Levelland City Council Working to Obtain Property for New Fire Station

The council discussed forming the Levelland Animal Shelter Advisory Committee. The committee would be made up of a city representative, licensed Veterinarian, animal shelter employee and a representative from the Levelland Animal Friends group which is a local group that has helped greatly at our shelter. It was noted that in the near future the council will have to look at adding a full time employee to help out at the shelter. Levelland Police Chief Toney Cowan noted that the facility as a 98% adoption rate, thus they are not having to euthanize animals. It was noted they have 18 kennels and a cat room with 12 pens for cats. The recent ring worm infestation has cleared up. Chief Cowan thanked the Friends of the Levelland Animal Shelter for their help and noted that the group raises a large amount of money which pays for vaccinations and they also help to foster animals when needed. The volunteers also work hard to help get the animals adopted. Dr. John Dupree spoke and thanked City Manager Rick Osburn and Chief Toney Cowan for meeting with the volunteer group last week. He spoke concerning the 12 dogs that were euthanized due to the ring worm infestation. He asked Chief Cowan if after the 3 weeks does he still think there was another option. Cowan stated that after talking to volunteers and others, he said their was a slight possibility that the dogs could have been saved. Asst. Chief Tom McCain was asked if he had contacted the SPCAA or West Texas Humane Society, he declined to answer–which according to the open meetings act, staff and council members should not communicate with those speaking. Dupree, also said that he had spoke to the Mayor who recommended in the future they might look at housing infected dogs at the old animal shelter, Chief Cowan noted that the police K9 dogs are being housed their at night and they might be able to look at that in the future. Dupree did note that the shelter has gone from a place that euthanized dogs in a week to a shelter that helps find new homes for dogs and cats that are picked up. Councilmember Manuel Mendez spoke up and stated that he feels that the city representative for the committee should be a council member and he volunteered to serve on that committee. Council member Joe Bill Vardeman thanked the volunteer committee for all of their work to make the shelter sucessful. The council took no action to appoint a city representative to the committee.

The council approved the quarterly financial report.

The council took action to award a contract for the College Avenue Sewer Replacement project. You will recall the project was awarded in the summer, however, before construction could begin the contractor had issues and the project had to be cancelled. They had purchased some of the materials for the project so the city paid for the material and stored it until now. The city rebid the project and 4 bids were received this time. Engineers are recommending L.Howard Construction out of Abernathy for $240,788. It was noted that they were the 2nd lowest bid and engineers felt with the complexity of this job and the fact that the low bid was from a paving company out of Dallas and they had little experience in utility work engineers recommended L.Howard. The city has had L.Howard Construction do atleast 4 projects in the past. It was noted that the contract requires that the contractor place all traffic detours in place 1 week before any work starts. College Ave. Will have to be closed down for atleast 30 days for the work. TxDOT has approved the traffic control plan. After discussing the council approved awarding the contract to L.Howard Construction.

The council approved the appointment of Dallas Pena to the Planning and Zoning Commission to replace a member that moved out of the city limits.

The council took action to appoint Tushar Bhakta to the LEDC board. He will replace Steve Villanueva who had a change in responsibilities with his job and is not able to serve on the committee.

The council received an update on the Levelland Oxy Sport Complex. Turf has been established on the quadplex, press boxes erected, concessions and restrooms have been erected, bleachers are in place, light poles are all in place at the quadplex. Engineers say that work should be complete by February 2015 which is the completion date in the contract. The city is scheduling a ribbon cutting for the facility in April, 2015. Councilman Manuel Mendez pointed out he is concerned about lighting on Equalizer road, he said it is not bright enough. He also said he is concerned that off season when the facility is not being used, he is afraid that trucks will use it as a parking lot. City Manager Rick Osburn said that signage will be put in place and if necessary they will fence and lock the parking lot. It is not designed for truck traffic. It was also pointed out that the Soccor fields and some other areas will have turf planted and some landscaping will be done to have them ready by September when soccer begins.

Following a lengthy executive session, the city council resumed their open meeting. City Manager Rick Osburn noted that the council had discussed several property matters. The council then took action to authorize the City Manager to pursue obtaining the western 2/3 of the property where the former junior high was located. That property is currently owned by Hockley County, the city would like to have the property for a new fire station. The council also authorized the Levelland EDC to obtain a credit limit of up to $1 Million Dollars in order to bid on a piece of local property. The location of that property has not been disclosed as of yet.

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About KLVT News

News Director for KLVT AM 1230 in Levelland. We provide local and regional news updates 5 times a day on KLVT AM 1230 and online at www.klvtradio.com
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