By Julia Jones, Correspondent
Belton’s water and sewage systems are in need of some crucial updates, according to Director of Public Works Angellia Points.
She gave a presentation at Tuesday’s city council meeting about Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition, a computer program that can monitor sewage and water systems. The program is currently only used to monitor Belton’s water systems and the computer that runs it is so out-of-date that it is almost unusable, according to Points.
“We’re getting some patches done on [the computer], but we cannot replace it,” Points said. “It’s time.”
The council approved a $220,030 contract for SCADA improvements at nine lift stations, which will leave just under $450,000 for the rest of the fiscal year’s water and sewage projects.
Because of issues with programs like SCADA, Mayor Marion Grayson said that she and the council are trying to make changes to the way the city operates in 2018.
“Infrastructure is our number one goal this year,” Grayson said.
After a presentation by the planning department, the city council voted to update Belton’s estimated population to 21,721 from the previous count of 18,216 provided by the 2010 census. Planner Kelly Trietsch said that the estimate is important because it helps the city analyze the services it provides and its needs for the future.
The council adopted a resolution to renew a contract with the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs for the Texas HOME Grant Program. This program will help complete construction on two replacement homes for low-income residents that were not covered by the last round of funding.
Fire Chief Bruce Pritchard recognized a group of eight firefighters and a police officer for recently saving the lives of two Belton residents. He said that the recoveries of the patients are a testament to how hard the firefighters and police officers work.
“This is not by accident,” Pritchard said. “These guys know what they’re doing and they do it well.”
The council presented Eric Tovar, general manager at H-E-B Plus, with a Community Partner Service Award for his help with the Bacon, Blues & Brews Festival and for donating Christmas Trees to Christmas on the Chisholm Trail. The council also recognized Library Director Kim Kroll for completing her certification with the American Library Association to become a certified public library administrator.
Points gave a presentation on the proposed realignment of two portions of the Chisholm Trail Hike and Bike Trail. The trail is currently divided by a railroad, and the plan discussed on Tuesday attempts to avoid utility conflicts.
The council also discussed to what extent the South Belton Sewer Project should be constructed at this time.