Members of the Houston City Council received an update on several projects Monday during a meeting at Houston City Hall.

The council:

•Marked the retirement of Cpl. David Kidwell of the Houston Police Department for his service to the city and community after 34 years. Kidwell received some gifts as his family looked on. Police Chief Tim Ceplina said Kidwell’s badge number will be retired, quipping, “Just like you.”

•Received an update from City Administrator Scott Avery on several projects, including: Work to determine water infiltration in the city’s sewer lines and implementation of a system that will automatically read electrical and water meters.

The latter will be done in phases, and the council approved making a payment of about half of an initial $119,198 cost for software, training and other matters. Later, equipment to transfer the data will be installed, as well as new meters placed through the utility footprint.

Another project — to map and determine the condition of utility poles — is slated to start as early as next week.

•Heard plans to deploy a municipal internet system are progressing with the city’s consultant and on-site work planned. It is anticipated that it will be operational by summer.

•Approved seeking bids for a new city fire truck following winning a USDA Rural Development grant that will pay 75 percent of the costs. The balance will come from city reserves.

•Authorized Avery to spend up to $20,000 for a truck to be used by a new maintenance employee. The money will come from reserves.

•Approved seeking bids for 1,650 tons of asphalt and related mill work. A tentative list shows these streets will receive overlays: Bryan, Ozark, Grand, Sycamore and Second, as well as an unpaved street off Oak Hill Drive that is north of Florence Street. The condition of Cleveland Road also will be examined before a final determination of the plan is approved. One firm already has an asphalt plant in the area, which should help lower the cost.

•Heard that several improvements have begun at the Houston Municipal Golf Course east of Houston. The property was recently acquired by the city. The council approved several pricing options after a review of other courses, heard that a leaky 30 x 30 building will be replaced and the club house is receiving  renovations, including new carpet. The city is also exploring software to implement its various sports programs.

Programs to attract golfers also were discussed, including working to attract anglers from Montauk State Park, giving a discount for golfers who travel some distance to play and a sweat equity program that converts labor donated for play time.

Avery said within a three-year period he is confident financial stability can be returned to the course.

•Hired Gilmore and Bell, a Kansas City firm, to assist in developing a financing package for the Houston Municipal Pool, which is under construction.  A portion of the old pool structure is used in the new design. A kiddie pool was earlier demolished.

Avery also gave an update on several projects, including:

•A sidewalk project along U.S. 63 near Subway and King Street, FEMA grant work at Emmett Kelly Park and near the wastewater treatment plant, remodeling at Houston City Hall and improvements to the Brushy Creek Trail, which was cleaned, storm debris removed and wood chips installed.

•Learned from Avery that negotiations between the city and the Houston School District continue related to easements and potential water runoff retaining to the construction of new gymnasium on campus.

•Adjourned into a closed session to discuss a contract related to construction of a bath house at the Houston Municipal Swimming Pool.

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