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City splits costs for culverts, raises trash-collection fees


LA VERNIA Water issues continue to flood council agendas here, and the Jan. 13 regular city council meeting proved no exception.

“We spent a good bit of discussion on the culvert project in the city park,” said Mayor Harold Schott after the meeting. “It went pretty much as planned.”

Councilmen Eloi Cormier, Randy Leonard, D. Bradford Beck, Marie Gerlich, and Bobby Richter approved funding a portion of the expense for new culverts in the La Vernia City Park. The city will contribute $4,125 toward seven new culverts with 10-foot extensions on each end of the concrete caps. The Greater La Vernia Parks Foundation will provide the remaining funds, approximately $7,485, toward the project. Stokes Construction, currently conducting bond construction for the La Vernia Independent School District, will oversee the project, Schott said. The project is anticipated to be complete within two weeks of its start date, weather permitting, according to Schott; it is hoped the work will start sometime this month.

In other water issues, the council also approved issuing certificates of obligation to fund the city’s new municipal well and a replacement for Well No. 5, Schott said. Jim Gilley of Coastal Securities, the city’s bond counsel, presented information on issuing up to $600,000 in certificates of obligation, at an interest rate of 4.07 percent. The city was approved in 2009 for federal grant money toward a new municipal well and has also explored remediation or replacement of a well that has been out of service for some time.

The council also:

¢Approved a rate increase for city refuse collection with IESI, based on the consumer price index. The new rate is a 1.2-percent increase per month, or approximately 13 cents for residential customers, effective Jan. 1.

¢Amended the city budget, moving approximately $17,500 back into the well fund from a special account for well remediation. The funds were moved last year to remediate Well No. 5; since remediation is not feasible, the funds will go toward the new and replacement wells, Schott said.

¢Approved Robert Gregory to fill a vacancy on the city’s planning and zoning commission.

¢Reviewed the scope of work for Naismith Engineering Inc. for a grant application for the municipal wells, but took no action, pending more information. Leonard, Beck, and Schott will review this further with representatives from the Canyon Regional Water Authority and the San Antonio River Authority.

¢Approved a spring clean-up for April 9-17. City residents can dispose of bulk waste at the city’s site on Forrest Road in La Vernia.

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