Approval granted for western shooting, bid for civic center add-on
Houston County Courier
By Lynda Jones
The Crockett City Council on Monday, Dec. 6, addressed an array of topics, ranging from a permit to film a shooting scene at a local restaurant to a review of the city’s HOME project. The city granted a request from Sandor Roberts for a permit to film a western gun fight scene using blank ammunition inside Tchoupi-toula’s Steakhouse. The event will be a closed, staged event with no members of the general public involved. Council members Robert Meadows and Bill Holcomb recalled that several years ago someone was accidentally killed during a similar situation. The city will stipulate in the agreement that it will accept no liability should an accident occur, and it would like Crockett Police Corporal Vince Baker to be present to monitor the activity for safety. At the beginning of the meeting, representatives of Gary R. Traylor and Associates presented a brief power point review of the 2008 Home Owner Occupied Program. This is a program that provides safe, sanitary housing for low-income families. Traylor and Associates takes applications from homeowners and determines who qualifies. Six homes were recently completed, and most of their owners were present at the meeting to express their gratitude. The next round of applications is open, and HUD has waived matching requirements, which will reduce the amount of fees selected homeowners are required to pay. Interested persons should contact the city administrator’s office for additional infor-mation. In other action, the city council awarded a bid to Timberline Constructors of Lufkin for construction of a shelter extension to the Crockett Civic Center. Most of the funds for the project are from a Texas Department of Rural Affairs (TDRA) Hurricane Ike Disaster Relief grant. The original low bid of $631,700 by Timberline was higher than the city budgeted. A lower price of $578,874 was negotiated, and the city authorized the city administrator to expend $3,403 in city matching funds, as well as a maximum of $15,000 for contingencies that may arise, for a total of $18,403. Council member Nathan Gardner asked if this was in competition with the school’s attempt to obtain a grant to build a new gym/shelter. City Administrator Ron Duncan said, no, this program was in the works before the school began applying for its grant for a new gym/shelter. Mayor Wayne Mask explained this city shelter is from Round One of the Hurricane Ike funds. (The CISD grant application is for Round Two funding.) The shelter addressed by the city Monday night will be an extension to the civic center and include 3,000 square feet of meeting room space. Also at Tuesday’s meeting, Duncan announced a park bench has been placed on paving stones and features a small flower box on the back of it at Davy Crockett Park in memory of Harold Walker, who died near the park a few years ago. A citizen has donated a memory stone of pink granite, to match the paving stones, that will also be placed there, Duncan said. When that stone arrives, Duncan said he will take Walker’s widow there to see it. Duncan said further that he wants to work up plans for other memorial benches and picnic tables to place at the park. He also announced that a site has been cleared near the city pool and Bradshaw St. for permitted camping. There are plans to build a barbecue pit there, and six primitive tent sites surrounded by landscape timbers and gravel for drainage, Duncan said. Duncan said this will be a great place for Scouts to work on badges, and noted the pond is full of fish now. When the city applies for a park grant in January, Duncan said, he wants those funds to go for playground equipment at the park. He also said the mayor is working on a survey to determine what residents really want in their park. More information about the survey will be announced later. Meadows said, “I like to see progress in the park. That’s an asset for our city. It’s a beautiful park.” Others agreed with him. After giving his monthly activity report, Police Chief Jimmy Fisher provided an update on the city’s BYOB ordinance. He said that, as anticipated, a couple of the affected businesses are trying to find a loop hole in the law concerning the hours alcohol can be served and are changing their names. He said one establishment is now calling itself a dance hall. Another says it is having private parties, but Fisher alleged that anyone who shows up is admitted. Duncan said two sergeants from CPD met with the business owners last week and met them “more than half-way”. Fisher said he has a supervisor observing the businesses, using cameras and watching what goes on at them. “I’m giving them stern warning,” Fisher said. He said that after a third ticket is issued, the city can go to the attorney and act on having the business declared a public nuisance. Fisher said he is currently going to the city judge with these cases, and thanked council for its continued support regarding this matter. In his monthly report, Crockett Volunteer Fire Department Chief Darrell Deckard reported false alarms continue to consume almost 10 percent of the volunteer payroll. Deckard encouraged council to consider an ordinance that would be punitive for repeated false alarms. “They’re not malicious, they’re just reoccurring,” he said. The next meeting of the Crockett City Council will be Monday, Jan. 10 instead of Jan. 3.