City of Lytle “financially sound,” looking at funding projects they had on hold

The City of Lytle discussed several opportunities that had been put on hold due to the uncertainly of the financial affects of Covid last year on the city’s budget. City Secretary Josie Campa reported to the council that the city was “financially sound” and that fines are up and sales tax is doing extremely well, much better than expected. “All in alll I believe it is safe to go ahead with capital improvements like drainage, streets. Our budget is strong. Fines and sales taxes are up. The budgeted money is there”. Mayor Ruben Gonzales said he would like to see all the bank account numbers at the next meeting before considering these options.
Projects that had been put on hold last year were: Phase 1 of Adams Street Drainage Project and repairs to the made on N. Somerset Street (bollards), as well as funding for street projects.
Covid-19 leave policy
The council acted on the Covid -19 leave policy for employees and discussed various options and opinions. It was approved with red line options as presented and 100%.
The policy is effect retroactively to January 1, 2021, and shall continue through September 30, 2021 unless subsequently extended or sooner terminated by action of the City Council.
The purpose of the policy is to provide guidance and instruction to employees on how to manage time away from work if a leave of absence is needed to provide care for themselves, their children, and or other individuals, due to the coronavirus, in a timely manner allowing for the continuation of the required City operations and service delivery.
The Policy applies to full time and part time employees.
Saddle Ridge Phase 6 Preliminary plat
The city council approved the proposal from TRC for plat review of Saddle Ridge Phase 6, reimbursable for the cost not to exceed $6,096.00. The proposal was for engineering services to review the submittal of the preliminary plat an civil construction plans. The master agreement between TRC and the City is dated March 24, 2008.
Public Works
An employee was hired for public works as recommended.
Succession Plan for key personnel
Alderman Charles Cate asked the council to consider establishing a succession plan for personnel including but not limited to department heads.”Experience will be lost when someone rides off into the sunset, ” Alderman Cate explained.

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“Small cities like us have key employees who insure our organization run smoothly daily”. Succession planning is important, the mentoring and training he explained needs to be in place so that if someone decides to retire or there is an unforeseen emergency the city can succeed and not fall on it’s face.
“I think it is critical to look at that, but at the same time work with our resources”, agreed Mayor Gonzales.
“Look at each department individually, who would take over. This should have been looked at 5 year ago,” said Alderman Cate.
The council voted for Aldermen Cate and Jerry Stone to serve on a committee. Mayor Gonzales also was willing to help. Alderwoman Reyna had expressed concern to wait until next month to form the committee after elections. Her motion had died for the lack of a second.
Alderman Cate reported that Cris Knoll with TXDot had been very helpful as were three firms who had been suggested as possible firms to assist with the application process. Representatives from the engineering firm Kimley-Horn were present to answer any questions. After visiting with them and discussing the approaching June 14 deadline for application the council voted to approve Kimley-Hornn as the Engineering Firm to help with the application as recommended.
Cate also discussed that the sidewalk project near the schools is the one that everyone feels would be most likely to happen first since it involved kids and safety.
The auction the city hosted this month brought in $14,000. Another is being scheduled for May.
Coal Mine Exit
The Coal Mine exit was discussed in executive session. Upon reconvening the council voted to give the Mayor permission to get with the city attorney as discussed.
Smart Water Meters and Internet
Smart meters for the water department and internet for the Lytle Community Center were discussed as well. Watch for more details on that next week.
The meeting began at 6:30 p.m. and ended at 10:53 p.m.