Breckenridge Texan

City Commissioners approve application for financial assistance for water system work, take care of other business

City Commissioners approve application for financial assistance for water system work, take care of other business
April 22
17:35 2024

By Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan

The Breckenridge City Commission has met twice this month, taking care of City business, including an application for financial aid to inventory the City’s water pipes, the 2024 pool policy, an updated public comment policy and more.

Water Service Lines

At a special meeting on Monday, April 15, the Breckenridge City Commissioners voted to allow City Manager Cynthia Northrop to apply for financial assistance from the Texas Water Development Board through Certificates of Obligation up to $500,000 to be used to develop an inventory of the materials of construction for all water service lines in the distribution system, as required by a new rule by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

According to information presented by Northrop, the TCEQ has revised its Lead and Copper Rules and the City is required to create a list of the materials used for all of the water lines in the city. There are currently 2,835 connections within the City’s distribution system for providing potable water service. Based on the age of the distribution system and insights provided by City staff, there is likely a significant portion of the system that uses lead or galvanized materials.

To meet the new rules, the City of Breckenridge is requesting help from the Texas Water Development Board to determine the exact number and location of the lines, as well as the replacement of the lead and galvanized service lines within the distribution system. Once the City completes the inventory, it will be required to replace the lead service lines on both the City side and the owner side within 10 years.

Because it is a nationwide mandate, funding in the form of loan forgiveness (51%) and low-interest loans (49%)  is being made available to those who meet the criteria. The City of Breckenridge meets the criteria, according to City documents. Northrop said the City has already submitted an Intent to Apply and has been invited to apply for the funding.

The initial application for the amount up to $500,000 will be for the inventory phase only. However, City officials expect the actual amount will be less, based on estimates by the engineer for the project, which is $379,000. The construction phase will require an additional application for funding at a future date.

April 2 City Commission Meeting

The City Commission met for their regular meeting on April 2, passing several items, including changes to the City’s fee schedule, the 2024 pool operations plan, several requests from the Breckenridge Economic Development Corporation and the Chamber of Commerce, and more.

Northrop introduced Blake Johnson to the crowd at the meeting. Johnson was hired by the commission, pending final background check, as the new police chief for Breckenridge. Johnson and his wife, Monica, attended the meeting.

Summer 2024 Pool Policy

During the meeting, the City Secretary Jessica Sutter presented the proposed plan of operations for the Aquatic Center, aka City Pool. The commissioners approved the proposal.

The swimming pool is tentatively scheduled to open on May 25 and run through Aug. 4. The official schedule will depend on the staffing of lifeguards and pool managers.

New this year to the pool operations will be a “pool pass” that will allow to save some money. The City will sell “punch cards” for $30. Each time a person or family visits the pool, the card will be punched one time for each person. Each card is good for 12 punches. For example, one person could go to the pool 12 times or a family of four could go to the pool three times with one $30 card. That saves $6 — about 17% — total over the regular price. The punch cards can be purchased at City Hall, at 105 N. Rose Ave., Breckenridge, TX 76424 during normal business hours (Monday-Thursday 7:30 am- 5:00 pm, Friday 7:30 am-11:30 am) or at the Breckenridge Aquatic Center during operating hours. Cash or Check only.

The plan is for the pool to be open from noon to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays; from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays; and from noon to 4 p.m. on Sundays. The pool will be closed for maintenance/cleaning on Mondays.

The regular price will be $3 per person per session; children under the age of 3 will be admitted at no charge. On Tuesday evenings, the pool will be open from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. for Family Swim Night; during that time, admission will cost $1 per person. No unaccompanied children under the age of 17 will be allowed during Family Swim Night. At all times, children under the age of 10 must be accompanied by and supervised by a responsible adult.

If for any reason the pool is closed after being open for 30 minutes or more, there will be no rain checks or refunds issued.

The pool also will be open on Tuesday – Friday mornings from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. for water aerobics for adults only; the fee will be $2 per person.

Additionally, the pool will be available for for rental Friday through Sunday from 4:30 to 9 p.m. at a rental rate of $200 for 2 hours (minimum). Rentals are available on a first-come-first-served basis. Visit City Hall at 105 N. Rose to reserve a date/time. The concession stand will not be open during rentals, but those renting the pool may bring snacks and drinks (no glass bottles or alcoholic beverages allowed). There is a maximum occupancy of 150 people in the pool at all times.

Click here to see a complete list of pool rules on the City’s website.

Breckenridge Economic Development Corp.

David Miller with the Breckenridge Economic Development Corp. presented several items to the City Commission at the April 2 meeting. One of those items involves the completion of the community welcome sign on the west side of town, near the golf course. The cost to finish the sign is estimated at a little over $13,000. The BEDC received a donation of $10,000 from Stephens County to help pay for the remaining work on the sign, and the City Commissioners approved the plan.

David Miller with the Breckenridge Economic Development Corp. talks to the City Commission about several BEDC projects. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Miller also presented information about the proposed project for the Texas Midwest Community Network’s Student Leadership program. The Breckenridge students working on this year’s project plan to convert the empty lot in the 200 block of West Walker Street, across the street from the Stephens County Courthouse, into a community-use space.

“They want to convert that space into a big, well done community hangout space. So shade seating and entertainment options, mural, stuff like that,” Miller said.

The plan is to put a gate and fence across the front of the space to help keep children away from the street and then add the other elements. The students will be raising funds to pay for the project and will be competing against other community leadership projects for scholarships.

The commissioners approved the plan.

Additionally, Miller presented a plan to the commissioners that will bring a restaurant to downtown Breckenridge, in the building at 223 W. Walker St., known locally as “the old Bealls building.” The Bealls clothing store closed in 2017, and the building has been vacant since then. Click here to read the Breckenridge Texan’s previous article on that project.

Fee Schedule

The April 2 agenda included an item for the “first reading” of a resolution changing some of the fees that the City of Breckenridge charges for various services. However, the agenda incorrectly identified the resolution number, and, consequently, the commissioners approved the wrong resolution number. Therefore, the “first reading” will have to be done again at a future meeting.

Public Comment Policy

The Commissioners approved an official City of Breckenridge Public Comment Policy regarding the rules for speakers during the City’s public meetings.

Breckenridge resident Jay Marcom, right, addresses the City Commission about several items, including information about a federal lawsuit filed against the City of Rhome, Texas, which includes Breckenridge City Manager Cynthia Northrop, who was the Rhome City Administrator prior to coming to work in Breckenridge. According to Marcom, the lawsuit involves the alleged wrongful termination of a Rhome police officer. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

The City has been following the state law that was updated in 2019 but had not officially updated the local policy since 1995, according to information presented at the meeting.

According to the new policy, there will be an “Open Forum” period at the beginning of each meeting during which members of the public may address the Commission or Board, depending on the meeting.

Anyone who wants to address the commission or board during the “Open Forum” must complete a “Public Testimony Form” and present it to the City Secretary before the beginning of the meeting. The forms are available at City Hall and are available before each meeting on a table just outside the City Commission Chambers.

During the Open Forum, when called upon by the mayor or chairman, each speaker must approach the designated speaker location and state his/her name and address before speaking. According to the resolution, speakers must “address the commission or board with civility that is conducive to appropriate public discussion.”

Each speaker will be allowed a total of three minutes to speak. If there are more than five individuals wishing to speak on any one matter, each speaker’s time shall be limited to a total of two minutes to speak. If any speaker requires the assistance of a translator, the speaker’s time to speak will be doubled, in accordance with Section 551.007 of the Texas Government Code.

At other times during a meeting, members of the audience will be allowed to enter into discussion or debate on matters being considered by the commission or board, such as agenda items, if they are recognized/acknowledged by the mayor or chairman.

The commissioners approved the resolution updating the Public Comment Policy.

Other business

The City Commissioners also took care of the following items:

  • Approved a request to replat and combine 600 W. 4th and 903 N. Smith in order to build a single-family residence.
  • Approved the Breckenridge Chamber of Commerce’s plan for the 2024 Stephens County Frontier Days.
  • Approved a change order for a project improving the buildings at the City’s Public Works facility.

Employees of the Month

A few months back, the City of Breckenridge started recognizing an Employee of the Month.

The April 2024 Employee of the Month is Brittany Metcalf, administrative assistant at the Breckenridge Police Department. In his written nomination for Metcalf, Interim Police Chief Tommy Williams wrote, “In my short time here as interim police chief, I have found Brittany to be indispensable in my acclimation to The Breckenridge Police Department. Any time that I have a question, she can be depended on to have an answer. She is always willing to go above and beyond to get the job done. Brittany is well-versed in the administrative duties of her job and in the police department in general. Brittany has done an excellent job of balancing her duties as secretary, records management, and assisting in dispatch when needed. She has begun the process of taking on the additional task of managing property and evidence. This will require extra training, but she has eagerly accepted the challenge and is doing well. Brittany is always in a good mood and is willing to assist, no matter who or what the need. She is an integral part of our organization. I believe that we would be less efficient without her being here.”

Pictured below are Metcalf, as well as some of the other City of Breckenridge Employees of the Month, honored earlier this year.

Brittany Metcalf was presented with the April 2024 Employee of the Month by Interim Police Chief Tommy Williams. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Breckenridge firefighter Blaine Kayga, right, was presented with the March Employee of the Month award by Fire Chief Malcolm Bufkin. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Lacy Botts, right, the assistant to the city manager, was presented with the February Employee of the Month award by City Manager Cynthia Northrop. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

In January, Shelby Burkhalter with the water department was honored as the Employee of the Month by Public Works Director Todd Henderson. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Cutline, top photo: Blake Johnson, who was approved as the new Breckenridge Chief of Police, pending a final background check, attended the April 2 City Commission meeting, along with his wife, Monica, at left. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)



Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Support The Breckenridge Texan


Title of the document Sign up for our
Click Here
Verified by MonsterInsights