Lometa officials approve bid for park bathroom repairs
The Lometa City Council met last week at Lometa City Hall, addressing a number of items relating to city improvements.
In old business, the board revisited an item regarding the repair of bathrooms at Lometa Regional Park. With only one bid received previously, the repair of the facilities at the park’s baseball complex was tabled last month.
After receiving another bid with a lower price tag, the council voted unanimously to move forward with the repair from Lancaster Plumbing at a cost of $6,800.
“This bid is a lot more reasonable and makes a lot more sense,” Councilman Shad Hill said.
The project will be budgeted out of surplus funds from the previous year.
The council hopes to have the bathroom repair completed in time for Lometa's annual Diamondback Jubilee next weekend.
In new business, the council agreed to cancel the May municipal election. Three council positions -- currently held by John Vasquez, David Fair and Susan Hines – are up for election. Mrs. Hines and Fair are unopposed for re-election, and Vasquez has opted not to return to the council. The city will appoint someone to fill the post.
Council members also approved a citywide cleanup for April 21-22 at the city yard.
Regarding an animal shot clinic with Dr. Scott Rushing, the council voted unanimously to approve a motion offered by Mrs. Hines. The event will be scheduled on a date that Rushing is available.
The council also approved the purchase of grass seed for baseball fields at the Lometa Regional Park. The cost will be $450 through Lucas Landscape Inc.
The baseball fields had fallen into disrepair after several years of neglect.
“They haven’t been touched in 15 years," Councilman Shane Laughlin said. "The Gibson family has donated the sand, and Alexander Trucking donated transport.
"We have three fields plowed up,” Laughlin added. “We have four teams playing this year. That’s a pretty good turnout, and there are a bunch of us who have been working to get this together for the kids.”
The purchase of 200 pounds of Bermuda grass seed will be funded by the park supplies budget. The item was approved unanimously.
In open forum, Lometa resident Tico Hicks voiced concerns about ordinances for recreational vehicles and city cleanup.
“I expect to see changes, and I’ll be back every month,” Mrs. Hicks said.
Also speaking at the meeting was resident Verna Cooper.
“There seems to be such a divide between the people and the council,” Ms. Cooper said. “You were put there by the people, by the people. You’re there because you were put there, and I’m appalled by the division in this town.”
Ms. Cooper also questioned rules regarding citizen participation at council meetings.
“I’ve talked to a lot of citizens,” she said. “I’m just the only one brave enough to speak up.”
In response, Mayor Cynthia Kirby reiterated the council’s commitment to the city of Lometa.
“Everyone on this council is here because we love Lometa and want Lometa to be better,” Ms. Kirby said. “We all have that goal. It’s unfortunate that you feel that way.”
In departmental reports, Police Chief Bob Montgomery said his department has received a reporting system grant -- totaling $7,500 -- for which the council approved an application last month. The funds will be used toward the purchase of software for state-required filings.