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City reprimanded for not filing report

By Erika Pedroza | Published Saturday, October 20, 2012

Bridgeport city officials recently learned the hard way the consequences of assuming.

On Tuesday, the Bridgeport City Council approved a stipulation, agreed settlement and consent order for an alleged violation of not reporting a damaged gas line to the Railroad Commission of Texas in the summer of 2011.

On Aug. 7, 2011, the city’s water crew was dispatched to repair a water leak at 2000 Thompson St. After marking phone and gas lines, workers began excavating the water leak – but an incorrectly marked gas line was damaged.

In accordance with RRC rules, the excavator is required to submit a damage incident report within 10 days. Atmos Gas did, leading city officials to believe that was enough.

However, they learned that both the gas company and the entity that damages the pipeline are required to submit a report. Not doing so put the city in violation of Railroad Commission Rule 16 TAC 18.11.

As a result, utility crews have been trained and the city was fined $50.

STREET CLOSURES, HALLOWEEN

Several streets will be closed temporarily for city-sanctioned events in the coming weeks. The following two are safe Halloween options open to all children:

  • Halsell Street between Ninth and 12th streets 4:45 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31, for the Suit Up and Say Boo costume parade through downtown.
  • Boston and 20th streets; Kay and Lanice avenues; and Krista, Shady Oaks, Fair Oaks and Ridgewood drives in the Oakland Heights addition (from Cates Street to Lanice Avenue) 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31, for Halloween trick-or-treaters. The police department will establish a command post at the water tower on Boston Street. They will provide treats and games for the children and information to the general public.

For the safety of participants in the Bridgeport Intermediate School’s Fun Run Friday, Oct. 26, the following streets will be closed 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.:

  • 15th Street from Davies Avenue to Edison Street;
  • Edison Street from 15th and 13th streets;
  • 13th Street from Edison to Newby streets;
  • Newby from 13th streets to Lawdwin Avenue; and
  • Lawdin Avenue from Newby Street to Davies Avenue.

OTHER ACTION

The council also:

  • approved an increased fee of $18,000 plus 55 percent of all building permit fees (from $15,000 plus 45 percent) for building official duties performed by Countywide Inspection Services. The company conducts code consulting, building inspections and off-site sanitary sewer facilities. The increase is still less than the cost of employing a full-time building inspector, city officials said.
  • awarded a bid to Auldridge Griffin PC for the city’s external annual financial audit for fiscal year 2012 and 2013. This is three years less than what staff recommended, as council wishes to refrain from entering into long-term agreements that would lock in its sucessors.
  • disbursed $250 hotel occupancy tax dollars to the Bridgeport Historical Society to advertise for the “Crossroads of History” event Thursday, Nov. 15, at the Bridgeport Stage.
  • approved a one-year service agreement with DFW Communication for the annual maintenance and repair work on the city’s public safety radio equipment for $9,540.89.
  • renewed an agreement with Blackboard Connect Inc. for a time-sensitive, mass citizen notification system – including weather alerts – for $4,992.96 (a $957.13 support fee plus $1.91 for each of 2,113 addresses)
  • held a public hearing and approved the annual Youth Services Standards of Care Policy for the parks and recreation department’s camps and after-school programs.
  • observed a proclamation in honor of the First Baptist Church’s 130th anniversary.
  • heard reports from the Bridgeport Chamber of Commerce and Amy Standard, director of finance for the city.
  • approved the minutes of the Sept. 27 special and Oct. 2 regular council meetings.
  • reviewed the Oct. 4 through Oct. 17 financial report.

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