The Brownfield City Council met in a regular scheduled meeting Thursday morning July 15, 2021 where they decided against a proposal from the City of Ropesville. Before the Council would get to that decision they would begin with a call to order, invocation, and take care of other agenda items.
The first two agenda items would be the City Manager’s monthly finance and investments reports. According to City Manager Jeff Davis the City has expended $12,478,414.48 of the budget which is 60.43%% of the $20,650,272.00. Davis said that the budget is on the right track and there is still three months left in the 2020-2021 fiscal budget. Davis also shared the City’s investment report showing $7,137,435.64 in the bank. Texas law requires at least three months or a quarter of the year’s budget to be in the bank. The City of Brownfield has just a little under $2 million over the required amount.
Moving on to the next item of business, the Council would hear from Lorena Valencia who is the Brownfield Chamber of Commerce Director about their quarterly reports. Valencia showed the Council the expenses and income from the past quarter. Councilwoman Judy Besler asked Valencia about the upcoming Vineyard Festival that will take place July 30-31, 2021. Valencia responded, “It looks like its going to be another good year. We have people coming from south of Houston, Round Rock, Midland and other areas Texas that have already received tickets.
The next two items on the agenda was for the Council to approve the easement of right away for an alleyway and to abandon an existing alleyway in the Shady Oaks Addition near South Howell, East Hester and Crystal Lane. The land the City was asking for approval is to make a complete alleyway going from South Howell to Cheryl Dr. between Hester and Crystal Lane. Also the City was asking for approval of abandoning an existing alleyway which is located off the 1600 block of Crystal Lane. According to Davis, the trash trucks when turning from an existing alley that goes from east to west, they have to turn going south and the turn is so sharp the trash truck drives on private property to make the turn. Davis stated, “If approved this will be a good thing for all involved. We will have a straight alley and we won’t going on others property.” The Council approved the measure unanimously. Councilman Eric Horton withdrew all voting for this matter due to a conflict of interest involving the property.
Next was another request for the approval of an easement right away for a alleyway. This easement is located west of North Sage St., and south of Tahoka Rd near the Stripes Convenience store. According to Davis, there is a possibility there will be a new business built east of the Stripes and there is no easement for an alleyway for a new business and for those residence who live in the 100 block of N. Sage. Again Davis stated this would be a win win for all parties involved. The Council approved the easement.
Next was to hear from Alan Phillips a representative from the City of Ropesville about buying water from the City of Brownfield to blend with their water supply. According to Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) Ropesville has very high concentration of fluoride in their water. The City of Ropesville is wanting to buy water from Brownfield to mix or blend that water with theirs to dilute the fluoride. However the issue according to the Brownfield Water Dept. and City Manager Davis is the City allocates 2 million gallons a day and on average the City uses 1.9 million gallons a day.
Although Ropesville is requesting 45,000 gallons of water a day, it could cause the City of Brownfield to go over their allotment. Mayor Tom Hesse asked Phillips how much is going to cost the City Ropesville to add the pipe and other construction. Phillips told the council it would cost around $1.5 million. Mayor Hesse suggested and felt it would be less costly if the City of Ropesville built a “reverse osmosis” system for the city. Councilman Horton asked if Ropesville had approached Wollforth, Lubbock and Slaton about buying water from those cities. Phillips told the council the City of Ropesville had indeed asked, however due to growth in Lubbock County, none of those entities were willing to allow the sale of water.
Davis made it clear during the this time the City of Brownfield in 2015 was asked by the City of Wellman to buy water, and the council at that time denied Wellman the sale of water. Also Davis allowed Phillips to explain how the City of Ropes has known about this issue for several years, for about the last decade and a half. According to both Davis and Phillips even if the City of Brownfield was approve the sale, the approval process would then be taken up by the 22 members of the Canadian River Municipal Water Authority (CRMWA) and all 22 must approve it.
It was asked by a member of the Council could the City of Ropesville just join CRMWA. Davis answered and said, “no… not because we don’t want them to, they never got involved when CRMWA opened the rights to receiving water.” Davis went on to explain that for the past 50 to 70 years, the members of CRMWA has paid for bonds and construction for this system to be put in place and to be maintained. “It wouldn’t fair to allow for another town to join when they haven’t invested in the system.” The Council voted unanimously to deny the City of Ropesville the water they were asking for.
The final agenda item dealt with the upcoming redistricting process. The US Census Bureau will release the county and city data in September. When this is done the City and County must change their districts and precincts if it is needed. Redistricting involves more than how many people are in a neighborhood. It consist of race, socioeconomics, and population. The City of Brownfield set the criteria for redistricting for a political subdivision. More will begin on this issue most likely in October 2021.
The meeting was adjourned. Councilwoman Michelle Cooper was the only member not present at the meeting. The next meeting is slated for Thursday morning at 7:30 am on August 5, 2021 in the Council Chambers at City Hall.