Councilman Joey Heard asked for and received support from the other council members to request Stripes to install a privacy fence and restore the sidewalks. During the demolition of the former Refugio Middle School, the sidewalks were removed.
Heard also expressed concern about truckers talking to children who use the former school playground as a practice field.
“Kids do not need to be talking to 18-wheeler drivers,” Heard said.
Chief Andy Lopez Jr. said he’s glad the store is there but warned of possible drawbacks before the store was built.
“Initially, in my mind, when Stripes bought the property, I didn’t think the school would allow the kids to (use) that property,” said Mayor Ray Jaso.
The council agreed to look for alternate space at Heritage Park for use as sports practice fields.
In other matters, the council approved a bid of $166,750 from Horseshoe Construction for upgrades on sewer lines in the Edward Street area.
Work should begin the end of January or the first part of February, according to Hector Casteneda, engineer with LNV.
Councilman Lenny Anzaldua questioned the recent leaks at the water tower that dropped water pressure in some areas and deprived other areas of water entirely.
Kevin Shreckengost, street and park supervisor, said the pipe infrastructure in the vicinity are old and ground shifts have caused them to burst.
The council also agreed to enter into a contract with the county for $34,000 to provide fire protection from the Refugio Fire Department. However, the council called for a workshop to ascertain how much is actually spent on fighting fires and answering calls in the county.
“There’s a lot of breakage going out of town,” Jaso said. “The county doesn’t have fire trucks and going out there puts a lot of wear and tear on the vehicles.”
The council also appointed Karen Watts and Joey Heard to the town’s economic development board to fill expired terms. Others on the board are the mayor, Lenny Anzaldua, Wanda Dukes, Veronica Rocha and Bull Lewis.