Asbestos in library discussed, hearing on tax increase held in Poteet

Citizen comments were centered on the Public Library at the regular meeting of the Poteet City Council. Carol Merchant contended that there is asbestos in the floor tile at the library and accused the council of having knowledge of this for some time. She referred to a letter they received from the state from two and a half years ago that showed there was asbestos there. The state was called again and came down to examine the situation. No action was taken by the state on either occasion. Carmen Gonzales said that asbestos is not dangerous unless it is disturbed.

City Manager Scott Moore said that he has contacted two consultants regarding the asbestos in the floor. The report from 2011 showed some cracking of the floor. He is doing everything he can to address the issue and assured everyone there is no harm to patrons. The council will have to decide on how much money to spend on the project, since it is not in the budget. The City Attorney said there was no real concern from the state in their report. There is no reason for panic or to think you’ve been exposed to anything hazardous. There is no proof of anything alarming. Moore will get to the bottom of it and take care of everything.

Mayor Larry Cantu opened the Public Hearing on the proposed tax increase at 6:11 p.m. This is the second hearing on the taxes. The rate proposed is .7356 or about $37 more annually per taxpayer. This will help with several city projects in the works. There were no comments, so the meeting was closed at 6:14 p.m.

A public hearing will be held on September 16. There will be a special meeting on September 18 to adopt the rate and budget.

The proposed Atascosa County Appraisal District budget was up for discussion next. Sal Almanza, the city’s representative, said that they have revamped the budget and there is $83,000 difference from the first one presented. There is an increase in legal fees for the litigation that ACAD is currently under regarding appraised values, such as the one by San Miguel. There will be a budget hearing on Thursday at 5:15 p.m.

The TML conference will be held in Austin this year. Moore encouraged the council to attend because it is a great place to get current information and network with other council members.

There have been some issues with the electrical panels on water well. These were installed in 1995 and 1998 and sometimes the pumps trip the system. There is a grant for well #8 in the amount of $275,000 and the city match is only $41,000, so there should be money to take care of it.

City Council member Denise Sanchez asked Judge Rosalinda de la Fuente to come up to the front. She presented her with a plaque of appreciation for her 25 years of loyal work to the city of Poteet. The judge will be retiring at the end of the year. A cake was served in celebration. Other members joining in were Vanessa Saylor, Sonny Estrada, Gerard Herrera and Greg Groesbeck.

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