By Sarah Naron

Messenger Reporter

GRAPELAND – An ordinance establishing water and waste water rates for industrial users in the city was presented by approval by the Grapeland City Council during a meeting held Tuesday, July 10.

“This was a big thing for us,” said Mayor Balis Dailey of the ordinance. “When we were asked for this, it was part of the negotiations that we were doing to bring this company (Darling Ingredients) in. They wanted to see what kind of ordinance that we would be requiring to do that.”

Although the process of creating the ordinance was expected to take months, the wait time was greatly shortened by the efforts of Frank Stevens of Schaumburg & Polk, Inc.

“Mr. Stevens got this to us in less than two weeks, and we had it in their hands,” Mayor Dailey divulged. “The only change they had was a couple of words.”

A motion was made, seconded and unanimously carried by the members of the council to approve the ordinance as it was presented.

Other action taken by the council included approving the city’s quarterly investment report presented by John A. Schnell, Investment Officer for the City of Grapeland. The city’s current invoices and monthly reports also received approval from the council.

In his report to the council, Grapeland Volunteer Fire Department Chief Roger Dickey informed that a total of 12 alarms were received by the department throughout the month of June.

“Somebody fertilized an adjacent field with chicken manure, and they (another citizen) called it in as a gas leak,” Dickey shared, drawing laughter from those at the meeting. “Welcome to the country!”

One legitimate gas leak was reported, along with one grass fire, three landing zones and one lift assist. A report of a service pole on fire was also received, as well as four motor vehicle accidents. A total of 37 EMS calls were received throughout the month, bringing the year-to-date total to 124.

David Malone, Superintendent of Water and Waste Water for the City of Grapeland, reported that a total of 7.7 million gallons of water were pumped during the month of June, while 6.4 million gallons were sold. A total of 300,000 gallons were used for fire and flushing.

“We had a water loss of 12 percent for the month of June,” Malone reported. “We treated 2.6 million gallons for a daily average of 88,000 gallons a day.”

Two water leaks were reported, and repairs were made to waste water equipment in three locations.

In the absence of Police Chief Tyler Moore, Lt. Ronnie Howell of the Grapeland Police Department informed the council that a total of 94 service calls were answered by the department in June.

“Disturbances are still up – I don’t expect those to go down until the weather cools off,” Lt. Howell said. “But burglaries are down.”

Increased patrolling efforts were implemented in problem areas of the city, including those surrounding Lime St. and Berry St. and Augusta St. and Sycamore St.

A total of 24 citations were written by the officers of the department, while 34 warnings were given. Three arrests were made, and 36 business checks were conducted, bringing the department’s total number of activities to 188.

Following the executive session portion of the meeting, the council announced decisions to approve the appointment of James Easterly of San Antonio to a reserve officer position with the Grapeland PD, as well as approving a budget proposed by the Grapeland Economic Development Corporation for an upcoming job fair.

Sarah Naron may be reached via email at snaron@messenger-news.com.