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Austwell council reinstates prayer
by Tim Delaney
May 16, 2014 | 101 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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Austwell City Council members, from left, Mary Canales, Nadine Garner and Mayor David Cann pose after Garner was appointed mayor pro tem on Monday evening, May 12.
Tim Delaney photo Austwell City Council members, from left, Mary Canales, Nadine Garner and Mayor David Cann pose after Garner was appointed mayor pro tem on Monday evening, May 12.
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AUSTWELL – Following on the heels of a May 5 U.S. Supreme Court decision that legislative entities such as city councils can begin their meetings with prayer, the Austwell city council on May 12 approved resuming prayer at its meetings.

The Supreme Court justices, voting 5-4 on the measure, cited prayer as tradition and that it did not violate any constitutional measure.

A discussion among the council members included options for the prayer. Should it be specifically Christian, non-denominational or just a moment of silence?

The council approved adding a moment of silence to its agendas, respecting all religions and faiths.

In other council business, following a closed session, the council in open session appointed Councilwoman Nadine Garner as its mayor protem.

The council also acknowledged an increase in values over last year from the Refugio County Appraisal District. The new 2014 estimated value was $8.546 million, including minerals and real estate. Last year, the value was set at $8.592 million a little higher.

Tom Bernal, who has assisted the city of Austwell in some of its grants, gave an overview of the wetlands center project that includes upgrading the community center with a Coast Impact Assistance Program grant.

The grant will provide $211,000 to do the project, but preliminary bids have exceeded the amount.

Bernal said he is working with getting a bidder to get within the available grant funds.

Plans are to go out for bids soon.
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