By Greg Ritchie
CROCKETT – Crockett City Council met Monday, Dec. 4 to make plans to fund road and water improvement projects and name an Emergency Management Coordinator for the city.
The meeting began with a lengthy executive session without the public or press to discuss voting election zones along with Crockett Independent School District (CISD) Superintendent John Emerich, with help from outside consultants by video conference. The city and CISD are working to coordinate their voting districts for the upcoming elections. The schools recently modified their districts with a look to increase so-called “minority-majority” districts and is working to try and get city and school district voting areas to align. The meeting reconvened about an hour later with no action taken by city council.
Crockett Police Department (CPD) Chief Clayton Smith reported the department’s activities for the month of October, with manpower of 16 officers, fielding 427 calls. There were eight accidents, 43 arrests, 295 traffic stops and 25 alarm calls during the month.
“Two of our detectives made contact with a known car burglar after they responded to a couple of vehicle burglaries. They caught him several blocks away and we ended up clearing six cases after arresting him – that’s a good figure when you can get a criminal that is burglarizing your vehicles,” Smith said. “And with that, I want to remind everybody with the holidays coming up, keep your vehicles locked, take your personal items, weapons, money, purses, wallets…take that stuff in your house, because that makes your vehicles easy targets.”
Crockett Fire Department (CFD) Fire Marshal Lee Standley gave council the department report, noting almost 50 calls between the city and county, with only one structure fire reported and 17 vehicle accidents, one involving an extraction.
Crockett City Administrator John Angerstein reported the contractors responsible for the problematic road construction on Fifth Street have all come to agreements on how to fix the problem and Angerstein said they hope to begin repair work this month.
Angerstein also gave an update on the city animal shelter project. He noted after the city had received bids well in excess of $1,000,000 to construct a shelter, they had purchased the facility on South Fourth Street, but after flooding in May, the city had been looking to repair the facility and get it ready for staff and animals, without using taxpayer money for the project. The city plans to replace the flooded flooring, replace ceiling tiles and paint the walls, all costing around $20,000. He said the city would be interested in working with local groups to hold fundraisers to secure the funds for the project. He noted the city had refurbished a decommissioned vehicle to use as it’s Animal Control Officer vehicle, and is currently able to house a few animals and staff in emergency situations, while the shelter is made ready to house a larger number of animals.
The city confirmed the nomination and appointment of CPD Captain Blake Gates as the city’s Emergency Management Coordinator. Chief Smith said Gates not only showed interest in helping with the work, but had already taken many steps to fulfill the position.
“Over the last several months, he (Gates) has been attending emergency management courses, with close to 100 hours of training,” Smith explained. “He’s got a few other required courses to get so he can attend any advanced emergency management training. He has his fire investigator license to start helping our fire marshal on fire investigations and things like that. Captain Gates not only showed interest in the position, but the initiative to take the classes.”
Crockett Mayor Dr. Ianthia Fisher expressed her gratitude, telling the council it is always better when someone wants a position and works for it, than naming someone to a role they may not have much interest in performing.
In other business, the council:
- Awarded a bid to perform building inspections to AOKA Code Consulting, with the company offering the city its expertise in facilitating inspections for buildings
- Voted to modify city building codes, increasing some of the costs for certain business codes, but considering costs for residential homes, while consolidating and simplifying the codes
- Approved the city to consult with a broker to provide health insurance to city workers, given the rising costs of providing these benefits
- Approved the submitting of bids for grants to repair Martin Luther King Street and seeking bids to revamp parts of the city’s water system and build a well to provide additional water
Councilman Darrell Jones was absent. According to The Messenger’s records, Jones has not attended a council meeting since Aug. 21.
Greg Ritchie can be reached at [email protected]