Lampasas County Commissioners Court met on Monday morning and worked through a very light agenda in about 15 minutes.
In the public comment portion of the session, Sheryl L Key addressed the Court seeking assistance in clarifying and correcting the signage for certain street names. Also, in public comments, Judge Wayne Boultinghouse advised that the county-wide burn ban has been lifted until 7:00 PM on Sunday evening, September 16th. County Auditor Chris Munn noted that the Tax Rate Public Hearing is set for Thursday evening, September 13th at 6:00 PM in the Courthouse Annex.
In the Jail Project update, In-house Superintendent Ronnie Goodwin reported that the 2nd major concrete pour for the slab that had been scheduled for this week, will likely be delayed because of recent rains.
The only action taken by the Court was the acceptance of the County Auditor’s accounts payable report.
Lampasas School Board met Monday evening in the school district’s boardroom. In recognitions both the Lampasas Dispatch Record and The Radiogram were recognized for their news coverage of the local schools and district governance.
The board went into executive session to discuss the detachment/annexation issue for some time, then came back about 7:30pm to finish other agenda items.
The 5 yr agreement with the City of Lampasas for school security has now been worked out. It will see a third school resource officer (SRO) furnished for the district by Lampasas PD, but with personnel cost funded by the school district. The City will pay for the officer’s equipment, vehicle and training.
In the past, the school has paid for 9 months of the SRO salaries while the City picked up the tab for the other 3 months of the year when school wasn’t in session. The new agreement sees the school district picking up the salary and benefits tab for the additional SRO for the full 12 months. This brought about an additional $75 thousand dollars in cost for the school district.
SRO’s will now be allocated with one at Lampasas High, one at Lampasas Middle School, and one rotating between Kline Whitis and Hanna Springs Elementary.
In another matter the Board voted to grant a contract to SLA Architects for design and services that would see a new automotive technology and culinary arts facility here. The school’s current expansions into vocational/technical training seem to demand facilities. The architects have the go-ahead to study what can be done here and at what cost. One consideration is to use/remodel existing structures, another would be to look at new construction.
In reports, Kevin Bott discussed accountability reports that show Lampasas with an overall “C” as rated by the Texas Education Agency (TEA). It came from a number score of 79. There was a student achievement score of “B” but some other subjects got a “C” grade in the new TEA ratings system. Dr. Bott noted that the scores on all fronts show slow, but consistent, improvements on all fronts. In another report, attendance is slightly up over last year in the LISD.
Lampasas City Council met Monday evening in what turned out to be a lively session. Taking much of Council’s attention in a Public Hearing and in the Regular Session was a request from Ramp Automotive for approval of a SUP (Specific Use Permit) to allow them to operate as a “major” automotive repair shop at their new location on Briggs St.
Ramp was already permitted as a “minor” repair shop, since moving from their previous location on Key Avenue. The City has received protests and a petition from residents in the area that described the business as an “eyesore”. Mayor Misti Talbert raised an objection to the request, questioning whether Ramp should have an SUP prior to coming into compliance. Compliance requires fencing/screening around areas used for storage of vehicles and equipment, paved parking, and appropriate landscaping. City staff had given Ramp until Dec. 6th to come into compliance. Until then they cannot operate as a “major” repair shop. In regular session, after considerable discussion, and by a vote of 4-2, Council decided to Table the SUP request until Dec 6th, or prior, if compliance by Ramp is achieved.
Other actions in regular session included:
●approving a license agreement between the City and Advanced Window Tint for a fence allowing for off-street parking. The business on South Main St. is owned by Councilman Michael White, who stepped down during the discussion and vote;
●approved funding of $21,517.99 left from the 2017/18 budget, for repurposing a Fire Dpt. 2004 F350 as a Type 6 Brush Truck;
●approved a $1,500 HOT (hotel occupancy tax) fund request by Vision Lampasas for expenses related to the Indian Artifact, Gem & Mineral Show on September 22nd;
●approved a $1,925 HOT fund request by LAFTA (Lampasas Association for the Arts) for expenses related to Artober Fest;
●approved a $2,225.60 HOT fund request by Lampasas Chamber of Commerce for advertising and promotion for Artober Fest;
●approved $14,988.72 for Hancock Park Golf Course for cart trail paving. $5,000 of it from the Hancock Park Golf Association.
In the City Manager’s Operational Report, Finley deGraffenried noted that staff had an introductory meeting with a developer interested in the possibility of subdividing approximately 45 lots near the new county jail.
There was discussion regarding the Town Hall Meeting coming up on September 17th. Topics to be addressed will be deer feeding within the City, Trailer and RV street parking, and livestock. Experts from Texas Parks and Wildlife will be on hand along with representatives from other cities who are dealing with the deer-feeding issue.