HOUSTON CITY HALL

Improvements under a FEMA grant at Emmett Kelly Park were approved Monday by the Houston City Council.

Dotson Excavating of Cabool was awarded a $37,562 contract for the work along Coyle branch that runs through the park.

The bank stabilization project will occur near U.S. 63 and Chestnut Street and is part of federal relief received by the city following flooding in April 2017. Engineering for the project is provided by Olsson, a Springfield engineering and design firm.

In other matters, members:

—Heard the results of the annual routine audit of the city conducted by KPM CPAs and Advisors of Springfield. No major findings were made. (A complete report will appear in next week’s newspaper)

—Heard that the city will hold a public hearing July 6 to discuss changes in its planning and zoning document. Upon approval of an ordinance, zoning maps will be developed by the Houston Planning and Zoning Commission. Later the city will tackle building codes. Property deemed nuisances in some neighborhoods are also under examination.

—Approved an ordinance that allows financial breaks to property owners who sustain water losses on their side of the meter.

—Held the first reading of an ordinance that updates and clarifies ordinances dealing with appointments by the mayor, including fire chief, police chief, city attorney and treasurer. The city administrator is appointed by the mayor with the consent of the council. Previous discussions highlighted the chain of command for department heads, who report to the administrator, as well in case of termination, those employees can appeal directly to the council’s personnel committee to hear any grievance.

—Learned the first phase of a video examination of the city’s sewer system concluded with some serious findings that will be quickly repaired. The project was untaken to detect problem areas that are contributing to water inflow to the city’s wastewater treatment facility.

—Heard that a communication backbone will soon be installed to serve an automatic utility meter reading system. It will transmit readings to city hall for billing purposes.

—Learned that a firm will return to Houston to take an inventory of 31 utility poles that were missed during a recent examination. They are in the Oak Hill area.

—Are awaiting bids that were to be opened Tuesday (June 2) for a fiber-to-home high-speed internet system for Houston. Design work for the system is nearly 100 percent completed.

—Learned that excluding major capital improvements at the Houston Municipal Golf Course, financials are showing improvement. About 60 members are now members. Avery reported the course is moving closer to sustaining itself. A banquet room is available at the clubhouse.

—Will exam bids for a commercial grade mower for Pine Lawn Cemetery.

—Heard Avery report staff uncovered the original documents outlining usage of the Houston Storm Shelter at First and Pine streets. More community functions will be allowed there.

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