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Council kills Southwest Museum’s clock proposal

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By LPR Staff

Editor/POST-REGISTER

 

During a brief business meeting on Tuesday evening, the Lockhart City Council conducted several matters of routine business, and ended talk of erecting a street clock on the Caldwell County Square.

The proposal, brought forth by Southwest Museum of Clocks and Watches trustee Gene Galbraith, called for the i

nstallation of an “1890s style” Canterbury street clock in the public right of way near the corner of Main and San Antonio Streets. Additionally, Galbraith had requested donations from both the City of Lockhart and the Caldwell County Commissioners for the purchase of the clock.

“It is never too late to establish landmarks,” Galbraith said. “Our children and grandchildren will take pride in it, so let’s give them a majestic street clock – a landmark they can look up to.”

Galbraith also noted he had requested the donations from the City and the County to allow both entities to be recognized on the brass plaque that will honor the donors.

The proposal met resistance, not only from some members of the public, but from councilmembers as well, who wondered about the precedent that would be set by allowing private property to be erected in public space.

“It’s touchy,” said At Large Councilmember Brad Westmoreland, who also owns and operates a business on the Square. “Even if it’s not advertising per se, it enhances that property and brings attention to that property and that business, and I don’t think it’s our place to do that.”

When asked what would happen to the clock if the Museum ever moved from its current location, Galbraith said the clock would be donated to the City, who would then be in charge of maintenance “in perpetuity.”

Ronda Reagan reminded the Council that a similar donation was made in relation to the Brock Cabin, and that an earlier council voted that “not a penny of City money” would go to the restoration and maintenance of the Cabin. She said it would set an unfair precedent if the Council agreed to allow the installation of the clock in the same vein.

Eventually, though they thanked the Southwest Museum of Clocks and Watches for their desire to enhance the beauty of the Square, the council unanimously voted against allowing the clock to be installed in a public right of way.

In other business, the Council briefly considered a change to the Code of Ordinances requiring an Engineer’s Seal on concrete foundations for residential and other buildings going forward.

City Manager Vance Rodgers said in most cases, slabs are already approved by an engineer, but said the addition of the language within the Code of Ordinances would ensure that it would happen in the future, with the exception of those property owners who chose to improve their properties without the proper permitting from the City.

The Council unanimously approved the change.

In brief news:

They awarded a contract for tree trimming services to The Arbor Experts, of Webster, for maintaining trees near the city’s power lines.

They heard a presentation on the Caldwell County Appraisal District’s budget, as well as a proposal for the purchase of property and the construction of a new headquarters for the CCAD.

They reviewed several aspects of the City of Lockhart’s FY2015-2016 budget.

The Lockhart City Council routinely meets on the first and third Tuesday of each month in the third floor Council Chambers at the Dr. Eugene Clark Library Complex. The meetings are open to the public and televised on Time Warner Digital Cable Channel 10.

 

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