City will redistrict
Mar 03, 2012 | 884 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
BEEVILLE — Some residents may find themselves voting in a new ward when this year’s city elections are held in May.

City Manager Tom Ginter told the City Council Tuesday night that the city will have to redistrict.

To avoid redistricting, the population makeup of the city’s five wards would had to have stayed within 10 percent of what they were 10 years ago.

However, populations had deviated 18.42 percent.

Ginter said Wards 1 and 5 have gained larger populations in the last decade.

City Secretary Tomas P. Saenz, who oversees the city’s annual elections, said he could not remember a time when the city did not have to redistrict.

“It has happened every 10 years,” Saenz said.

The city secretary did say that redistricting will not affect most Beeville residents.

Ward lines will have to be moved a couple of blocks, at the most, Saenz told the council.

The San Antonio law firm of Allison, Bass & Associates, LLP, will prepare new ward lines to comply with federal regulations.

The City Council will approve a final plan that will be submitted to the U.S. Department of Justice for preclearance.

Ginter said the May council elections will not have to be delayed.

Council members also approved a new agreement with Amstar, Inc., the construction company handling park improvements. The agreement changes the previous ceiling of $2.9 million to a new ceiling of $3,204,000. But that will include work expected to be done on football fields on the Moreno Middle School campus.

Chris Majors of AGCM Inc. Construction Management of Corpus Christi told the council that the project architect, Gignac & Associates, had submitted revised plans bringing the expected costs of a redesigned Little League baseball complex at Veterans Memorial Park down to the point that the other work could be budgeted.

The new plan will allow the construction company to install equipment necessary to provide additional lighting of some fields in the future, but those facilities will not be lighted at this time.

One of those fields affected will be the girls’ fast-pitch softball field, but parks consultant John Longoria said the girls teams would be able to use a lighted Coach Pitch field in the event they have to play a night game.

“We have to get moving in the next 10 days,” Majors said, if the construction company is to have the work completed on the Little League complex by the April opening of the season.

In other business, the council voted to:

— Take no action after hearing new comparisons on the expected costs of providing health insurance coverage for city employees.

“I don’t know how we’re saving money,” Councilwoman Libby Spires said after hearing a report from Roland Barrera of Entrust.

The company won a contract to provide self-funded insurance coverage for city employees earlier this month.

— Reschedule a public hearing for Jan. 10, on a request from Elizabeth Perez for a special use permit for her property at 1503 N. Adams St.

Perez wants to operate an optical retail business at that location.

— Schedule a public hearing on a proposed skate park for Jan. 10.

Longoria said representatives of SPA Skateparks of Austin, the company that will design and build the facility, will be in town early next month to survey a couple of possible sites for the park.

The Austin-based company has designed and built skateparks throughout much of the state.

The city has budgeted $200,000 for the construction of the park.

Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at
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