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Chester stops gas theft

By Michael G. Maness

Chester City Council members appointed Jeannie Johnson to fill a vacant seat Monday, April 2.

With councilman Hoke Hart on speakerphone, Petri's appointment of Jeannie Johnson to the council was approved unanimously.

After briskly approving the minutes to prior council meeting and the financial statements from the city and Chester Gas Company, the council tabled a resolution for Child Abuse Prevention after the resolution and its representative did not appear.

Petri committed to helping Councilwoman Gale Williams get onto the city computer for access to the Incident Command System.

After hearing a report on delinquent gas accounts, city staff was directed to interrupt service for those who are 61-plus days in arrears.

The parking lot at the city park seems to be in good order, after six loads of rock were spread. Petri received a complaint about swings at the park for the littlest ones, and Williams moved that two new ones be purchased. The council will be ordering new chains and slip-covers for the chains.

City Secretary Annette Hickman noted that a tournament had been scheduled, eliciting a joyful response. One noted the crawfish domes around the field which caused Petri to pipe vigorously that Director of Public Works Dale Clamon was "killing them." Williams quipped, "Yes, for about a year."

Because Johnson's husband had done previous work on the city park, Petri asked if she would oversee the city park's continued refurbishment, and she gladly accepted.

Lastly, but not least, an informer has allowed the city and Sam Houston Electric Coop to spot a thief who had tapped utility lines for several years undetected.

Petri was told Sam Houston will be pressing charges.

The mayor passed out photos of the creative flower bed that had obscured apparatus linked to the gas line and the new lock now securing it. The council debated several options, including criminal charges. On a motion from Johnson, the council voted unanimously to allow the customer to request a new, proper connection at regular prices.