By Alton Porter
The Crockett City Council approved the planned demolition of an asbestos-contaminated building it owns, located at 704 E. Goliad Ave., as part of a project in which another building next door owned by a private individual also will be torn down at a council meeting Monday, Feb. 5.
A motion to approve the asbestos abatement and demolition of the old Waller Building, 704 E. Goliad Ave., and the second structure located at 702 E. Goliad Ave. as part of the same project was offered by Precinct 1 Councilmember Butch Calvert and seconded by Precinct 3 Councilmember Ernest Jackson. It unanimously passed.
The cost of tearing down the buildings will be a little over $25,000, according to City Administrator John Angerstein.
After the matter was placed before the councilmembers by Mayor Pro Tem and Precinct 5 Councilmember Mike Marsh, who presided over the meeting in the absence of Mayor Joni Clonts, Angerstein told them, as part of the city's energy performance contract with Johnson Controls, some $75,000 was set aside in contingency funds for the council to use at will.
"There was enough savings within the performance contract that they (Johnson Controls) gave an additional $75,000 to use," he explained. "The mayor's wish initially, from what I've received back from council, was that it would be used toward demolishing the (old) hospital building (located across the street in front of City Hall) and the demolishing of the Waller Building.
"At this time, the hospital and this property are being advertised for receiving sealed bids. So, that will be saving all the money that was going to go toward the hospital."
Angerstein added, "We do still have the Waller Building, that's the green building across from (First United) Methodist Church and beside the (Crockett Public) Library. It is contaminated with asbestos. I do have a quote ... from a consultant ... (who has) surveyed the building. And their total fees were $11,925 (for demolishing that building alone).
"If we did it in conjunction with a neighboring property that also was recently purchased and they (owners of the 702 E. Goliad Ave. property) need to do an asbestos abatement on their property, the total cost together (for demolition of the 702 and 704 E. Goliad buildings) was $25,148 (if done as part of the same project)."
Angerstein said a savings of $2,400-plus would be realized by demolishing the two buildings as part of the same project because it would cost $27,573 to raze them separately. About $1,500 of the savings would be realized by the city and almost $1,000 by the private property owner as a result of tearing down the two buildings in a joint project, he said.
The city's 704 E. Goliad Ave. property could be converted to a parking lot for the library "or whatever the city wants," Angerstein said.
In other business, the councilmembers:
• Heard a brief report from Executive Director James Gentry of the Crockett Economic and Industrial Development Corporation (CEIDC), who noted he was informed Monday that the prospective owners of the planned Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram of Crockett auto dealership were meeting with Prosperity Bank loan officers with whom they've been negotiating seeking the 15 percent of financing of their proposed facility that isn't covered by the 85 percent of financing that was pre-approved by Chrysler Capital;
• Were reminded by Precinct 2 Councilmember Darrell Jones that a seat on the CEIDC Board of Directors left empty by Board Member Wade Thomas, whose term recently expired, remains vacant, even though the seat recently vacated by former CEIDC Board President Ansel Bradshaw was filled by Michael Brenner at the council's last meeting held Jan. 22;
• Passed, on a unanimous vote, a motion made by Jones—seconded by Jackson—to table, until research can be done, action on an offer made by Executive Director Jeannie Julian of the Crockett Area Chamber of Commerce on behalf of the chamber to donate Brewer Park, located on East Goliad Avenue near downtown, to the city;
• Unanimously voted to pass a motion made by Jones—seconded by Jackson—to accept a bid of $300 for tax trust property that had a tax judgment of $7,078 against it and was taken possession of by local government entities in a suit styled Houston County v. Clyde Randolph (No. 11-0016);
• All voted to pass a Jackson motion—seconded by Jones—approving a request by Executive Director Glenn Barnhart of Piney Wood Fine Arts Association on behalf of the association to close 3rd Street (Camp Street) between Goliad and Fannin Avenues from 5 p.m. until 11 p.m. Friday, Mar. 23, and that same street as well as Goliad Avenue between 2nd and 4th Streets from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. Saturday, Mar. 24, for an annual music and arts festival;
• Unanimously voted to pass a motion made by Calvert—seconded by Precinct 4 Councilmember Rita Rodriguez—authorizing Angerstein to execute a sale-purchase agreement and to purchase a good-condition 1990 Ford dump truck for $6,000 from Houston County Precinct 2, represented by Commissioner Willie Kitchen;
• Passed, on a unanimous vote, a motion offered by Jackson—seconded by Calvert—approving a list of surplus items that no longer serve any useful purpose for the city to be listed on Rene' Bates Auctioneers, Inc.'s, online auctioneering service or to be scrapped or destroyed; and
• Were all in agreement on another motion made by Jackson—seconded by Calvert—agreeing to purchase outright self-contained breathing equipment which was previously approved as a capital expense for the Crockett Fire Department at a savings of $20,000.