2017-10-10 / Front Page

Lometa City Council appoints new member

BY CHERI JAY-WIENECKE
DISPATCH RECORD CORRESPONDENT


Lometa City Secretary Maggie Garrett swears in Lometa resident Larry Koch to fill a seat on the Lometa City Council. Koch will fill the position vacated by Sara Salinas last month when she was appointed mayor. 
CHERI JAY-WIENECKE | DISPATCH RECORD Lometa City Secretary Maggie Garrett swears in Lometa resident Larry Koch to fill a seat on the Lometa City Council. Koch will fill the position vacated by Sara Salinas last month when she was appointed mayor. CHERI JAY-WIENECKE | DISPATCH RECORD In its first meeting under the leadership of recently appointed Mayor Sara Salinas, the Lometa City Council added a new member. The regular session last Monday allowed the council to fill the position created when Mrs. Salinas was appointed mayor.

Named to fill the council position was Lometa resident Larry Koch. With two interested in the position, the council opted to appoint Koch, whose background in business and work with the city of Austin and Texas Legislature on codes impressed the council. Koch had expressed interest in filling a vacant position earlier this year.

In other new business, the council approved a change in signature cards to reflect recent council staffing adjustments. Mrs. Salinas, City Secretary Maggie Garrett, Municipal Judge Mary Watson and Mayor Pro Tempore Shane Laughlin will be added as signatories to the city’s certificates of deposit as well as bank accounts for the municipal court and general fund, in addition to the city’s safety deposit box.

Also at the recent meeting, the council agreed to nominate Koch as the city’s candidate for a position on the Lampasas Central Appraisal District Board of Directors. Lometa resident Dave Hamilton previously held the position, but he is resigning.

In old business, the council approved a road paving estimate from Precinct 3 County Commissioner Lewis Bridges.

The city had money allotted in last year’s budget that was not used, and a paving allocation also is in this year’s budget, council member Susan Hines said.

“The county’s estimate of $18,000, not including tinhorns, is within our budget,” Mrs. Hines said.

The city had budgeted $18,024 for paving in its fiscal year 2016-2017 budget. That money went unused, so Lometa has set aside funds again for the project this year.

A priority in the paving project is Lampasas Street, with Walnut Street also needing attention. Streets will be completed according to need. A tinhorn will be put in on Walnut, with others added if needed.

While the city is concerned about the degree of flooding on city streets during rainstorms, the council is looking to fix the problem by cleaning ditches and adding tinhorns.

“The only thing that can completely fix the rainwater problems is curbing, which runs around $8 per running foot,” Laughlin said. “That price can run up the cost, and I don’t think Lometa can afford it.”

In open forum, Lometa resident Ben Leggett voiced concerns regarding rainwater and the paving project. Leggett would like to see the rainwater controlled so the paving is not degraded by flooding. He suggested the city use the type of paving used on East Lampasas Street, as that area has held up well.

Also appearing in open forum, Lometa resident Verna Cooper asked for the city’s attention on the removal of old tires and old cars. Ms. Cooper stated that the tires and cars diminish Lometa’s appearance at the entry to and exit from the city limits.

“We don’t have to live like this,” Ms. Cooper said. “We deserve better as a community.”

Responding to Ms. Cooper’s concerns, Police Chief Bob Montgomery informed the group of laws pertaining to the removal of cars and tires from residences within city limits.

“Cars that are 25 years or older are consider antique and we can’t touch them," Montgomery said. “Tires can be kept on private property as long as they can’t collect water. They have to be in violation of a state law or city ordinance, or we can’t do anything about it.”

Also at last week's meeting, the council approved municipal bills for the month.

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