During a city council meeting on Tuesday night, grant proposals and reports were hot topics. The meeting, held at the council chambers was well attended.
Grant Developer Barbara Reaves explained to the council the need to resubmit a grant to remain in the running for the state’s Water Development Board’s Groundwater project. Phase 1 has already been established, but Phase 2 was up for negotiation Tuesday night. Phase 1 encompassed a $5.5 million set aside to build one test well and one production well, design of the brackish desalination plant and permitting of the well and concentrate discharge. Phase 2 will see $12.6 million set aside for the construction of a second production well; construction of a 3.0 MGD brackish desalination plant and related facilities and construction phase engineering.
Councilman Pete Crisp acknowledged the large price tag, but he, along with the other members of the council agreed that this was the right decision for the city.
“This is a process we have to begin. This is something we need to do for the general public,” said Crisp.
These wells aim to help Alice obtain fresh water for her residents far into the future. According to Mayor Jolene Vanover, the city is dealing with 50-year-old infrastructure and the council agreed its time to start seeking fresh sources.
Reaves also asked the council to consider resubmitting a Justice Assistance Grant to provide the city’s police officers with more in-car mobile cameras. The grant was applied for last year, but due to a funding gap by the state, resubmittal was needed.
The council went into executive session early in the night to discuss two bids received for the lease and/or sale of the old Boys and Girls Club, located at 3301 Old Kingsville Road, but no action was taken when the council reconvened.
The city’s month ending financials were reported as well, with minimum questions, all for clarification purposes. The council also heard a report from Fire Marshall Patrick Thomas regarding the future purpose of a new firetruck. No action was needed, as this was only a preliminary action.
Interim Police Chief Cheto Perez also presented the council with quarterly statistics from his officers. The report was met with a question about an outstanding number of warnings given in the month of October. Perez was asked to look into this subject, but was commended on the job he and his officers were doing by Vanover.