Sean Scott, Transportation Director from Alamo Area Council of Governments, addressed the Jourdanton City Council regarding the Cowboy Connect bus line for Atascosa County. He emphasized that it is open for use by the general public and can even flag down the bus for transport. If there are certain dates and times that are needed, you can reserve a slot up to 90 days in advance. There is no charge for the regular route, but if there are other parts of the town, out-of-town or out of the county they want to travel, there is a charge, depending on the distance. The service is available from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday- Friday.
They are developing infrastructure such as bus stops, benches and signs. Scott was requesting Jourdanton continue their participation this year, with $14,043.25 being their share. Council member Patsy Tymrak-Daughtrey said that she rode it the first day and continues to use it because of the good service and drivers, and the participation is “truly worthwhile.” She moved to approve the Interlocal agreement for another year. Karen Pesek seconded and the motion passed unanimously with Chester Gonzales, Jack Harrison and Raul Roy Morales voting for.
Rehab of Well
Three months ago, the Pecan Well started to pump sand and it was found that there were issues with the line of some casings. City Engineer Brady Kosub and Water Services Technical Specialist Willie Aguero discussed the bids for the replacing of the pump and replacement on the casings and gravel. They recommended using Alsay Incorporated whose bid was $90,648.
Tymrak-Daughtrey moved to table the item until they could see the field report, but there was no second so the motion failed. Another motion was made by Gonzales, seconded by Harrison, to award the contract to Alsay and authorize City Manager Lamar Schulz to negotiate the contract and present it at the next meeting. Tymrak-Daughtrey voted against; motion passed.
Gonzales requested the closure of Maple Street to Campbell Avenue and portion of Campbell Avenue towards the City Park for the St. Matthew Catholic Church Picnic on Sept. 26. Motion passed unanimously.
The council approved the street closure of the 1300 block of Simmons Avenue on the morning of Nov. 27 for a Small Business Saturday event.
In order to get two easements for utility placements, Schulz asked for permission to hire appraisals to offer some financial compensation. There are two other easements that have already been offered for no charge. Motion passed unanimously.
Benton City Water
A property within the extra-territorial jurisdiction (ETJ) of Jourdanton is normally served by city utilities. However, there is a property that is further from city limits where the city does not currently offer services that can be served by Benton City Water Supply Corporation.
Schulz requested the city attorney draw up an agreement for Benton City to provide the water for the property due to the expense for the city to run water lines that far out. Tymrak-Daughtrey wanted to know the name of the property owner, but the city manager did not have that information at the meeting. Council agreed to authorize the attorney to work up the agreement and bring it back to the council for final approval.
Volunteer Fire Department
Jeff Rankin, President of the Jourdanton VFD, presented the new Freightliner pumper truck for the fire department. Mayor Robert Williams called a short recess so that all could view the new truck. After 10 minutes, the meeting was called back into order and Rankin said that the final outfitting is to be done in Kirby by Sept. 16, with some safety issues that are being corrected. The total for the truck is $345,441.36. They will receive a $180,000 US Forestry grant that will be delivered within 90 days after they inspect the vehicle. They will finance $342,354.61 with Government Capital Corporation. Pesek said that the department needed it and it is also needed for the protection of the community. Motion passed unanimously.
The budget for 2020- 2021 was amended for the change orders for the truck. The department would make up the $3,076.75 shortage from the budget and the remaining $20,000 would be the city portion.
At 7:42 p.m., the council retired into closed session to discuss a suit filed against members of the Jourdanton Police Department by Luke C. Sanders. Upon returning at 8:03 p.m., no action was taken.
Mayor Williams opened the budget workshop for discussion. Gonzales said that the city has saved money by utilizing an old police department vehicle for Public Works.
Schulz reported that the Main Street drainage project and many streets still need repair. Amounts shown in the budget are for the work that has already been done.
Tymrak-Daughtrey wanted to know if the CARES Act revenue was included in the budget. Schulz answered that they do not put money in the budget until they have it. This payment is due in about two weeks and they will discuss the use for that later. He is hoping to use it for the water system improvement. He added that the money would have to be kept in a separate budget anyway.
Tymrak-Daughtrey said that she had requested bank statements and other financial records, but has not gotten them yet. She also stated that there are no financial reports anymore when the council used to get one quarterly. Schulz explained that since they are short staffed, with the financial director also being out, it is hard to get those records for her.
Pesek voiced her appreciation for the pay increase across the board and the staff has really earned it.
Schulz also said that the city needed to upgrade their comprehensive plan next year, which will cost approximately $50,000. It is over 30 years old and needs updating in order to receive grants. He also said that they have hired a full-time janitor with benefits.
Finally, it is probable that they will have to use some of the fund balance to add $59,679 to balance the budget.
Gonzales brought up the fact that someone has been tipping the porta potties. If anyone has information about this, please get in touch with the Jourdanton PD. Not only does it cost money, but it is also a health hazard. Everyone worked hard for the park and he hates to see this being done.
Meeting adjourned at 8:22 p.m.