City council holds hearings
on structure abatements
by Dolores Hamilton
According to the owner, the abatement of a structure at 1008 E. Washington has been hampered by a neighbor who claims the mobile home is on his property.
The owner, Kenneth Becker III, told the city council during a public hearing Monday night that he has made several attempts to tear down the structure and every time he starts, the neighbor, Mr. Morris, comes out and says the trailer is on his property.
City Manager Mike Price said, “Records indicate that the mobile home is sitting on property that Mr. Becker owns and so something needs to be done.” Council members said that Mr. Morris needs to show proof to them that he is owner of the property.
After further discussion, the council agreed that the structure meets the criteria for a substandard structure and needs to be abated. They voted to send a letter to Becker giving him 45 days to dispose of the structure and also, out of courtesy, send one to Morris as well saying if he has proof that this is his property, then he needs to step forward.
In the second hearing concerning a structure at 408 W. Washington, an attorney for the owners, who now live in Arizona, told the council that he has been getting estimates from contractors to bring the house up to code, and they should be able to complete the work in four or five days.
Council member Lori Shierry said she thought some work had already been done on the house. Price said it had but some windows had since been knocked out and vandalism occurred. “What we’re not asking for this house by any means is to tear it down because it still has sufficient value,” he added. “All it needs is the windows boarded up and the doors fixed where they will lock.”
The council voted to give the owner 45 days to bring the structure up to code.
In other business, the council authorized the mayor to execute a modification to the tax abatement agreement between the city and S-5! Manufacturing L.L.C. S-5! asked for additional time to formulate and prepare plans and specification for a new 25,000 sq. ft. building to be located in the city’s Industrial Park as well as the start and completion dates for the building. The council was told that the plans and specifications would be ready by Nov. 30 and construction of the building would begin on or before Dec. 31, and be completed by Aug. 31, 2013.
An amendment to the General Fund budget was approved, transferring funds that were to be used to pay the fire department’s share of an equipment lease/purchase that would have included a new grass fire truck.The fire department had recommended the purchase of a surplus military-style two and one-half ton cab and chassis truck to be used as a grass fire truck.
A public auction to dispose of the city’s surplus property items was approved. The auction will be held Sept. 20 in the former Barbour pipe yard on West Highway. A list of items to be auctioned will be run in the Leader in advance of the sale.
The Chamber of Commerce was given permission to close a portion of North Wall st. and East and West Cash St. to through traffic on Saturday, Sept. 22 for the annual Whoop-T-Do celebration, and to utilize city-owned porta-toilets, porta-coolers, generators, barricades and solid waste containers for the event.
In other business, members of the council made their selection of names to be included on the city’s ballot for the Texas Municipal League’s Intergovernmental Risk Pool’s Board of Directors election. They also discussed attending TML’s annual conference in Grapevine.
During the meeting, Amie Schultz, librarian, and Robbie Matthews, parks and recreation director, were recognized for the successful “Night at the Movies” event that was held Saturday evening on the library grounds. About 100 people attended the cost-free event that included the movie, “Superman,” soft drinks and popcorn.