City discusses ordinance on portable storage containers

Sweetwater City Commissioners met on Tuesday for their regular session and approved the minutes for the meeting held on June 11. The city commissioners then received the proposed 2013-2014 budget draft for review and discussion. The investment report for the quarter ending June 30 was approved as well.Sweetwater Police Chief Brian Frieda presented the city commissioners with two bids on a new generator for the Sweetwater Police Department. The first bid, from Warren CAT of Amarillo, was for $109,380. The second, from Stewart and Stevenson of Lubbock, was for $89,797. The low bid from Stewart and Stevenson was approved. It was also noted that the generator will be moved to the new police department if it is built. Chief Frieda then went on to explain several issues the police department has been having with precious metal thefts. He asked the city commissioners to consider adopting an ordinance regarding pawn shops, metal recycling entities and precious metal buyers. The ordinance would have pawn shops record all precious metal items that are brought in and who brought them in. Chief Frieda pointed out that he has already started working with local pawn shops on these issues and has had success recovering some stolen items. Pipe and metal has also been recovered. The city commissioners approved the amendments to the ordinances.A motion was made and approved for the Tommy Morris Agency to represent the City of Sweetwater as Broker of Record and to evaluate competitive sealed bills. It was also authorized for staff to receive competitive sealed proposals on self insured group health, dental and life insurance employee benefits, helped by the Tommy Morris Agency, to be considered at the August 13 city commission meeting.City commissioners had a second reading of an ordinance amending Chapter 18 of the Code of Ordinances entitled "Miscellaneous Provisions and Offenses" which would allow freight and portable storage containers in certain zoning districts and remove paint and anchoring requirements. A motion was made and seconded to approve the amendment. The city commission ratified the two change orders, one for $57,998 and another for $21,199.60, that City Manager Eddie Brown approved for the Lamar Street and Bradford Lane water and sewer line relocation and upgrades on the contract with Roberts Construction Company. Discussion was then held about authorizing an application for financial assistance from the Texas Water Development Board to develop the Hunter Well Field. The Texas Water Development Board offers emergency funds to cities in dire need of water in the form of competitive grants. A motion was made and approved for an application to be filed.A development agreement was offered for properties located in the extraterritorial jurisdiction of the city which have been appraised for ad valorem tax purposes as land for agriculture or wildlife management use. Those properties are located immediately east and immediately southeast of town.City commissioners then opened a public hearing to consider recommendations on a rezoning request. Property owners in the 100-116 block of E. Broadway, 100-122 block of Oak Street, 115-119 block of E. First and 101 and 109 Locust signed a petition to rezone the area from a Business District ("H") to an Industrial District ("J") so that TSTC West Texas could do off-premise advertising. No recommendations were given and the Planning and Zoning Commission approved a motion to rezone the area from a Business District to an Industrial District.City Manager Eddie Brown proposed a resolution supporting Mayor Greg Wortham as President-Elect of the Texas Municipal League (TML) should Mayor Wortham be nominated by the Nominating Committee of TML. Brown went on to say that it is a high honor for an elected official to be considered for the TML. Brown noted that no city funds would be used if Mayor Wortham is elected to the TML. A motion was made and the resolution was approved.The city commissioners then approved to accept water and sewer utilities, including easements, dedicated to the public contained within the Mustang Heights subdivision consisting of 14.655 acres of land. Unsolicited bids from C.D. Trimble Properties, LLC were opened and considered by the city commissioners for lots 6, 9, 10, and 11 of block 20 and lot 23 of block 16 of the Southside Addition. The bid for each lot was $500, totaling $2,500. The city has appraised these lots at $7,700. A motion was made to accept the bids, but the motion failed.