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Council considers $3M in bonds

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By LPR Staff
Editor/POST-REGISTER

Responding to ever-increasing pressure to fix Lockhart”s streets, the Lockhart City Council will soon consider issuing certificates of obligation upwards of $3 million to be used primarily for street repair.
The proposal, brought to the council on Monday evening by Finance Director John Washburn, calls for certificates o

f obligation totaling $3,080,000. The funds will be used largely by the public works department, to complete such projects as road and street maintenance, water system improvements, cemetery improvements and maintenance and improvements to the city park and swimming pool. An additional $80,000 will be earmarked for architectural and engineering services involved in library improvements and the construction of a fire department substation.
Issuing certificates of obligation has been a topic of discussion at the council table for months, and several of the projects proposed in this year”s budget rely on the issuance of the bonds.
The council will hear a report from First Southwest Company, the city”s financial advisors, during their regular meeting on Nov. 6, and will then decide what action to take in the issuance of the certificates of obligation.
In a related item, the council passed a resolution allowing the city to reimburse itself for expenses related to the issuance of the certificates of obligation. The resolution is a standard practice for municipalities, allowing them to move forward with projects before certificates of obligation are funded.
In other business, the council continued discussions regarding the possibility of a wetlands mitigation project on the banks of Plum Creek. The project has been a source of contention between city and county governments for some time, and recently, city and county officials met to discuss a cooperative agreement on the project.
After the Sept. 29 meeting between Assistant City Manager Vance Rodgers and two members of the Caldwell County Commissioners” Court, a possible agreement was struck, with the County taking responsibility for the maintenance of the “natural area,” while the city will maintain the amenities required by city officials, including crushed granite walking trails, parking areas, restroom facilities and playground equipment.
Although no agreement has been set in stone between the city, the County and TxDOT, the council gave Rodgers approval to move forward with negotiations.
The board of directors for the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) recently approved a price reduction of $.003 per kilowatt/hour for wholesale energy. Because LCRA is the city”s wholesale power provider, the City of Lockhart will pass those savings along to the customer, beginning with the Oct. 5, 2006 billing cycle. The rate reduction will continue until at least Dec. 25, 2006.
Upon a request from Assistant Superintendent Phil McBride, the Lockhart Independent School District will soon erect signs both at Lockhart City Park and near the Lockhart Industrial Park to recognize high-achieving LISD campuses.
“We envision a… plywood sign that would be professionally painted and list three LISD schools as “TEA Recognized,”” McBride wrote in his request to the city dated Sept. 20. “[The sign] will have ample space below the school names to add up to five more campus names as more schools earn TEA Recognized or Exemplary status.”
The signs will be installed by LISD maintenance staff at no cost to the city.
In brief council news:
The council approved a contract with Smith Contracting of Austin to install sidewalks under the Lockhart Springs Walkway Project. The contract is pending approval from TxDOT.
They approved a contract with Parsons Transportation Group, Inc. to update the capital improvements plan for road impact fees.
The Lockhart City Council meets on the first and third Tuesday of each month in the Glosserman Conference Room at Lockhart City Hall. Meetings are open to the public, and are televised on Time Warner Cable Channel 10.

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