City Manager Authorized To Negotiate Engineering Contract For Sulphur Springs Water Treatment Plant Improvements
As anticipated, local attorney Nate Smith was officially appointed to serve as Sulphur Springs City Attorney. Sulphur Springs City Council during the regular November meeting voted unanimously for Smith to fill the opening beginning Dec. 8, 2021, approved a resolution to attain an engineering firm for improvements at the City Water Treatment Plant.
Smith will fill an opening created by the upcoming retirement of long-time City Attorney Jim McLeroy at the end of December. During the July 6, 2021 meeting, Marc Maxwell told the City Council he anticipated coming to them later this year to officially recommend that Smith be appointed to serve as the city’s lawyer, that occurred at the Nov. 2, 2021 council meeting.
Philip Nathan “Nate” Smith Jr. has been working with McLeroy some since then to learn the job and make the anticipated change.
Maxwell in July said that Smith knows the city’s issues, knowledge that goes beyond just the law but the ins and outs of the city, including personnel. Maxwell noted that Nate Smith seems a “natural fit” and has already been taking some of the responsibility from McLeroy.
Smith is an attorney at Smith & Smith Law Firm in Sulphur Springs, specializing in civil law including the areas of consumer and family litigation, commercial litigation, personal injury, and wills, trusts and probate. He has been with the family practice for 10 years, starting as a paralegal. The Winnsboro High School graduate went to Texas A&M School of Law, where he graduated in 2013 with a doctor of jurisprudence. He said his time at Smith & Smith Law Firm, which has five attorneys and 15 employees, and working with has helped prepare him to become city attorney.
Smith is married. He and his wife have two children. Upon officially being voted city attorney by the City Council, Smith said he is honored to serve among people of such quality of excellence. He is excited to work among the people involved in leadership in this city. He said he is very excited for this opportunity and thankful to those who recommended and appointed him to become the Sulphur Springs City Attorney.
Longtime City Attorney Jim McLeroy plans to remain with the City of Sulphur Springs as assistant city attorney until Dec. 31, 2021, to offer guidance to Smith and make the transition go as smooth as possible. McLeroy said is thankful to have been involved in the process of recommending such a sharp attorney to serve as is replacement. He expressed confidence in leaving it with someone very capable for the future.
In other businesses at the Nov. 2, 2021 City Council meeting, Assistant City Attorney/Finance Director Lesa Smith said the City of Sulphur Springs has received half of the $4,022,000 in American Rescue Plan Act Funds the city has been allotted, and anticipates receiving the rest of it either in spring or summer 2022. A portion of the ARPA funds have been designated by the city for costly improvements at the city’s Water Treatment Pant.
The city sought references for qualifications for engineering services for the improvements, and received three responses. A committee composed of the mayor, city manager, city development director and utilities director graded the submissions based on established criteria. Garver received the highest rating and KSA the next best rating. She recommended the council authorize City Manager Marc Maxwell to negotiate a contract with Garver for engineering services, and if that that for some reason isn’t successful, then authorize him to negotiate with KSA.
Maxwell pointed out that Garver Engineering is the firm that designed the Wastewater Treatment Plant upgrade.
The City Council gave full approval to Resolution No. 1266, authorizing the city manager to negotiate with Garver Engineering, with KSA as an alternate if the contract negotiation with Garver isn’t successful.
Community Players Vice President of Membership Jeannie Perkins expressed appreciation to the City Council and manager for the necessary reconstruction of the walls at Main Street Theatre and invited them and community members who are interested to become involved in Community Players, attending meetings and as a dues paying member voting on items related to the theatre and upcoming productions. The theater troupe used the opportunity granted them to raise funds for lobby and interior renovations by selling drinks at the Stew Contest this year. They are hosting a fire pit raffle, held a yard sale, and thanks to supportive community businesses, agencies and individuals have been able to use and perform at alternate venues while the building is being repaired.
With exterior work progressing well, organization President Lyndie Mansfield has set Jan. 14-15, 2022 dates for the theatre’s grand reopening, which will so far include a performance from The Heroes, a Commerce duo of Brad Davis and Joel Weaver both nights.
Also during the Nov. 2, 2021, City Council meeting Mayor John Sellers welcomed the the Chamber Adult Leadership Class was in attendance, packing the Council Chambers, learning more about city government. As a graduate of the program, Sellers asked the group to remain after the meeting for a group picture with the city council to chronicle the occasion.