People, Places & Events
Eustace Police Chief Wins Council's Trust
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
Editor's note: This story was begun on the front page Sunday, March 5, however it didn't continue to page 4A as noted. Here it is in its entirety.
EUSTACE-The city council gave Eustace Police Chief Robert Walker its vote of confidence Thursday by allowing him to select a replacement officer and confirming his salary of $30,000 a year.
"I feel confident, he'll pick a good man," Jack Wallace said, indicating he believed the council did not need to interview any candidates Walker may be considering.
Mayor Robert Pickle agreed Walker's past choice of an officer warranted the council's trust.
On the salary issue, the council decided to look at the numbers and determine when it would be in Walker's best interest to institute the new salary - now or retroactively.
In a related item, Walker asked the council to accept the resignation of officer Carey Hale, effective Monday, March 6.
"I can have someone ready to take his place by then," Walker assured the council, saying he had three candidates to choose from.
On a lighter note, the council accepted Pickle's recommendation to paint the city's new water tower tank a beige color with dark purple lettering on both sides, spelling out the city's name in 48-inch-high letters.
Eustace Independent School District Superintendent Coy Holcombe had also requested Pickle to ask the council to consider adding the words "Bulldog Country" below the city name on both sides.
The school district would pick up the cost of the extra lettering, about $735. This was unanimously accepted, with the caveat that the second line of lettering be slightly smaller than the city name.
"I'm sure that will be fine with Coy," Pickle said.
In other business, the council:
* signed off on the replatting of a new subdivision, Block A, Lot 1, being built by Al Patel in newly annexed territory along Farm-to-Market 316 South.
* tabled a resolution calling on the council to name GrantWorks the official author of all future grant applications and heard an update of the HOME grant program the group is organizing.
Through GrantWorks, the city has already been named a recipient of the $233,000 federal grant to assist senior citizens to make repairs to their homes to make them safe up, with grants of up to $50,000 each, or four home reconstructs.
The individual application process will probably begin in early summer, GrantWorks representative Justin Epker told the council, adding GrantWorks would do all the work of putting the word out.
* authorized the use of the DRE eSlate voting system for city elections.
Discussions are beginning between the school district and the city to share the rental cost of the new electronic voting machines for the upcoming May 13 election for city council seats and school district trustee seats.
* decided to move forward with possible annexation proceedings to protect the city's southern boundaries from encroachment by other home-rule municipalities.
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