Levelland City Council Holds Regular Meeting–New Mayor takes office

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The Levelland City Council met last night in a regular meeting.  The first official action of the meeting was to administer the oath of office to newly elected Mayor Barbra Pinner and re-elected council members Max Ledesma and Joe Bill Vardeman.

The report for the rest of the meeting is below……

The council certified the election results from the May 9 election and administered the oath of office to Joe Bill Vardeman, who was re-elected as council member for District D and to Barbra Pinner who was elected Mayor.

The council also took action to name Mayor Barbra Pinner as the official signatory for all official purposes.

The council also looked at the Ridgecrest Alley Drainage Improvement project.  This is the same project the council has looked at for several months.  An engineer from Parkhill Smith and Cooper was present and discussed the options.  It was noted that in recent rains engineers were in town and looked at the issue and discussed their findings which indicated some of the problem is not Hickory street as was thought originally by some.  They looked at surface draining north to Cactus drive.  It was said that Cactus Drive is at a higher elevathion than the low point in the alley and without lowereing the drain at Cactus at a substantial cost that option is not possible.  Another option was to install a gavity storm sewer system and pave the alley and install a 15″ storm sewer pipe.  This option would impact and block many residents drives and the entire alley while the project is being done and would have a cost of almost $1 Million dollars.  This is not a cost effective option and is not recommended.  The option being considered the most, is option 4 which maintains current drainage patterns.  The overall cost would be $80,000-$100,000 compared to the $660,000 to $720,000.  Council member Manuel Mendez asked the question that instead of paving the alley could we do caliche like most other alleys in town.  “I am not in favor of spending $100,000 to concrete the alley since this problem was mostly caused by the builder when the area was developed, said Mendez.”  It was noted that option 4 will also create a channel to channel the water to Hickory.  Water on Hickory will drain to west to Alamo and then turns north and runs into the drainage culvert.  This plan will not change any drainage plan that is already in place.  A homeowner in the area asked the engineer to give their best option on what one they recommend and they said option 4 because it is the most feasible and cost effective.  After little discussion a motion was made and passed 3 in favor and 1 against (Manuel Mendez cast the dissenting vote)

The interim director for the Levelland EDC Eric Rejino was present and made a request on behalf of the EDC board for a temporary line of credit for infrastructure improvements on the North side of the Rail Park.  It was noted that the overall project will be paid for with sales tax bonds totaling $1.4 Million dollars.  The line of credit will allow work to begin immediately so that work on the new rail spur can be completed by October 1 for new tenant Penny Newman Grain Inc. so that they can begin operation October 1.  The line of credit will be paid back to the city immediately upon funding of the sales tax bonds.  The EDC will use $250,000 of their funds to start the work.  It was pointed out that the line of credit will only be used as a last resort.  It was also pointed out that WTL Railway has said they will go to 24/7 operation to service the clients and will also likely be hiring an additional crew.  The bonds will be Levelland EDC debt but will be approved by the city council in a joint meeting with the Levelland EDC Board in approximately 2 weeks.  A motion was made by Joe Bill Vardeman and passed unanimously with little discussion.

The council also approved the quarterly investment report as presented by the City Finance Director.

The council also took action to reappoint Elgin Conner and Sham Myatt to the Levelland EDC Board.  They both have served 1 three year term and have agreed to another term.

They also accepted Stanley Durham to continue for another term on the Levelland Housing Authority Board.

They also took action to appoint Anthony Padilla to fill a vacant position on the Levelland Planning and Zoning Commission.

They also approved appointing Michael Wiiest, Frankie Ruiz and Kelly Read to another 2 year term on the Levelland Community Development Corporation Board of Directors.

They also approved appointing Sham Myatt and Todd Paxton to serve another term on the Tax Increment Financing Zone # 1 and appointing Sham Myatt to an additional 2 year term on the Tax Increment Financing Zone #2.

About Drew Dunn

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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