City approves joint elections with county, ISD


By LPR Staff


The Lockhart City Council will work together with the Lockhart Independent School District and Caldwell County to make elections easier for voters in the future.

After considerable discussion over the last month between the city, the county and the school board, the city council approved the decision to move forward w

ith a plan to combine the city”s polling places with the school district”s.

The county was joined to the plan because of new laws that require an electronic polling device at all polling places.

According to City Secretary Connie Ortiz, the county agreed to participate in the joint elections and lease their electronic devices to the city at no cost.

Ortiz said that the county is eligible for grant funds to purchase the machines, while the city and the school district are not. All told, the decision to combine elections and lease the machines from the county will save the city in excess of $50,000.

The net effect of the plan will allow voters within the city limits to go to one polling place to vote in both city and school board elections, which they have not been able to do in the past.

Provided the school board and the county commissioners approve the plan, city and school board elections will be combined beginning in May 2005.

EMS Director Cheryl Schneider presented a suggestion to the council that will allow the city to charge attorneys for requesting patient medical records from EMS.

A variety of federal and state laws contradict one another with regard to the fees the city can charge. Ultimately, Schneider and the city attorney will have to review the fee structure and present it at another time.

If fees are approved, EMS could charge up to $25 for a medical records request. Schneider indicated that she did not intend to charge the fees to patients who request their own records, only to third-parties making such requests.

The Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) presented their Multi-Year Financial Plan and budget for the 2004-2005 fiscal year.

Using the sales tax that funds the corporation, the LEDC plans to promote development mainly in Lockhart Industrial Park.

The 2004-2005 fiscal budget calls for over $180,000 in spending on the development of the industrial park, including installing signs and fixtures, developing land, developing a site plan and installing high-speed internet capabilities to the industrial park.

The LEDC further proposed that the city build a “spec building” at the industrial park to attract development. They indicated that they are in talks with a number of businesses to purchase space and build at the park.

In brief council news:

The council recognized Oliver Mueller, who has served on the Planning and Zoning Commission for more than 12 years. Mueller resigned from the commission early this month.

Quinten Todd Townsend was appointed to the Lockhart Reserve Police Force.

The city will participate in the Capital Area Planning Council”s Emergency Notification System. The system will enable the city to notify residents of emergencies through an automated dial-out system, which can telephone up to 70 households every 30 seconds or so.

Council approved the city staff to submit an application under the Economically Disadvantaged Counties Program to assist with matching funds for a proposed overpass on Highway 183. If the application is accepted, the matching funds will be reduced from $24,000 to approximately $10,500.

They awarded a maintenance contract to Maintenance Management, Inc., out of San Marcos for upkeep at the city”s cemeteries.

Coyle Bueller presented the Lockhart Historical Preservation Commission”s annual report and reminded the council that there funding programs are available to owners of buildings in the historic district.


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