City okays pact; remanded to state for final acceptance

The inter-jurisdictional mutual aid agreement between the City of Brady and McCulloch County was approved Wednesday morning, but not before the City Council requested that an addenda with several changes be included. As the first addendum, they requested that the coordinating agencies, being the City of Brady and McCulloch County, will communicate with the City Manager on all City of Brady departments. Addendum 2 suggests that the coordination of mutual aid responses to disasters and civil emergencies that affect more than one party shall be headquartered at the City of Brady’s Public Service Building, which will be the site of the Emergency Operations Center. As the third addendum, any equipment or supplies purchased by a party to this agreement with grant funds or inter-agency transfers shall remain the property of the party that secured the funds or made the purchase, unless otherwise agreed in writing. Nothing in this agreement shall be construed to convey the equipment of one party to another party. In the final change, Addendum 4, the Council asked that the City Manager be the primary contact for the City. Requests for assistance or specific actions by Brady personnel shall first be submitted to the City Manager. The City Council voted unanimously to authorize Mayor Clarence Friar to enter into the inter-jurisdictional mutual agreement with McCulloch County based on the addendum and its recommended changes. Both the mutual aid agreement and the addendum were signed and dated, Wednesday, March 5. Under the emergency management plan, each party shall prepare and keep current an emergency management plan for its jurisdiction to provide for emergency/disaster mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery, in accordance with Chapter 418 of the Texas Government Code. The emergency management plan shall incorporate the use of available resources, including personnel, equipment and supplies necessary to provide mutual aid. The mutual aid agreement shall be activated in the event of either a declaration of a local state of disaster by a party pursuant to Chapter 418 of the Texas Government Code or by the finding of a state of civil emergency by the presiding officer of the governing body of a party. Emergency Management Coordinator and McCulloch County Judge Randy Young commented on the City Council’s approval of the plan and the addenda. “I am disappointed that the City is not willing to participate with the rest of the entities in such an important issue,” he said. “I will contact the Attorney General’s office and see whether they want us to accept it (the addenda) or if it is acceptable to their office. We’re not trying to step on toes, but we have a job to do in the event of an emergency, and we have to have everyone equipped and ready to go. “I hate that we can’t plan and do this together. I think it’s just a matter of a turf battle. We (the County) will have our ducks in a row and I ‘m sure they (the City) will too, and maybe we can make it all work out.” Young explained that the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) understands that they need to be able to have a plan to coordinate with all states. In turn, state governments have to contract with subregions (each Council of Government in their state). Each COG has to have an agreement with their state. “The Council of Governments have to deal with all counties within their jurisdiction,” said Young. “The City of Brady, City of Melvin, the fire department and EMS department all have a number of mutual aid agreements with surrounding counties, but they’re not all the same. In recognizing that, the state said it would prepare an agreement that will work across the board.” In the City Manager’s report, Merle Taylor provided those in attendance with an overview of the past two year’s litigation expenses. For fiscal year 2001-2002, the City of Brady paid $15,778.46 for the cost of litigation with Joe D. Sanchez, and in fiscal year 2002-2003, $15,981.19 was paid for litigation expenses. Overall, the litigation between the City of Brady and Sanchez cost taxpayers $31,759.65. In another suit, the City has paid $10,582.35 for litigation with Winters Property, WTP to run water lines from the water treatment plant at Brady Lake through the said property and into Brady. According to Taylor, the litigation concerns approximately 12 acres of land, and the pipes would be buried underground and not interfere with surface land. The City of Brady has also spent $11,722.13 in litigation with Huffman Estate for land adjoining Curtis Field Airport. Taylor stated that the litigation is over approximately five acres of land that are required for a runway extension. The remaining 15 acres of land owned by the individuals can still be easily accessed for farming or ranching; however, Taylor mentioned that no large construction can occur on the property that might obstruct the path of aircraft landing or taking off from Curtis Field. In addition to those expenses, Taylor reported that $7,476.72 of taxpayer money has been allocated to open records review. In his report, 142 request were documented for fiscal year 2001-2002 as well as 66 for 2002-2003; however, as of late Wednesday afternoon, the current year’s request jumped to 70 with four more requests submitted after the regular business meeting. “This money could be put to better use,” said Taylor. “It’s a shame that we have to spend this money (taxpayer’s money) to protect ourselves.” Other items addressed in his report, Taylor mentioned that the 21st Cavalry from Fort Hood is in town and at Curtis Field and that the Senior Citizen Center was recently awarded the “Outstanding Senior Center” award for the 13 counties served by the Concho Valley Council of Governments. Three ordinances were approved on their third and final readings: the first for rezoning Block 42, Martin Heights Addition from Type H’Mobile Home District to Type E’Central Business District as requested by Ronnie McBee for the purpose of placing a storage room facility on the property; the second for establishing policies and procedures for utility service; and the third to amend the fiscal year budget for 2002-2003. As a new ordinance, the City Council voted to approve the first ordinance reading of an ordinance authorizing water service outside the City Limits as requested by Steve Hendley. The property in need of water service is located at Country Estates and is currently served by a two-inch meter (installed in 1970) that is served off of a two-inch line. “We have more connections than we need on that two-inch line,” said Rufus Beam with the City of Brady water department. “We’re maxed out on that line. Just to add one more we would need to do away with the two inch that is serving them now.” According to Beam, the City did an upgrade in the northeast side of town in 1999 and “There is plenty of water coming out in that particular line (which runs through the cemetery).” The property owner is anticipating approximately 2,000 feet of water line, and no costs will be affixed to the City. Ranging from $14-$16 per foot, Hendley is planning to use two-inch line for the process, according to Taylor. However, at Councilman Donald Barley’s recommendation, Taylor and Beam will suggest that a larger line be used to allow for better water flow and pressure. The ordinance will be amended before the second reading to state that it will be constructed at Hendley’s expense and once the work is completed, the City of Brady will own the new line and meter and will be responsible for any future servicing and upgrading to the line. In other business the Council: ‘ Approved a resolution ordering a general election to be held Saturday, May 3 for the purpose of electing a City Councilman for Place 2 and Place 3; ‘ Approved a street closure request for 2003 as submitted by the Brady/McCulloch County Chamber of Commerce. (This item is a yearly, routine request for the purpose of conducting street dances around the downtown square.); and ‘ Tabled the action item to award a bid for proposed building renovations for the Brady Airport facility remodel. Two late items were added in an addendum to the agenda and were both approved by members of the Council. In a move to find the City of Brady the best representation possible, the Council chose to hire Sid Falk with Bickerstaff, Heath, Smiley, Pollan, Kever & McDaniel, L.L.P as a gas consultant to negotiate a natural gas supply contract. According to Taylor, Faulk’s most previous experience was with the City of Austin in which he represented them with their natural gas contracts. “We need to go month-by-month, and we don’t need to get into a long-term contract with prices like they are,” said Mayor Friar. As the other addendum, the City Council approved a grant application for the Brady Fire Department to seek funds from Federal Emergency Management Association’s Fire Act Grant for a fire truck. “It would certainly be well worth it if we could get a grant like this ($200,000 with 90/10 funding),” said Friar. There is no guarantee that the request will be approved, however, the Council took the time to commend the local fire department on its thorough and detailed application.

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