Houston City Hall

The Houston City Council on Tuesday gave approval to community events following a presentation by a local volunteer.

Brenda Senter outlined a planned 5K  “Turkey Trot” event to raise funds for the Texas County Food Pantry on Saturday, Nov. 5. She said Ann Tottingham was among those pledging to help organize the event. The council on a 5-0 vote (Weakly absent) will contribute $400 toward promotion costs.

The council also expressed its support for a return of the Emmett Kelly Clown Festival after it was revived earlier this year by the city. By all accounts, the relaunch of the festival, which honors the world famous circus clown who was raised on a farm east of Houston, was a big success. Profits, about $3,700, went into a fund for future Kelly events.

Senter said 2023 is the 125th birthday of Kelly. Special activities are expected to recognize the birth.

Senter, Shannon Jordan, who helped spearhead efforts last year, and other volunteers are expected to begin organizing next year’s festivities. Most will occur on April 29. The volunteer committee generated donations and sponsorships to underwrite activities. Vendors also paid for booth space. A dinner was held with the Chris Berry, a circus historian, and Stasia Kelly, the daughter of Kelly. A movie that featured Kelly was shown at the Melba Performing Arts Center on Grand Avenue.


The council approved hiring an excavation contractor to trench for underground fiber-to-the-home city internet service. The project — not to exceed $12,000 — is hoped to accelerate connections. There are about 106 on the waiting list; 85 completed. Mike Arnold is the contractor.

The board may also develop policy when damage occurs to its fiber lines. There have been two recent incidents where damage incurred.

In other matters, the board:

•Received an update on its motor fleet and efforts to purchase a half-ton pickup amid supply chain and manufacturing problems. It is working with Piney River Ford in Houston  through a state contract program that may open soon. Darren Ice, maintenance director, outlined the information.

•Authorized purchase of a new body camera system for Houston Police Department officers that stores information in the cloud and is easier to manage. Police Chief Brad Evans made the presentation. The cost is about $4,500 annually for five years for the equipment and the cloud package. The city has a sales tax that is earmarked for law enforcement purposes.

•Adjourned into a closed session.

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