Houston City Hall
Credit: HOUSTON HERALD FILE PHOTO

Members of the Houston City Council were introduced to the community’s new parks and recreation department leader during a short meeting Monday at Houston City Council.

He is Landen Surface, who comes to the city from the parks department at West Plains, where he has worked for more than two years. A native of the Howell County seat, he had responsibilities within the West Plains parks and recreation department.

Surface began duties this week.

In other matters, members:

•Are ramping up to begin work on the city’s 2022 budget. Work session dates were set and department heads have submitted their wish lists for the fiscal year that begins Jan. 1. The council will hold work sessions at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 11, 19 and 26 at city hall.

•Met with three vendors associated with the city’s rollout of its fiber-to-home 1 gig internet system. James Lightfoot, of ACRS Telecommunications Consulting and Engineering Services of Oklahoma, City, said the project, which is rolling out in phases, is right on target with projected costs, which total just under $2 million. The latest approved expenditure was just under $49,000.

The council also approved allocating $210,058 received under the American Rescue Plan Act to the electric department. Reserves there are paying for the internet rollout. One of the allowable expenditures is broadband. The funds, which have already been received, will be used to pay back the electrical fund. A second equal amount will arrive within a year.

•Authorized purchasing two, $100,000 certificates of deposit at The Bank of Houston that are set to mature. It sought proposals from local banks. The city earlier approved a program that staggers the expiration terms so that money is readily available, if ever needed. There is about $2.6 million in CDs that the city holds.

•Heard Alderman Ross Richardson ask colleagues to submit any comments on a draft proposal of a grass mowing policy before the next meeting.

•Learned that wastewater arriving at the city’s treatment plant is headed downward after a project to identify and repair troublespots where water is making its way into sewer lines.

•Adjourned into closed session.

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