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Hawkins City Council

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Growing pains. Hawkins, Texas. Two sets of words that have not been spoken in the same sentence for decades. Hawkins City Council was advised by Tracy Hicks of Weisenbaker, Hicks and Associates that Hawkins must show good faith efforts to address capacity problems at the waste water treatment plant or face the possibility of fines imposed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
The issue of excessive outflow at the city's wastewater treatment plant, which has been problematical for the past year-or-so, has now become critical as demands for new water and sewer hookups are being submitted. And, two such new demands are likely to push an already overburdened water-sewer utility over the edge.
Pete Gibson of Exxon Mobil appeared before the Monday, March 15 meeting of the council to request water and sewer service for a project office to be located on the west side of Beaulah Street across from Brookshires, while Cody Thompson and Kris Karlson, the developers of an RV park off of FM-1795 designed to accommodate as many as 30 recreational vehicles sought clarification of meter charges for service to the property which was approved last month. Both requests are related to the major oil field re-work project recently announced by Exxon which will bring as many as 300 workers into the area. Both requests involve properties that are outside Hawkins city limits.
By established city utility policies, such properties must pay double the water and sewer rate. Those policies, however, did not address commercial size water meters such as the one being proposed by the developers of the RV Park. Council held a special meeting Thursday, March 18 to enact a utility pricing policy covering that situation. Service to the Exxon office site, which will house six to eight employees, can move forward. Both will pay the double-rate for water-sewer usage.
Allen Holley, a property owner in the same general area as the RV Park complained that he has requested utility service to a rental property near Brookshires, but outside the city limits, several times in the recent past. The council tabled Holley's request until a later meeting.
In other actions, the council approved installation of solar panels on one or more city properties to supplement electrical service. The panels and the installation are being funded by a grant. The city and the engineering firm are considering several locations for the panels including the sewage treatment plant and the roofs of the city hall, the library or the new concession stand at the youth sports park. Maximum exposure to the sun will determine the location for the panels.
Another grant application, this one for $15.600, was approved for submission by the Hawkins Police Department. The Texas Criminal Justice Department grant monies would be used to improve communications technology and equipment.
The council also approved a five-year renewal of the waste services contract with Allied Waste, the city's contract waste firm. A second bid from Sanitation Solutions was also considered by council.
Council reviewed the present job descriptions for the Police Chief and the City Librarian. No changes were made to the documents.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Hawkins City Council is scheduled for Monday, April 19 at 6 p.m. A special meeting of the council can be called with 72 hours public notice.