By Lew Vail
CORRIGAN – Corrigan City Council and RoyOMartin company, signed a memorandum of understanding Tuesday evening establishing sewer connections and rates for service for the oriented strand board (OSB) plant now under construction just outside of the city.
The agreement was approved following discussion with the city's financial advisor, David Waxman, as well as a representative from Goodwin Lasiter Engineers and RoyOMartin's local management. A presentation is planned this week before the Polk County Commissioners Court in Livingston to finalize the water service to the manufacturing plant, which is set to open in September 2017.
With the sewer agreement now in place, the city can upgrade its current sewer processing facility and to prepare for that upgrade they selected Goodwin Lasiter Engineers for that specific endeavor. Waxman has been preparing the financing requests for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and expects to have a hearing sometime in June.
In other business, the council appointed Inez Wiser as election judge for this year's city council election and tentatively named Cecil Hance and Beaulah Hood to the early voting ballot board.
After a discussion regarding the possible changes in garbage collection with a contract to Pineywoods Garbage service, council tabled the matter until a special called meeting set for Thursday afternoon, Feb. 25, to allow for more citizen input regarding the change to once a week pickup. While the rate will stay the same — any increase would have to be approved by council — residential users currently have twice a week pickup.
Corrigan-Camden Independent School District Superintendent Sherry Hughes addressed the council regarding the activities at the school with regard to the recent bond election and the progress of the security changes being implemented using the bond money. She also told council the school would like to be more proactive in the lives of the students after school and in the community and asked council to join with the district in providing incentives to youth to stay out of trouble and have good role models.
Council reviewed the financial reports, passed a resolution regarding the signature cards at Citizen State Bank due to the appointment last month of a new city secretary, adding Carrie Casper to the cards with Darrian Hudman, Mayor Jonathan Clark, and Johnna Lowe Gibson, as signers. They also approved the minutes from the January meeting.
Police Chief Darrell Gibson reported 18 arrests for the period Jan. 20 through Feb.15 as well as 1,003 citations issued, 177 calls for service, 1,315 building checks and a total of 17 investigations, with 14 being forwarded to the Polk County Criminal District Attorney's office for prosecution. There was only one vehicle accident with no fatalities.
The fire department responded to 10 incidents including three car fires, two each of structure and grass fires and one each vehicle wreck, burn victim and gas spill.
During council forum Johnna Lowe-Gibson asked why the other city departments were not in attendance at council meetings as requested in January. The librarian was present along with Chief Gibson. Hudman said he would follow-up and have representatives next month. Lowe-Gibson also suggested, for safety reasons, having two or more officers present at large events, such as when the football stadium is used for parties. She also stated that people in town complained about the police ticketing "local" drivers. She wanted everyone know that state law makes no provisions for only ticketing out-of-town offenders. "We all have to obey the laws," she said.
Johnnie Marie Brooks said the city should have better grass and weed control, adding before the spring growing season starts she doesn't want to see snakes hiding in the bushes. She asked the maintenance department to get to work on the matter.