Special to the Register
Gainesville City Council members advised that upgrades proceed for Gainesville’s wastewater treatment plant master plan during Tuesday’s regular meeting.
Meeting minutes explained that council members reviewed the recommended action from city staff and engineers Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. for upgrades to the wastewater treatment plant and installation of a new water tower in the upper pressure plain. The improvements are needed in order to meet Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) regulation changes effective in 2013 and beyond.
At a previous workshop, council members concurred with the recommended option from the Wastewater Treatment Plant Master Plan of December 2012 calling for the upgrades in two phases (Phase One $5,279,000 and Phase Two $10,615,000). City Manager Barry Sullivan recommended starting Phase One during FY 2013 by procuring financing through certificates of obligation bonds utilizing the city’s General Fund Bond rating. He recommended the city to work on completing the first phase of the wastewater treatment plant upgrades and then turn its attention to the water tower. Council members consented to proceed with procuring the financing as recommended.
Other meeting highlights:
• Council reviewed and approved the City’s investment policy for the current fiscal year. The city is required by the state and by local code to have an investment policy and to review the policy on an annual basis, approving any changes or modifications.
• Council authorized purchase of three new police patrol vehicles from Caldwell Country Chevrolet. The purchase will be made through the Government Purchasing Cooperative BuyBoard at a per unit cost of $26,271.
• Council approved and adopted an ordinance that establishes a maximum speed limit of 60 miles per hour on U.S. Highway 82, east of FM 3092 to the eastern city limits. The ordinance concurs with the recommendation by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), which conducted a speed zone study indicating the need to raise the speed limit from the currently posted speed (55 mph). The new increased speed begins just east of Radio Hill Road (at milepost 22.841) to the eastern city limits (milepost 24.130), a distance of 1.289 miles inside the Gainesville city limits.
• TxDOT Area Engineer Mike Hallum, said it could be next year before the increased speed limit actually goes into effect, allowing for time for the transportation commission to approve it and for completion of the bridge construction projects in the same area.
• City Manager Barry Sullivan read and presented “Employee of the Month” certificate to Corp. Jeff Serna of the Gainesville Police Department, recognizing his achievement in completing and graduating salutatorian of his class at the School of Police Supervision for American and International Law, while also working full-time as police corporal for the City of Gainesville.
• Granted approval for Brandon Ayers, d.b.a. Ayers Aviation, to operate a flight training business at the Gainesville Municipal Airport. City staff and members of the Airport Advisory Board recommended for council approval. Ayers is a Federal Aviation Administration Certified Flight Instructor (CFI), CFI Instruments (CFII), Advanced Ground Instructor, and Instrument Ground Instructor. He currently leases two T-hangars on the field, and plans to lease office space to conduct his business. Sullivan said it would encourage fuel sales and increase the activity at the airport.
• Council approved the decision of the Board of Directors of the Gainesville Economic Development Corporation (GEDC) to pay the annual lease for the Weber Aircraft, LLC parking lot that was constructed to accommodate their expanded workforce. GEDC approved to pay the lease amount of ninety-seven hundred dollars ($9,700) per year for the next five years.
• Council approved action of the Board of Directors of the GEDC, extending the employment contract with the Executive Director Kent Sharp for an additional 24 months, effective Oct. 1, 2012.
• Council approved and adopted an ordinance designating No Parking Zones on portions of the 1600 block of North Weaver Street and the 300 block of Santa Fe Street. Police Chief Steven Fleming said the zones are needed for pedestrian and motorist safety and access from Highway 82 and will still allow large trucks to be able to unload merchandise at businesses in the area, and for customer parking. He said parked vehicles in these areas are causing the large trucks to park in the traffic lane which then block a large portion of the roadway. The “No Parking” zones were approved for the 1600 block of North Weaver on the east side of the street; and in the 300 block of Santa Fe Street on the south side of the street.
• Council approved assignment of the sales tax revenue sharing agreement between the City of Gainesville and SES Holdings, LLC to Synergy Energy Holdings, LLC and Bell Supply Company, LLC. The original sales tax revenue sharing agreement was approved in September 2008 between the City and Select Energy Service, LLC and Affiliates (Bell Supply Company, LLC was a wholly owned subsidiary affiliate). In January 2009, the agreement was assigned to SES Holdings, LLC because Select Energy Services, LLC and Bell Supply Company, LLC became wholly owned affiliates of SES Holdings, LLC. Synergy Energy Holdings recently acquired all interest in Bell Supply. Assignment of the agreement does not affect the terms or conditions of the original agreement.