Aldermen got straight to business at the re-scheduled regular meeting of the Teague City Council Friday, January 19th, entering in to executive session to interview applicants for Chief of Police and Animal Control.
Following about an hour in closed session, it was announced that DeWayne Philpott had been selected as the new Chief of Police for the City of Teague.
Philpott has been employed with the Teague Police Department for two years, serving the community as a Lieutenant and Interim Chief of Police.
Also joining the City is James Peterhoff, who will serve as Animal Control Officer, Code Enforcement, and 911 Coordinator.
Public Works Director Jacob Cowling discussed the need for funds for repairs and installation of two pumps at the Jefferson Wastewater Lift Station.
Cowling reported that the lift station is “falling apart,” and showed the Council photographs of the facility in an extreme state of disrepair.
He stressed that although the lift station is desperately in need of a complete overhaul, the $30,000 he requested is strictly to repair and install the two new pumps.
He explained that his crew currently spends up to two hours a day keeping one of the two pumps operational, and that immediate action is needed to replace the equipment.
This sparked discussion regarding repairs made to the lift station last year, totaling around $68,000, which Cowling says could have purchased new pumps.
He explained that the equipment is only good for five or ten years when regularly maintained, which these pumps were not.
“If we’d stop doing the bandaids and fix what’s wrong, then eventually – we might not be here to see it – but the City will run like it should,” voiced Mayor Pro Tem, Alderwoman Marilyn Michaud.
The Council voted unanimously to take the requested $30,000 for the necessary installation from the fund reserve account.
Changes outlining the use of the City’s Collection Center will go in to effect immediately after Aldermen unanimously approved a motion to require residents to obtain a pass from City Hall before dumping.
Citizens who live within the city limits, and pay for residential garbage service, may make use of the Collection Center Tuesdays and Thursday 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. after obtaining a pass from City Hall.
Qualifying residents will be allowed two free vehicle loads per month. Additional loads will cost $10 each. All two axle trailer loads will cost $25. Trailers with more than two axles are prohibited.
These changes are designed to eliminate unauthorized or excessive dumping, which reportedly cost the City approximately $40,000 last year.
The Council will soon advance to a more affordable, and paperless, method of conducting business with the addition of electronic tablets equipped with internet access.
City Administrator Theresa Prasil explained that the new tablets will not only streamline communication among Aldermen and City staff, but will also save time and money on monthly printing.
The Council voted unanimously to allow Prasil to look in to obtaining a tablet for each Alderman and the Mayor.
In other business, Aldermen approved a joint election agreement with the Teague Independent School District on May 5, 2018.
Discussion was held regarding re-adopting, and enforcing the curfew ordinance for minors. Aldermen voted to allow City Administrator Theresa Prasil to take the necessary steps to enact the revised ordinance.
Department Directors delivered their reports to the Council, during which time it was announced the Police Department’s Dodge truck will soon be repurposed for use by animal control.
Chief of Police DeWayne Philpott shared that 3W Services of Teague graciously donated and installed the cages, and Scott’s Collision Center of Fairfield has volunteered to provide the vehicle’s graphics.