Mayor says some residents not pleased with store

Sue Fleming, The Freer Press

The owner of a local convenience store discussed his plans to open an adult video store in Freer with city officials a a City Council meeting May 7 at city hall.

Muhammed Butt, owner of Nu Way, addressed the council regarding his opening of an adult video rental store located next to his convenience store.

"Nobody would come in to drink or smoke. Nobody would watch movies. Just buy and go," Butt said.

Mayor Cantu indicated some members of the public are against the store's opening.

"There's no ordinance against it; it isn't against the law now, but if there was an ordinance passed later you might have to close it down if you open it," said the mayor. "We can't stop you from selling whatever you want, but according to some of the people I've spoken to, they're against it."

Butt explained the business was not near a church or school. He was then asked by city secretary, Cindy Lackey, if local churches were to petition against him opening such a business, would he reconsider and he answered saying, "yes."

In other news, members unanimously voted approval for the police department to purchase a 2007 Dodge Charger at the cost of $24,737, as well as to accept a bid from Buddy Henrickson to repair the roof of the Animal Shelter and Street Department buildings.

Also following review of two bid proposals, members unanimously agreed upon the purchase of a four-ton rooftop air conditioning condenser at a cost of $1,800 from S and S.

Afterward, Rosemary Arnold, director of the upcoming June 23 first Miss Fourth of July pageant, approached the council requesting a donation of $562.60 in order to pay for the purchase of crowns and sashes for the winners.

Following discussion, the motion to donate the proposed amount for the pageant was approved 4-to-2 which included a vote from Mayor Arnoldo Cantu.

Sylvia Carrillo and Carlos Salinas voted against the motion.

In other business, council members unanimously approved closing the local airport for a benefit concert to be held at the site on Memorial Day, Sunday, May 27.

Funds raised will go toward offsetting hospital and medical costs of council member Manuel "Rolita" Estrada who has experienced ongoing health problems.

Estrada said area and local bands have agreed to perform throughout the day until midnight to raise funds to help offset his hospital and medical bills.

"I'd like to call it 'Rolita's Special Fun Day,'" Estrada said. "They'll be a cookoff and also a horseshoe tournament."

Cantu also announced landscaping in front of the City Welcome Park and the placement of a new fence was needed to make the area more attractive.

"(Texas Department of Transportation) has offered to cover costs of the landscaping work and Newman Operating Company has offered to install a new fence," he said, emphasizing the projects would be at no cost to the city.

Cantu also said he would like to check into having a larger, covered hangar constructed at the airport so as to hold future concerts and city events.

He said such a facility would be at no cost to the city and would be paid for with private donations.

Attending the meeting were Orlando Navarro, Andrea Bierstedt, Estrada, Carrillo and Salinas.