Mayor Gives State of the City Address
Lexington Mayor, Robert Willrich, Sr. issued his annual State of the City Address this week. He said, “This City of Lexington had a prosperous and successful 2010. To start with, the City Council adopted a balanced budget for fiscal year October 1, 2010 through September 30, 2011. “
“The approved budget has total expenditures of $2,931,503, which represents an increase of $228,780 over the previous year’s budget. Part of this increase is due to the sewer improvement project estimated to cost $265,000. The City has obtained a Federal Grant of $250,000 to fund the majority of the project.”
“In addition, the City did not increase the property tax rate. The rate remained at $.4609.”
“The Police Department budget decreased from $ 299,034 to $285,168. The Fire Department budget decreased from $37,700 to $ 33,500. The EMS budget remained the same as last year at $15,000, which represents the subsidy payment to the Lexington EMS each year. The Municipal Court budget increased from $58,703 to $83,418 and the Park Department budget increased from $14,629 to $25,299. The Street Department budget decreased by $48,931, decreasing from $188,254 to $139,273. The budget decreased because the prior year budget included the road improvements to the cemetery road.”
Major Willrich said, “I’m proud to say our city is financially sound. The City has received (4) grants in the last four cycles totalling one-million dollars. In October 2010, we submitted an application in the 2011-2012 grant cycle for the amount of $275,000 to replace sewer lines on Terrance Drive, Giddings Street and 3rd Street. This application request is for approximately 2,145 linear feet of 8” sewer line. The application is currently under review and being scored. The City expects to hear if the application is funded in May or June of 2011.”
GRANTS: The City of Lexington has received funding in the last 4 grant cycles from the Texas Department of Rural Affairs formerly known as the Office of Rural Affairs.
In 2010 the City received a $250,000 grant for improvements at the wastewater treatment plant. Construction shall consist of the rehabilitation of the berms for all three (3) ponds, removal and disposal of sludge, installation of a new walkway to the effluent flow meter, six (6) weir gates, two (2) staff gauges for the weir boxes, valves and associated appurtenances.
In 2008 the City received a $250,000 grant to replace the sewer line on Hester Street, Avenue B, and Avenue D. The City installed approximately 2,315 linear feet of 8” sewer line.
In 2005 the City received a $250,000 grant to replace the sewer lines on 7th Street, Belton Street, 5th Street, 3rd Street and the alley between Giddings and Belton Streets. The City installed approximately 3,000 linear feet of 8” sewer line.
In 2003 the City received a $250,000 grant to replace the main sewer line from the sewer plant. In addition, they replaced the sewer lines along FM 1624, Dickson Street and Avenue G.. The City installed approximately 3,400 linear feet of 8” sewer line.
WATER AND WASTEWATER: The 2009 Water and Wastewater project started in 2009 was completed in 2010. This project included upgrading the potable water pump station on the Square and replacing two wastewater lift stations. The pump station on the Square pumps water from the clear well there to the water tower. The two old pumps only pumped 250 gallons per minute (gpm) and could not keep up with demand in the summer months. The project added two new pumps that have a capacity of 1000 gpm each. The old pumps are being kept as backup.
The Highway 77 and Caldwell Street wastewater lift stations were very old and unreliable. These lift stations were completely replaced. The new Caldwell Street lift station has two pumps with a capacity of 250 gpm each. This lift station serves areas along south Hwy 77 and areas east of it. The new Hwy 77 lift station has two pumps rated at 100 gpm. This lift station serves the areas north of Rockdale Street (Loop 123). The project was completed at a total construction cost of $697,637.70.
LEXINGTON POLICE DEPARTMENT: The year also found Chief Randy Davenport appointed as building Code Enforcement Inspector/Investigator. He accomplished the cleanup of several properties in the City last year and is now orchestrating the cleaning up of several other locations at no cost to the City.
Also during this time Chief Davenport held many Rabbis Clinics for pet owners in his capacity as Rabbis Authority.
Chief Davenport was an instructor for the City, assisting the Lexington Police Department with training seminars, bringing the Officers’ training to over 240 hours for the first half of the 2009-2010 training cycle.
While working closely with the FEMA Coordinator for Lee County, Chief Davenport brought many city and county employees up on FEMA training during 2010.
There were several programs sponsored during the year to assist the community in aiding against identity theft and internet theft instructed by the Office of Attorney General ,which Chief Davenport was responsible for bringing to our community.
RETIREMENT: In 2010, Walter Moerbe retired after 12 years of service with the City. Two new employees were hired in public works and the City Council approved to raise sewer rates to go into a water well escrow account and to have an electric study to be done by LCRA.