Crockett Seeks Funding for Pool

By Greg Ritchie

Messenger Reporter

CROCKETT –  Crockett City Council met Monday, May 6 to discuss possible additional funding for the city’s long awaited public swimming pool, as well as work on priorities for fixing the city’s roads. 

The meeting began with the presentation of the city’s new Building Official and Facilities Maintenance Manager, Dennis Callahan. Crockett City Administrator John Angerstein said filling the position was long overdue. 

“Lots of things got overlooked when it came to our facilities, things that needed to be fixed – leaking roofs, broken doors – all the things that are assets from Civic Center to City Hall and police and fire departments and library,” Angerstein told the council. Some things, when they don’t get addressed, get forgotten and you get the deferred maintenance issue.”

Callahan, a retired U.S. Marine, also worked as an industrial electrician, with a background in reading plans and blueprints and will help keep the city’s facilities up to par. 

Crockett Mayor Dr. Ianthia Fisher thanked Callahan, saying she knows it’s not easy to find someone with his qualifications to help the city. 

“I am sure we are going to work you very, very hard,” the mayor joked. 

Angerstein agreed, saying Callahan had already hit the ground running, as he was assisting in another item on the evening’s agenda, as Angerstein proposed to make some modifications to the city’s office space in the Crockett Civic Center, proposing to house all of the city’s planning, zoning, building, code enforcement all in the same facility. 

Noting the city had a shortage of office space, with many employees sharing space, Angerstein proposed doing away with the conference room used for CEIDC at the Civic Center and the extra reception area, to make room for more offices. Bids for the work were all sent by local businesses, after surveying the area and making sure they understood the work to be done. David Tyler construction won the bid to transform the space. 

The city’s swimming pool was addressed, as the project has languished for several years due to rising costs and material shortages. The original $750,000 set aside for the project is still in place and has not been used, but a shortage of materials put the project on hold, and now rising costs would force the city to accept a much more modest design or possibly scrap the project, altogether. 

Angerstein said he had attended meetings recently where the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department might provide matching funds for the project, which would mean the city could turn their $750,000 into $1.5 million, and be able to complete the pool in the style originally intended. Angerstein said the bidding would be very competitive to receive the funds, but noted many cities might not have the matching funds on hand, possibly giving the city an edge in the process. The council voted unanimously to apply for the funding. 

Priority was set for roads to be repaired within each city precinct. This does not include the roads already being worked on or scheduled to be repaired using state funds. The streets are a mixed bag of repairs, from surfaces to water lines. Public Works Director Gerald Colter told the council the city would be installing water valves at intervals along the roads, giving the city flexibility to repair water issues, while limiting the inconvenience to customers, by not having to shut down an entire street for a repair. 

In other business:

  • Linda Bullock was reappointed to the Crockett Public Library Advisory Board, along with Ashley Sibley, Ashlie Young and Jose Cruz, to replace board members whose terms expire this year. 
  • Sunshine Midways Carnival was approved to host a carnival on the grounds of the city’s Civic Center, May 16-18. 
  • CEIDC bills were paid, with Councilman Mike Marsh requesting the bills not be approved in bulk, but one by one. The bills included electricity, mowing costs for CEIDC properties and water bills. Marsh balked at approving the payroll for the two suspended CEIDC employees, but once it was made clear they were paid from CEIDC funds and this was only to reimburse the city for these costs, Marsh agreed and all the bills were approved for payment. 

Greg Ritchie can be reached at [email protected]

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