The Levelland City Council held a regular meeting Monday night. One of the most talked about items was an ordinance which would have restricted parking of trucks and trailers as well as other large vehicles on city streets. After a public hearing with several comments from citizens in opposition the council voted unanimously to table action and instructed the city attorney and city manager to come back with a different option.
The full report from the meeting is below…..
The council took action to elect District A candidate Jim Myatt and District C candidate Manuel Mendez elected and cancelled the election. Council member Manuel Mendez decided not to seek re-election. New council members will take office at the first meeting after May 7.
The council also discussed the ordinance for parking of large vehicles and trucks and trailers parking in the street. Some of the minor changes made since first reading is that a point was made to provide for vehicles of service providers providing service to a property they can park in the street near the curb.
Brett Paxton addressed the council in the public hearing concerning construction vehicles having to park in the street and the portable moving containers are sometimes having to park near the curb. He would like to possibly see a permit being required. Allen Vinyard also spoke concerning service vehicles and etc. parking near the curb. The city amended that part of the ordinance and addressed it. Glen Burton also spoke concerning the definition of a truck. He says the pickup and suburbans are considered a truck. It was pointed out pickups and suburbans are not considered a truck by the ordinance. He also asked if he could park a utility trailer on the grass next to his house. He said several residents in town have trailers that need to be parked, “it looks like we are doing a favor for storage facilities for trailers.” Keith Paxton would like to have a exemption for light trucks such as box vans or box trucks. He also would like more specifics on construction equipment being spelled out in ordinance. He also had a question about a truck “standing”–what that was exactly. He feels the ordinance needs more definitions. He also noted that dually pickups may be over the weight listed in the ordinance and he feels they should be exempt. He also wondered about construction trailers being on site.
Rosario Rotramel also spoke concerning her husbands truck being parked in front of their house on Willowood. She wants to know where they can park the truck. Mayor Barbra Pinner said it is the business owner’s responsibility to find a secure location. She noted their are numerous complaints that have come in concerning trucks in that area. Manuel Mendez said this was his concern to start with on the ordinance. He questioned is it the city’s responsibility to have the trucks moved. Rotramel commented that her husband could be home for a maximum of 5 days. Max Ledesma pointed out that some items brought out tonight have made valid points that we will likely have to table action on the ordinance. A resident on Oak street also spoke concerning the parking of their agriculture truck in the off season in front of the house. She did note that they own a lot next to their house and council members also pointed out their is not an ordinance against it being parked next to the house. Richard Ellis also spoke. He said I understand that trucks are a way of life and I commend the council for hosting the public hearing. He also said residential neighborhoods must remain residential and business zones remain business zones. It is unfair to bring a business into someone else’s neighborhood.
Manuel Mendez said we need to table this issue until more research can be done. He also questioned who can enforce. City Attorney Matt Wade said any department designated by the City Manager can enforce code. He said that Police Department or Code Enforcement officers could. Mendez said the ordinance needs tabled until some tweaking can be done to the ordinance. Billy Youngblood made the motion to table the ordinance until attorneys can come up with other options.
Senior Class for 2017 has requested a variance to the hours of the Oxy Sports Complex for a midnight madness softball tournament which would run all night on June 3-5 . They are planning to have 32-40 teams. City administration has said that the city will have a staff person on site the entire time it is open. The event will be held from 7pm Friday night to 7am Saturday and again 7pm Saturday until 7am Sunday. It was also noted that the group will pay full rental fees for the facility. The council approved the request with little discussion.
The council also authorized the city applying for a grant application through the Criminal Justice Division of the Office of the Governor. Earlier in the year the US Department of Justice allocated funding to all states to support a onetime funding program for departments to purchase body cameras for front-line officers. The department already participated in a preliminary program and has been tentatively approved for 20 cameras including memory storage at a cost of $14,250 and the city will match with 25% or $2,850.
The council also approved Lisa Hanna, Ray Roberson, Debra Franklin, Bill Shakespeare and Stanley Durham to a 2 year term on the Housing Authority Board for the City of Levelland.
The council discussed bids for various street improvements. It was noted that 2 bids were received, however, they were both over budget. City Staff made the recommendation to re-bid the project to include a large portion of the project being done by city staff with the new road grader the city recently acquired. The council approved rebidding the project.
The council also took action on a Hotel Occupancy Tax funds request for Ranch Cowgirls Rodeo Association. The request was approved for the base $5,000 plus $100 per room night to a total maximum of $10,000. The event will be held in September 2016. The event has been held in New Mexico previously and they are looking to permenently move the event to the Mallet Event Center.