Detours Starting Soon on South Highway 385

txdot-road-constructionConstruction crews will be working on South Highway 385 for the next several months.  They will be widening Highway 385 from FM 300 south to the city limits.  As part of the construction work they will be putting in a detour for all south bound traffic on Highway 385.  Crews with Allan Butler Construction will be constructing a temporary road for a detour through that area beginning just south of the FM 300 intersection.  The detour will be put in place beginning this week.

As part of the project crews have been moving trees and other items out of the state right of way, that includes mail boxes.  Crews will be relocating all mail boxes to a central location at the request of the Postmaster for Levelland for the safety of the mail carrier.  All mailboxes on the east side of the road will be moved to Equalizer road near the Mallet Event Center.  All mailboxes on the west side of the road will be moved to the first alley south of FM 300.  This will be a temporary move while construction is being done and again this was required by the Postmaster.

Construction on South Highway 385 is scheduled to be complete in 2020.

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Fire Crews Respond to Semi-Truck Fire Near Wolfforth Monday Night

Lets Talk TwitterEmergency crews from Hockley County and Wolfforth responded to a truck fire on US 62/82 between Ropesville and Wolfforth on Monday night.

Reports indicate the blaze broke out around 7:40 pm.  Witnesses were able to get the driver of the truck out just as the blaze progressed from the rear tractor brakes.  Hockley County Sheriff’s Office said there was a mechanical malfunction and the driver pulled over, the truck then caught fire.

Traffic was diverted in the area to allow crews to battle the blaze.  The truck was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived.  Wolfforth Fire Department responded to the fire to assist.  Crews were on the scene several hours battling the blaze.

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Levelland ISD Awarded Grant through America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education

IMG_2881Levelland ISD teachers, administrators, board members and area ag producers was on hand for the presentation of the $25,000 grant Friday night prior to the Levelland Lobo Football game.

Levelland ISD and Levelland High School was awarded the grant through America’s Farmers Grow rural education, a program that helps farmers support their local rural public school districts.  The funds will be used to purchase a plasma camera and cutter to be used at Levelland High School.  Since 2011 this program has given over $16 million to rural school districts to enhance math and science education.

America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education offers farmers the opportunity to nominate rural public school districts to compete for a merit based grant of $10,000 and $25,000.  A number of local farmers nominated Levelland ISD and Levelland High School for the award, allowing the district to submit an application for the grant.  Those farmers include:  Larry and Linda King, Hershell Hill, Ronny Alexander, Greg Methvin, Bill Price, George Childress, Don Duff, David Durham, Larry Witt, Rusty Gibson, Austin Pinkert, Will Pinkert, Mark Pinkert, Brad Durham, Roger Jeffcoat, Paul Isaacs, and Bobby Rackler.

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Car Vs. Building Ends with Heavy Damage to Head Start

IMG_2883Emergency crews in Levelland were called to the 1300 block of Houston Street in Levelland for a traffic accident early Sunday morning when a car struck a building.

Levelland Police and Levelland EMS responded at just after 1:30 am Sunday to the South Plains Headstart building at 410 Houston Street in Levelland.  Police said that a female driver struck the southwest corner of the building.  The female drive was able to get out of the car before police and EMS arrived.  She refused treatment from Levelland EMS.

City of Levelland Building Inspector, John Agnew was called to assess the structural integrity of the building and city street crews blocked the street in the area.

No further information was released and a cause of the accident has not been released.

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Levelland Main Street Project Makes Finalist List for State Award

Texas Downtown AssociationThe Texas Downtown Association announced finalist for their awards yesterday.  For the second year in a row the Ladies Night Out event put on by the Levelland Main Street Program was listed a finalist for the 2018 President’s Award Program through the Texas Downtown Association.

Levelland Main StreetThe event is listed as a finalist in the Best Promotional Event.  111 entries were submitted to 12 different categories from communities across the state.  A panel of judges reviewed entries online and then visited in person to make their selections for finalists and winners.

Winners of the categories above, along with the Downtown of the Year and the recipient of the Susan H. Campbell Award for Professional Excellence, will be announced on November 7 at the President’s Awards Gala held in conjunction with the 2018 Texas Downtown Conference in Corpus Christi.

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Levelland City Council Holds Regular Meeting

cityThe Levelland City Council held their regular meeting on Monday night.

The council has worked for several months on creating a final budget for 2018-2019 fiscal year. City Manager Erik Rejino noted that we are in a better shape financially going into the next fiscal year than the previous year. He noted that sales tax collections for the city remains strong. Rejino noted we have a good budget for moving the city forward. The council approved the budget on a unanimous vote.

The council approved the proposed tax rate of 70 cents per $100 property value which is seven cents less than the current rate. It was approved on a unanimous vote.

The council also took action to set the water, garbage and street light rates. The changes include a $1 increase to the Water Availability fee to cover the loan to move the water line on South Highway 385 which was required by Texas Department of Transportation for their highway project. Councilman Jim Myatt said “I hate to saddle the citizens with this loan payment for the next 15 years, can the city handle the $842,000 loan. Rejino said, he would not recommend taking it out of the city fund in order to maintain long term sustainability.” Councilwoman, Breann Buxkemper, asked would it be possible that in the future, the city might could handle the payment without passing the fee onto citizens, Rejino said absolutely.” It was noted that capital expenses are heavy right now due to some requirements from TCEQ. They also approved a 25 cent increase on street lights to cover the charge from Xcel Energy. They also approved a 2% increase in garbage rates to satisfy the contract requirement for Republic Services for their annual cost of living adjustment. The total increase to utility bills will be $1.86 per month. It was also noted that the City of Levelland has the 4th lowest Utility rate in the region. The council approved rates on a split vote of 3-1 with Jim Myatt casting the dissenting vote, he stated “I am against this, we just continue to pass increases on to our citizens.”

The council held a public hearing on a Small Community Grant Program. The city is planning to apply for the grant to install a “tot” land playground for ages 2-5 in the Country Club Park. It was noted that currently the only park with a playground for the younger kids is the Sherman park. The city is applying for $48,000 with a city cash match of $24,000. Councilwoman Breann Buxkemper said “I hope we can continue to add to all of our community parks, weather through trees, additional playgrounds, walking trails or other features.”

The council also approved the engineering firm of Parkhill, Smith and Cooper to design and oversee a project for water line replacement and replacement of manhole covers west of Avenue H on 8th street to West Avenue. City staff will now negotiate a contract. The city will apply for a grant to pay for the project, applications will be due in February and the city should know by early summer.

The council also approved the annual investment policy for the city funds. It was approved with only minor changes.

The council also took action to vote on selections for the Texas Municipal League Intergovernmental Risk Pool.

The council also approved an ordinance approving a settlement agreement between Atmos Energy West Texas Division and 67 West Texas cities including Levelland. The net impact to customers will total 2.6 million dollars. Atmos Energy had requested an increase totaling $9.5 million dollars and the negotiating group was able to reduce the request to $6.1 million dollars with a net impact of 2.6 million dollars to all cities.

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Obituary: Roberto Guerra, 79 of Levelland

Roberto GuerraFuneral Services are scheduled for Roberto Guerra, 79 of Levelland.  Services are set for Wednesday, September 12th, 2018 at 2:00 pm in the St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Levelland.  Rosary services are scheduled for Tuesday, September 11, 2018 at 7:00 pm in the Krestridge Funeral Home in Levelland.  He passed away on September 6th, 2018.

For more information:  klvtnews.wordpress.com/obituaries

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