Councilmember Sanchez leaves meeting

Omar Garcia, Executive Director for the South Texas Energy and Economic Roundtable, addressed the Poteet City Council at their December meeting. He emphasized the importance of reaching students while they were still in school and training them in the direction of the oil and gas production. It is hoped that eventually Poteet will be a central hub for that type of education. Sonny Estrada voiced his hope that would become a reality soon.

After having attended meetings at TML regarding meeting procedures, Denise Sanchez proposed that the Council begin using Robert’s Rules of Order. An ordinance had been passed in 2011, but was never signed. With Greg Groesbeck seconding her motion, the council unanimously voted to approve the ordinance.

The second item on the agenda was to discuss the renewal of the Texas Disposal Systems contract. Representatives from the company were present and spoke to the council about some of their issues over the past four and a half years that they have been serving the city. One area is that of overbilling. When someone moves, a special form is to be filled out and sent to them. That was not done often and since the company tracks addresses and not names, there were billings to locations that were not occupied. City Administrator Scott Moore is working on this problem. The current contract has the base cost of $24.23, which has been frozen for three years, until 2017. They provide 30 to 40 yard containers for community cleanup every year. Jim Smith, the representative, also said that everyone should have a TDS container and if they did not, to let them know. The contract is not up for some time, but Sanchez wanted to discuss it. The mayor, Larry Cantu, said it was unnecessary at this time. Sanchez argued, then stormed out of the meeting. Vanessa Saylor agreed that the failure was on the city’s side, if the forms were not being turned in, “we’ve got problems here.” Moore advised that they were working to correct any problems with the company.

Sanchez had also put an item on the agenda for discussion that would allow various towing companies to contract with the city. The current contract was issued in 2006 and after five years, it automatically renewed for another five years in 2011. Saylor admitted that everything Sanchez had brought up was to help the city. She pointed out that they get nothing from the towing company and they were losing a possible source of income. Cantu said that the contract was up in a little over a year and they could go out for bids at that time.

At 6:48 p.m., the council retired into executive session to consult with the attorney regarding Economic Development. They reconvened at 7:16 p.m. Moore presented the figures for the city’s involvement with infrastructure of the Poteet Homes Subdivision. The lots were platted in February, with specifics as to where the utility lines will be. There is a dedicated easement and the access for the water and sewer lines will be in the alleys. The installation costs were estimated to be $33,606.48, which is the labor and not the supplies from the city. The projected return in the first year was estimated at $33,894.90 in taxes and water/sewer revenue. Property tax value is estimated to be $2,275,000. Moore suggested that the project would pay for itself in the first year. No vote was taken.

Staff reports began with the Police Department: three arrests were made during the month of November, two were assaults, two were thefts and three were controlled substance. Seven new case numbers were issued and two school alarms were answered. There were 97 service calls. Five shots were fired in town.

Municipal Court had 19 new cases, 22 state violations, eight misdemeanors, seven felonies and two emergency protective orders were issued. The collection for the month was $1,860.10.

With the cold weather, there had been four water line breaks and a sewer issue on Thanksgiving. Moore said they will try to put the CBG grant in for the sewer, putting stainless steel in the wells and replacing the PVC lines.

On December15, Henry Cuellar will present the grant check to the council. Citizens were cautioned to be conservative with their water usage during the months of December, January and February because the average of those determines the sewer rate for the upcoming year.

Meeting adjourned at 7:32 p.m.

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