City Water Rates Going Up
At the regular meeting of the Lexington City Council held on Wednesday, January 12, 2012, the Council agreed that it is necessary to raise the base rate from $16.50 to $26.50 per month for 3,000 gallons of water. The Council was told that even with this higher rate, Lexington water is still significantly less costly than in other cities of the same size in the state.
Jeff Sullivan, with Reveille Broadband, spoke before the council about codes of conduct used by other cities with regard to their council members and employees. Sullivan thought that some of Lexington council members acted inappropriately to him during the November 2011 City Council meeting and encouraged the city to adopt a code of conduct for its council members and staff.
The Council heard from Council Member Tim Brown, who suggested relieving the Mayor of his duties in dealing with the Police Department. After a period of discussion, it was decided that the Mayor Pro-tem, currently Brown, would be appointed as liaison between the Police Department and the Council, but that there would be no supervisory authority or responsibility attached to this function, as the Mayor is the city’s CEO.
The Council then heard a request from Chief Bowden to hire three more reserve officers. The reason Bowden said he needed three more officers, was to give the City up to ten total officers to help in the case of emergencies, such as wildfires, like those experienced this past summer in Bastrop County. That would give the city four paid full-time officers and six unpaid part-time officers. The Council approved this request.
The Council then heard from Chief Bowden about allowing his officers to take other jobs during their off-duty time. It was pointed out that last year the Council had passed an Ordinance that prohibits such activity. After considerable discussion, this was tabled with the understanding that this issue would be re-examined at the next council meeting.
The Council also approved a resolution to publish a Notion of Intention to issue combination tax and revenue Certificates of Obligation. These funds are needed to meet the TCEQ mandated upgrades and timetable for the city’s water and sewer improvements.
A LAI Disposal representative spoke to the Council asking for the opportunity to bid on a new contract for providing trash service. It was noted that the current contract with Allied Waste expires this fall and that the contract will automatically renew unless notice is given in advance. The Council voted to give this notice so that bids for this service can be solicited.
The current President of the Lexington EDC, Michael Hess, presented two recommendations for new members of the board: David Sweat and Wesley Stanley. They will be replacing Candace Schneider and Kathi Olechowski. The Council approved both names.
The council took no action regarding taxes for Hildebrandt Meat Market. Council is awaiting clarification as to whether or not Hildebrandt’s is located within the City Limits.