NEWS HEADLINES

City continues with performance contracting project

By Erika Pedroza | Published Saturday, December 22, 2012

The city is about halfway done implementing a performance contract project approved in August, inching closer and closer to the cost-savings promised.

The project was implemeted for “the means to implement capital improvements to reduce energy and related costs” by improving lighting systems, waste management, water conservation, technology infrastructure, water meters and heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment.

During the staff reports portion of the meeting Tuesday, councilmembers reviewed the second and third payment requests in the amount of $378,411 and $626,287.50, respectively, to Siemens Industry Inc.

These disbursements cover the electric and water meters and interior and street lighting materials, which will be installed and tested at city-owned locations the first week of January.

Thereafter, two crews will install water meters (about 20 daily) and one will do electric meters (between 40 and 45 a day) to begin the conversion process in mid-January, The transition might cause a temporary, approximately 30-minute loss of service. Additional information will be sent out to residents in the next couple of weeks.

That work should be completed and tested the third week of February, then should “go live” on March 1 for the first “true reading.”

“The project is progressing,” said City Administrator Brandon Emmons. “March 1 is when everything should be completed, and that’s when the clock starts ticking to start monitoring the meters to make sure that we’re saving what’s being guaranteed.”

DENIED

Councilmembers denied several requests that came before them Tuesday night.

They did not grant a special exception to the masonry ordinance to replace a dilapidated accessory building with an all-metal structure at the Precinct 4 barn on U.S. 380.

Because of its location in a commercial district, the property must be platted and structures on it are required to have a front facade with 100 percent and sides and roof with 50 percent masonry, an ordinance enforced when surrounding businesses came in.

“Keep in mind it’s along 380 in a highly visible area,” City Secretary Jesica McEachern said. “We are looking long-term at the quality of the buildings as well as the aesthetics of the buildings. The purpose of masonry requirements, and any zoning requirements, is to protect the future development of the city; that it’s all consistent …”

The council also denied waiving the penalties applied to the utility bill of Baru Enterprises – doing business as McDonald’s – and did not grant a request by W.B. Arrington to waive multiple water minimums on utility accounts.

ODDS AND ENDS

The council also:

  • amended the on-site sewage facility ordinance at the suggestion of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality after a compliance review. “These are things we already do,” McEachern said. “The only change is that any contracted maintenance has to be done by a TCEQ-registered maintenance provider … Really, it won’t create any other hardships.”
  • appropriated a $50,000 economic incentive in the 2012-2013 EDC budget for U.S. Ply and its application for a Texas Capital Fund grant.
  • approved a $25,000 expenditure for membership into the Texas Mexico Trade Corridor Consortium. This would help industries in Bridgeport access new products and markets and help the EDC recruit additional industries and companies.
  • named Shawn Mann chairman of the tax increment financing reinvestment zone No. 1 board of directors.

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