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Citizens lose bulk pickup, gain better police radios

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The Navasota City Council met Monday, June 13, and during a 3 hour-plus Regular Meeting approved a number of items which included the discontinuance of bulk pickup services, the purchase of hand-held radios for Navasota’s police and fire departments and an engineering agreement for a water tower on the City’s east side.

Bulk pickup discontinued

Council approved discontinuing on-call bulk pickup services and moving forward with the “Clean the Curb” campaign to address the aesthetics of the community. Effective Aug. 1, 2022, the once per month bulk pickup will no longer be an option and citizens will be required to transport their bulk items to the Recycle Center at 501 Fifth Street for free disposal using the bulk drop-off ramp constructed by Republic Services. Hours of operation are Saturday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Providing photos of furniture left out on curbs, Director of Streets and Sanitation Jose Coronilla said, “We’ve always had issues with bulk items on the curb. It’s better to have the residents bring the stuff to us rather than have it sit on the curb. You don’t have to wait a month.”

City Manager Jason Weeks said, “If we have a disabled resident or someone who doesn’t have the capability or physically can’t get the item there, whether it’s a vehicle or they physically can’t, we (Public Works) can assist them with that.” He added that habitual use might incur a cost.

It was noted that yard waste pickup will continue.

NPD, NFD get new radios

Council approved a 7-year purchase plan with Motorola in the amount of $288,073.85 to purchase 90-plus hand-held/portable and mobile radios for the Navasota police and fire departments. Interim Police Chief Mike Mize told council that the used radios donated to NPD and NFD by BVWACS (Brazos Valley Wide Area Communications System) in 2019 have exceeded their normal life expectancy and many officers are experiencing communications issues.

Recent meetings with Texas Communications, BVWACS and Northwest Communications initiated by Mize and Fire Chief Jason Katkoski prompted testing of the portable radios, radio towers, dispatch radios and sound cards. The less than perfect results were credited to the age of the equipment, some radios being 15 years old.

Mize told the Examiner, “It’s going to help us significantly. Because we’ll have better radios, they can receive and transmit better. It’s about officer safety.”

Third water tower in works

Council members approved a professional services agreement for engineering services with Bleyl Engineering for the 2022 East Side Water Plant Project in the amount of $350,000. Funding for this agreement and construction of a new water tower, a 250,000-gallon ground water storage tank and booster pumps will come from the $2 million ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds received by the City.

According to Director of Utilities Jennifer Reyna, the City’s recent water model revealed the current system will not have sufficient pressure to supply water for future growth on the City’s east side. It’s sized for 3,200 connections and the City is currently at 3,190.

Reyna said, “This is the beginning step to staying in compliance (with TCEQ, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) and serving customers as we grow.”

One Stop alley goes oneway

Responding to requests from Railroad Street business owners, council approved the first reading of Ordinance No. 996-22 designating the alleyway between W. Washington Avenue and W. McAlpine Street as a one-way alleyway allowing northbound traffic only. It also prohibits through traffic and parking, with the exception of temporary stops by delivery vehicles. The alleyway is situated between One Stop Cleaners and the business complex facing Railroad Street.

According to Development Services Director Lupe Diosdado, alley traffic has increased not only because of delivery vehicles to the Railroad Street businesses but because of vehicles attempting to travel south now that Railroad Street is oneway north and the crosswalk median prohibits westbound turns on to Farquhar.

Business owners Chris Tucker and Steve Scheve cited issues with parked cars blocking access by delivery vehicles and trash pickup. The latter could prompt a health violation and business closure.

Water tower policy approved

After lengthy discussion, council approved the 2022 City of Navasota Water Tower Policy addressing requests to attach radar, telecommunication and other wireless equipment on city water towers. The motion to approve was revised to allow 30 days for the receipt of Requests for Proposal and on a six-month schedule to allow adequate time for equipment installation. The policy was prompted by a request from the new Navasota Wi-Fi.

Other council action:

•Approved Resolution No. 715-22 regarding a request by Miriah Caskey on behalf of Anthony Cunneen for annexation of 2.875 acres along SH 105 West and adjacent to the Fly Away Field subdivision.

•Approved Resolution No. 713-22 authorizing the submission of a Texas Community Block Grant application to the Texas Dept. of Agriculture for the Cedar Creek/ Mance Lipscomb Park Revitalization Project.

•Approved Resolution No. 714-22 determining the area slated for the revitalization project as a blighted area.

•Approved Consent Agenda items which included minutes and expenditures for May 2022.

•Reconvening from Executive Session in accordance with Section 551.071, Texas Government Code, Consultation with Attorney, council took no action on legal issues concerning Heritage Meadows Subdivision – Sanitary Sewer Improvements and associated matters.

• Reconvening from Executive Session in accordance with Section 551.071, Texas Government Code, Consultation with Attorney, council approved a motion to give legal counsel the authority to issue notice that the City considers the contractor in default concerning the Downtown Revitalization Project, W. Washington, 8th- 10th Street and associated matters.

• Reconvening from Executive Session in accordance with Section 551.071, Texas Government Code, Consultation with Attorney, council took no action regarding legal issues concerning Ameresco – Installation of gas registers and associated matters.

Reports from City staff/ officials to council

•Received a report from Utilities Director Jennifer Reyna regarding status of the Capital Improvement Project, water main replacement on Washington Avenue between Railroad Street and LaSalle and TxDOT’s scheduled repaving of S. LaSalle Street in September.

•City Manager Jason Weeks responded to public comments received at the May 23 meeting regarding a fire annex and sidewalks on the west side and funding Grace Park.

•Weeks announced the implementation of monthly workshops for staff and council members.

•Received a report of the recent Planning & Zoning meeting from Grant Holt, city council liaison who attended.

View city council meetings in their entirety at www.