlier this year.
In attendance: Mayor Robert Gregory; councilmen Marie Gerlich, Randy Leonard, Eloi Cormier, and John Richter; City Secretary-Treasurer Angela Cantu; Public Works Director Jason Mills; Code Enforcement Officer Janet Thelen; and Chief Bruce Ritchey and Sgt. Danny Pitts with the city’s police department.
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Dry Tank, TX
May 17, 2013 12:51pm
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