Lampasas County Commissioners had a short session with an agreement on a bid request for road materials and ratifying the appointment of Commissioner Ray Ashby of Coryell Co. to fill the remainder of the term of Judge Firth until his term ends in 2018. An expenditure request by Sheriff Jess Ramos for equipment hit a slight snag when County Auditor Chris Munn told the court more paperwork was required for the matter. Ramos agreed to prepare the extra paperwork.
Lampasas City Council had a much longer and more difficult meeting Monday evening.
It was time for the annual Police Department Report, which Interim Chief Sammy Bailey said was dedicated to retired Chief Tim Angermann who served from 1998 until Jan 4th of 2017.
Chief Bailey gave a detailed report, showing that 1,438 crimes were committed in the City in 2016, and 1339 of them were cleared. Drug arrests in the City last year numbered 239. There were 23vehicles seized in those arrests and 20 of the vehicles were later awarded to the PD by law. The Chief said 18 of those 20 vehicles were later sold, yielding over $30 thousand for the Department’suse. Compared with last year, felonies were down a bit and misdemeanors were up a bit; DWI’s were down a little, but marijuana and drug possession , as well as juvenile tobacco possession were up slightly.
There were 319 accidents, with only 24 of them involving injuries serious enough to require trips to the ER.
The number of traffic citations issued in the City was down slightly and in case you wondered…of the total tickets issued by local cops, better than 2 out of 3 of them are just warnings.
And the other thing you might want to know, “How many cop cars are there?” Well we counted, and there are 22 cars on the force…and 2 Harleys. And yes, the officers do all get their own car and they park it at home, etc. The Department says that way the officers take better care of their cars and they last longer and it actually saves money.
Other business at Council included test flights on new ordinances the City had prepared, including the sign ordinance which one Councilman said they had now been over eleven times. It again met with objection from local businessmen who have the new digital signs along Key Avenue. On the one side of the issue are those who believe the signs can be (1) dangerous as they draw drivers’ attention to the animation and brightness and (2) a bit tacky, giving Key Ave. a “Las Vegas look.”
On the other side of the issue are the businessmen that believe the signs are effective advertising for them. Wes Chancey pointed out that his business, Rustler’s Junction, was almost completely dependent on the “out of town” traffic that passed by in front of his store. Those customers could best be reached by his signage.
The lengthy discussion caused the matter to be tabled until Feb. 13th, when the Council and Businessmen would once again meet in a workshop session to hammer out a compromise ordinance.
The same kind of tabling seemed to be the norm as an ordinance for antennas in the City was tabled and an ordinance that would allow a “Smoke Shop” in the City was tabled. Items approved included the SUP so that more RV Park space could be used by the Brown family for their RV Park on Hwy 281S, and there was agreement to a contract for $16,500 for Hendrix Consulting Engineers for mechanical and electric service in the old City Hall remodel, and another agreement with Caterpillar Financial for the lease of a D5 dozer for $1660.70 per month for five years.
There was also agreement for the Election Contract for the May Election where the Mayor and three Council Seats are up for election, and Marisa Canales and Jackie Baltrun were appointed to serve on the Planning and Zoning Commission.