Johnson City Record Courier
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Building Inspector Contract Terminated
PEC and Chamber of Commerce Considering Electronic Sign
Thursday, December 6, 2012 • Posted December 6, 2012

The City Council of Johnson City met Tuesday, December 4th, 2012. There were no petitions from the public. The first agenda item to be heard was a petition from Billie Jean Parker regarding the annexation of her property in 2006. Her parcel was included in a group of lots that the State of Texas allowed the city to annex if sewer and water were provided for the landowners. Ms. Parker said that a motion was made to annex the property, but a vote was never taken on the motion. She had researched the annexation process and had read through past issues of the Record Courier in order to determine if a vote was taken, but she found no evidence that one had. She also said that she did not find any notices published in the paper regarding the annexation, which is a requirement for any city looking to annex private property. Her question to the council was that if this is true, is the annexation valid? Council member Rhonda Stell said that there was indeed a vote and that the notice of annexation was posted in the paper and on the window of the city office building. She does have all the information regarding that annexation and told Ms. Parker she would forward it to her. Next up for consideration was the discussion regarding the contract of Pete McKinney, the Building Inspections and Code Enforcement Officer. Mr. McKinney, who was not present at the meeting, had submitted his resignation to the city. Mr. McKinney was not able to fulfill the hours required by the contract. A motion was made to except his resignation and terminate his contract. The motion passed. The council then heard from Greg Anderson with Bureau Veritas, a third party private company that provides inspection services for municipalities. Bureau Veritas provides a buffet of services cities can use as well as several types of contracts from which a city can choose. They are a fully licensed and certified business that can inspect homes, businesses, and industrial locations. They do not offer code enforcement. Fees are paid by project, not by the number of times an inspector inspects a premises. $76.92 is the starting fee for projects valued at $10,000.00 or less. Before the council makes a decision on whether or not to hire Bureau Veritas, Pat McGowan, the city attorney, and city staff need to review the current inspection fee schedule and Ms. McGowan must review the contracts offered by this company. A special meeting will be held December 18th at 6:00 pm in order for the council to review staff findings and to vote on whether the city should hire Bureau Veritas to perform inspections for the city. Council members then discussed the lease agreement with KeyOn, the company that purchased Momentum Online/T-Star, regarding the lease space for the antennae located on the water tower. A motion was made to terminate the contract with KeyOn after submission of a 90 day termination notice. The motion passed. Following the motion, council entered into a discussion regarding new contracts for water tower leases. Currently, the lease is transferable. When the city first partnered with the internet service provider Momentum, the company was locally owned. Since that time; however, the company has been bought and sold several times and the lease simply transferred from one owner to the next. Currently, the city is not sure who owns the antennae and the lease payment is not being made. David Dockery suggested that the council draw up a new contract that is non-transferable. Dockery further suggested that any new company wishing to use the water tower as placement for their antennae come to the city in order to establish a lease agreement. He also proposed the monthly lease payment be $200.00 per antennae site, which is the fee charged by the majority of the cities surrounding Johnson City. No action was taken on this issue. The council tabled it until the city attorney could write a new contract. Further, the council did not take any action on the Used Equipment Purchase Policy. The item was tabled because city staff is still developing the policy. The council did pass a motion to have city personnel locate three possible used forklifts which the city could purchase using grant money from CAPCO. These three forklifts would be presented to Mayor Ralph Moss, who would make the decision on which fork lift to buy. Mayor Moss gave his report next. First, he thanked all the volunteers who worked to organize and run the Lights Spectacular opening weekend event. Second, he showed his appreciation for Shelton Coleman and Rickie Guthrie for donating materials and their time to repaint the bathrooms in Memorial Park. Third, he informed council that the city’s credit rating for the coming year will come out December 11th. Bonds will go on sale December 13th and will remain on sale until the first part of January. The Planning and Zoning Commission report was presented by Kenneth Bible. Dan Snodgrass was removed from the commission due to absences. To replace him as well as fill one other vacancy, the planning and zoning commission recommended Larry Hauphtrief and Gayla Guthrie. The council approved these nominations. The P&Z also discussed the Peddlers’ Permit fee and making the application for the permit part of the ordinance. They are considering changing the fee from $30 annually to $25.00 per month. This fee schedule is similar to Peddlers’ Permit fees charged by surrounding communities. The Chamber of Commerce report focused on the partnership between the Chamber and PEC, as well as other organizations and the National Park Service, to purchase an electronic sign. PEC is offering $25,000.00 and the National Park Service will match that with $25,000.00 in order to place a double-sided electronic sign within Johnson City. The sign will take the place of advertising banners that span the highway. Best Western has been approached to use their parking lot as a possible location for the sign and they seem amenable to the idea. The current billboards located at the north, south and west entrances of town are also going to be revamped. For Lights Spectacular, the Chamber reported that they had placed ads in Austin and San Antonio publications as well as in Texas Monthly and Southern Living. Gandolf Burrus was not present to give an update on grants so the Economic Development Committee report came next. The committee was formed November 27th and eight people are going to sit on the committee: John Hever, Barbara Hudson, Bill Jung, Steve and Charlotte Matthews, Maggie Smith, Jasmin Arpin and Stacy Castillo. Chief Randy Holland reported that for the month of November, the department fielded 94 total calls for service. Officers wrote 47 citations and 44 warnings. There were four traffic accidents, four out of city calls, six arrests, two cases filed with the municipal court, one with the county attorney and three out of county referrals. A theft of a big screen television was solved and will be filed with the county attorney for prosecution in December. No other property crimes were reported for November. Further, a Horseshoe Bay business purchased two radar units for the department at a cost of $3000.00. Officer Michael Hall resigned leaving a full time position open. The department plans to have the vacancy filled by January 1st, 2013. David Dockery presented the utilities report next. In the month of November, 5.57 million gallons of water were pumped with a 93% collection in billings. He also reported that two new pumps were purchased. Stacy Castillo reported on the city’s financial condition. The amount in the general fund stands at $201,569 with bills totaling $13,700.00. The system fund has a balance of $270,890.00 with bills totaling $18,931.38. After approval of the minutes and approval for the city secretary to pay the bills, council adjourned.

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