Animal shelter discussed at BC city council meeting
The condition of Bridge City Animal Shelter and filling the city manager’s position were only two of the items on the city council’s agenda Tuesday night.
The first item on the agenda was a workshop session with the Friends of the Bridge City Public Library. There was discussion between the council and the Friends of the Library about the five-phase plan for the expansion of the library. The slab had already been poured. The next phase consists of framing the expansion. When completed, the size of the library will increase from 2500 square feet to over 5700 square feet. There will be more discussion and possibly action at the next council meeting, Feb 19.
Under communications, there were three agenda items.
City Manager Don Fields reported Highway 87 drainage project would be ready for bids on or about Feb 21. This will be followed by bids for the demolition of the Rachel Drive water tower.
Marvin Powell appeared before the council to thank them for the work they did repairing Jones Street and other streets in the area damaged by heavy commercial trucks. Powell had appeared before the council to request the work several months ago. "When you do a good job you should be thanked for it and I thank you," he said.
Margaret Williamson, currently serving as the Health and Human Resources Committee Person for the Silver Haired Legislature, stated that she was registering to run again. "I need to have a form signed by 25 people over the age of 60 to re-register, and I am working on getting that done," she said.
Following communications was the approval of the 2006-2007 Audit report. The audit, done by Gary R. Brown, CPA, showed that the city’s assets exceeded its liabilities at the year’s end. Net assets had increased over the prior year and the bond debt had decreased $455,000.00.
An advisory committee was appointed for the animal shelter. Keeping with the state code, those appointed were: Dr. Albert Pugh, DVM to serve in the veterinary position, Stacey Snell, Bridge City Animal Control officer, Mike Reed, Councilman Place 2 to serve as the elected official member, Tracy Miguez, Brianne Moreau, and Gwen Tallant to serve as volunteer members.
The Bridge City Animal Leadership Team, represented by Tracy Miguez presented the proposals from the team for the improvements at the shelter. They emphasized their wish to work with the city, in any manner possible, to correct the current conditions at the shelter. It was mentioned they would like the council to consider an ordinance for stray cats. It is becoming a problem in some areas and currently there is no ordinance concerning cats. Miguez stated that the team is in the process of filing for 501 c 3 status so they can begin fund raising efforts for the shelter. It was suggested the Advisory Committee and the Animal Leadership Team meet together to work out a proposal to present to the council.
Bridge city Intermediate School fifth grade students, Sydney Miguez and Kristin McPherson, spoke about their impressions of the shelter and efforts to help raise funds for it.
"I went to the shelter and I saw how bad it was and I wanted to do something. I started “Paper for Pets” at my school to raise money for the shelter," said Sydney Miguez.
"I read the story in the paper about the shelter and went down and saw the shelter,” Kristen McPherson said, “it was in bad shape."
Chris Durso, Belinda Broom and Michelle McPherson also spoke about the conditions at the shelter and offered their assistance to the city.
"Bridge City has a good image as a city and we need to work to keep it that way," said Durso.
“I went to the shelter to take some old bedding I had left when my dog died and I could not believe the bad shape the shelter is in. I am willing to do anything I can to help," said Broom
"My daughter Kristin became interested when she read the story in the paper. I became interested because of her,” said Michelle McPherson. “The shelter is in bad shape and we need to do something about it.”
The City Council gave approval to Wesley Dishon’s request to tie into the city sewer system to service lots at the intersection of East Roundbunch Road and Idylwood Street. The lots are located in the Dishon’s Plantation subdivision.
A vote passed to set the date for a public hearing on continuing the city ordinance relating to the curfew for minors. The public hearing will be Feb. 19, before the scheduled city council meeting. The current City Ordinance NO. 05-04 states that any person under the age of 17 has a curfew between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. Sunday thru Thursday and between the hours 12:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Breaking the curfew is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500.00).
The date for the City of Bridge City General Election was set for May 10. It was also approved to have a joint election with the Bridge City Independent School System. The election will be held at the high school gym.
In a closed executive session, it was discussed filling the City Manager’s position with Jerry Jones and the terms of that employment. The regular session resumed. A motion was made and the vote taken to hire Jones as City Manager. The motion passed unanimously. Jones will take the position when retirement of Don Fields becomes effective Feb 29.
(Note: The Bridge City Animal Leadership Team discovered Wednesday that it will cost $750.00 to file the necessary paperwork for the 501 c 3 classifications as a non-profit organization. Tracy Miguez said in an email, "it looks like we will have to do some fundraising for that before we can start the project.")