Breckenridge Texan

City approves ordinance to put increased sewer rates on fee schedule

City approves ordinance to put increased sewer rates on fee schedule
January 09
12:00 2020

Breckenridge City Commissioners voted on Tuesday, Jan. 7, to approve the final reading of an ordinance to amend changes to the City Fee Schedule that will increase sewer rates by 6.2 percent.

According City Manager Andy McCuistion, the rate increase was approved in the 2019-2020 budget by Breckenridge City Commissioners at their Sept. 3, 2019, meeting. However, the rate increase was mistakenly not included in the City Fee Schedule when it was approved and published. Tuesday’s vote corrects the mistake.

The original ordinance, Ordinance No. 19-15 – The City Fee Schedule, was adopted by commissioners on Sept. 3, 2019, and a second reading on Oct. 1, 2019. However, because that fee schedule did not contain the increase on the sewer rates, Commissioners adopted Ordinance No. 19-18 with a second reading at Tuesday meeting, amending the city fee schedule to include the increased sewer rates.

McCuistion said after approval of the second reading of the ordinance, the city has to publish the rates in the newspaper and the new rates will become effective five days after that.

Funds allocated for road improvements

Commissioners also voted to authorize the City Manager to allocate $49,900 from the Street Maintenance Fund for payment on street repairs for the Gaddis, James, Robert and Cottage Streets area. The repairs are needed following the completion of the Community Development Block Grant project to repair the water lines in the area.

The CDBG project replaced a number of water lines in the area between the old Booker T. Washington school site and Elliott Street. McCuistion said the streets in the area were already in poor condition, but because of the waterline construction in the area, the heavy equipment caused further road deterioration.

McCuistion said the CDBG grant will pay to replace the asphalt that was removed from the roads to replace the waterlines, but commissioners needed to allocate the additional funds to replace the asphalt that was damaged and not covered under the grant.

“What they will do under the grant, is wherever they cut across the asphalt they will replace that asphalt,” he said. “But, the road, especially with the heavy equipment on it, deteriorated further, and I need more money to put on the roads.”

McCuistion told commissioners Raydon, Inc. has done work for the city before, and he would like to go ahead and just give them the contract. He said for $49,900 Raydon would not be able to repair all the roads in the area, but that it would be better than it was.

“They’ve already done roadwork for us before, Raydon has, and I would like to go ahead, just like to give them the contract for this amount

He said they had already budgeted $700,000 out of that fund for road work and he was breaking some of that out for this particular project.

U.S. 180 North sewer line replacement update

During his City Manager’s Report, McCuistion gave commissioners an update on the Texas Department of Transportation’s U.S. Highway 183 North project. He said they are in the process of putting in new waterlines and have completed the engineering work for the sewer line replacement. He said they will start advertising for bids on the sewer contract this month and award the contract in February.

He told commissioners that when TxDOT first bid the sewer work out, it was part of the bid for the rest of the highway project and the bids came in too high for the money they had available. So they broke the sewer replacement out of the overall project to bid out separately.

He said in order to break out the sewer project, TxDOT needed the City of Breckenridge to cash flow the sewer project. He said the cost of the project is $1.9 million. In order to keep from having to cash flow the entire amount at one time, McCuistion said they will tell the contractors to not bill for more than 30 days at a time. He said the engineers have assured them they can review the contractor’s bill and get it to TxDOT so they can be reimbursed within 30 days.

“So, it’s not like we have to come up with all the money. So, I told them, yes, I thought we could cash flow it in order to move this project along because they need to do part of it right now,” he said. “We’re trying to move these projects along and get them finished, and I just wanted to give y’all a heads up that, that’s what we’re going to do, and that’s what’s coming up in this next agenda that we’re going to be cash flowing it.”

Suddenlink Rate Increase

Also in his report, McCuistion said gave commissioners a heads up about an upcoming rate increase from the Suddenlink.

A copy of a letter from Brad Ayers, Senior Director of Government Affairs for Altice USA, announcing the rate changes for certain video packages and premium channel rates for Suddenlink was included in the commissioner’s briefing book.

According to the letter, there will be changes to non-promotional video package and premium channel rates for some existing residential customers. The letter said there would also be changes in rates for sports programming and Broadcast Station Surcharges for some new residential video customers.

It also said the monthly rate for the HD DigitaLink equipment will increase to $5 for some existing commercial and residential customers beginning Feb. 1, 2020.

Retirement reception for outgoing Police Chief Larry Mahan

McCuistion said there will be a Retirement Reception for outgoing Police Chief Larry Mahan, from 3 to 5 p.m. Jan. 17 at the Breckenridge Fine Arts Center, located at 207 N. Breckenridge Ave.

December 2019 Meeting

At the Breckenridge City Commissioners December meeting, a public hearing was held regarding a request by Paige Townson to close Sullivan Drive from Sunset to Mitchell streets. Sullivan Drive was never developed and only exists on city plans. The closure will not affect any other property.
No one spoke at the hearing, and it was immediately closed. The commissioners later approved the request to close the road.

The commissioners also approved two change orders for construction projects already underway and approved a resolution to nominate City Commissioner Tom Cyprian for the Stephens County Appraisal District.

During the Dec. 3 meeting, several City department heads presented service pins to their employees. Honored at the meeting were:

  • John Trigg – 20 years
  • Justin Read – 10 years
  • Donnie Ensey – 10 years
  • Kim Baggett – 5 years
  • Cody Riddle – 5 years
  • John Butler – 5 years
  • Ken Cary – 5 years
  • Jon Jackson – 5 years
  • John Green – 5 years

John Trigg, right, receives a service pin for 20 years of service to the City of Breckenridge from Stacy Harrison, Public Services Director. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Breckenridge firefighters receive their service pins from Fire Chief Calvin Chaney, right. Honored were, from left, Jon Jackson, 5 years; Cody riddle, 5 years; and Justin Read, 10 years of continuous service and 16 years of total service with the department. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

John Green, left, and John Butler, center, were honored for their five years of service to the City of Breckenridge by Police Chief Larry Mahan, right. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Donnie Ensey, left, was honored for 10 years of service to the City of Breckenridge by Houston Satterwhite, assistant city manager of operations. Ken Cary, who has worked for the City for five years, could not attend the meeting. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Breckenridge City Manager Andy McCuistion congratulates Municipal Judge Kim Baggett for five years of service to the City. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

 

Story by Tony Pilkington and Carla McKeown / Breckenridge Texan

Cutline, top photo: Breckenridge City Manager Andy McCuistion talks to Mayor Bob Sims and City Commissioner Tom Cyprian during Tuesday’s commissioner meeting. (Photo by Tony Pilkington / Breckenridge Texan)

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