The Denver City City Council met in regular session on Monday night, June 1, where they addressed their agenda.
In the absence Mayor Tommy Hicks, Mayor Pro Tem Robert Hanneman led the Council in the pledges to the flag and then offered the Invocation. During the announcement portion of the meeting Chief of Police David Hennigan informed the Council a new officer had been hired for the Police Department. He also noted a former officer, Ricardo Gonzales, had returned to Denver City and has started his duties last week. With the addition of the two officers, Hennigan said he was almost back at full staff.
Going into the agenda Hanneman skipped down to item E. which is to consider COVID-19 issues and Coronavirus Relief Fund application. Judge Jim Barron and County District Attorney Bill Helwig were on hand to present the council with information about the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding (CESF) program. Through this program, the City of Denver City, Plains, and Yoakum County are all eligible to apply for a grant offered through SPAG (South Plains Association of Governments). The grants are determined based on population. If awarded the grant, Denver City would receive $30,000, and Plains and Yoakum County would receive $10,000 each.
These funds are available from the Office of the Governor Public Safety Office Criminal Justice Division. This money is used to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the Coronavirus. The County Treasurer’s Office has agreed to manage these funds for all three entities. Money can be used for items such as personnel overtime, personal protective equipment, supplies, temporary staff, etc. as long as it is COVID-19 related. The City Council unanimously agreed to go forward with the application process.
In this same agenda item, City Manager, Stan David, informed the council about another Coronavirus relief grant through the CARES Act that the city is eligible to receive. There is not an application process, the city just must submit a letter stating that they would be interested in this grant. The amount to be awarded is based on the city’s population which is currently recorded as 4,871. Denver City can receive $55 per capita. As with the previous grant information, there are guidelines for how this money can be spent.
The money can be used for expenses that are incurred between March 1, 2020 and December 30, 2020. Under this grant, money can be used for Medical Expenses, Public Health Expenses, Payroll Expenses, Expenses of actions to facilitate compliance with COVID-19 related public health measures, Provision of Economic Support, and any other expense reasonably necessary to the function of government. The state will keep an eye on how these expenses are used through an auditing process. With both grant opportunities, any funds that are not used will be returned to the state.
Next on the agenda was to go back to the top and consider proposals for trenching and waterline installation project. For the first two miles, Tejas Partners will be picking up where they left off and continuing to work on this project. Miles three and four, will be done by CJR and/or Henry’s Welding. With all of the current bids, David expects for these companies to be able to complete four to four and a half miles.
The following item was to consider surveying and engineering work for waterline project. West Texas Consultants submitted a bid of $84,396 for four miles. The council unanimously voted to accept this bid and give them up to $100,000 for additional expenses if needed.
Lastly for the waterline project was to consider approval to purchase materials for the waterline installation project. The council approved the spending of up to $500,000 on this.
In the next item of business, the council was asked to consider a zoning change from residential to commercial for an approximately 5-acre tract of land in Section 892 located on State Highway 214. This section of land was deeded to Denver City’s Economic Development Corporation from Oxy several months ago. DCEDC Director Heath Haynes says that at this time Dollar General plans to build an additional store there. In addition to Dollar General, there will be room for a few other businesses to join them.
Denver City’s Zoning Board met earlier in the day to approve this zoning change, and the City Council also unanimously approved this change. Haynes adds that at this time, Dollar General plans to have both stores open, but that is always subject to change.
The final item on the agenda to consider the city’s acquisition of all of Lots 19-25, and the south half of Lots 26-27, that are all in Block 29, Original Town had to be tabled.
There was not a motion to go into executive session, so the bills that totaled $90,107.33 were paid and there was a motion to adjourn.
Council members in attendance included Robert Hanneman, Clinton Bowman, Mark Sherman, Keith Mensch, and Joan Breith. Mayor Tommy Hicks and Ronald Weir were not present.
The next regularly scheduled meeting will be held on Monday, June 15, in the Council chambers starting at 7pm.