Members of the Houston City Council approved a 2014 operating budget Monday, received an update on maintenance work at a city well and opened bids for a heating system for the electrical department.
It was the last meeting of the year for the six-member council and mayor, which had worked several weeks on development of the budget.
Among projects planned in the coming year, including:
•New sidewalks as part of the Village Trail on Oak Hill Drive running from Forrest Street to the Houston Visitors Center. The city’s cost of the $400,000 project is about $80,000. Grant funding pays the balance.
nHiring an engineer for road project to connect C.W. Harry Drive and Cleveland Road.
•Completion of needs at new Rutherford Park on the western edge of Houston Memorial Airport, including addition of trails, sidewalks and picnic tables.
•Additional purchase of LED lighting for energy savings. LED bulbs also will be used in new pole lighting — paid in the 2013 budget — along North U.S. 63 in 2014.
In other matters, members:
•Approved an $8,683 bid from Ralph Cockrum of Houston for a new outdoor wood-burning furnace for the electric department offices.
•Decided to remove snow on weekends and evenings — rather than shutting down a portion of the downtown — when a storm strikes. A proposal considered was closing the downtown as a storm hits and diverting vehicles to a nearby parking lot.
•Work has begun to clean the city’s north water tower off Forrest Street. It is being draining, and a maintenance firm will clean the interior. City Administrator Larry Sutton said some water customers may notice a decrease in water pressure.