The Cleburne City Council approved the hiring of a company to update the city’s drought contingency and water conservation plan during Tuesday night’s council meeting.

Public Works Director Russell Schreiber told the council because of the drought and the increased number of permits being issued for fire hydrant meters where water tankers are filled in the city there needs to be more control over bulk water sales and consumption.

The council awarded the $8,700 contract for the basic service to Freese and Nichols Inc., in Fort Worth.

Freese and Nichols Vice President Michael Morrison told the council the updated information would be ready by March 31.

Morrison said if the company sees the need for additional services they will come back to the council for permission before proceeding.

Mayor Pro Tem John Warren asked Schreiber why Freese and Nichols was the company of choice.

Schreiber said the company did a previous study on the drought plan in Cleburne and are familiar with what is needed.

“They are well ahead of the learning curve,” Schreiber said. “Anyone else would take twice as long to get the results.”

Freese and Nichols was also awarded a contract for $48,730 to help the city seek a permit renewal for the wastewater treatment plant.

The current plant permit expires in October and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality requires the renewal application be filed six months in advance, Schreiber told the council.

He said Freese and Nichols prepared all the previous permit applications and have done all the design work for the plant expansion.

In other action the council:

F Suspended the required bidding process and paid Venus Construction Co. $49,933 to make emergency repairs to a 21-inch sanitary sewer line during the Christmas holidays.

Schreiber told the council the line that services the industrial park was found leaking into East Buffalo Creek. The leak was in a section of line that crosses the creek channel in a concrete encasement.

“Due to the location, the amount of flow in the line and the potential of devastating impacts on the environment and public health in the area, there was not adequate time to go through the design and bidding process,” he said.

F Approved an agreement with the North Central Texas Council of Governments for participation in the Vision North Texas program.

City Manager Chester Nolen told the council the program explores different growth patterns in order to reduce traffic congestion and air pollution and to increase water conservation and water quality.

Cleburne’s contribution is $1,687 for nine months and $2,250 for fiscal 2007.

F Approved a resolution reiterating support for the proposed Cleburne Villas Apartments to be located at 1648 W. Henderson St.

Nolen said property owner Larry Willis needs to re-submit his state application for affordable housing and needs the council to pass the resolution.

F Approved an ordinance extending to March 15 the franchise granted to Atmos Energy Corp. to own, operate and maintain a gas distribution system in the city.

F Approved the rezoning of 103, 105 and 107 Atlantic Street, from a light industrial district to a single-family district and HUD code manufactured house, requested by Warehouse 413 Ministries, represented by Michael Holland.

F Approved an ordinance amending the comprehensive land-use plan and thoroughfare plan to re-route Vaughn Road so it connects with the proposed Texas 121.



Rob Fraser can be reached at 817-645-2441, ext. 2336, or rfraser@trcle.com

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