The annual audit for the year ending September 2015 was presented to the Poteet City Council at their regular meeting on March 1. Wayne Beyer said that they received an unqualified opinion, which is the highest possible. Figures show income from Municipal Court has increased, as has the utility fund. Overall, their operating figures were very good. Recommendations included having a written computer policy and including all items in the minutes, such as contractor costs approved. Realizing that they are short staffed, Beyer mentioned the segregation of duties, but did not dwell on it. Mayor Richard Tuttle called for a motion: Nicholas Sanchez moved to accept the report; Sonny Estrada seconded. Voting for were Denise Sanchez, Rosalinda de la Fuente and Estella Rocha.
Atascosa County Crisis Center
Donna Fisher from the Atascosa County Family Crisis Center addressed the council to let them know, briefly, some of the services the organization provided. She said they are trying to get housing in place because of the number of people they help at any one time. In January, there were 83 seeking assistance and in February there were 70. Approximately 28% come from the Poteet area. This shelter will be the first in the county.
Interim Finance Director, Richard Middleton was appointed as the interim city administrator.
Apparently, individuals are calling council members to get phone numbers of police officers. It was emphasized that one needs to call 911 or the sheriff’s office at 769-3434 for a timely and perhaps life-saving response. Otherwise, too much time can be lost.
There was discussion about the city’s plan for an impound yard at the waste water plant area. Other towns use this to make some revenue. Security lights and cameras are already at the plant. It will take $10,150 for a six foot fence and 16 foot gate, topped with barbed wire. They are also considering moving the yard to the area behind Lowe’s and move the impound there. They are getting estimates for the different locations.
There was a discussion about allowing the Park Foundation to renovate the basketball court and put a swing set and play equipment in Canyon Park. Tuttle said that the council needed to put their stamp of approval on this to make sure everything was up to government standards. Carolyn Vasquez, Park Foundation member, said they already had Frank Escalante give them an estimate of $2,300 to weld the play scape. She added that over the years, the Foundation had already spent $80,000 on the park. There was some discussion about resurfacing the tennis court and putting the basketball poles there. The council voted unanimously to have the Foundation look into park improvements.
Tuttle explained that the strawberry water tower needed to have a transmitter on it for communication with other tanks in the event of water emergencies. This will cost $9,200. Council approved this unanimously.
Denise Sanchez brought up the problem of employees taking city vehicles when not on call. There is a policy in the manual regarding this, but it seems to not be enforced. The Mayor and City Attorney will get together to look over the policy.
Other business items discussed and passed unanimously were to renew the wrecker service for the city with Horn’s Wrecker Service, with a contingency in case the city opens their impound yard; Roy Ybarra was appointed as a new member to the Library Board and an emergency purchase of $6,000 for a sump pump for well No. 3.
Discussions on the emergency well connect between the city and Benton City or McCoy Water is in its final stages. Some surveys have to be completed before the lines actually go in. Of the $275,000 grant, the city’s part is $40,000 and this was awarded over a year ago.
There was discussion of replacing the current lawn mowers with commercial ones, in order to save money on maintenance. Also, Tuttle would like to get all terrain vehicles to be used to patrol the remote pipe lines that are unobtainable with regular vehicles. These could be used to look for water or sewer leaks and also for meter reading. No action was taken at this time.
There was also discussion about RVs and other vehicles driven in the city limits without proper tags or licenses. The City Attorney advised that they can put stringent rules for those in their ordinances, if they want. No action was taken.
Mayor & Council Pay
It was brought up that the mayor and council members should be paid for their services. This is especially true for the mayor, since he’s acting City Administrator and works 40 to 50 hours a week. Pay could also be incentive to bring more citizens into the council races, perhaps bringing in more quality of work. Denise Sanchez stated that she is volunteering her time for the citizens of Poteet and besides, doesn’t think the city can afford it.
The mayor found a kennel for three dogs, including mats and air conditioning at the Texas Facilities Commission for $1,700. Currently, an employee is going to school to be an ACO and calls are increasing about stray dogs. He plans to put the kennel/ quarantine area at the sewer plant. The council voted unanimously to purchase the outfit.
They also passed ordinance No. 03012016, which cancels the election, since all three that are up for election are unopposed.
The meeting ran so long, it was decided to continue the next day at 6:30. The only thing left was an executive session regarding the hiring of another attorney. Meeting adjourned at 9:08 p.m.