Lawrence takes over at Brady Lake marina

The management at Brady Lake switched hands once again Wednesday morning as the Brady City Council voted 4-1 to approve a bid submitted by Jay Lawrence to assume the duties of camp ground, lake marina and pavilion maintainer/operator. Voting opposed to the item was councilman Richard Webb. The change in management was brought about by a request by former marina operators, Orville and Sally Wright, to have their lease with the City of Brady altered to exclude upkeep and maintenance to the pavilion and its immediate surroundings. Because the council couldn’t legally amend the Wrights’ contract, it decided to put the item back out for bids. Only two were submitted to City Hall, one from Lawrence and the other from Mario Castanuela. Lawrence is no stranger to Brady Lake and its surroundings. His father, W.B., built the lake store in 1970 and the store remains a family business today. “I was born and raised here in Brady,” said Lawrence. “I left home and came back two-and-a-half years ago to take over the store.” Lawrence’s brother, Steve, along with his father, both took turns previously as operators of the lake marina and camp grounds. “Hopefully there will be some improvements made out here,” Lawrence said. “I know I’d like to see some things changes, and I think it will all work out quite well. We’re looking forward to getting this thing up and running.” Both the lake store and the shop within the marina will be open for business, however, all the leasing and bookkeeping will be conducted from the lake store. With his permanent residence located directly behind the lake store, Lawrence will always be on hand for any questions or concerns. Lawrence’s bid submitted to City Hall was for $450 per month during the peak months of the year and $200 per month during the winter months. “This will streamline a lot of things,” said City Manager Merle Taylor during Wednesday’s meeting. “The lake store/marina operator will be responsible for the entire area.” In other business, the council adopting a new and revised personnel policy for city employees. The revision is primarily required to update general employment policies dealing with everything from drug and alcohol use to hiring and firing policies. Unlike the last policy approved several years ago, the new revised one goes into more detail in some areas and also addresses new changes required by state law. At the recommendation of mayor Clarence Friar, and Curtis Field airport manager Joe Mosier, the council approved as a second executive committee member to the Texas Colorado River Flood Plain Coalition. Currently representing the City of Brady on the TCRFPC are councilman Billy Patterson,executive committee member, and Pete McKinney, technical representative. Mosier’s appointment is to ensure city representation at all meetings should one executive member not be able to attend. The infrastructure bid for the new water treatment plant, submitted by Brune Utilities of Valley Mills, was approved for $1,884,845. As the low-bidder in the process, Brune Utilities will be required to meet all job specifications and, according to Taylor, will repave any streets damaged during the pipeline installation. Of the 18 different contractors who were present for the pre-bid meeting, only half submitted a bid for the process. The lone ordinance item on the agenda’Ordinance No. 356, pertaining to garbage, weeds, junk and unsanitary conditions’was approved on its second and final reading and is intended to help beautify the City of Brady. The ordinance was first approved in the 1960s and has recently had a major overhaul to bring it current with today’s standards. With the ordinance approval, the City’s code enforcement officer Pete McKinney can now use legal action to push for compliance with the ordinance. Some of the specifics of the ordinance include growth restrictions on weeds and vegetation and junk and unsanitary manner or conditions on a property. Furthermore, “the ordinance reads that the code enforcement officer or his designee may inspect or cause to be inspected any property that is or may be in an unsanitary condition. In the event that a person owning or having supervision or control of any lot, tract or parcel of land shall fail to comply with the requirements or remediation of the ordinance, notice of such violation shall be given. Any further neglect on the property owner’s behalf could result in abatement, a lien on the property and penalties.” After breaking for a brief executive session, the council voted to negotiation the purchase of the Hill property located near the main entrance to Richards Park. The authorized the city manager and the mayor negotiate the purchase of the property. An agreed upon figure has not yet been determined. In citizen’s comments, Sheila Hemphill addressed the council with a brief update on a local beautification project which she is spearheading. According to Mrs. Hemphill, who has researched the possibility or re-activating a local organization, “We can form a county affiliate under ‘Keep Texas Beautiful,'” she said. “Keep the Heart of Texas Beautiful” is proposed as the new organization’s name, and Mrs. Hemphill stated that the next step is to develop a board and begin organizing meetings. She added that she would like to “spruce up” the trash cans at Richards Park before the upcoming World Championship Barbeque Goat Cook-Off. “I would like to work very closely with the City and city manager to ensure that everything is done realistically,” Mrs. Hemphill said. “I’m very optimistic about it being a county affiliate: We’re not limiting it to just Brady.” Because the local organization will be an affiliate of KTB, Mrs. Hemphill anticipates being able to leverage the services the state organization has to offer. Following Mrs. Hemphill’s address, Friar suggested she visit with the city manager to discuss the project further.

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