Council approves new Teen Game Room to operateThe Elkhart City Council met on February 4, 2013 and approved a request to open and operate a “game room” in the city limits. The proposal was made by Ron & Stephanie Armstrong, owners of The Warehouse, a local hardware and feed store. They have installed various game machines and other drink & food vending machines for the benefit of patrons, both young and old. The Game Room is open during weekdays for the benefit of local adults to stop by, relax, play a coin-operated game machine, have a soda pop, etc. However, on Friday and Saturday nights, the Game Room is for local teenagers to have a safe and comfortable location to “hang out” with their friends. The location is 304 West Parker Street. The council meeting included Mayor Raymond Dunlap, Mayor Pro-Tem Randy McCoy, Member Karen Bridges, Member Lucia Butler, Member Doug Smith, Member Erroll Tatum, and City Secretary Donna Surber. In addition, others present included Eddie Ray Bedre, Stephanie Armstrong, Ron Armstrong, Brian Bedre, and Jeremy Weisinger. Jeremy Weisinger made a presentation to the council about the upcoming Summer League and their plans. Discussion followed, but the council took no formal action. Brian Bedre presented his request to expand his mobile home park located on Bedre Lane. Brian Bedre asked for placement of three (3) additional mobile homes at the location. The council approved the request with Member Lucia Butler abstaining from the vote. The council approved the purchase of a chlorinator the wastewater plant. The estimated cost will be $9360.00 which was the approved amount. The March Yard of the Month was discussed and it was decided that rather than the council members choosing the monthly award, that the Keep Elkhart Beautiful board of directors would be assigned this responsibility. Future Yard of the Month awards will be decided by the Keep Elkhart Beautiful Board of Directors. The council discussed the possibility of allowing the “On-Call Operator” to take a city vehicle home after hours. The item was tabled until further information could be obtained. In accordance with state and federal requirements, the council approved two resolutions regarding Fair Housing Policies in the City of Elkhart. Resolution 020413-1 deals with Local Fair Housing Policies and Practices. Resolution 020413-2 deals with Recording and Reporting of Fair Housing Complaints. The council approved an agreement with the East Texas Council of Governments for a one year contract “to initiate Geographic Information System services.” This service will “map by GPS” all the water meters, fire hydrants, water valves, and all other pertinent information regarding Elkhart's water and sewer system. Other business included calling for the May 11 City Election, approving a “Customer Newsletter”, approving the monthly financial report, and hearing departmental reports.
New Street Lights approved by City CouncilThe Elkhart City Council met on January 7, 2013 for a regularly set meeting. It wasn't a very involved meeting with a lot of unusual discussions and actions. It was rather uneventful. Present were: Mayor Raymond Dunlap, Member Karen Bridges, Member Lucia Butler, Member Doug Smith, Member Erroll Tatum, and City Secretary Donna Surber. Mayor Pro-Tem Randy McCoy was absent. The council approved a motion to place four new street lights. The four locations are designated as: (1) corner of Gambrell & 294, (2) 109 Woodcrest, (3) 326 Hwy 287 South, and (4) corner of Pilgrim & 1817. There is no installation fee and the action will be accomplished by Oncor. The February Yard of the Month was announced as being awarded to Roger & Rita Parker. The council discussed the possible purchase of a new Trash Pump for the Elkhart Volunteer Fire Department. The council approved testing the current trash pump and the purchse of a new hose kit if it was necessary.
City Council gives all employees $400 bonus
Council votes to revert to only one meeting per monthOn the first day of October 2012, the City of Elkhart Council convened into a regular council meeting with the following members present: Mayor Raymond Dunlap, Mayor Pro-TemRandy McCoy, Member Lucia Butler, Member Doug Smith, Member Erroll Tatum, Member Karen Bridges, City Secretary.Donna Surber . Citizens present: Shirleen Bonacci (Grantworks) and Billy Jack Wright.
City Council approves salary increase for employeesThe Elkhart City Council met in regular session on September 10, 2012 with the following members present: Mayor Raymond Dunlap, Mayor Pro-Tem Randy McCoy, member Lucia Butler, member Doug Smith, member Erroll Tatum, member Karen Bridges, and City Secretary Donna Surber. The council approved making application to the Texas Community Development Fund for a grant for the 2013-2014 fiscal year. They also approved making application for a grant under the Planning/Capacity Building Fund program. In conjunction with these, the council is establishing a Citizens Advisory committee and will also be applying for a grant from the East Texas Council of Governments. The council approved the creation of a Keep Elkhart Beautiful board, consisting of a cross-section of interested citizens. In a semi-related action, the board awarded the Yard of the Month for October to Bennie Joe McInnis. After a closed Executive Session, the council voted to continue the two part-time city employee positions for an additional six months at 32 hours per week. They also approved that current city employees would each receive a five (5%) percent pay increase as an Annual Cost of Living consideration.
City Council approves next year's city budget -- adopts city Property Tax Rate to be 30+ cents per $100The Elkhart City Council only once during the month of August. Their meeting on August 20, 2012 began at 6:00 pm. In addition to council members and city employees, there were four audience member guests: Beverly Anderson, Sigi West, Tracy Hicks, and Jim Bob Parker. The most significant item on the August agenda was the approval of the next year's city budge and adopting the new property tax rate. The new tax rate was set at .302123 cents per $100 valuation. The council approved a number of various agenda items, including a new survey of the Garden of Memories Cemetery, contracting with the Russell Drilling Company to video the inside of the Day well, contracting with Henderson Electric to provide electrical hookups and wiring to the new city-owned Pavilion on Hwy 294, and contracting with A-1 Glass to make door repairs at the Elkhart Fire Department building. The council discussed and approved a contract with KSA engineering to “facilitate sewer easements” for 416 Hwy 287 S. Another agenda item was considering various options regarding a large dead tree across from 114 Bonner's Ferry Road. A contract with Stanley Tree Service was approved at a cost of $975 to cut down and remove the tree. The council approved applying for a grant from the East Texas Council of Governments to held with solid waste.
Two & a half hour meeting on July 16, 2012 spent mostly in discussionsThe Elkhart City Council met for the second time in July on the 16th at 6:00 pm. After approving the minutes from the previous meeting, the council awarded the August Yard of the Month to Jeremy Weisinger. The council discussed the possible purchase of a 2004 Ford truck to be used for code enforcement, but there was no official action taken on that item. The council discussed and then approved the enrollment of City Secretary Donna Surber in a certification program in Public Finance. The City of Elkhart has had an interlocal agreement with the Slocum Water Supply. The council voted to terminate that agreement. There were a number of other agenda items discussed, but not action was taken or the item was tabled until a future meeting. Monthly reports were given by the various department heads. In all, the meeting lasted almost two and a half hours and not much official business was approved, although a lot of discussion took place or a number of important issues.
July 2, 2012 - Disconnected? $50 charge to be reconnected.The Elkhart City Council met July 2, 2012 and passed a motion that charges customers $50 as a reconnect fee, but no additional deposit will be required for non-payment.
June 18, 2012 - Historic Commercial District designated for downtown ElkhartThe Elkhart City Council met June 18, 2012 and passed a motion that establishes the boundaries of the designated Historic Commercial District. Additional resolutions designated the Historic Commercial District as slum/blighted and in need of improvement, authorizes submission of an application to the Texas Department of Agriculture for a 2010 Texas Capital Fund, a Downtown Revitalization Program grant to construct sidewalk and handicap-accessibility improvements, adopts a public access plan to be utilized during infrastructure construction projects, adopts a Citizens' Participation Plan (CPP) and Grievance Procedures to be followed during implementation of the Town's Community Development Block Grant Programs. (These are the same procedures that Elkhart currently follows.)
June 4, 2012 - Council to build Pavilion & two restrooms at Elkhart Softball field. Cost to taxpayers: $17,830At the June 4th city council meeting, a motion was made by Councilmember Lucia Butler and seconded by Councilmember Doug Smith to hire Donnie Fincher to build a pavilion with two (2) restrooms at the Elkhart softball field located at 423 W. Parker St. for $17,830.00. The motion carried.
May 21, 2012 - New duplex subdivision approved for Jones RoadOn the 21st day of May 2012, the City of Elkhart Council considered a presentation by Frank and Sherry Williams to build a new duplex subdivision on Jones Road. The motion was made by Councilmember Doug Smith and seconded by Councilmember Lucia Butler. The motion carried.
May 7, 2012 - Boswell Asphalt & Paving to pave Hemby & Wright Streets for $40,500On the seventh day of May 2012, the City of Elkhart Council convened into a regular council meeting. A motion was made by Councilmember Erroll Tatum and seconded by Councilmember Lucia Butler to hire Boswell Asphalt Paving (after references are verified) to pave Hemby street for $36,000.00 and Wright street for $4,500.00. Total approved: $40,500.00. The motion carried.
April 17, 2012 - April declared "Fair Housing Month"On the seventeenth day of April 2012, the City of Elkhart Council appointed election officials for the upcoming City Elections. Deborah Woody was appointed Election Judy, Robert Woody was appointed Election Clerk, and Donna Surber was appointed Early Voting Clerk. The city election will be held on May 12, 2012.
April 2, 2012 - Council gets new city backhoe for $65,467On the second day of April 2012, the City of Elkhart Council discussed the options available the lease, purchase, or lease-purchase of a new backhoe. After much discussion, Councilmember Lucia Butler made the motion which was seconded by Councilmember Doug Smith to lease-to-own for 60 months a New Holland B95B Tractor Loader backhoe 4WD with cab. The backhoe will be from George P Bane, Inc for $65,467.00 plus trade-in of the current city owned backhoe. Motion carried.
March 19, 2012 - No Parking signs for alley next to City HallOn the nineteenth day of March 2012, the City of Elkhart Council consider placing No Parking signs near the alley beside the City Hall. A motion was made by Mayor Pro-Tem Randy McCoy and seconded by Councilmember Doug Smith to purchase and place No Parking signs near the alley beside City Hall. Motion carried.
March 5, 2012 - Council renews TXU Energy contractOn the fifth day of March 2012, the City of Elkhart Council considered the annual contract with TXU Energy. A motion was made by Councilmember Doug Smith and seconded by Councilmember Lucia Butler to renew a twenty four (24) month contract with TXU Energy. Motion carried.
February 21, 2012 - City of Elkhart will charge for Notary ServiceOn the twenty first day of February 2012, the City of Elkhart Council considered charging a monetary fee for providing notary service to customers. A motion was made by Councilmember Lucia Butler and seconded by Councilmember Doug Smith to charge $5.00 (five dollars) for notary services. Motion carried.
Fence & door at School Well site to be repaired
; by ALAN GELL
The City Council of Elkhart met in regular session on Monday, February 6, 2012. Several items were on the agenda including repair at the School Well site. The fencing and the door to the chlorine room will be accomplished by Cowboy Construction. The council approved the bid offered for the repairs.The council approved the city's purchase of dual chlorinators for the Newsome Well, the School Well, and the Wastewater chlorine room. In another agenda item, the council approved reimbursing Gregg Lewis, the Outside City Operations Coordinaotr, for his health and dental insurance. After a closed Executive Session, the council voted to terminate Darrell Morgan as the Wastewater Plant Operator. The effective date of termination was February 1st, 2012. A motion was also made and approved to "pay a $100 (one hundred dollar) bonus and a $2 (two dollar) per hour pay raise upon passing any water/wastewater licensing test." Although it was not stated in the motion, this payment is for city employees and not for the the general citizenry.
City will get new Fire Dept sub-station
; by ALAN GELL
The City Council of Elkhart met in regular session on Monday, January 17, 2012. The council again discussed getting a new trailer for the riding lawn mower. A motion was made and passed "to purchase boards to replace the floor of the trailer and to have a ramp built for the current trailer by Joe's Auto and Welding of Grapeland." In another agenda item, the council approved paying for mileage for the "On Call Person."The council approved the purchase and installation of safety lights for the city's three newest vehicles, although these are not identified in the minutes. In another item, the council designated 413 Hwy 287S as an Elkhart Volunteer Fire Department substation. They also approved purchasing new signs for both the Volunteer Fire Station and the new sub-station locations.
Council has too much business -- will hold two meetings each month
; by ALAN GELL
The City Council of Elkhart met in regular session on Monday, January 3, 2012. There was a long list of agenda items, many of which were not acted upon or were tabled until a later date. A stand-out item was a vote to have the city council members meet twice each month due to the volume of city business requiring their attention. (It should be noted that city councilman are not employees and do not receive compensation for their service. Therefore, this additional meeting will double their meeting times with no compensation of any type.)A discussion was held to offer the driveway to the Newsome Well as public access to the property surrounding the well. No action was taken on this item. Discussion took place about purchasing a new trailer for carrying the riding lawnmower. No action was taken on that item. Another discussion was held about providing a city vehicle to use when an employee was "on call". No action was taken on this item. After a closed Executive Session, the council approved the promotion of Doug Smith to "Lead Public Works Employee" at an increase in salary of 65 cents per hour.