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City Council talks trash

By Sandy Jennings BCC Staff Writer

The majority of the time at the Bandera City Council regular meeting on Thursday, July 21, was taken up with a discussion about who will finish picking up the remainder of flood brush and debris.
“For two weeks following the flood of May 29, chipping was done along the streets where trees completely obstructed the road and, extensive chipping to clean up City Park,” City Administrator Mike Garr said. “Beginning June 13, chipping started on the residential streets moving north from the river and then from 1st towards Main Street.”
Garr reported that chipping was done an average of four days per week, with a cost of personnel, equipment and fuel totaling $2,178 per week.
Garr also reported that the city contracted with Pannell Contracting, a company that does chipping for Bandera Electric Cooperative, to begin clean-up east of Main Street. Cost for one day, using a two man crew and chipper, was $1,000.
“We contracted with Republic Services for a single day to evaluate their ability to reduce the workload and they cleared about eight city blocks at a cost of approximately $1,400,” Garr said.
Republic, already under contract with the city for regular trash pickup, estimated that there is approximately 540 yards of brush remaining in the city and largely in the extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ). The company’s bid to collect the brush at homes in the city and ETJ and transport it to a landfill, was $14,000.
“Besides deciding how to proceed with clean up of the remaining brush, we should also address long term solutions to this ongoing problem,” Garr said. “We currently contract with Republic to do twice a year bulk pick-ups in May and October. Brush that falls in the right of way will be collected by the city. Brush that falls on personal property should wait until the next city-wide collection.”
Republic submitted a proposal for brush collection in the city and ETJ at no upfront charge by extending the current contract by one year.
“Our current contract signed on Sept. 1, 2015, expires in September of 2020,” Garr said.
Councilman Cindy Coffey directed questions to Republic Services Representative Terry Gawlick. Coffey asked the value of the contract. Gawlick did not know and referred to City Treasurer Rose Garr, who stated that city commercial and residents’ checks to Republic totaled approximately $57,000 per month, which is $684,000 per year.
Coffey asked Republic if Bandera could lock in a maximum of three percent increase if the contract was extended. He answered in the affirmative. Coffey then asked for additional bulk pick-up days and for an amendment to isolate costs based on discussed clean-up. Coffey also asked that they establish a rate to be added to the existing contract that was to be extended in exchange for pickup.
A spirited debate between Coffey and Glenn Clark ensued. Before discussion ended, Councilman Rebecca Gibson made a motion to accept the $14,000 offer stating the council will assess how much brush is left after Republic is finished, revisiting the issue if and when more money is needed.
The majority of council members voted yes to the motion, Coffey voted no.
Other business
Texas Timber Frames will donate a 20-foot by 18-foot pavilion in honor of Marine Rodney Buentello, who lost his life at the dam in Bandera City Park while saving two other lives this past June.
Discussion concerned having an American Flag at the site that would be illuminated 24 hours.
Garr announced he would attend a Dam Safety Workshop in Denton, hosted by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The workshop would provide practical and straightforward information on issues that affect anyone who owns or operates a dam.These issues include state dam safety laws and regulations and enforcement, emergency action plans and maintenance issues for all areas on a dam and recommendations for correction.
The council adjourned into closed executive session to consult with legal council and discuss the city audit of finances.
The council’s next regular meeting is scheduled for 6 pm, Thursday, August 4.