At their Thursday meeting, Brenham City Council heard an update on emergency street repairs at three locations in the city. Water crossings on Burleson, Jefferson, and Barbee streets received damage during the heavy rainfall from Hurricane Harvey. City Engineer Lori Lacatos said that emergency bids are being requested for the three locations and those are expected to be awarded in just over a week. She explained that the city was concerned that any kind of temporary repair would damage the utilities that run in the roadway at the water crossings. The permanent repairs would include a concrete box structure to replace the corrugated metal culverts used at the locations.
In other action, council approved on its second reading the city budget and tax rate. The adopted property tax rate of $.5170 is one cent higher than last year and with the increased property valuations, city residents will pay an extra 7 percent in their city property taxes this year. There was no discussion today on the two items, and councilman Danny Goss cast the only dissenting vote.
Council approved an agreement with The Department of Aging and Disability Services. Public Works Director Dane Rau explained that residents from the Brenham State Supported Living Center had been providing litter control at the city parks. Under the new agreement, they will also provide janitorial service in the restroom facilities at the park. The move is expected to save the Parks Department both time and money that can be utilized in other areas of the parks.
Council approved renewing several insurance policies with the Texas Municipal League. The group health insurance policy for city employees went up 8 percent this year. The other policies saw increases also this year. Property coverage went up 8.5 percent and workman’s compensation coverage went up 19.6 percent.
The council approved terminating the software license and service agreement for the current Public Safety Computer System. A new system is being installed and it will integrate all the law enforcement agencies in the county. The new system is expected to be operational in March.
In other action, council approved two noise variance requests. The first is for the Texas Arts and Music Festival in Downtown Brenham on October 21st. The other is for a private wedding at 600 East Tom Green Street on October 28th.
Council was also expected to take their first look at the City Manager’s applications in executive session. Terry Roberts has served 17 years in that position and is retiring January 31st. Strategic Government Resources has been conducting the search for Roberts’ successor and will be reviewing the applications with councilmembers.