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Poth City Council talks vacant buildings, water tower
WILLIAM J. GIBBS JR./Reprints at wilsoncountynews.com —
Poth city Councilman Darren Dylla, following his recent re-election, takes the oath of office during the council’s May 19 meeting.
Chief Lowell Hull of the Poth Police Department wants the city’s absentee landlords to clean up their act. He asked the Poth City Council and City Attorney Acie McAda for their help during the May 19 council meeting.
Hull said the city’s ordinances need to better address nuisance items, such as overgrown lots and dilapidated, vacant structures. One uninhabited house on Griffin Street, he said, is rife with vermin and is a fire hazard. The property owner, after being notified by police, cut the grass last year and has not returned.
The council is set to revisit the issue at its June meeting, along with the future of the water tower off Railroad Street, which officials say is unsafe and needs to be razed. One company submitted a quote of $14,000 to demolish the 55-year-old structure before hauling away the lead-painted steel.
Also during the meeting, the council heard a presentation related to the 2013 fiscal year audit from accountant Wayne Beyer. While his examination of Poth’s books led to an unqualified or “clean” opinion, Beyer raised the following concerns, which are a repeat of those mentioned in last year’s report:
•The city is without an investment officer, as former Mayor Travis Pruski’s certification expired in 2010
•There is no system in place for tracking employee compensation time
•The city should have someone on staff who is familiar with generally accepted accounting principles
•Duties of office employees should be segregated to serve as a check and balance. Beyer cited that this often is not possible in small cities such as Poth, due to their inability to hire a large staff.
In other business, the council witnessed the swearing in of new Poth Mayor Anthony Smolka, who won election to the post May 10. Also taking the oath of office after winning re-election was Councilman Darren Dylla. The council then reappointed Jason Smolka as the city’s mayor pro tem.
The council also:
•Reappointed Hilda Tejada as the city’s municipal judge
•Reappointed Marcelo Laijas, Clifton Zaiontz, and Richard Harris to the Poth Economic Development Corp. board of directors. Karla Blackstock was appointed to fill one of two vacancies on the board.
•Appointed Pruski as the coordinator of the seventh annual Ride to Remember
•Approved a specific-use permit for the Poth Independent School District, paving the way for construction of Poth High School’s new science building
•Approved a revised preliminary plat for the Highland Meadows residential subdivision, which is set to include 43 homes to be constructed between Blessing Street and F.M. 427 behind the U.S. Post Office and Dollar General.
Also in attendance: Councilmen Steve Martinez and Keith Rodgers; City Secretary Rose Huizar, City Clerk Misty Fish, Chief Lowell Hull and Sgt. Jonathan Kurtz of the Poth Police Department, Public Works Supervisor Kenneth “Buck” Griffin, and City Engineer Dean Bayer.
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