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Houston County Courier - Local News

Copyright 2017 - Polk County Publishing Company

 

Crockett Council Hears Comments

 

By Alton Porter
News Reporter
reporter@hccourier.com

Five people, including the mayor, a councilmember and the city administrator, spoke to the Crockett City Council on various matters during time set aside for comments from the audience or council at a regular council meeting Monday, Nov. 6. In addition to Mayor Joni Clonts, Precinct 5 Councilmember Mike Marsh and City Administrator John Angerstein, Monica Pierre, area director of the Huntsville U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development office, and Alex Montoya, owner and race director of Local Bike Racing, made remarks during the comments period. Pierre opened her remarks saying, "I just wanted to address the council and City of Crockett in reference to available funding for the new fiscal year from USDA. As you know, we funded a water project, which is to help restore two elevated storage tanks here in town, and then, take down the ground storage tank that's in the College Hill area and to rebuild with a new tank." Pierre added, "We also have funding for our community for the facilities program, which could actually assist with possibly a new police department so adequate space can be provided in the event that's what they need." She said she estimated that if a current building is refabricated at the cost of $200,000, the current interest rate is 3.5 percent and that would make monthly payments around $776 for a 40- year term. "So again, we have those options available for low interest rate loans. Certificates of obligation can be used as security," she explained. "(City officials) wouldn't have to go out for a bond election. That helps and saves the citizens of Crockett…. "I also wanted to let you know that we have been refunded for the new fiscal year with our housing program. We have low interest rate housing loans that can go to as high as $139,000 for … low income families. It is a zero-down program. "A lot of times it is hard for individuals to save up money for a down payment. Depending upon the appraised value of the home, they could actually roll in the closing costs. You may have in homeowners. That could be new construction, including the cost to purchase a lot. As long as it doesn't exceed $139,000, you can get people into homes and interest rates could be as low as one percent." Pierre concluded, "Keep in mind, the reason our agency is around is to assist in rural communities. Crockett qualifies for everything that USDA has to offer, and I live here in town. So, please take advantage of the monies available before they decide that we're not needed anymore. In his remarks, Angerstein updated the councilmembers and others present at the meeting on results of an audit by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). He said the city "came out really well on that except for the lack of backflow preventers in certain facilities around town." A backflow prevention device is used to protect potable water supplies from contamination or pollution due to backflow. Backflow means the undesirable reversal of flow of a liquid, gas, or suspended solid into the potable water supply; a backflow preventer is designed to keep this from happening. "They (TCEQ auditors) came down pretty hard on us," Angerstein said. He explained, "If we're providing water to a facility that has a potential contaminating source and there's no backflow preventer, we're the ones who are held liable, not the business or the property owner. "So, after December, we will be cited and fined for every facility that does not have a backflow preventer or the RPZ, which is a reduced pressure zone for their carbonating submachines." A reduced pressure zone device is a type of backflow prevention device used to protect water supplies from contamination. "There are several different things they (TCEQ auditors) cited us for," Angerstein said. "All of those businesses have gotten letters and we let them know they need to get an inspection. And we provided them with a list of certified inspectors." To avoid being cited, the city would have to turn off the water to a business that does not have a backflow preventer, Angerstein said, adding, city officials want all businesses to have backflow preventers, so the city can be in compliance with state regulations. In his comments, Montoya sad Local Bike Racing is planning the second two-day Davy Crockett Classic and Wild Frontier Road Race events in the Crockett area Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 10-11, 2018. He said Local Bike Racing's two previous two-day Davy Crockett Classic and Wild Frontier Road Race events in this community earlier this year brought more than $35,000 into the local economy. Clonts commented, Sunday, Nov. 5, there was a major leak in a city water line. "I was very impressed with the City of Crockett," she said. "I've never gone out and watched anybody fix a water leak. But, those guys—they got in there … and did a great job. They had it fixed by 9:30 (Sunday) night (Nov. 5). "I think when we see our city workers out doing a good job, we need to give them a pat on the back to let them know they are appreciated for what they do." Piggybacking on what Clonts said, Marsh thanked the Crockett Police Officers Association for what they accomplished Oct. 20-21 with their first Backthe- Blue barbecue cookoff. They did a good job, Marsh said, adding he hopes the event grows. Several teams were awarded for their winning entries in the cookoff. Funds raised through the event will be used to purchase equipment for Crockett police officers and to help pay for childen's events sponsored by the association.

 

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