Members of the Sulphur Springs City Council tabled the agenda item that would have put in place Capital Improvements for 2019-2023. They did agree to conduct a workshop to give further consideration to the project, including the number of projects, that will be included in the improvement plan. Mayor John Sellers and Mayor Pro Tem Emily Glass were re-elected along with the swearing-in of new council members.
In the discussion of the Capital Improvement Plan, Councilman Jimmy Lucas asked members of the city staff, who were present to answer any questions concerning the Capital plan, if they had personally been involved in assimilating streets and water and sewer line projects presented. They each answered yes. Lucas stated he agreed with the plan because those workers knew the city as they drive the streets and study the needs.
The difficulty in approving the plan as presented is the current overwhelming need in the city. Over the next five years the city needs to spend between $37-million to $49-million to stay on schedule for replacement. Currently, last year the city spent $1.4-million. According to the city staff report, sewer and water line replacement is falling behind1.25 miles a year. In five years, the city will be 6.25 miles behind schedule. In 20 years the city will be 25 miles, or 16% of the city system will be worse. Currently, roads are being rebuilt with a goal of 1.55 miles per year. In 20 years, the city will be 20 miles behind schedule, which means 21% of the system will be worse. Overlay of streets is falling behind 4 miles a year and in 20 years, 86% of the street system will be worse meaning the city will need to rebuild more streets.
Council members tabled the Capital Improvement Plan to discuss all the possibilities that would bring the city to a steady pace to keep up with improvements as needed.
The council approved contracts for piping and fittings and for boring needed in the Cantex Capital Improvement Plan. The Cantex project will replace 2,400 linear feet of aging sewer force main and 2,900 feet of gravity main. Currently the main passes through the middle of the hospital complex. The proposed route would go around the hospital complex rather than through it. One-third of the city’s sewage passes through this line.
They also approved changes to the personnel policy regarding the Police Department. The changes will allow hourly officers to work 12 hour shifts, 80 hours in two weeks.