In their regular meeting Monday night, the Italy City Council approved a resolution authorizing an agreement between the City of Italy and Love’s Truck Stop. The agreement states the city will provide Fire Suppression and Sewer Service for the 16.79 acre Love’s Truck Stop planned on the corner of Hwy 34 and Interstate 35 E. South Ellis County Rural Water Corp. will furnish the water to the new business. The city discussed charging Love’s a maintenance fee for fire protection.
“It will cost approximately $360,000 for Love’s to install 2 fire hydrants, lift station, 10” fire line and sewer collection system,” said Dean Carroll, Public Works Director.
Jimmy Hyles addressed the council about the plans to charge Love’s for fire protection.
“It may not be illegal to charge them for fire protection, but it is immoral to charge them. It is wrong,” Hyles said. “None of the other businesses out there pay for fire protection. If they were going to build a hotel which they are not, they should pay for fire protection.”
Ray Loveless with South Ellis County Rural Water told the council it seemed like Love’s was being charged (for fire protection) because they were furnishing them water.
The mayor read a proclamation naming Roger Ginnett the IYAA Volunteer of the year.
Josh Trees addressed the council requesting a water meter variance at 772 S. Hwy 77 where he owns three small domes.
“I have one water meter for the three domes I own on Hwy 77,” said Trees. “Recently it was brought to my attention that I would need to have a separate meter for each dome. It will cost me $3,000 to do that so I am asking you for a variance.”
Teri Murdock, City Administrator, explained that TCEQ required one meter per residence.
“I will write the $3,000 check, but I want you to enforce it all over town,” said Trees. “If one has to pay it, all should have to pay it.”
The council postponed a vote until further research could be done.
Albert Garcia addressed the council with a request for deed restrictions on city easement of the railroad property the city owns adjacent to Hwy 77 north of Italy.
“Last year in February, I approached the council requesting deed restrictions on the railroad easements on Hwy 77.” Garcia explained. “We need to be careful how many junk yards we allow coming this way. We don’t need any more junk yards.”
The council voted to postpone any action until the November meeting.
The council voted to award the construction contract for the TxCDBG Project for 8” water lines to Duplichain Construction.
The council approved the service agreement with the City of Waxahachie Animal Shelter. They also approved a resolution naming the Waxahachie Daily Light as the official newspaper for the city for 2014-2015.
Teri Murdock reported that Trick or Treat on Main Street will be held on October 31, 2014 from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.
The council went into executive session at 8:40 to discuss four items. They reconvened into regular session at 10:00.
They took no action on personnel issues regarding the verbal warning placed in administrative employee files and all matters incident and related thereto.
They took no action regarding real property.
They took no action regarding the appointment, employment, evaluation, reassignment, duties, discipline or dismissal of the City Attorney, Ed Voss.
The fourth item was regarding deliberations with attorney Ed Voss on personnel and job description legal issues.
Council member, Paul Cockerham, spoke for the council. He explained they are going place the public works employees back on an hourly pay scale instead of salaried exempt and reduce them back to what they were making before they were given their last raises. They will receive a 3% raise like the other employees received. He also explained that they would not receive compensatory time, but would be paid overtime. When questioned, he said that all other employees would receive compensatory time, not overtime.
Cockerham also stated that if a new police office is hired, they would be paid $1.00 more per hour than several current officers which would not be fair, so the current officers will receive raises up to the $17.50 per hour.They then voted and approved the changes in salaries and overtime.
Council members thanked everyone for attending the meeting.
“I want to thank everyone for their prayers. I have been worried the last few weeks that my cancer was back,” said Greg Richards. “I got good news that it is not. I really appreciate everyone’s prayers.
Mayor James Hobbs said that he had been looking under overpasses all the way down to San Antonio and ours here looks terrible.
“Someone said to me that you can’t clean up state property,” Hobbs explained. “We have cleaned up that area under the overpass. We need to keep that area clean.”