Pair addresses city council on garage sales, sewer

The Italy City Council heard from two citizens Monday night regarding issues within the city.

Karen Mathiowetz addressed the council first and requested the city either enforce the garage sale ordinance or do away with it.

The city ordinance requires anyone preparing to have a garage sale to purchase a permit from city hall. Additionally, citizens are limited as to the number of garage sales they may have per year.

Mathiowetz said she does not post garage sale signs on telephone poles yet she continues to see garage sale advertisement on telephone poles throughout the community.

Conrad Kinze also addressed the council regarding a sewer smell at his house in the 300 block of South Ward Street.

Kinze said he has lived at his residence over three years and said the smell is getting ridiculous. He indicated the problem is due to a pump sewer system improperly installed behind his property.

Dean Carrell, public works director, said he was unaware of the issue and agreed to meet with Kinze to investigate the issue.

Gary Burton of Gary Burton Engineering, Inc. introduced himself to the council regarding a master agreement and rate schedule for engineering services.

The council recently approved the engineering firm for the city per recommendation from Carrell.

The rate schedule is $125 per hour for engineering III services, $95 per hour for engineering II/designer II, $80 per hour for engineering I/designer I, $50 per hour for a CAD technician, $55 per hour for construction inspector, $140 for a two-man survey crew, $95 per hour for a one man survey crew and $50 for clerical services. Reimbursable expenses include mileage, postage, long distance telephone calls, courier and other direct expenses at cost plus 15 percent; sub-consultant cost is cost plus 10 percent.

Terry Nay, constable of Ellis County precinct 2, addressed the council regarding licensing and adding two emergency repeaters on the city’s water tower.

Accompanied by Ellis County Sheriff Johnny Brown, Nay explained the federal government is mandating they go to a narrow band frequency, which will reduce coverage at the Boyce repeater by approximately 20 percent.

Nay explained that this reduction will all but destroy the use of handheld emergency service radios in the southern part of the county. He said the county currently has repeaters in Milford but the additional sub-repeaters cannot be placed on the same tower without interference.

Nay said the county is trying to get this project funded through grants but needs to obtain licensing by Dec. 31. The council approved the request.

The council also approved the re-appointment of Elmerine Bell to the Economic Development Corporation Board.

Prior to adjournment, council members approved minutes from four meetings in September, approved bills for the previous month, earned compensatory time and named the Waxahachie Daily Light the official newspaper for the 2010-2011 fiscal year.

During department reports, council members heard from C.V. Johns, police chief; Carrell, public works director; Manuela Martin, municipal court clerk and Teri Murdock, administration, regarding September activities.

Johns said police officers were called to service 50 times last month. Officers made 14 arrests – two felonies, 11 misdemeanors, one juvenile and one on a traffic warrant. Officers worked and trained 1,122 hours.

The animal control officer issued two citations, three warnings and captured one animal.

Carrell said the public works department cleared 220 work orders. He said the city used 7.8 million gallons of water but only sold 4.5 million gallons. This leaves a little more than three million gallons of unaccounted water usage. He said there was a major leak on Travis Street, which explains a good deal of the water loss.

The court clerk said the police department filed 282 citations and animal control filed four citations. Martin said the office cleared six warrants.

Murdock congratulated Martin who completed level one court clerk certification.

Murdock said administrative employees are finalizing the 2009-2010 budget and said the county is making street repairs that should be completed soon.

She will be attending a seminar next week in Galveston. Her certification should be complete in April of 2011.