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Section A: General News


City to fix leaking lift station




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Wilson County News
August 28, 2013 | 2,352 views | 17 comments

FLORESVILLE -- City officials here continue to grapple with the task of balancing current needs with planning for the future. During an Aug. 22 budget workshop of the Floresville City Council, some of the city’s pressing infrastructure needs became apparent.

During their presentation, Rudy Vasquez of the Public Works Department and Project Manager for New Development Andrew Barrientes urged the council to pay serious attention to the city’s ongoing water and sewer needs. Of immediate concern, Barrientes said, is the need to repair a leaking lift station at the 4D Mobile Home Park located off S.H. 97, which is estimated to cost $17,000. Failure to act, he said, could result in a sewage spill and the need for the city to pay $750 per day to rent a vacuum truck until the situation is rectified.

Another pressing concern is the need to replace a ladder and catwalk at a water tower located on Hospital Boulevard, estimated to cost $16,000. Barrientes said a blower on an aerator needs maintenance, but the diminished condition of the ladder and catwalk are preventing workers from making repairs.

“If that blower stops, we don’t have a secondary,” Barrientes said.

Vasquez said the aerators are necessary to help remove sulfur from the water.

Councilman Jim Miller urged Interim City Manager Reggie Winters to find money in the current fiscal year’s budget to pay for these emergency repairs, saying that the council can approve the necessary budget amendments at a later date.

“If it’s a health and safety issue, we’ve got to do it,” Miller said. “It’s a no-brainer, even if we’ve got to raise taxes to do it.”

The council also addressed the Floresville Police Department’s requests for the city’s 2014 municipal budget. At an Aug. 15 special meeting, the council voted to support the proposed budget with ad valorem tax rate at 46.33 cents per $100 of taxable property value -- approximately 46 percent more than the current 31.78-cent rate.

In addition to requesting six new vehicles, the police department is requesting three additional patrolmen. Lt. Chad Clark -- who said the department is operating with “a skeleton crew” -- made a presentation about the staffing request, which included a diagram depicting the department’s current organizational structure. Miller raised concerns over Lt. Jesse Evins’ ongoing special assignment with an agency outside the department, despite his wages still being paid by the city.

“Maybe before we start adding more officers, we need to look at the current organizational structure to see that we’re using officers appropriately,” Miller said.

“How can I explain that one of our officers is working for another agency?” Councilman John W. Guerrero asked.

Miller and the other councilmen suggested Winters and Police Chief Lorenzo Herrera meet to develop long-term plans to address the police department’s staffing and vehicle needs.

The council set three nights of budget workshop meetings beginning Aug. 26, and a special meeting to adopt a budget Aug. 28. Meanwhile, Miller asked Winters to determine the cost to “open and close the doors to the city” and the tax rate necessary to fund such a spending plan, based on first addressing the citizens’ health, welfare, and public safety needs.

“We’ve got hard choices to make,” he said. “None of them are pleasurable, but I think that’s how we’ve got to look at this.”

Following the budget workshop, the council held a regular meeting. Among the items discussed in closed session was the ongoing search for a new city manager, for which applications were reviewed. Miller, who along with Mayor Diana Garza comprises the committee that will recommend a finalist to the council, said after the meeting that SeeKing HR received 363 inquiries for the position.

In attendance: Floresville Mayor Diana Garza and councilmen Jim Miller, Eric Rodriguez, John W. Guerrero, Sherry Martinez Castillo, and Mario Morones; Interim City Manager Reggie Winters, City Secretary Sherry Pollok, Comptroller Lara Feagins, Cyndi Nichols of the Floresville Permits and Code Compliance Office, Streets Supervisor Rudy Vasquez, Project Manager for New Development Andrew Barrientes, and Lt. Chad Clark and Sgt. Daria Fowler of the Floresville Police Department.

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Your Opinions and Comments

 
RU Serious  
September 4, 2013 1:41pm
 
Where is the Chief during all this budget stuff? Seems like he should at least make an appearance, if not a presentation, himself. Clark was ill-prepared for the vehicle presentation and the personnel presentation. Ultimately, ... More ›

 
Airborne Trooper  
wilson cty  
August 31, 2013 11:02am
 
Mr Clark, I respect your job and the things you do, but you make a couple of contradictions during your presentation. You ask for more officers, yet the force has a LT on loan. You say you put together your presentation at ... More ›

 
Spec Ops  
Wilson  
August 31, 2013 7:20am
 
How is Mr Clark handling his constable job now that he is handing double the work at FPD? Must have a lot of time on his hand to be able to do both. Just curious and no I don't want to see his logs, anyone can make up logs. ... More ›

 
RU Serious  
August 30, 2013 1:39pm
 
Completely agree - they don't need Tahoes. Never said they did.

 
Tyra  
FloTown  
August 30, 2013 1:06pm
 
RU Serious, yes I am very serious. Please just because the positions are full doesn't mean they are on patrol. Look at their schedule. Did you know that there is usually only one officer on during the evening. They do not have ... More ›

 
Untrue Resident  
Floresville  
August 30, 2013 8:54am
 
We have plenty police and other police departments in Texas don't replace their vehicles until they have 100-125k on them. There is only one vehicle with more than 100k in the FPD so let's only get one vehicle this year. ... More ›

 
RU Serious  
August 30, 2013 8:07am
 
And more personnel is certainly more important than the vehicles. There needs to be a plan to replace vehicles a few at a time - a master plan by the city administrator, maybe?

 
RU Serious  
August 30, 2013 8:05am
 
Eric - they don't. LT works day shift, Sgts work night shift.

 
Eric  
Floresville  
August 29, 2013 5:44pm
 
RU serious, they don't need a sergeant and an LT on duty at the same time, having almost as many supervisors as workers is ridiculous and counter productive.

 
LaLa Land  
Floresville, TX  
August 29, 2013 5:44pm
 
You are right, Marcelina Muse. You say you need more officers, but one is on loan to some task force and you want 6 tahoes. Someone really thought about that one. What part of insolvent do they not understand?

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