The City of Zavalla met for a regular scheduled meeting on Tuesday, June 9, 2020 at p.m. at the old city hall building located at 838 East Main Street, Zavalla, Texas 75980
Council present were: Mayor, Carlos Guzman, Council members; Pam Hooks, Randall Dykes, Denita Ross, Tom Ross, and Stacy Marshall.
Staff present were: Waunesa Herrington, Aimee Cloutier, Chris Wade, and Daryl Cheney.
Guest present were: Joe Hudson, Joy Yarbrough, Shannon Yarbrough, Jess Huff, Ray Vann, Eunice Ditterline, and Donna Harris.
Mayor Guzman called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m., established a quorum, welcomed the guest, and cited both the Pledge Allegiance to the American and Texan flags.
Open Forum: Joe Hudson spoke under open forum. He stated he owns the property at 168 Oak Street, a property off George Street. He has put a temporary portable building on the property and is making improvements. He said that power was hooked up to the property in February 2020 and the Zavalla Water Department installed a water line on the property in March 2020. He wants sewer to be hooked up. He stated he has been speaking with Daryl Cheney, the Public Works Director for two months and Mr. Cheney has yet to give him a time frame for the sewer being installed. Mr. Hudson explained the water line that was previously installed is a temporary line because the meter box is on top of the ground. He would like to know what is going on because he needs the sewer hooked up and would like the council to be made aware of his situation. Council member, Pam Hooks asked Mr. Hudson how long it has been since he asked Daryl about the sewer and he said January 2020.
Zavalla Volunteer Fire Department Report: Fire Chief, Chris Wade gave the fire report. He also told the council that there is going to be a fish fry fundraiser on June 20, 2020 and they are also having a fireworks display on July 4, 2020 that was sponsored and donated by Carlos and Carolyn Guzman.
First Order of Business: Discuss and take action to select a grant administrator for the 2021-2022 TxCDBG Community Development Fund: Mr. Ray Vann with Raymond K. Vann and Associates stood up and explained what the grant was about and what needed to be done to apply for the grant. Councilman Tom Ross made the motion to accept and appoint Raymond K. Vann and Associates as the grant administrator of the grant, Stacy Marshall seconded the motion, all in favor, motion carried and passed.
Second Order of Business: Discuss and possibly approve to issue request for proposals (RFP) for administrative service and request for qualification (RFQ) for engineering services related to the Community Development Block Grant-Mitigation (CDBG-MIT) grant programs administered by the Texas General Land Office (GLO): City Secretary, Waunesa Herrington explained the grant and that is a one percent match. She went on to explain that the grant is for hazard mitigation to prevent future floods. Ray Vann with Raymond K. Vann and Associates stood up to explain what the grant was because Mr. Ricky Payne with Grant Works did not attend. Councilman Tom Ross made the motion to apply for the grant and request proposals for administration services and request for qualifications related to the block grant, Denita Ross seconded the motion, Pam Hooks and Stacy Marshall abstained from the vote, and Randall Dykes with the motion. The motion carried, was approved, and passed.
Third Order of Business: Discuss RV Ordinance: City Secretary Waunesa Herrington said she spoke with Jason Robinson with TCEQ and Harold Hunter with the USDA. Mr. Robinson said we could apply for FMT assistance and TCEQ would send someone to the city to help create an ordinance. Council member Pam Hooks said she spoke with Texas Municipal League (TML) and they recommended that the City go through its city attorney. Councilwoman Denita Ross told the other members she had passed out an ordinance that she wrote, and thought was acceptable. She explained she got the rate from the City of Zavalla's ordinance number ninety-seven that is current. Council member Stacy Marshall stated that even if we do have to go through the attorney, the council members needed something to go off.
Fourth Order of Business: Discuss and Possibly Approve Buying a Tractor and/ or Equipment: Public Works Director Daryl Cheney passed out bids on tractors to the council members. Mr. Cheney said the reason the tractors are so big is because he wants to get a grinder later and the bid also includes a 16-foot bush hog, front end loader, and 4-wheel drive. Councilwoman Pam Hooks made the motion to buy the Massey and Ferguson tractor they had a bid for. Councilwoman Stacy Marshall asked Daryl if it was necessary to have all the extras like a cab, cup holder, ac, heat. Mayor Guzman told Mr. Cheney to explain to the council why he wanted these extra accessories and what the price difference would be without them. Councilwoman Pam Hooks said it is probably good thing to have the cab for safety precautions. Daryl told the council that everything in the bid pretty much came standard. Councilman Tom Ross and Chief of Police Chris Wade agreed. Councilwoman Pam Hooks once again made the motion to buy the Massey and Ferguson tractor that was included in the bid, Randall Dykes seconded the motion, Tom Ross opposed the motion, Denita Ross and Stacy Marshall abstained from the vote. Motion was passed and approved with the vote being 2-1.
Fifth Order of Business: Discuss and possibly approve checks 9680, 9048, and 9698.
Tom made the motion to approve check 9680, Randall second, motion carried. The Council did not mind paying extra on the Tahoe, they just wanted to be informed. Tom made the motion to approve check 9698, Randall second, motion carried. Tom question how high the mileage check was and no one was here last month to explain. Waunesa explain how Aimee had been out and that she had to go to Lufkin more than usual. Tom made the motion to approve check 9048, Randall second and motion carried. Tom told Daryl that with two City work truck, he needed to use a City work truck, that he did not need to use his personal truck, it could be a liability.
Sixth Order of Business: Discuss and Possibly Approve Paying off the Tahoe: Councilwoman Denita Ross stated the check numbers on the agenda were not correct. Check number 9680 was a payment toward the Tahoe note. Mrs. Ross stated the reason the check for the Tahoe was stopped was because Mayor Guzman did not consult with any of the council members before paying the note. Councilman Tom Ross made the motion to pass and approve check numbers 9048,9695, and 9680. Randall seconded the motion, all in favor, motion passed and approved. Mr. Tom Ross told Mr. Daryl Cheney that there is two city trucks and he does not like him using his personal truck.
Seventh Order of Business: Discuss and possibly approve paying off the Tahoe: Councilwoman Denita Ross made the motion to pay the remaining balance of the Tahoe, Tom Ross seconded the motion, all in favor, motion passed and approved.
Eighth Order of Business: Discuss and possibly approve remodeling counter at New City Hall: City Secretary read and explained the policy regarding the mandated Court Operating Plan. Mrs. Herrington told the council she received one bid from Chris (Lisa Rice's husband) and the bid goes hand in hand with the E-Grant she is applying for on June 15, 2020. Mrs. Herrington told the council if there was a balance left over that needed to be paid that the Court's security fund would pay it. Councilwoman Denita Ross made the motion to remodel the counter at the New City Hall, Randall Dykes seconded the motion, Tom Ross voted yay for the motion, and Stacy Marshall abstained from the vote. The motion was carried, passed, and approved.
Ninth Order of Business: Discuss and· possibly approve Resolution for E-Grant for Covid 19: Councilman Tom Ross voted to approve the resolution for the E-Grant regarding Covid-19, Randall Dykes seconded the motion, all in favor, motion passed and approved.
Tenth Order of Business: Discuss and possibly approve Hazard Pay Policy: Councilman Tom Ross made the motion to approve the Hazard Pay policy with the contingency that the E-Grant pertaining Covid-19 is still active and to stop the Hazard pay when the State stops theirs. Randall Dykes seconded the motion, all council members in favor of the motion, passed.
Eleventh Order of Business: Discuss and possibly approve HACH contract: Public Works Director Daryl Cheney explained what the contract was about to the council members. Councilwoman Pam Hooks made the motion to approve the HACH contract. Randall Dykes seconded the motion, all council members in favor of the motion, passed and approved.
Twelfth Order of Business: Discuss and possibly approve March 2020 minutes: Councilman Tom Ross made the motion to approve the March 2020 minutes, Randall Dykes seconded the motion, all council members in favor for the motion, passed and approved.
Thirteenth Order of Business: Discuss and possibly approve May 2020 minutes: Councilman Randall Dykes made the motion to approve the May 2020 minutes with corrections to check numbers, Tom Ross seconded the motion, all council members in favor of the motion, passed and approved.
Fourteenth Order of Business: Discuss and possibly approve paying off County for road work in 2017: City Secretary Waunesa Herrington told the council that $7,000.00 was owed after paying this month's bills. Councilman Tom Ross made the motion to continue paying the county monthly, Randall Dykes seconded the motion, all council members in favor, motion passed and approved.
Fifteenth Order of Business: Discuss and possibly take action on past due water bills: City Secretary Waunesa Herrington explained to the council that there were two customers that have a high-water bill. One has a water leak and Mr. Cheney has already been out to show here where to tum the water off on their side. The customer said she nor her husband were able to tum the water off. Waunesa said they have not turned the water off because Mayor Guzman said not to tum any water off during the Covid-19 pandemic. Councilwoman Denita Ross said the balance of past due water bills is over $19,000.00 and it would not look good to have those on the books if we are trying to borrow money from the bank. Tom Ross said to tum them off if they are past due. Councilman Tom Ross made the motion to turn off anyone that has a past due water bill that has not made arrangements pending on checking with TML to make sure it is legal. Randall Dykes seconded the motion. All council members in favor of the motion. Motion passed and approved.
Sixteenth Order of Business: Discuss and possibly take action on taking money out of the CD to pay generator loan off: Councilman Tom Ross made the motion to cash in the CD to pay loan off BUT when the City gets payment from the grant, to buy another CD. Randall Dykes seconded the motion, Stacy Marshall and Denita Ross for the motion, Pam Hooks against. Motion passed and approved with the vote 4-1.
Seventeenth Order of Business: Discuss and possibly take action on City Employee's Health Insurance: City Secretary Waunesa Herrington explained the premiums for the health insurance offered to employees was going up $40.00 a person per month. Councilwoman Pam Hooks made the motion for the city to pay for the health insurance, Randall Dykes seconded the motion, all members of the council vote yay for the motion. The motion was passed and approved.
Councilwoman Denita Ross asked to go into executive session regarding an employee.
Council convened to executive session at 7:35 p.m.
Council reconvened from executive session at 7:40 p.m.
Daryl Cheney, Public Works- Mr. Cheney said all the pumps at the sewer lift stations are getting weak. He had built a bypass and has a gas pump hooked up to the lift station. He also said he would be installing a new pump at the lift station on Highway 147 tomorrow (6/10/2020). Mayor Guzman asked Daryl about the lift station on Barge. Daryl stated it was suppose to have two pumps, but at this time it has one and it is holding its own.
Chris Wade, Chief of Police- Chief Wade read his monthly report and said everything is going good at Zavalla PD. Mr. Wade stated that as of tonight they were fully staffed. He has hired two part time officers one being named Brandon Morgan and the other being Gage Richey. He told the council they should see a bill soon coming in regarding the Tahoe because he had to replace some batteries. Chief said there was a fatal accident recently and his department as well as other agencies were going to reconstruct the scene soon.
Aimee Cloutier, Deputy Court Clerk- Ms. Cloutier read her monthly court report and told the council that everything has been a little slow due to the virus. Aimee also told the council the reason they could not open the lobby at city hall was because the court operating plan had to be approved by the regional judge first. Mayor Guzman told the council that Aimee was offered a job at the District Attorney's office but did not take the position. He told her congratulations and that it was an honor to receive an offer like that.
Waunesa Herrington, City Secretary- Mrs. Herrington told the council that she has been working on E-Grants and she wanted to say a big thank you to Carolyn Guzman for making the board outside of city hall and they looked very good.
Pam Hooks- Mrs. Hooks thanked everyone for their support during her loss of a loved one recently.
Randall Dykes- Mr. Dykes said he and his neighbors are impressed with Mr. Steve Holle, a police officer that works for Zavalla PD.
Stacy Marshall- Mrs. Marshall wanted to know why Mr. Hudson's sewer has not been installed. Daryl Cheney said it was because he has been busy with sewer problems. Stacy asked him how long had he been busing with that. Daryl said about 3 weeks. Mayor Guzman asked Daryl if he could get Mr. Hudson sewer installed in 2 weeks. Daryl said he would try and get it done within two weeks. Stacy stated that this man has been waiting 6 months for his sewer to be installed. Stacy reminded Daryl she had asked him if he needed help shooting the elevations that the City would get him some help. Daryl said he was fine. Stacy said she would like for Mr. Hudson sewer to be installed in 2 weeks. Mrs. Marshall stated this is the second time that someone has waited a long time to get their utilities installed. This is not the way you handle business and we can't do business this way. Marshall asked Daryl if the phone system at the wells were working and Mr. Cheney informed her, they were. Stacy stated then it should free up some of your time. Stacy mentioned that she had a note that there was a water leak on First Street back in February 2020. Daryl Cheney said the leak has been fixed and taken care of. Mrs. Marshall asked how much hand sanitizer did the City purchase. Waunesa explained that the first purchase was eight gallons and the second purchase was a bunch of individual bottles of hand sanitizer.
Tom Ross- Mr. Ross told Daryl Cheney that he needed to put more road material down the road leading to the fire department. He also told Mr. Cheney that he could leave a few loads at the department and they could spread it. Mr. Ross also told Daryl "that he better not see a scratch on the new tractor or he would come unglued".
Denita Ross- Mrs. Ross asked what was going to happen with the money that was donated for the Easter Egg Hunt. Waunesa told her that she has not done anything with the money yet. Mrs. Ross said we should call everyone that donated to see if they wanted it back or not or to keep it for next year's Easter Egg hunt. Mrs. Ross told Daryl that she would volunteer her husband, Tom Ross to come out and show the other boys in the water department how to operate the machinery. Denita told Carlos that when she was up at City Hall the other day she felt like, that he was offended that she was up there. Mayor Guzman told her that he was not offended at all. Mrs. Ross also told the council that she wanted to get some bills paid because the city is about to have a high tractor note. Ross also stated that Chris and Daryl have done a good job and so has everyone else.
Mayor Carlos Guzman: Mr. Guzman stated that there was a lady that lives in the Black Forest community that has started a contracting business with Fed-Ex. He said she now owns 26 trucks and wants to congratulate her.
Final Order of Business: Discuss and possibly approve June 2020 bills: Councilman Tom Ross made the motion to pay June 2020 bills, Randall Dykes seconded the motion, all council members in favor of the motion and passed.
Mayor Guzman adjourned the meeting at 8: 10 p.m.