The Levelland City Council met for a regular meeting Monday night.
Pete Cunningham addressed the council during the public forum portion of the meeting. He is concerned about excessive waste in spending. He commented concerning sewer and water rates. He is concerned about the increase in water and sewer rates. He noted that with a sprinkler system he sees water bills in excess of $200. He understands the city has to operate. He asks the council to look at the 2017-2018 budget before it is approved and see what can be cut. It is important to note that the budget was approved at the last meeting following two public hearings.
The city approved budget amendments to the 2016-2017 budget. One of the big adjustments was for the roof replacement on various buildings. It was noted that the city’s property insurance will pay for the replacements however, their reimbursement will come in the next fiscal year. All of the items had been approved by council previously. The budget amendments passed on a split vote with Jim Myatt casting the dissenting vote while Max Ledesma, JoeBill Vardeman and Billy Youngblood voting in favor.
The Council also discussed the Chamber of Commerce contract. The contract amounted to the same amount of $185,700 to fund Hotel Occupancy Administration, Hotel Occupancy Chamber Activities, Event Marketing and Coordination and General Administrative Services as well as the Keep Levelland Beautiful program. It was noted that the city and chamber board of directors have agreed that the city’s auditor will do an annual financial review of the portion of the chamber program funded by the city. Councilman Jim Myatt asked why the city was paying for a financial review when there is a chamber board of directors. City Manager Rick Osburn said he feels “the city council has a fiduciary responsibility to the tax payers to perform the annual review.” He feels the chamber is doing a good job. JoeBill Vardeman made the motion to approve and it passed on a unanimous vote, however, Jim Myatt stated he is against the financial review saying, “I don’t agree with it at all.”
The council also approved the annual agreement with the Hockley County Senior Citizens Association to support the meals on wheels program. The contract is unchanged from last year.
The council also approved a contract with Cooperative Teamwork and Recycling Assistance which is a cooperative for marketing of recyclable materials from the city’s recycling facility.
The council approved an ordinance on the increase of water, wastewater and garbage rates on a second and final reading. The average bill will increase approximately $6 per month. It passed on a split vote with Jim Myatt casting the lone dissenting vote and Billy Youngblood, Max Ledesma and JoeBill Vardeman voting in favor.