City Council had a meeting last night, May 3rd to adress several issues within the community, as well as revisit certain pieces of last meeting. The first piece they went over was the restrictions due to COVID 19. in his review, Erik Rejino gave the good news that as of May 2nd there were only 33 regional hospitalizations, with the hospitalization rate dropping to 1.94%, well below the 15% threshold put forward by Gov.Abbott for increased restrictions.
Next, the city lease to farmer Joe Bob Wells was brought forward. The city has leased 19 acres of land to Joe Wells for farming purposes for the past 4 years. The original lease was a three year period, with two optional one year extensions, so this will be the last extension before a new lease must be considered. The motion was passed to extend the lease for Mr. Wells through Dec.21st of this year.
The question of park hours and curfew were brought up at the last City Council meeting, now the council was to vote on the set parameters. For the city parks, the problem was that vandalism and other illegal activity was increasing in these locations after dark. The Council hopes that by adding operating hours, it will give Levelland PD “more teeth” as far as enforcement and driving down crime. The proposed city park hours were to be 11pm-4am Sun-Thurs, and 12am-4am Fri&Sat. Exceptions would be made for certain sports events that tend to run late. The motion passed unanimously.
Next Curfew was re-addressed. The proposed hours are as follows: 11pm-6am Sun-Thurs,, and 12am-6am Fri&Sat. These rules would tend to people under the age of 16, and exceptions would only be made for certain circumstances such as an emergency or working a job.
In 2016 the City Council held a Strategic Planning Session to set in place a vision for the future of the community, and establish a set of guidelines to deliver it. The program was referred to as “Levelland 2026”, and as we are currently 5 years (or halfway) through the plan, a review was deemed necessary. 5 pillars were established to guide their vision: Housing expansion, Infrastructure improvement, Job Creation, Enhancing Community appearance, and Improving community education. Erik Rejino stated that a review would be useful as many City Council seats have changed, as well as department head positions. The Council then went into executive session to discuss when such a review would take place, and how to proceed with the rest of the plan.
Finally, the lease with Renegade Backhoe Services was brought forth. The City entered into this leasing agreement with Renegade in October of 2015, it expired on September 30, 2020, and the company desired to renew it for a term of 5 more years. The Council believed it would be in the city’s best interest if the lease was renewed.
The City Council will have 2 more meetings this week, one tonight and one on Thursday, May 6th. Tonight the Council will have a work session on recommendations from the Comprehensive Zoning Review Task Force, and review Zoning Ordinances. That meeting will be at 6pm in City Hall and is open to the public.
On Thursday, the Council will meet at noon to canvas the 2021 general elections and announce the results. In this meeting they will also be administering the oath of office to new councilmen, recognizing the service of Mayor Pro Temp Max Ledesma, as well as electing a new Mayor Pro Temp.