Council approves water contract with Blueberry Hills
by Gary Kent
Dec 04, 2011 | 1818 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
BEEVILLE — City Council members approved their part of a water sales contract with Blueberry Hills, LLC, a subdivision west of the city limits when they met at City Hall Tuesday evening.

Attorneys have been negotiating an agreement for months now and a number of snags have delayed the approval of a contract.

At one point, Blueberry Hills attorney Ronnie Jones even filed suit against the city and Bee County.

The subdivision has operated its own water works for years but the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality had recently brought up concerns about arsenic levels in the wells used there.

Arsenic is a naturally occurring substance in groundwater. Government agencies have concentrated on reducing levels over health concerns.

Treatment of Blueberry Hills’ well water would have been prohibitively expensive.

The agreement between the city and the subdivision will pave the way for the corporation to start buying surface water from the city in the near future and solve the arsenic problem for residents in Blueberry Hills.

Bee County, which is one of the parties to the agreement, had previously approved its part of the contract.

Council members also approved a resolution and a finance plan that will allow the city to purchase a large ladder truck for the Beeville Volunteer Fire Department.

The council had previously approved the purchase of the $976,000 truck but the two formalities were required before the vehicle can be delivered.

The truck, built by Pierce Manufacturing, is being equipped by Siddons-Martin Emergency Group in Houston. The vehicle will have a 100-foot, steel ladder and platform that will allow the department to reach tall buildings or extend over obstructions to get water and fire retarding foam to extinguish blazes.

Firefighters also will be able to extend the ladder and platform into river beds for high water rescues.

Assistant Fire Chief Bill Burris said the truck will be completely equipped and ready for action when it arrives later this month.

He said Siddons-Martin has set a tentative delivery date of Dec. 16 for the truck.

In other business, the council voted to:

— Approve downtown street closing requests to accommodate this weekend’s Holly Jolly Christmas and the Lighted Christmas Parade.

— Approve a Traffic Safety Commission recommendation to grant a no parking request from Coastal Bend College outlawing parking on the south side of Charco Road from U.S. Highway 181 Business to the city limits.

— Authorize the installation of 30-minute parking limit signs on the south side of the 100 block of West Bowie Street.

— Approve the closing of the southern half of an alley between North St. Mary’s and North Washington streets in Block 50.

— Divide the city’s 505 votes evenly between three candidates the council nominated earlier for representatives on the Bee County Appraisal District board.

The city’s nominees are Malcolm Anderson, Luis “Tiny” Longoria and Pete Martinez.

— Renew the city’s service agreement with Blackboard Connect.

— Approve the first and second readings of a resolution pertaining to an arrangement between the Beeville Economic Improvement Corporation involving a performance agreement between the city and Reserve at Jones Road, LLC.

— Purchase a $35,000 Kubota tractor for the city’s parks department from Fuller Tractor Co.

— Buy five electronic voting machines at a cost of $48,403.29. The equipment will be purchased over three years with equal payments of $16,134.43.

Before adjourning, City Manager Tom Ginter told council members that the city had received bids for the construction of baseball and football facilities for local parks but that the bids had come in higher than expected.

He said the city is working with architects and project management personnel to come up with some ways to reduce the costs.
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