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City discusses wells, budget


LA VERNIA The city of La Vernia has taken steps in its quest to add a new municipal well and replace another, following an early-morning meeting Sept. 4.

The council met at 8 a.m. Tuesday to discuss its recent posting of requests for qualifications (RFQs) for its municipal well project. The city had severed ties with its previous engineers, LBG Guyton, in March, after progress on the well project stalled.

The city selected Southwest Engineers of Gonzales to help the city move forward with the well project, Mayor Robert Gregory said after the Sept. 4 meeting.

Water matters also were addressed during a budget workshop Sept. 5, along with employee compensation and other items.

Included in the proposed budget will be $10,000 for a new automatic water meter-reading program. This will include 25 meters, to be placed in strategic locations, Gregory said after the meeting.

Also included in budget items for the public works department is $40,000 for valve replacements in the city’s water system.

“As for capital improvements other than the water valves, we still have the waterline replacement on D.L. Vest, but there is a need to improve San Antonio Street,” Gregory said after the meeting. “But we need to have a clear picture on the drainage requirements from the city park and its impact on San Antonio Street. I’d hate to waste taxpayer money until we have a very clear scope of work that will actually be an improvement.”

Further budget items addressed employee pay and compensation, including a 3-percent pay increase, and a figure “in the high 50s,” according to Gregory, for a proposed city administrator. The search for an administrator could begin in October, the mayor said.

The city will be implementing a new wage scale for the police department, Gregory said, and pay increases based on TCLEOSE certification standards.

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