By Mitchell Woody
Special to The Messenger
GRAPELAND – Hello Grapeland, we had our monthly council meeting on May 10th and a Special Meeting on May 25th, the following are the major points from those meetings.
We have hired a law firm, effective October 1, to look into delinquent taxes on properties that need to be cleaned up and have dilapidated structures removed. The goal here is to start getting our city looking good again as much as possible.
Grant Works has been hired to be our grant writer to try for the Downtown Revitalization Grant again. If we are awarded this grant, Main Street and the surrounding area will be spruced up with new lights, sidewalks, fencing and other things to really get downtown looking good. Hopefully we secure this grant and make it happen.
Waste Connections, our garbage service, sent us a letter saying that there will be a 5% increase on the garbage bills. We had a meeting with them and was able to negotiate a 4% increase. Inflation is hitting everywhere.
An ordinance was passed limiting the age of mobile homes brought into the city limits. The limit is 7.5 years old or 10 years old having proof of passing safety and health codes from a licensed home inspector. This is another effort to keep our city clean. Any mobile homes already within the city limits are grandfathered in.
Mitchell Woody swore in for another 2-year term as Mayor. Justin Lumbreraz swore in for another 2-year term as a Council Member and Bobbie Jo Woody swore in for the first time for a 2-year term on the Council.
The animal ordinance was amended a little bit to fit Grapeland better. As we have much farmland inside city limits, the following is what was amended. Originally, there was a blanket statement saying a residence could have no more than 3 dogs. The amendment is no more than 3 dogs unless you own 10 or more acres, then you can have no more than 20 livestock working dogs and their pens shall be at least 300 yards from the closest neighboring residence. The other amendment had to do with hoofed animals. Originally, only 1 hoofed animal was allowed at any residence. The amendment is only 1 hoofed animal for a residence unless 10 or more acres are owned, then more than 1 hoofed animal is allowed while keeping with the Texas Parks and Wildlife livestock guidelines.
The City Park Reservation Policy has been amended to be more citizen friendly. Also, the morning hours for the park have been moved from 8am to 6am to allow citizens to use the walking track during cooler hours.
That is all the news for this month. Next month’s meeting has been moved to June 21st at 6 pm due to scheduling conflicts.
“Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.” George Washington Carver.