Levelland City Council held a regular meeting on Monday. The details of that meeting are below…..
The council held a public hearing on a zone change from SF-1 to Multi-3 for a tract of land on South Alamo. The Planning and Zoning Board has approved the change. Representatives from Rose Meadow Apartments was present. They are planning on building 48 garden style apartments on the 4 acres of land. This group is the same owner of the Deer Creek Apartment on MLK drive and East Ellis, this will be almost an identical duplicate of that property and will managed by the same management group and will be held to the same high standards as their current property. There was no comment from the public.
Following the public hearing the council approved the zone change effective immediately.
The council also accepted a bid of $244,430 to purchase a new large brush truck for the fire department with a 1200 gallon tank on 4 wheel drive chassis. The truck will use a diesel pump which is expected to be more durable than current gasoline pumps. It also will have several other amenities to help further the safety of our firefighters. The truck will replace the small 300 gallon brush truck which will be used to pull the haz mat trailer and regional rescue trailer. The truck will be built by Daco equipment in Lubbock and is expected to take 8-9 months to complete.
The city council also looked at the possibility of applying for a grant to add on to the city recycling building located at the transfer station as the center is currently taking in over 50,000 Tons of recyclables which is up from 32,000 Tons the first year. The center is a public service and also saves that much from going in to the landfill. The mayor questioned how much the recycling generates versos the cost of operation. It was pointed out that it is a public service and really is meant to be a money generator. It was also pointed out that in order for the city to obtain the landfill permit the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality required that the city have the recycling center. The mayor said we should be able to make money or stop the recycling, stating this is costing the city a lot of money and not generating enough to pay for it. He said the recyclable material can go straight to the landfill. He said there was no need to apply for the grant. Brett Paxton spoke saying that he uses the recycling center with his construction business and even uses it with his real estate office. He said the numbers are indicating that more people are using it. I realize it is an expense to deal with but I feel we need to remember that generations down will be dealing with this if it is not recycled. The mayor said, if we don’t spend the taxpayer money on the project, the city will have more of an asset than they would with the recycling center. He said their are places in Levelland that will take the batteries and aluminum cans. The reason you recycle is to be environmentally responsible. The mayor stated he was for saving the environment but stated that the items going to the recycling center are not hurting the environment. Joe Bill Vardeman stated that the plastics being recycled is hurting the environment, he stated that he uses the recycling center. It was pointed out 4 years ago when the recycling center was started a group of 5th graders from Levelland ISD feeled the council chambers discussing projects they had done and made a formal request for a recycling program. The question was asked when a mandate would be made by the state. The mayor stated when we are required by state law then we can do it. “I want to go on record to say this is a big waste of taxpayer money and I am against it.” It was pointed the life of a plastic bottle is 700 years and cardboard lasts 200 years. Larry Davidson pointed out that we are approving submitting a grant application, to which the mayor stated it is not necessary to apply for a grant because we don’t need the program. He went on to say “It will benefit people in the long term to continue recycling–adding that it will save the consumer money in the future.” Mayor Waymon Jackson said I realize that recycling is environmentally correct but it is a big waste of money.” A citizen asked the question, you are spending 2 million dollars on a landfill, if you take all of the tons that are being recycled and put it in the new landfill in just a few years it will be full and you will spend another 2 million dollars to build yet another landfill. The grant would pay for an expansion of the current facility and would also fund building a new oil recycling building and tank. The city would pay half of the cost as the matching portion of the grant and would be out approximately 21,000 dollars. The regional association of government would fund the other $21,000.
The motion was made to approve the grant application to be submitted and agreeing to supply the matching portion of funds by Joe Bill Vardeman and seconded by Larry Davidson and approved on a unanimous vote.
The council also approved an ordinance concerning the residence and activities of persons having been convicted of sexual offenses against minors. City Attorney Richard Husen stated that the request had been made that the city pass an ordinance concerning residences of those convicted of sexual offenses against minors. The ordinance basically states that at such time as a sexual offender is no longer under the direct jurisdiction of either the District Court or Board of Pardons and Paroles, they are only under a requirement to register, however, city is wanting to pass an ordinance requiring that the reporting requirement they were under and could not live within a Child Safety Zone and would be under the jurisdiction and full authority of the Police Chief to enforce this ordinance.
The council also approved an ordinance allowing employees who had previously terminated a previous membership with the Texas Municipal Retirement System would be able to buy back that time up to 24 months of credited service.
The council also approved the annual report for Tax Increment Financing Zone Number 1 and 2 which was approved by the TIF board at a noon meeting on Monday.