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Hey Brad, can you dig it?

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Whenever there is a job to be done most people are ready to roll up their sleeves and “dig in,” but Navasota City Manager warns of the danger of not calling 811 before digging.

Navasota Examiner Publisher Ana Cosino and Willy 98.7 Radio Personality Kenny Graves ask Stafford an array of community-submitted questions.

Highlights from Grilling Stafford – episode 69

City Council agendas: What determines consent agenda items? “Staff and council determine those. They are items where there is not expected to be any conversation about it. Usually it is the minutes from previous meetings, the expenses etc. They [council] receive the reports in advance and have a chance to review them. If council chooses they can pull it from the consent agenda. We usually place non-controversial second readings of an ordinance as consent agenda items.”

If I call 811 before digging, is that the same as calling the City? “No, it technically is not because 811 ensures that any underground utility in the area where the digging is going to occur is notified. If you call The City, we don’t have full knowledge of who could potentially have a line buried in that area. It is okay to call The City, but you still need to call 811 to ensure all underground utilities are located.”

In neighborhoods with no HOA, can a house be painted any color or pattern? “That answer would be yes. We don’t have a restriction on colors or patterns. Our restrictions are related more to upkeep. If they are not in an HOA they still have to be kept up and maintained.”

Parking spots – are businesses allowed to block off parking spots, especially on the main street? Who do the parking spaces belong to? “People shouldn’t block them intentionally. They may have temporarily blocked one if they have to load or unload something. Those are public parking spaces on the street. The ones on Washington Avenue is TxDOT right-of-way so businesses don’t own the parking in front of their building. Just like on a city street they don’t own the parking on the street.”

While walking at my neighborhood park recently, a very large, controversial breed dog, which was not on a leash, ran up and startled me. Thankfully, the owner offered to put their dog on a leash. Since leashes are not required per the signage, what is the City’s position on leashes and animals at parks? “Parks are for public use and if you take your dog to the park that is up to you. We do have a city ordinance that requires dogs to be under control – usually with a leash. You can use verbal commands but that is iffy in a public setting. I’m not sure what sign they are talking about, but the signage doesn’t determine the law. There is an ordinance that talks about maintaining control of your animal. A side note is they can always contact the police department or animal control if they are concerned or have questions about the animal control ordinance.”

Annexation of 40-plus acres on the west side was approved by City Council. Does this have to go before the State for final approval? What might cause The State to say no to an annexation? “On annexation it does not go before The State. We have to notify The State, but they don’t determine yes or no. Actually, in this situation the property owner is the one that requested it, therefore that would be the only person stopping it other than city council not approving it. We just have to inform The State when we perform any annexations. There has been a big change over the years in how we annex. Unilateral annexation is not allowed anymore, that is where a city goes out and picks so many acres that are contiguous and says we’re going to annex this and then it goes through a process. It doesn’t happen that way anymore.”

To view the full video of Grilling Stafford – Episode 69, or to watch archived episodes, visit The Examiner website, www.navasotaexaminer.com. If you would like to submit a question for Grilling Stafford, email news@navasotaexaminer.com. New episodes of Grilling Stafford are released every Thursday.