By Grayson Edds
After a rough and trying week for law enforcement in Central Texas, Belton Police Chief Gene Ellis took the podium during Tuesday night’s City Council meeting to bring the Council a bit of good news.
“Last week was a tough week in law enforcement. A fallen brother in Killeen, and we took about 18 people over there, counting the ones we had assisting Killeen traffic and calls for service and those attending [the funeral]. At the same time, we had the rest of our staff at the courthouse in two murder trials that happened all week,” said Ellis. “And they did a commendable job. We got convictions in both of those cases. They were very difficult, challenging cases. It’s good to be able to come here and tell you about these accomplishments and tell you about the Officer of the Quarter for the second quarter.”
Officer Dane Kantro was honored with the Officer of the Quarter Award for his outstanding performace that resulting in saving a life of another person. On June 17, he responded to an EMS call and found an unconscious woman at a residence. He performed CPR immediately until EMS arrived and was able to obtain a pulse and she was transported to the hospital. The Awards Committee also recommended Officer Kantro for the Lifesaving Medal.
Officer Kantro received these accolades amongst his fellow officers and an abundance of family of friends, some of whom traveled great distances to be in Belton for this occasion.
After approving the consent agenda, the Council held a public hearing to consider rezoning a lot from Agricultural to Single Family-1 on the south side of FM 2410, which was then approved.
Public Works Director Mike Huber took the stand next to provide Council with an update on several public works projects that not only were completed with quality work, but were also completed well before their deadline and each of them under budget.
The BEDC detention pond and water line improvement project was needed in order for Scott & White to begin construction on their new clinic. This project was completed $2,624 under budget and with 54 days to spare before deadline.
The Miller Heights CDBG sewer improvements were completed $525 under budget, and an astonishing 93 days early.
Coming in well under budget, the N. Sparks St. sewer improvement project saved the City and taxpayers $46,874 and was complete 49 days early.
And, finally, the Patriot Plaza sign project on the corner of I-35 and Central Ave. was completed 48 days before deadline and $4,200 under budget, bringing the grand total of savings for these four projects to $45,823.
Huber presented Bell Contractors, Inc., the contractor of all four of these projects, with an Outstanding Service Award for its “continued commitment required to achieve excellent work performance, timely scheduling, and efficient use of resources”.
The Council also heard a presentation by Siemens on performance contracting which will inevitably allow the City of Belton to make necessary infrastructure improvements in the future by means of savings from utility efficiency while operating under current budget. Siemens recently took a look at the utilities used throughout the city and located some improvements that could be made to put this plan in place. The City Council authorized City Manager Sam Listi to move forward onto the next step, which is to authorize RFQ’s seeking bids from agencies similar to Siemens. The City is under no contract at this point for the plan.
And finally, Cristy Daniell, Assistant City Manager and Finance Director for the City, presented information to Council regarding the Certified Tax Roll for the upcoming year. This presentation was for informational purposes only and provided Council with tax options to keep in mind for the upcoming year. No action was taken on this item.
City Council meetings are held the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at the Harris Community Center at 5:30 p.m