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Colmesneil Council Considers New Fire Station

by Leann Monk

During the Colmesneil City Council meeting, Tuesday, March 13, Council heard from David Waxman, grant administrator from David Waxman, Inc., in Jasper. Waxman reported on the status of the proposed new Colmesneil fire station. He explained the fire station would be built with combined funds from Tyler County and the City of Colmesneil's Hurricane Ike Round Two Relief funds.

"Funding applications have been submitted," Waxman said. He then described the process that would take place in building the fire station. "First, after we are officially funded, we will get the interested parties to look at sites for the engineer to evaluate. Then we will turn it over to an environmental specialist." Councilman Charlie Branch asked if the fire station had to be built inside the city limits. "No. Not necessarily. You want to build the fire station centrally located to your response area, whether that is inside the city limits or not, is up to you all," Waxman said. Although Waxman has a contract with the State, he expressed his top priority was to please Colmesneil. "We want a first class project here," he said.

Waxman then discussed the need to replace deteriorated water lines in the city. According to a report he presented Council, the city is losing 20 percent of the water it is making due to poor water lines. That is one gallon lost for every five gallons pumped. Seven percent is typically considered an acceptable water loss. "This is something we really need to be looking at seriously," said Branch. Waxman told Council they had a couple of options on funding for the water lines project. One option would be to apply for a $275,000 grant that should be coming available in the next few months. Another option would be a bond. "We will no longer have the debt of the current bond after this year. We could look at another bond once this one is paid off," said City Secretary, Carrie Edwards. Waxman told Council to review the report he gave them and they would revisit the issue at the next council meeting.

Edwards then reported to Councilmembers the Annual Family Fun Day the City sponsors, which had been scheduled for May 19 has been cancelled. The event was cancelled due to a conflict with the Wings and Wheels Stunts Show which was also scheduled for that day. The stunt show is being held as a fundraiser for Colmesneil ISD and the Tyler County Art League. After a meeting with CISD Superintendent Stacy Ackely and Elementary Principal Yvette Carlton, it was decided the community could not support two large events and the Family Fun Day would be cancelled. Edwards told Council Family Fun Day would return next year.

Also addressed in the council meeting was a response to citizens' complaints to a street being paved recently. Barnes explained why Sutton Street in the city was chosen to be paved over other streets. "It was Round One Hurricane Ike Relief money that determined which streets were to be paved. We had $62,000 left over," Barnes said. "To get approved for the money, I had to show damage to the streets from hurricane clean-up efforts. Sutton Street was the only street that showed base failure and qualified." He went on to say, "Hickory Street has not been paved yet because it is tied up in another grant. If we paved it now, we would lose the grant money."

Also brought before Council was the need to correct a 911 addressing issue on Farm to Market Road 1745 North. "Currently numbering on the road inside the city limits is causing confusion," said Edwards. She went on to say, "According to DETCOG the City has two options, change the street numbers or change the street name." After some discussion, Branch made the motion to change the name of the portion of FM 1745 inside the city limits to Sturrock Drive. All of Council approved this motion.

In the upcoming events and Council comments section of the meeting, the Mayor told Council Congressman Kevin Brady's mobile office will be at City Hall on March 22 from 10 to 11 a.m. He urged everyone to attend this meeting.

The Colmesneil City Council meets the second Tuesday of each month. The next meeting will be April 10.

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