Nixon council hears animal control concerns
The Nixon City Council was called to order Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2010 with the following members present: Auvye Trammell, John Mosier, Cindy Pieprzica, Dorothy Riojas, and Hector Dominguez. The mayor was not present because of ill health.
Ann Alexander, executive director of Norma’s House in Gonzales, outlined to council members the purpose and services of this county child advocacy facility. She will be working with local school personnel and civic organizations to provide assistance and education for identifying and reporting abuse.
The stated mission of Norma’s House is to restore dignity, hope, and security to children of Gonzales and surrounding counties by uniting public officials and our community. Nixon police chief Chris Almaguer serves on the multi-disciplinary team and the board of directors.
The council members expressed adamant support for the organization; Trammell and Mosier requested the subject of financial support for Norma’s House be placed on the agenda for next month with a suggested contribution of $150-$200 monthly.
A citizen expressed concern regarding Nixon’s policy on animal control. The concern expressed was graphic and dynamic by a father who feels his small children are threatened by the presence of a large number of bulldogs in the neighborhood. His children are not able to play in their yard because of his fear for their safety. Even though chained, the dogs respond viciously, as though attacking, to all movement. He also expressed distaste for the stench present because of so many animals.
Interim City Manager George Blanch stated that there is an appropriate city ordinance limiting how many dogs are allowed according to property size, but enforcement is the issue. City employees have issued two citations ($500 each) at this home since October and went to court on Dec. 8 to issue a third, but found the municipal judge had allowed another extension to the dog owner. Blanch was directed by council to discuss with the judge a better way to handle the ordinance enforcement.
There is an interest on the council for creating a city-funded garbage collection. The subject has been discussed previous months, then tabled awaiting more information. Blanch reported that the contact with the current provider does not expire until 2013, so the topic was tabled again as more information is collected.
It was determined unanimously to discontinue the contract with Blackboard Connect, a call-out system. The cost for renewal would have more than doubled from $883 to $1,983.
Direct Energy was awarded a renewed three-year contract for the charge of 0.5480/kWh.
An amendment was made to city ordinance #0-06-05: Properties inside the city limits that are agriculturally exempt will be allowed to have hay fields that grow high enough to be mowed for bales. The farmers will not be cited because of the ordinance requirement stating that property owners must maintain a grass height of no more than 12 inches.
The city manager’s report opened with the announcement that renovation and repairs on the water tower were completed Friday, Dec. 10. The fill-up will start Dec. 20 and be finished Dec. 21.
Because of the continuing need for housing of oil boom workers, RV park regulations are being researched; recommendations will be made to the council regarding necessary additions or changes within the city limits.
After several weeks of delay, Cummings Paving & Recycling will arrive next week to undertake the streets designated for reconstruction. This includes the 200 and 300 blocks of North Franklin, the 700 block of East Third Street, and the 500 and 600 blocks of East Sixth Street.
The final pipes are being laid for the water well south of town that will supply Holmes Foods. There are several options available, but an interest is being shown in the least expensive way to store the water, a galvanized steel stand pipe. The city engineer will be asked to compare the stand pipe to two other options, a large tower and a ground water storage, which would need a pressurized system. It was emphasized that the major expense will come for treatment of the water from the pipe to the plant.
Blanch concluded his report by informing the council that Nixon qualifies for long term, government-subsidized loans with low rates through Texas Water Development Association.
The Nixon police report was given by Officer Roger Salinas. During the month of November, there were 12 calls for service and ten arrests. The department issued 55 summonses to municipal court, resulting in $4,572.25 being collected. Officers worked a total of 312.5 hours. Responding to a comment regarding money collected, Officer Salinas reminded the council that 80% of monies collected for citations go to the state. One hundred percent of funds collected through warrants only, stay in the local coffers.
Fire chief Mark Mendez informed the council of the breathing apparatuses just received by the department at a cost of $49,600. They will allow fire fighters to get into full-burn situations, enabling them to save lives and structures. For the month of November, Mendez reported seven grass fires, four wrecks, and a pumper truck with a leak in the engine that is currently being fixed.
City librarian Sally Brassell had three new patrons and 464 visitors in November. The Gonzales Learning Center has been using the conference room to help people prepare for the GED. Books checked out totaled 104 and 224 DVDs/VHSs were borrowed.
A special meeting of the council is called for Friday, December 17. The purpose of this meeting is to authorize Mayor Pro Tem Mercier to negotiate with Nixon State Bank on financial matters regarding the city, to approve the payment for the breathing apparatuses, and to make a decision on the water storage facility. The meeting will start at 5:00.