Grapeland City Council Approves Debt Consolidation |
The move will free up funds for emergencies and sewage upgrades
By Jason Jones
GRAPELAND – Grapeland City Council held a regular meeting on Tuesday, February 8 to discuss and act on a list of agenda items.
The ministerial reports constituted the first order of the day. Chief Thomas Shafer reported that the police department responded to 155 calls, made 79 stops and two arrests. Shafer also reported that the department conducted 276 security checks at area businesses, a practice welcomed by the community. City Superintendent Kevin Watts followed up with a favorable report for the water utility.
During the Mayor’s FYI portion of the meeting, the council discussed the possibility of creating a “safe trading area” for the community with video surveillance. Mayor Mitchell Woody explained that the area could be used by people who accepted a sale/purchase online and could have a safe and well-lit space to make their trade. The space could also be used for situations such as custody swaps where video evidence could be useful in many cases. Further research will be done on the feasibility of future discussions.
Also discussed was the progress of renovations to the emergency care facilities. According to Watts, the renovations are approaching 50% and are going well. There was also discussion of a new lease negotiated with the urgent care clinic.
The council then moved on to the debt consolidation plan as established by the city’s financial advisor. During the discussion, it was explained that the consolidation would add a small amount at the end of the agreement, but that approximately $600,000 would be freed up for emergency use or to build a new tank for the plant. city sewage treatment plant that would keep any contaminated contamination runoff from being forced into area creeks or streams during emergencies. After some discussion, the consolidation was approved.
Other agenda items discussed at the meeting:
- The decision to file the appointment of the new head of the Building and Standards Commission as a previously selected individual was unable to perform the duties of the position and withdrew.
- Approval of water adjustments and supplier payments
- Approval of departmental reports
- Approval of amendments for the Fire and EMS budget 2021-2022
- Approval of agreement for the City of Grapeland to follow the Houston County Risk Mitigation Plan.
Jason Jones can be contacted by email at [email protected]