Levelland City Council Hears Results Of Infrastructure Plan

The City of Levelland Many months ago contracted with the group Freese and Nichols to perform a Comprehensive Infrastructure Review for them. After several months of surveying city streets, facilities, water systems, and more, Thursday night Freese and Nichols were ready to present their findings to an eager almost-full council. Councilman Jim Myatt was not present at this workshop, however these findings will once again be presented at the regular City Council meeting on Monday, April 3rd.

The infrastructure review covered all City-owned Infrastructure, broken down into 4 portions: Water, Stormwater, Transportation, and Facilities. This included scanning all 98 miles of City roads, dedicated walk-throughs of City facilities, as well as comparisons to other municipalities in the area for inspiration. As this was a review, there were recommendations for various renovations and changes to be made, and the price tags associated with those changes were rather substantial. No decisions were made at this meeting as it was a work session, but Freese & Nichols will be returning on Monday, April 3rd for Levelland City Council’s regular meeting to answer any further questions, or offer any guidance as is necessary. KLVT News will be releasing a break-down of this report as well as the supplemental Council Meeting in portions for easier digestion. Check back on Tuesday for the first in that series of coverage.

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Registration Deadline For May elections Is Looming

Press Release Provided by Hockley County Election Administration:

Hockley County Election Administrator Jody Rose reminds all eligible county voters to make sure they are registered to vote by Thursday, April 6 th in to be able to vote in the May 6 th city and school elections across Hockley County. The City of Levelland will have a street maintenance sales tax election, the City of Sundown will have a Property Tax Reduction Election while Smyer, Ropes and Anton ISD’s will all host trustee elections on May 6 th . Early voting for all elections will begin on Monday, April 24 th and continue through Tuesday,
May 2 nd .
“If you are not already registered to vote in the upcoming elections – there is still time! Submit your
voter registration application to the Hockley County Election office at 911 Austin Street in Levelland.
The office is open 9:00 am to 12 noon and 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday.” If you are already registered and need to update your address, this will also need to be done by April 6 th , to take effect for the May 6 th election. Voters who vote by mail are also reminded that a new Ballot By Mail application must be submitted each year. The deadline to submit a ballot by mail application for the May 6 th election is April 25 th at 5:00 pm.

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SPC To Offer Red Cross Life Guard Course

LEVELLAND – South Plains College is offering an American Red Cross Lifeguard Certification course, which will begin on April 12. Students can earn a CPR Professional certificate, a First Aid certificate, and a Lifeguard certificate upon successful completion of the course.

The course is limited to 10 swimmers and will cost $250, which includes study materials online, testing, and certifications.

To register for the class, interested participants should go to the SPC Natatorium and pay for the class with a check or credit card. Registration will be on a first-come, first-serve basis.

On April 12, a Swim Skills Test will be administered from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Participants must be 15 years of age by the first day of class and able to swim 300 yards non-stop, tread water for two minutes without the use of hands, and swim 20 yards to retrieve a brick at a depth of 7 to 10 feet, keeping both hands on the brick and climb out without the use of a ladder.

From April 14 to April 16, registered students will receive online course materials, and six to eight hours of study is required. Classroom and swimming pool instruction will take place on April 16 from 3 to 7 p.m., April 19 from 5 to 9 p.m., and April 21 from 5 to 9 p.m. On April 22, classes will be held from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. until completed. Class times may be adjusted based on student progress.

For more information, contact Mike Harrison, Natatorium Director, at (806) 716-2228.

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CASA Of The South Plains Raises Awareness For Child Abuse Prevention Month

Press Release Provided by Casa Of The South Plains:

LUBBOCK, TEXAS – April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and CASA of the South Plains is raising awareness of the need for more dedicated members of the community to step up and become CASA Volunteers, and help end child abuse and neglect, through supporting children and their families.

CASA volunteers, or Court Appointed Special Advocates, are everyday people from all walks of life who are recruited and specially trained to advocate for children in foster care and provide a consistent, reliable adult presence for them during a difficult time in their life.

“Our volunteers’ first priority is to keep families together whenever safe and possible,” said Jaclyn Morris, Executive Director of CASA of the South Plains. “Foster care is only a temporary solution to the problems at hand. We need to create long term support networks that work to care for families, make reunification a possibility, and help break the cycle for the next generation.”

CASA volunteers are assigned to one child or sibling group to advocate for their best interest in court, in school, and in other settings. They get to know the child, and everyone involved in their life, such as their parents and other family members, foster parents, therapists, caseworkers, and teachers, in order to develop a realistic picture of the child’s unique situation. They engage those important to the child and family in order to build a network of support around them, so that the family has access to support and resources after the case ends. They make recommendations to the judge overseeing the child’s case, with the goal of ensuring that the child is safe and the family has the resources, support and healthy relationships needed to heal.

“There is always a need for more CASA Volunteers,” said Morris. “By becoming a volunteer, you can take your efforts beyond just awareness, and do your part to help support children and families in crisis right here in our community.”  

When reunification is not a possibility for the children they serve, CASA Volunteers work to find others that can provide a positive, healthy and loving environment. These can include relatives, friends, or other adults that are important in the child’s life—keeping a child connected to their home community.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. If you see abuse, report it to 1 (800) 252-5400 or go to www.txabusehotline.org. If a child’s life is in danger, call 911. For more information on CASA, visit CASAoftheSouthPlains.org. CASA hosts numerous CASA 101 Information Sessions each month. The next session is Tuesday, April 4 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Visit CASAoftheSouthPlains.org/volunteer to register. CASA also encourages you to attend upcoming events that raise awareness in our community throughout the month of April. The Lubbock Chamber of Commerce is hosting the annual 2023 Go Blue Lubbock Campaign Kick-Off event on April 4, and on April 14 the South Plains Coalition for Child Abuse Prevention will host their 10th Annual Child Abuse Prevention Conference.

About CASA of the South Plains

CASA of the South Plains inspires, educates, and empowers solution-minded community members who are committed to supporting the best interest of children in the foster care system. 

Volunteer advocates create connections and promote nurturing relationships for the child and family, encouraging hope and healing. Through court appointment and collaborative efforts, volunteer advocates share informed recommendations for the well-being of the child. CASA supports children in six counties in the South Plains: Cochran, Hale, Hockley, Lubbock, Terry, and Yoakum.

CASA’s Impact*

  1. 415 children received advocacy services from CASA of the South Plains in 2022.
  2. 255 CASA Volunteers donated a total of 5,258 hours in 2022, saving county taxpayers $289,190 in county paid attorneys’ fees.
  3. 122 youth in foster care found permanency with the help of their CASA Volunteer
    in 2022.

*CASA 2022 Calendar Year Statistics

How You Can Help

  1. Become a CASA Volunteer.
  2. Become a CASA Donor – Join Heroes for Hope and become a monthly donor. Gifts start at just $10 a month. Every gift makes a difference!
  3. Host a CASA 101 Informational Session – CASA will come to your business and educate and inspire your staff about ways they can impact the life of a child in foster care.

To learn how to become an Advocate, or if you are unable to volunteer at this time and would like to donate, visit www.casaofthesouthplains.org or call (806) 763-2272.

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Levelland P&Z Hash Out Food Truck Ordinance Details

The Levelland Planning & Zoning Commission had a special meeting Monday night to work through their food truck ordinance that’s been making the rounds. Originally making it all the way to City Council, the ordinance was bumped back to the P&Z for a bit more fine tuning. The issues of Fire Suppression and businesses operating in residential areas were brought up and proved to be the main issues, though only 3 board members would be present to debate them. Roger Lindsey, Chrystal Simpson, and Chairman Butch Wade were the only members to attend the meeting.

From the beginning the City of Levelland has wanted to ensure that brick and mortar restaurants do not face different codes or ordinances from their food truck counterparts, which is a simple enough task as both are labeled as “Commercial Kitchens” under the Fire Code. This means that should a kitchen produce grease vapors (from a grill, deep fryer, etc) a Fire Suppression System is required to be installed. Commissioner Simpson insisted that Levelland’s Fire Code should not be as stringent as Lubbock’s, and that such laws would drive business out of town. Simpson even went so far as to suggest the City not enforce the fire code for the sake of food trucks, but Chief Building Inspector Joe Shedd combated this by stating that almost 85% of the food trucks the City inspects meet these requirements already, and that caveats couldn’t be written for food trucks with out rewriting all of the Fire Code. Commissioners Wade and Lindsey along with City Manager Brandon Anderson all agreed that City Fire Code needed to stay. Anderson furthered the sentiment by stating it would be unfair for Food Trucks and Brick & Mortar restaurants, again both classified as commercial kitchens, to play by a different set of ordinances.

As for the issue of operation in residential neighborhoods, a few ideas were circulated. If a food truck wished to operate in a location within a residential neighborhood they would first need to obtain written permission from the responsible party of a property (Owner, renter, etc.). Then there would be a set time limit they could be in operation at that spot, and a property could only have 1 such event in a single month. Ultimately the ordinance was handed to the City Attorney for one final pass before it comes to the Board once more, then it will be handed to City Council to begin the process of being accepted.

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LISD Board Debating Future Of Intermediate Campus

Levelland ISD got together with their Community Committee members Tuesday night for a special meeting with long-lasting implications. The districts Strategic Plan and Balanced Score Card, which give a road map for where the district would like o go in the next few years, was given but the issue on everyone’s mind was the decision around the Intermediate School.

The District has 4 goals laid out in its strategic plan, which are then further broken up into several sub-points. Goal 1 is student growth and learning, Goal 2 is Staff Support and Growth, Goal 3 is Family and Community Partnerships, and Goal 4 is Financial Effectiveness and Efficiency. LISD Superintendent Rebecca McCutchen led most of the meeting, and pointed out Goal 4’s sub points 2&3. Goal 4.2&3 are development and implementation of long-term facility management processes, and ensure operational effectiveness and efficiency. On March 28th Levelland ISD sent out a press release to the community, parents and staff stating that starting with the next school year (23′-24′) the LISD Intermediate School would be closed, and those students and staff shuffled among the other campuses. The decision was made after analyzing the enrollment structure of the district, as well as the state of repair the building is in.

Enrollment is down across the board, according to the districts statistics. In their press release, the district states: “Our enrollment has continued to decline over the past several years. In 2016 the district enrollment was 3067 students. This year, enrollment is 2658 students. We have projected enrollment for the upcoming school years based on current demographics and birth rates. Based on this data, enrollment is expected to continue to decline slightly for the next several years.” Additionally, the district acknowledged that smaller districts surrounding it had the appeal of smaller settings. This left the district with the decision to close a campus and consolidate a portion of the student populace due to lack of enrollment. Originally, McCutchen stated that South Elementary was looked at, as it is the smallest building in the district, however when the maintenance dept. gave a report on the state of the Intermediate School, their sights quickly changed.

Maintenance Director Adam Oliva was present to give his department’s point of view on the topic with a prepared slide show of various inadequacies posed by the building. Broken down into several categories the repairs for Levelland Intermediate would cover the Roof, bringing restrooms and doorways into ADA compliance, plumbing and electrical repairs, parking lot and boiler room renovations, and the largest piece of repair: HVAC Units. All repairs are estimated to cost the district approximately $2.1 Million. Staff also stressed that this would only be for repairs, which will age and fade. A full renovation and restoration of the building is estimated to be much higher, but an exact figure was not provided.

In 2013 the School Board passed a bond issue for renovations throughout the district that cost approximately $39 Million. This bond covered 13 facilities, and of this larger sum, $6.7 Million went into repairs for the Intermediate Building. According to district records that went towards Fire and Security Systems, HVAC, Accessibility in restrooms, window replacement, stone repair, roofing, and other repairs. Now, 10 years later, the HVAC replacement for Intermediate is estimated around $700K, Restrooms another $85K, and Roof Repair a further $385K. When asked what happened to the $6.7 Million from 2013, Chief Financial Officer Teresa Montemayor stated that outward-facing, “aesthetic repairs” were made rather than focusing on the building’s infrastructure. Principal Terri White praised her maintenance team for keeping the building running despite the challenges they face, alleging roof cave-ins, flooding and ant problems.

The board also acknowledged the district’s track record with older defunct buildings, sighting failures at the old football stadium, as well as the sad state that West Elementary finds itself in, though that building was sold from the district years ago. Chief Of Police for Levelland, Albert Garcia sits on the Community Committee and stated that an empty building of that size in town would make his job more difficult, to which the board responded with a commitment to develop a plan for the future of that building, whatever it may be. As it was the original LISD school building constructed back when the district was founded in 1938, it has a strong connection to the community, and the board was hesitant to suggest demolishment. As of this meeting nothing final has been decided about the future of the building, just that it will not hold students for the foreseeable future. Staff stated that by April 7th teachers would know their new assignments and reaffirmed their commitment to giving every staff member with the Intermediate campus a position within the district.

Knowing that this move would cause a stir throughout the community, the board ended this meeting by encouraging any and all citizens to reach out and contact them to give their opinions on the decision.

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Press Release: LISD Intends To Close Intermediate Campus At End Of Year

Press Release Provided by Levelland ISD:

Levelland ISD Press Release
March 27, 2023

Beginning with the upcoming school year (2023-2024), the current Levelland Intermediate School will be closed. In an effort to make the best decision for our students, staff, and community needs a number of factors were considered in making this decision. Student needs are and always will be a priority at Levelland ISD. We
fully understand the stress of uncertainty that this change will bring about and we strive to share all information in a transparent manner.
Our enrollment has continued to decline over the past several years. In 2016 the district enrollment was 3067 students. This year, enrollment is 2658 students. We have projected enrollment for the upcoming school years based on current demographics and birth rates. Based on this data, enrollment is expected to continue to decline
slightly for the next several years. The Intermediate building was built in 1938. It is a beautiful building;
however, it is in dire need of numerous costly repairs. The repairs include plumbing, electrical, HVAC systems, roofing, ADA Compliance, etc. The current estimated cost of these repairs is in excess of $2.1 Million. Based on these factors, it has become unrealistic to continue to operate the facility.
Beginning with the 2023-2024 school year, the campus configuration will be as follows:

 Levelland ABC
o PreK – 1st Grade
 South Elementary and Capitol Elementary
o 2nd Grade – 4th Grade
 Levelland Middle School
o 5th Grade – 8th Grade
 5th Grade & 6th Grade will operate as a cohort group
 7th Grade & 8th Grade will operate as a cohort group

 Levelland High School
o 9th Grade – 12th Grade – No change

The principals will begin to meet with staff to determine staffing assignments for next year. Our goal is to ensure all current Levelland Intermediate School staff will have a position with Levelland ISD next year. The campuses will host parents and students for informational meetings in the coming months.
Thank you for your continued support of Levelland ISD.

Becky McCutchen
Levelland ISD
Superintendent of Schools

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Levelland ABC Open Enrollment Around The Corner

Levelland ISD’s Academic Beginnings Center (ABC) is opening its enrollment period starting up in the beginning of April. Wed/Thurs. April 5th & 6th enrollment will begin at the ABC located at 1412 E. Ellis st. from 9a-2p, with an additional slot from 5p-7p on Wednesday. Staff ask that to be prepared you bring the following documents:

  • Birth Certificates
  • Social Security Cards
  • Shot Records
  • Proof of Residence
  • Proof of Income
  • Proof of Insurance

Staff also wishes to stress that this is pre-registration, and it is policy that you must meet with the Head Start Team to complete enrollment. After pre-registering the Head Start dept. with contact you at a later date. for questions or more information please call the district at 806-894-6959

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Road Maintenance On West Ave.

According to Hockley County Emergency Management, Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) will be performing road maintenance on West Avenue Monday March 27th. Traffic will reportedly be reduced to one lane, escorted by a pilot car from Hwy 114 to Houston St. Officials advise citizens to take alternative routes if possible, and to expect delays.

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ABC Pro Rodeo Ribbon Cutting

The ABC Pro Rodeo has returned for it’s 80th anniversary out at the Mallet Event Center, and the Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting to mark the occasion over the weekend. Surrounded by Rodeo Committee Members, City Councilman Michael Stueart read a proclamation from the office of the Mayor, declaring this ABC Pro Rodeo Week in Town. Rodeo Chairman Mark Putnam thanked the Council and the city for their warm welcome and cut the ribbon on what is to be a busy week of rodeo events. Slack is set to start on Wednesday, with events running off into the weekend.

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