City goes out for grant to repair water well

The Devine City Council authorized the submission of a Texas Community Development Block Grant Program application for the repair of the LC Martin water well in the Regular meeting held Tuesday, Jan. 24.
Council members David Espinosa, Hal Lance, Steve Lopez, David Valdez, and Kathy Wilkins were in attendance, as were Mayor Bill Herring, Interim City Administrator Dora Rodriguez, City Attorney Tom Cate, and City Treasurer Denise Duffy.
The LC Martin well is offline and needs in-line filters to remove iron from the water. It also has an electrical panel that is burned out.
“We tried a chemical to try to reduce the iron into the system, but it didn’t work,” Public Works Director Ismael Carrillo said.
An Espinosa-Valdez motion to authorize applying for the grant and letting Rodriguez act as the City’s Executive Officer in all matters pertaining to it passed 5-0.
Wheelchair ramp
Council reviewed plans for a wheelchair ramp to be installed on the City’s property at the corner of E. College Ave. and S. Bright Dr.
The ramp is needed for patients of Dr. Martin Noyola’s Dynamic Physical Therapy, which sits at the corner of E. College Ave. and S. Bright Dr., and faces E. College Ave. The clinic lacks a dedicated parking lot, relying instead on street parking along the curb in front of the building, as well as on the City-owned vacant slab along the side.
The preliminary plans provided by Garcia & Wright, the City’s engineering firm, come at a cost of $5,540.
“We’ll have to amend the budget,” Herring said.
Carrillo said Public Works would perform the construction, and Rodriguez added that Raul Garcia of Garcia & Wright will oversee the work.
A Lance-Lopez motion to approve the ramp’s installation and amend the budget for $5,540 passed unanimously.
Devine Municipal Airport
Devine Municipal Airport Manager Vicky Pumphrey informed Council that a urinal in the men’s restroom was broken and needed to be replaced, the septic tank was overdue to be pumped, and the restrooms had no lighting.
“If we’re out there at night, we’re with flashlights,” Pumphrey said.
Carrillo said that he and Medina County Environmental Health and Floodplain Administrator Pat Brawner had been to the airport, and that Brawner said the septic tank was fine and didn’t need to be pumped.
“On the urinal, Vicky is correct,” Carrillo said. “We cannot find parts for it, so the best solution would be to buy a new one and install it.”
Carrillo added that there is some existing lighting in the restrooms but no switch, so the wiring needs to be investigated.
Espinosa questioned if there were any issues with facilities in the women’s restroom, and Pumphrey replied the only problem was with the urinal.
“What it would do, is you couldn’t shut it off,” Pumphrey explained. “So it would constantly run, which would fill up the septic tank and cause issues.”
Rodriguez pointed out that the airport’s budget was $14,000, and that the money from the hangar leases is set aside into another fund for grants.
“We lose money at the airport,” Rodriguez said. “We really don’t want to spend too much in there. We want to replace [the urinal] but not to have to spend too much money, because as it is, we already lose money every year with them.”
Espinosa, who is a plumber by trade, asked for specifics about the issue with the urinal. Carrillo said the valve was broken, and that Bo-Fessional Plumbing had inspected it and agreed that the valve was old and oddly-shaped and that a replacement part was not available.
Espinosa said he had changed identical valves before and would look for a kit with the correct parts.
A Lopez-Valdez motion to authorize Carrillo to get prices for improvements in the men’s restroom at the airport passed 5-0.
Agreement with Devine Little League Association
Margaret Centilli, Player Agent for the Devine Little League Association, informed Council that DLLA had received their charter and insurance, and that registration for the upcoming season is underway. The season is set to open April 1.
A Valdez-Espinosa motion to approve the agreement between the City and the DLLA passed 5-0.
Driscoll Public Library
Council entered Executive Session to discuss Library Use Police – Consultation with Attorney, at 6:24 pm. Herring, Cate, Rodriguez, and Duffy remained with Council during the Executive Session until reconvening in Open Session at 6:45 PM.
No action was taken upon reconvening in Open Session.
Other business
Devine ISD disconnected from the temporary water meter on W. Warhorse Dr. at the City’s request. Action on Aviation Fuel, Inc.’s request to sell fuel at the Municipal Airport was postponed at the request of owner Erich Ehlinger. Council unanimously approved the minutes of the Nov. 15, 2016 Regular meeting and the Dec. 8, 2016 and Dec. 16, 2016 Special meetings, and unanimously adopted a proclamation commemorating National School Choice Week.

By Marly Davis
Staff Writer

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