Golf association seeks treated water for course

Council Chambers was filled to the brim again Tuesday night as an overwhelming group of individuals showed up to support the request for the City of Brady to pursue various uses for treated water. With all of the seats filled and a crowd standing outside, Mayor Clarence Friar moved the item for which most of the crowd was there to hear to the first discussion item on the list. Ray Hawkins, president of the Heart of Texas Golf Association, addressed the council to garner support for an active plan to use the treated water from the sewer plant at Richards Park, the golf course and Rest Haven Cemetery to water each of the three facilities. A topic that has been mulled before by the Council and various interest groups, the issue brought to the council Tuesday was designed to show the Council that there was a significant level of interest to support the plan. In his statements to the Council, Hawkins explained that based upon the potential benefits to the community as a whole, establishing a “gray water” reclamation program would benefit many more citizens than previously believed. “Our golf association has only a couple of hundred members, but there are over 900 kids who participate each year in youth sports at the baseball and soccer fields,” explained Hawkins. “For each of those kids, there are a lot of parents, grandparents and friends who come to watch. And let’s not forget that the single biggest event in Brady, the Goat Cook-Off, is also held at the park as well.” In closing his speech, Hawkins read a letter from Curtis Owens on behalf of the Brady Youth Sports Association voicing the organi-zation’s desire and reasons for supporting the potential plan. The letter stated safety reasons as well as aesthetic reasons in support of the plan. “We see this ‘gray water’ plan as a possible long-term investment for the city,” said Haw-kins. “I believe it would be in the City’s best interest to take a positive stand on this issue and perform a feasibility study and look into possible ways to finance such a venture.” Following the speech, Councilman Donald Barley expressed his desire that the Council pursue this issue by looking into the possible costs and the actual feasibility of the proposed changes, but no official plan of action was discussed. The second issue addressed during the meeting involved accepting a bid for a new fire truck for the City of Brady. Late developments in the final details of the issue resulted in City Manager Gary Broz reverting to the original proposal submitted to the City several months ago by Chief Jonathan Weidemann. That proposal was to purchase a truck from a standing bid list with the Houston/Galveston Area Council of Governments. According to Chief Weidemann, after the most recent bids were opened and reviewed, he had recommended the City accept the bid from Siddons Fire Apparatus for a new Pierce engine equipped with approximately $20,000 in tools and equipment. The total package for the new fire truck would run approximately $163,000. According to both Broz and Weidemann, the truck through HGAC is the exact truck with the same specifications as requested by the Brady Fire Department personnel and will actually come from Siddons. Just prior to Tuesday’s meeting, Broz approached Weidemann and stated that upon further investigation, he felt that the City would be best served by purchasing the truck through HGAC. “The truck through HGAC on which the specifications were shown to me is the exact same thing as we were going to get from Siddons,” said Weidemann. “Right now we have to have a preconstruction meeting with the company who is building the unit and sign-off on all the specs and sign a contract. From there, we could possibly see a new truck here in Brady sometime in the next 60-120 days.” The Council approved the action item unanimously. H In a lengthy list of ordinances, several requests for water service outside the city limits were passed on first, second and third readings. In a related issue that came in the closing minutes of the meeting, Darrel Keese addressed the Council to dispel rumors that water service to The Meadows subdivision was done inappropriately. In an attempt to end the rumors, he brought to the meeting the actual contract, cancelled checks and any and all necessary documentation that proved that he had paid for all appropriate charges to receive water to the subdivision. Other ordinances that were addressed included a lengthy speech by Scott Garner of D&S Towing regarding his disapproval with the wording and content of an ordinance regulating nonconsentual towing in Brady. Tommy Beard of Heart of Texas Towing also addressed the Council with some concerns about the way in which the topic was being handled. After hearing from Garner, Beard and also Brady Police Chief John Stewart, the Council voted to table the ordinance pending revision of the ordinace that would satisfy all state and local laws and clarify any questions. The third reading of an ordinance authorizing capital expenditures for the fire truck was approved as was the second reading of an ordinance regulating alcohol use at the G. Rollie White Complex during youth functions. The last ordinance discussed on the evening approved the first step of a contract with City Public Services of San Antonio to provide electricity for the City of Brady beginning in 2002. The details of the ordinance were not revealed. H In action items, the Council approved a boat dock transfer, granted a paving request by the city manager to pave the alleys after recent construction, approved new signatures on bank accounts and accepted the formal resignation of the city manager. Immediately following the acceptance of Broz’s resignation, it was voted upon that Merle Taylor be appointed as interim city manager. Taylor was asked in open meeting if he would take the job and after agreeing, he was voted in by the Council 3-1 with Councilman Jesse McAnally opposing. “I am against this because having been in this exact situation before, it is possible that the interim would feel his job would be threatened by the incoming manager,” McAnally explained. In other business conducted in the closing minutes of the two-hour long meeting, Joe Remini addressed the Council with a request of support of a new program that is coming to Brady. Remini has been hired by Lockheed-Martin to be the center director for a workforce commission that will serve McCulloch and several surrounding counties. His request was for the City to show its support by simply agreeing to mail out 400 surveys to local businesses on two separate occasions. The workforce commission will provide McCulloch, Mason and San Saba Counties with a service that will help train displaced workers and provide valuable services to both employers and those seeking jobs in the area. Since the item was an informal discussion and not an action item, the Council took no formal action but did state that it could accommodate the mailings to show support for the proposed program.

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