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2014-03-06

O, marshal's office, where art thou going?

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

Pictured: City's Quonset hut deemed unsatisfactory for new office for city marshal.




Don't look now, but Bandera County resident Robert Koimn seems to be everywhere these days, looking out for the interests of the City of Bandera.
On Thursday, Feb. 27, he appeared before commissioners court questioning which governing entity has replatting authority in the municipality's extraterritorial jurisdiction. For the record, it's Bandera County. Now, picking up where he left off with the failed hotel negotiations, Koimn as facilitator appears to be assisting the city find potential rental property for the city marshal's office.
During a special-called workshop the morning of Tuesday, Feb. 25, council discussed the status of the law enforcement's proposed relocation from the municipal building on Main Street.
During a special-called meeting on Jan. 25, issues were discussed for council's decision. Due to the configuration of the present office, Marshal James "Charlie" Hicks and his officers were described as "sitting ducks."
Several alternatives were offered, one being an old Quonset hut on Cedar Street that once apparently housed the old board of public works, close to the water tower. Currently, it is being used to store materials and equipment parts for the city.
After the Courier enquired as to the location of the Quonset hut, a city-watching wag quipped, "It's right under where all the buzzards have been crapping!" According to council, the location was perfect and included adequate parking.
Another location tendered was the former VFW at the corner of Montague and Austin streets, as well as adding to the EMS barn.
At that time, Councilman Glenn Clark asked City Administrator Mike Cardenas to come up with some specs, including a cost estimate for the relocation.
Cardenas brought his recommendations back to council on Feb. 25 - and they precluded renovating the Quonset hut. "It's just a tin building and is not structurally sound for what we want to do with it," Cardenas said, "especially the footings." The building would also need air conditioning and a bathroom.
If council decides to construct a new building on the premises, the Quonset hut could be sold for scrap metal, Cardenas told council last month.
He had also executed preliminary drawings for a proposed new building. "I showed it to council for their input and changes," Cardenas said in an interview on Monday, March 3. "We don't want to spend much money on the project until they're sure of what they want."
Mayor Don Clark asked about considering different property in a more prominent area.
"We're still going to have to find money for this," Cardenas noted.
"There's nothing budgeted for a new building," Mayor Pro Tem John Hegemire cautioned his colleagues.
On Friday, Feb. 28, calls to the Courier advised that Koimn was seeking rental property for possible relocation of the marshal's office, forestalling dipping into the general or enterprise funds for construction costs.
When asked about Koimn's alleged actions, Mayor Clark expressed surprise, noting that Koimn had no authority to act on behalf of the city and that no one on council had discussed Koimn soliciting for rental properties. "Not to my knowledge," Mayor Clark added.
Realtors with rental property within the city limits they feel are suitable for the marshal's office should call the municipal building at 830-796-3456 or 830-460-7170 - and cut out the middleman.