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Redistricting plans, sidewalk repair on hold for Lockhart

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By Kyle Mooty

LPR Editor

At the previous meeting of the city council, a proposed map was given to councilmembers, but that map received some opposition during last week’s meeting.

“The only thing I have an issue with is it seems the county and, now the city, are cracking and diluting the minority vote,” said John Castillo. “Going forward, I think there’s more opportunity for minority representation for the City of Lockhart.”

Phillip Ruiz concurred, submitting two maps he and others have proposed for the city. One, Ruiz said, includes prison population, and the other not accounting for prisoners.

“The prison population is 55 percent of the district it’s in at this point,” Ruiz said. “The second plan breaks the community of interest law, which is a no-no.”

The council went into executive session regarding the redistricting obligations and when it returned, Mayor Lew White said they would be referring the matter back to the city’s attorneys, therefore tabling the issue until a future council meeting.

In other business:

Sean Kelly, Director of public works, discussed the 28 miles (156,517 linear feet) of sidewalks in Lockhart. There are 2,590 linear feet of deficiencies such as tripping hazards and other damage. Kelley noted it would cost $353,000 to repair the sidewalks and only $20,000 is budgeted this year for such this year.

One proposal was for the citizens to pay half of the cost or face a $500 per day fine.

“I’ve always thought we were kind of a friendly neighbor, but this is getting a little nasty.” Councilmember Brad Westmoreland said. “I would hate to be that homeowner.”

Councilmember Kara McGregor proposed to table the matter and give it a fresh look after revisiting it.

“It sounds like we’re not committed to sidewalks at this time,” White added, “Most other cities say it’s the homeowners’ responsibility. We’re not gonna abandon the project, but we will put it on the backburner. We will talk about it during our budget process.”

The City of Lockhart received $3,501,959 in one-time funding for the American Rescue Plan Act. The council will vote on how to spend it.

Daniel Koehler was approved unanimously by the council as the newest member of the Airport Advisory Board.

City Manager Steve Lewis noted that 115 households participated in the March 26 Hazardous Household Waste pickup with 9,800 pounds of material collected.

Lewis also said Carts Now will be starting their driving service May 2 in Lockhart. Currently, Bastrop and Taylor use the service. Residents will be able to schedule a visit to and from anywhere in the service area with a 15-minutes time of arrival at caller’s location at the time of booking. Carts Now will have two vans dedicated to Lockhart. It will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, with handicap accessible ramps.

White read proclamations noting that April was Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month, Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and that April 3-9 was National Library Week.

White noted Caldwell County Child Welfare Center, Caldwell County District Attorney’s Office, Hayes/Caldwell Women’s Center, Roxanne‘s House, Texas Department of Protective Care Facility Services, court appointed special advocates, Lockhart and Luling police departments, Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office, and Christus, Santa Rosa Hospital in San Marcos were all part of the first two proclamations.

Nine representatives from the Clark library were present.

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