Pool fund drained for new fire hydrants

NINTY-FIVE YEAR OLD Lord’s Community Storehouse Volunteer Florence Barker received the Citizen of the Year Award at the Teague Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Awards Banquet held Thursday evening, April 13th. Pictured presenting the award to Barker, who worked for 24 years as an assistant for Drs. Gage and Halbert, is Bro. Scott Matthews, pastor of First Baptist Church of Teague. The Teague Historical Preservation Society was named the Organization of the Year and Carter Enterprises (Pizza Hut and Subway) was named the Business of the Year. See related photos on page 9.

After approving a plan in March to begin working on an ongoing fire hydrant problem dating back almost 10 years, Teague City Council members approved $81,450 for the replacement of 12 fire hydrants scattered throughout the city.

Only $10,000 was budgeted this year for fire hydrants and council members agreed quickly that the money they needed shouldn?t come out of the $1.3 million in reserved funds the city has put away, but to appropriate the funds from the city?s swimming pool account that carried a balance of $98,435.

City of Teague Fire Inspector Matt Gillet presented the city a detailed power point presentation in March showing the fire hydrant issues throughout the city. He gave the city a list of 12 ?crucial? fire hydrants that needed to be replaced and six that needed to be repaired.

The fire hydrants on Gillet?s list to be replaced in upcoming months are located at Hwy. 179 and Red Bud Lane, North 8th and Chestnut, across from 415 Webb Avenue, North 5th and Chestnut, North 4th and Ash Street, Hwy. 84 across from Marc?s Shop, South 4th and Oak Street, Jefferson and Burnim Street, N. 5th and Maple Street, Main and 4th Street, Main and 5th Street, and South FM 80 and Adams Street.

Council members approved the firm of Utility Solutions from Kayuga to perform the work on installing the fire hydrants. Council members are hoping that all 12 of the hydrants are hooked to 6-inch water line, but are not sure what they will find once construction gets underway.

Teague City Council members approved the measures to perform the work and appropriated the funds to pay for it while meeting in regular session on Monday evening, April 17th at City Hall. Mayor Pro-Tem Ron Rasbeary presided over the meeting in the absence of Mayor Earnest Pack. Present were council members Melvin Mims, Marie Hartenberger, Chris Nickleberry and Marilyn Michaud.

Council members approved a resolution authorizing the Mayor to adopt an investment policy for city money following information presented by City Administrator Theresa Prasil. The new City Administrator recently attended a school and discovered the city needs an investment policy to follow state and local guidelines to make sure their money is invested safely. Prasil said the policy would put standards in where the city is required to have them and put internal controls in place.

Council members went into executive session to conduct an interview with Kathy Wagoner, who was an applicant for Police Department Secretary/Court Clerk. Upon reopening the meeting, Wagoner was hired for the position.

In other action at the meeting, council members agreed to adopt a Limited English Proficiency (LEP) plan. They also agreed to authorize the City Administrator to develop a City of Teague Facebook page, along with closing three bank accounts with zero balances and tabled approving a contract allowing Gus Ramirez to serve as a consultant for the Public Works Department.

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