At the beginning of the City Council meeting the council was part of a special presentation. City Secretary Beth Walls said several weeks ago she received a message that the very first Levelland Fire Chief badge was for sale on E-Bay. The first fire chief was WB Blakenship which also was the original owner of the Wallace Theater. He was appointed chief in 1927 the same year the first fire truck and first fire station was built. The city secretary immediately began a fund raising effort to try and buy the badge to prominently place in the new fire station. After raising some money, the city manager then gave approval to purchase the badge. When they went back on E-Bay the badge was gone. Over Labor Day Weekend the mystery was solved. Walls was out of town and when she returned a “package” was on her desk. When she opened the package it was the badge which she found out was purchased by a Levelland business owner, Richard Harvey who owns HIS Turbines and is the operator of the Levelland Airport. He purchased the badge and donated it to the city. The badge was presented last night to the Mayor and Levelland Fire Chief Bill Durham and will be prominently displayed in the new fire station.
David Corder was introduced as the new Emergency Management Coordinator for the City of Levelland. Corder is a previous police officer for the City back in the late 80’s and early 90’s and then served time in the Middle East during a conflict and for the past 15 years has been the regional emergency management coordinator through the South Plains Association of Government.
The council held a public hearing on the Texas Department of Agriculture Disaster Relief Fund. Following the public hearing the council approved a resolution to authorize submission of the grant application. The grant is being applied for as an urgent need based on the winter blizzard and the Presidential and Governor’s declaration of a disaster. The grant is in the amount of $50,000 to $350,000 and there is not a match requirement. The applications will be accepted through October 3. The city has already received a $330,000 grant from FEMA for seal coating from the disastor. This grant would be used to pay the $110,000 local match required for the FEMA grant plus administration costs for a total of a $120,000 grant.
The city council also approved the annual services agreement for the Chamber of Commerce. It was noted that there are some significant changes including the removal of the Main Street program from the chamber and moved to the city. It does include the additional money for for the events coordinator and Keep Levelland Beautiful program. The agreement includes $20,000 as an administration fee for motel occupancy tax administration. The chamber will provide interested parties with information, forms and guidelines regarding the Motel Occupancy Tax Fund. The agreement also includes a $15,000 payment to the Chamber for General Administration expenses to assist the chamber in providing the staff and services to perform its functions of developing the Levelland economy and promoting Levelland. The agreement also includes a $5,833 payment each month from the Motel Occupancy Tax Fund for Event Marketing and Coordination. The final part of the agreement includes $4,166 per month paid to the Chamber to operate the Keep Levelland Beautiful program. The Chamber of Commerce will provide quarterly reports to the city of Levelland regarding the programs and activities contained in this agreement. The city’s auditor also reserves the right to view the accounting records of the chamber in relation to these funds with a 24 hour notice to the Chamber. The agreement runs from October 1-September 30, 2017.
The council also approved the $24,000 agreement with the Hockley County Senior Citizens Association to support the Meals on Wheels program. This agreement is renewed annually by the city council. There was no change in the agreement from last year.
The council also took action to make necessary amendments to the 2015-2016 budget. The adjustments were for various items through the year which have all been approved by the council.
The council also provided their endorsement on the updated city personnel policies.