By Alton Porter
Crockett city leaders have agreed to take on debt that would help the city pay for proposed improvements in the city's water service.
At a city council meeting Monday, Oct. 2, the four councilmembers present unanimously voted to approve "a resolution of the City of Crockett authorizing and providing" for the city to incur debt "for the purpose of (covering) a portion of the cost of acquiring, constructing, enlarging, improving and/or extending its water service." Precinct 5 Councilmember Mike Marsh was absent.
Precinct 3 Councilmember Ernest Jackson offered the motion to adopt the resolution and Precinct 4 Councilmember Rita Rodriguez seconded the motion.
City Administrator John Angerstein said the resolution permits city staffers to obtain a $3.127 million loan to fund upgrading the city's water system. It allows city staff members "to move forward to secure the funding for our USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development) water improvement project," Angerstein said.
"We had a kickoff meeting, and Mrs. Monica Pierre (a USDA Rural Development area director) was there and she might have a little bit of an update for us. But then, after that, (you will be asked) to allow us to move forward and get a bond to secure the money...."
In a presentation to the councilmembers, Pierre said, "We're really excited that we have moved forward, and I want to bring council and the city up to date as to where we are. We have obligated the funds for the water improvement project.
"And those improvements include refurbishing two elevated storage tanks—that's our two big white storage tanks here in town—taking down the old steel (ground) storage tank located on College Hill and putting up a new one.
"So, we're going to have three clean glasses of water. Where our water is all stored, they'll be all fresh. We're also getting new water meters. So that way, we are truly calculating how much water is used and how it's being paid, so we can ensure that we have true water revenue being calculated for the city. That's a really good first step."
Pierre added, "We've met with the engineers, and (Precinct 1) Councilmember (Butch) Calvert was there, (along with) our mayor (Joni Clonts) and our city administrator. And where we are now is we are working the plans, the specifications and the contract (provisions). So, that way, we'll know exactly how it (the project) is going to be done, how it's going to be constructed, all of the ins and outs ... and for that to be reviewed.
"Then, it (the loan application) will go to the USDA for approval. And then, we'll have a sealed bid process. So, they will advertise for bids and have different people bid on the job so that it's fair. And the council will make a determination as to which company will get the job to get those contracts done."
Pierre commended Angerstein for being a "very good city administrator," who is fair, thorough and who does his research. "He is definitely someone who is going the extra mile for the city," she said.
In other business, the councilmembers:
• Unanimously voted to elect as new Crockett police officers Frank McIntyre, who grew up in Pennsylvania and now resides in Madisonville with his wife Jean and seven-year-son Mason; and Takevius "T.K." Carmon who grew up in North Carolina and served two combat tours of duty in Iraq as a soldier in the U.S. Army, both of whom (McIntyre and Carmon) will graduate from the East Texas Police Academy in Palestine at the end of this year;
• Approved on a unanimous vote a motion made by Jackson—seconded by Precinct 1 Councilmember Butch Calvert—approving a request by Alexander Montoya and others of Local Bike Racing to move forward with plans to hold the organization's third event, a Davy Crockett Classic Bike Race, in the city Feb. 10-11, 2018;
• All cast an affirmative vote to pass a Calvert motion—seconded by Jackson—to appoint Ray Stanfield, nominated by Clonts, to a two-year term on the city's Parks and Recreation Board, replacing Scott McCall, who resigned; and
• Unanimously voted to pass a Rodriguez motion—seconded by Jackson—approving Clonts' appointment of Calvert to serve as the council's representative on the board of directors of the Deep East Texas Council of Governments (DETCOG).