City of Brownfield on Emergency Water Restrictions

letstalkCity Administrators for the City of Brownfield announced Thursday that they are currently under Stage 3 water use restrictions because of a break in the primary water main near Meadow.

According to the Public Works Director, a contractor working on a fiber optic cable broke the water main west of Meadow, repair of the line is expected to take three to four days and will continue through the weekend.

City residents must observe the following restrictions including:

  1.  Absolutely NO irrigation of landscaped areas
  2. Use of water to wash any motor vehicle of any kind is prohibited
  3. Filling, refilling or adding of water to swimming pools, wading pools, etc is prohibited
  4. Operation of any ornamental fountain or pond for scenic purposes is prohibited.
  5. No applications for new, additional, expanded or increased in size water service connections, service lines, meters, etc will be allowed or approved.

To supplement the shortage the city currently is utilizing six of its water wells.

Brownfield’s water supply is provided by the Canadian River Municipal Water Authority.

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Hockley County Murder Suspect Released on a Reduced Bond

letstalkHockley County Justice of the Peace for Precinct 5, Brenda Nock signed a reduced bond order for Payden Allen, 18.

He is facing a murder charge in Hockley County after his father, Brandon Allen was found with a gunshot wound at his home on Nevada Road in Anton.  Bond had been officially set at $250,000, The bond was lowered to $100,000 after the recommendation was made by the Hockley County District Attorney’s Office.  The recommendation was approved by District Attorney, Chris Dennis.

Their were numerous conditions attached to the bond reduction.  Those conditions include, he must reside with his mother at her residence in Wallis, TX which is west of Houston; may not drive or operate any motor vehicle; may not have access to any firearms; must be home between 9pm and 6am unless he is with his mother; must report by phone to his probation officer in Hockley County every week and report in person once a month.  He must also maintain absolute abstinence from any alcohol or drugs, not commit any crime of any level, he also cannot travel outside of the county of his residence near Houston and he and his mother was informed if he does not abide by ALL of these conditions he will be immediately re-arrested.

He also cannot have any contact with his dad’s side of the family.

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Levelland City Council Looks at Proposed Water and Sewer Rate Increase

cityThe Levelland City Council met last night for their second budget work session for the 2017-2018 fiscal year.

The bulk of the meeting was spent discussing the Enterprise fund which consists of the Water, Wastewater and Sanitation departments.  It was noted that their is approximately 1.38 million dollars of Capital improvements needed in the water department, Nearly 1.2 million dollars of those improvements are due to Texas Commission on Environmental Quality requirements.

The Capital Improvements being looked at the for the Water System includes—

  1.  Elevated Water Tower on Adams Street–Rehab due to rusting issues, required to satisfy TCEQ requirements.
  2. Ground Storage Tank on Hickory Street–Replace roof to satisfy TCEQ requirement that it can no longer have flat roof which has been approved for several years.
  3. Lee Street Water Wells will be re-worked
  4. Improvements to the SCADA computer system which monitors the water and wastewater system 24 hours a day 7 days a week and can automatically notify the employee on call of any issue at any time.
  5. Disinfection System Improvements to satisfy TCEQ requirements
  6. Replace fence at the Hickory Street water department office
  7. Continue to replace aging water meters
  8. Continue replacement of fire hydrants and water mains
  9. Replace pickup

Capital Improvements being proposed for Wastewater Department—-

  1.  Fence and gate at water/wastewater building
  2. Vactor Truck–Vacuum truck and camera truck for repairing sewer lines
  3. Pickup truck for crane

Capital Improvements in Sanitation—-

New Type IV pit at the landfill–It is estimated that current pit will be full by the end of 2018.  This is the pit for construction materials.

New Landfill Compactor–replaces a used compactor that was purchased when the new landfill was constructed.

The rate increase being proposed by the city is a 5% water rate increase and a 15% sewer rate increase.  It will amount to approximately a six dollar per month increase on an average 5000 gallon water bill.  It was noted that even with the rate increase, Levelland continues to have one of the lowest rates in the region.  With the increase Levelland will have the third lowest rate in the region.  It was also noted that Levelland is a member of the Canadian River Municipal Water Authority (CRMWA) and has a sustainable water supply.  It is considered by many to be a “100 year water supply.”  The average 5000 gallon bill with all charges averages a minimum of $77 per month.  It was pointed out that one of the highest water rates in the area is Littlefield and their minimum bill is $105 per month.  They also are not a member of the CRMWA.

This budget and rate increases is a proposal at this time.  They will be formally adopted in August.

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Levelland ISD Appoints Replacement for District Four Seat

Levelland ISDLevelland ISD Board of Trustees met Thursday night in a regular meeting.

Following a lengthy executive session the board appointed Treva Potter to serve the remaining term on the District four seat.  The seat was previously held by FE Shaheen who no longer lives in District 4.  His house was sold in late May according to records from the Hockley County Appraisal Office.  Board President, Tania Moody declined to release how many letters of interest were received for the position.  She said “Thank you to everyone who submitted letters of interest, their were many, and we thank all of your for your willingness to serve on the LISD Board of Trustees.”

In other business, the board approved the sale of the old Annex building on Ave. H in Levelland.  The building and land was sold to Hillside Christian Church for $8,000.  It was the only bid received for the building which will have to have many repairs including asbestos removal.  The building also has massive water damage from a massive rain storm approximately 3 years ago.  It was noted that the last time the building was put out for bid, several years ago, the high bid was less than $2,000.

The board of trustees also approved a 1% pay raise for all employees with little discussion.

The board approved retaining the accounting firm of Myatt, Blume and Osburn in Levelland to handle auditing services for the district in 2017-2018.  It was noted that the fee being charged is slightly less than what was charged in 2016-2017 for the audit.

The board also approved keeping the property and casualty insurance for the district with the Texas Association of School Boards.  It was noted that their was a sizable increase in premiums from last year and was also a change in deductibles for hurricane, wind and hail.  LISD Finance Director, Lance Terrell said the district will plan on going out for bid next year for the entire property and casualty insurance package for the district.

The board also approved the monthly financial report.  It was noted that district administration will be meeting with architects in the coming days to discuss the financial numbers on the bond package.  The ag farm is complete and the Cactus renovation should be complete in October.  The only project remaining will be the demolition of the old Lobo Stadium.  It was noted that due to safety reasons they will be removing the bleachers and the concrete under the bleachers as well as taking down and removing all of the lights and poles.  They will be leaving the grass field and the track as well as the out buildings.

The board also set a specially called meeting for August 28 at 6pm to adopt the budget and tax rate for fiscal year 2017-2018.

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Olton City Manager Terminated–He will receive 1 year of Salary and Benefits

Something talcOlton City Council met in a special meeting yesterday.  Following a brief, 30 minute executive session, the council re-convened in open meeting and voted unanimously to terminated City Manager, Marvin Tillman.  This comes as Tillman faces three third degree indictments stemming from a Texas Rangers Investigation.

Under the terms of the contract, Tillman will receive his salary plus full benefits each month for one year.  This amounts to approximately $5,000/month plus benefits.  If Tillman had resigned instead of termination the term would have been six months.

This is the second key administrator to be terminated this month in Olton.  The council will be working to fill the Police Chief’s position and City Manager’s position in the coming weeks.

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Littlefield Appoints Interim Police Chief

Littlefield Police GenericLittlefield City Council has announced the interim police chief for the department.

Lieutenant John Carrasco was recently appointed as the interim police chief.  He takes over for former chief Albert Garcia who left the department in late June to become Police Chief for the City of Levelland.

Littlefield City Manager, Mitch Grant said “Carrasco impressed us with his work attitude and ethic.”  He went on to say Carrasco would do the best job to carry on the direction set forth by former Chief Garcia.

Carrasco has been with the department for approximately 11 years.  He was appointed to the Lieutenant over patrol in January of 2017.

Carrasco does not see any big changes for the department, noting “I just want to the keep the department operational.

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Lubbock Murder Suspect Arrested in Levelland

10306479_825500670877069_1946972718073611415_nA Lubbock murder suspect was arrested in Levelland Tuesday afternoon.  Lubbock police made the announcement around 4pm Tuesday afternoon that the arrest was made by Levelland police.

Stephen Joseph Buckley, 29 was arrested by police.  No further information was released.  Buckley was wanted in the shooting death of Jose Gomez, 23.  Buckley allegedly shot Gomez at Wagner Park in Lubbock just after 6pm Monday night.  Buckley was announced as the suspect by the Lubbock Police Department Tuesday around noon.  He was arrested at a residence in Levelland without incident.  Lubbock Police Department notified Levelland police of the suspect’s location.

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