by Leann Monk
At a recent Woodville City Council meeting, Council was petitioned by Kendall Coleman and Kendrick Beaty requesting a variance to the current city ordinance that restricts the use of amplified music within the city limits. The two men are organizers of the 2nd Annual Zydeco Showdown/Campout during Western Weekend.
According to City Administrator Mandy Risinger, a request was brought before Council last year to hold a Zydeco Dance at the old football field property that is now owned by the Sinclair Center on the Saturday night after the rodeo. Last year, the group asked for a variance to the ordinance until midnight and Council agreed to grant the variance until 10 p.m. After reading the proposal from the two men, Council determined that there were substantially more activities planned that would draw a much larger crowd than last year. In addition to concerns about the noise, Council had some issues about parking, crowd control, security and the safety of the participants. They were also concerned about the local residents at a site that is located primarily in a residential area. They voted to table the item until their next meeting when someone from the group could be present to address these concerns.
Next up for discussion and action on the Council's agenda was the transfer of property located on North Nellius Street to the Magnolia Cemetery.
"This property was the site for the original local water system. It was acquired by the City from the Mann family in the early 1930's," Risinger said. With the City having no foreseeable plan or use for the property, Council voted unanimously to transfer the property to the Magnolia Cemetery Association.
Council then discussed street vendors/peddlers. Currently the City has a permit process in place to regulate door-to-door sales and street vendors/peddlers. Council voted unanimously to amend this ordinance by adding definitions clarifying what a vendor is and the different types of vendors. The amended ordinance also explains that it is unlawful for a peddler to engage business within a public way within the city; however, the new language allows for exemptions to vendors such as farmers and ice cream trucks. The ordinance verbiage changed in several other ways as well. If you are interested in reading the whole law, you can obtain a copy from the City office.
According to Risinger, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality funds a Regional Solid Waste Grant through DETCOG. During the meeting, Council authorized her to apply for the grant. The City plans to apply for the funds to purchase a recycle trailer. DETCOG has a total of $48,000 to fund such grants and will fund three applications not to exceed $16,000 each.
Following formal business, the City Administrator gave her monthly report. "The annual Citywide Clean-up will be March 5 through March 16," Risinger said. She also informed Council members of updates on the recycle program. "The recycle program has been implemented and a routine established. The trailer is currently available from Tuesday-Thursday each week," she explained.
Earlier in the meeting the Council authorized Risinger to apply for a grant to obtain a trailer belonging to the city. "The City has engaged an engineer to assess the natural gas system and to design the project to provide services to the German Pellets plant. In addition to the work specific to this project, Jim Rogers will be conducting a complete assessment of the city's system and coordinate with ETEC and the Industrial Park to anticipate and pre-plan for additional projects,"Risinger said.
After the City Administrator's report, Council then read the Fire Department report. The Fire Department reports it has submitted all the necessary paperwork to a CPA to complete obtaining a non-profit status with the IRS. Also in the report, the Fire Department has learned that the unincorporated areas of the city were not rated for fire protection. The County contacted ISO (insurance service office) to initiate the rating process and as a result the City was rerated in an effort to extend its rating to those in the ETJ (extended territorial jurisdiction) that would qualify. A survey of the fire department, water system and equipment was conducted in January. The City Administrator, with the assistance of the fire department officers worked to complete the survey that was left, and all of the information available has been submitted to the analyst. This is a lengthy process and it will be some time before the results are returned.
The Woodville City Council meets on the second Monday of each month. The next meeting will be March 12 at the City Office.