The Levelland City Council met tonight in a regular meeting. They took action on several items on the agenda. A full report of the meeting is posted below…….
1) A firm has applied for a special use permit on west highway 114 in Levelland. John Buerkert of Levelland Iron and Metal LLC has applied for the permit. Levelland Planning and Zoning commission has approved provided that a privacy fence of no less than 6 foot tall and that scrap iron cannot be placed higher than the fence. The area is deemed industrial which would make this type operation legal. One person in the county has written a letter in opposition and one person in the city, Raymon Jackson has written a letter in opposition. Councilman Mike Jackson asked if he had met the conditions–He has started with the screening fence, however, has not finished. It was noted that the 6′ requirement for the fence is a minimum requirement, and council can require a taller fence. Currently has license from state, however would have to have approval of city. Mayor Jackson asked Buerkert’s attorney why he didn’t back his operation up and be outside of the city limits. He stated Buerkert wants to be a member of the community, and also noted the reason the fence wasn’t finished as of yet was simply at the attorney’s recommendation. The question was asked about bringing in oil barrels–it was noted that they would be dry barrels. The question was asked of the city inspector, do you think the fence height is tall enough. Inspector John Agnew said “In my opinion in a scrap operation, I think a 6 foot fence is a little low–this particular case has garnered a lot of attention from the community. Keno Henderson who’s dad put in Capitol Steel west of Levelland many years ago spoke against this stating that his dad tried to put in Capitol Steel inside the city limits and was turned down. After further discussion, council tabled action until they could gather more information. Council was asked to get any more information they need to John Agnew so that he could gather information by the next meeting. It was noted that 100% of the property owners in the area were present with the exception of 1 and they are all against it.
2) The City council was asked to approve the extension of TIF Zone #1 which was approved in a meeting of the TIF board earlier today.
3) The council also approved the city’s investment policy with no changes for 2013.
4) City’s on the south plains are being asked to pass a resolution in opposition of the listing of the Lesser Prarie chicken as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. Many are concerned that the proposed listing could have a detrimental effect on the economy if this listing is carried out.
5) The council also discussed bids to replace truck and chassis for the fire department. They awarded the bid to Roberts Truck Sales for a 2014 Kenworth truck
6) Following a brief executive session on a settlement for landfill contested proceedings. At the last meeting the council discussed and heard from parties in opposition of the site for the proposed landfill south of Levelland. At that meeting the council authorized offering the parties $40,400 plus excess dirt to create a screening berm and plant trees to create a privacy screen. Since that meeting the parties have made a counter offer, for the council to authorize a $50,000 settlement. Following the executive session Monday night the council authorized the $50,000 payment after considering the high cost of a protested case hearing in Austin plus attorneys fees for a specialized attorney to handle this type case it was the feeling of the council this was in the best interest of the city taxpayers.
In the public comment section of the meeting Pete Cunningham spoke to the council saying I am extremely concerned about the landfill–I feel it needs a liner-to protect the water and land for future generations. He asked the council to take a look at the cost of adding a liner–it was noted that on the type of landfill that the city is applying for, the state and federal laws does not require a liner.