Sue Fleming, The Freer Press

The Freer City Council was once again asked by local resident Billie Sumpter to provide a possible solution to flooding that occurs in the 600 block of Humble Street during heavy rains.

Sumpter addressed the council last month saying her home flooded in 2002 and 2004.

She also presented a profile which had been conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2002 stating erosion had taken place along with sedimentation blocking flow to the east of the city.

Severe erosion of the south slope was a major source of sediment into the channel as well, it said.

To prevent drainage problems, regular removal of built up sediment in drainage channels was recommended in the report.

"The problem seems to be the storm drain is not draining at the end of Texas Street," she said. "Right now it's not in any better shape."

Council member Carlos Salinas suggested sediment deep down inside the drainage hole could be dug out with proper equipment.

"A dozer could do the work in about half a day, I think," he said. "The county would have one."

Sumpter said she also spoke to Commissioner Gilberto Uribe regarding the drainage problem.

She said Uribe said he would need a letter of request from the city before he could officially do anything to help.

Mayor Arnoldo Cantu assured Sumpter a letter would be sent to the county requesting help.

Sumpter then thanked the council saying, "Hopefully this problem will be solved. I've sweated this problem out for five years and want to enjoy a good thunderstorm."

After meeting in closed executive session, members unanimously approved the hiring of Juan Gonzalez and Andres Pena as city street crewmen.

Afterward, a motion to accept a Fidelity Bond through Texas Municipal League Intergovernmental Risk Pool in the amount of $100,000 per occurrence at the rate of $666 per year was also unanimously approved.

The bond will cover city employees in charge of managing city funds.

In other business, Susie Reyes Gonzalez of the Texas Municipal League reviewed employee's health benefits and discussed new rates which will become effective Oct. 1 through Sept. 30, 2008.

During announcements, Freer Police Chief John Spillers reported a new dispatch radio system had been recently installed in the building.

The system, which cost about $26,000, was paid for with grants, he said.

Official notice from the Texas comptroller of Public Accounts stating revenue of the City's Street Maintenance Sale and Use Tax will continue being issued through the Sales and Use Tax at a rate of 8 percent, and .25 percent of 1 percent was also announced.

Concluding the meeting, notification from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs informing a project award of $300,000 had been approved for the construction of five home units in Freer.

Attending the meeting were Sylvia Carrillo, Andrea Bierstedt, Orlando Navarro, Manuel "Rolita" Estrada, city secretary Cindy Lackey, Salinas and Cantu.