21st Cavalry recognizes city for continued efforts

The Brady City Council meeting got off to a good start Wednesday morning with wonderful praise and a plaque presentation courtesy of Jim Cooney with the 21st Cavalry Brigade. The recognition given to the City of Brady centered around the past 20 years of commitment the city has made with the division in allowing for military training at Curtis Field Airport. In his address to the council, Cooney stated that the unit has a unique relationship with the western training area which stretches from Fort Hood to San Angelo and back to Junction. Communities in these areas afford the Army extensive use of land for various training methods. He told the council that the brigade felt it was time to give recognition to Brady and its airport staff, presenting the city the “Commander’s Award” for outstanding service for training U.S. Army soldiers. The training they undergo locally helps to prepare soldiers for combat missions around the world. “This is representative of the patriotism of the City of Brady and our nation,” Cooney said. “This is a unique relationship; it is found no where else in the Army. There is no other training area like this anywhere else in the world. This is done on a handshake and in good ol’ Texas fashion. Also, Andrew Williams with Curtis Field Airport was presented a plaque in recognition of his dedication and commitment to serving the Army and its soldiers. “Great things are coming in the future,” Cooney added. “We’ll just keep disturbing your sleep at night,” he joked. “It’s really something to see the support that this town gives the Army,” said Brady Mayor James Stewart, and I, for one, will stand up for it.” Sue Hall, who has been very instrumental in overseeing the city’s spay/neuter clinics, reported that 125 dogs and cats were brought to the mobile unit for services’the largest clinic to date which brings the overall total close to 350. In speaking with the council, she pointed out that the community has been a wonderful support system, even providing snacks and meals for the volunteers and veterinary technicians. “We never lacked for food,” she told the group. “The two new techs said they have never been treated this way,” Mrs. Hall added. She also noted that the group of volunteers plan to offer a four-day clinic in February’a beat the spring-type event. “If we get a big response, then maybe we can bring the unit back once a quarter and then eventually twice a year, ” she said. She also expressed her appreciation for Ralph and Barbara Copenhaver who have stepped up and taken on the responsibility of rescuing the sick and needy animals in the community. “They take care of all their medical needs, and they get neither financial nor medical support on this. They do Brady a great service. In moving on to the business portion of the meeting, Stewart thanked the volunteers for their effort in making the spay/neuter clinics such an overwhelming success. After a near 20-minute break for executive session, the council returned to announce that no action had been taken on the items set aside for private review and/or consideration. In an item related to the golf course irrigation improvements, and at the recommendation of the city’s municipal finance attorney, the city adopted a resolution expressing its intent to finance expenditures to be incurred by the city. City Manager Merle Taylor explained that this is necessary and will allow the city to pay Robinson Landscaping & Construction until tax exempt certificates re completed later this year. Councilman Rey Garza made the motion that the item be adopted, and the item was met with unanimous approval. Two equipment lease-purchase agreements between the City of Brady and Caterpillar Financial Services Corp. were approved during Wednesday’s meeting. According to City Manager Merle Taylor, the first item up for consideration, a D6R bulldozer for the landfill, is the third or fourth unit purchased in the past 15 years. The council previously amended the budget to make the lease payments. Taylor further explained that Caterpillar has asked the council to approve a resolution showing that they continue to support the lease. The second lease-purchase agreement approved was for a 613 scraper, also financed through Caterpillar. As required annually by state law, the council approved the city’s investment policy for the 2007-2008 budget, and in addition to that, appointed Mayor James Stewart to serve as member of the investment committee which meets quarterly. Initially, the council expressed their plans to appoint Councilman Billy Patterson; however, due to recent health concerns, the focus was shifted toward Stewart serving on the committee until Patterson is willing and able to assume the position. “I have no problem standing in until he’s back and ready to go,” said Stewart. The motion was made by Councilwoman Linda Lott that the Mayor represent the city on the panel, and any changes in appointees could be reconsidered by the council at a later date. Up next, the council agreed to enter a contract with Charles McDonald to provide for on site sewage facility and grease trap services for the City of Brady. According to City Manager Merle Taylor, “This concerns all the businesses that should have back flow prevention devices and grease traps in place. It is the staff’s recommendation that the city sign an agreement for these services. In approving the contract, the council appointed the city’s building inspector, Ronnie Hall, to work closely with McDonald in all implementation aspects of the services provided. According to Stewart, contracting these types of services and committing to a set fee will save the city money as opposed to hiring a new employee to assume the various responsibilities. A bonus joked about during the meeting is that McDonald “is in good graces with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ)”‘a huge plus for the City of Brady. After the brief discussion came to an end, Councilwoman Mary Bradshaw made the recommendation that the contract be accepted, and the request was met with unanimous approval. Ordinances approved Wednesday on their second and final reading were: ‘ The 2007-2008 fiscal year budget for a total of $16,488,000; ‘ The proposed tax rate for tax year 2007; and ‘ The amendment to the 2006-2007 fiscal year budget. The ordinance concerning a revised loan for the golf course irrigation improvements with Brady National Bank and Commercial National Bank was tabled until additional information could be presented to the council. Also tabled, the council chose not to take any action or discuss any evaluations of the city manager and city secretary as originally planned for the executive session. The decision to table the item was due in large part because a copy of their job description was not immediately available during the private meeting to discuss personnel matters. Also tabled was the proposed resolution to adopt an interlocal agreement for EMS services between the city, county and hospital district. Stewart requested that it be tabled because some discussion about how the resolution is worded came up when me met with McCulloch County Judge Randy Young Monday morning. A meeting of the commissioner’s court was scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, and Stewart explained his intent to attend the meeting to discuss any possible changes. The item will be addressed at the next regularly scheduled city council meeting. As a highlight to Taylor’s city manager report, he noted that he met recently with two property owners concerning future development along South Bridge Street. He also stated that the Bridge Street renovation project should be complete by the end of October and the Wal-Mart Supercenter completion is expected around early December with the opening planned for early February 2008. In City Finance Officer Lisa Remini’s address to the council, after noting the city’s total reconcilable assets at Brady National Bank which stand at just over $4.7 million and combined assets at Commercial National Bank and Brady National Bank totaling just over $1 million as of Aug. 31, Mrs. Remini noted that the city is winding down its fiscal year 2006-2007 and will be addressing stale utility accounts and writing off those accounts where payment has not been collected. Recognizing such accounts is a necessity before closing out each fiscal year for the city. Mrs. Remini also reported to the council that detailed financial statements would be available to the council upon request.

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