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Council approves four municipal slots

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Members set health insurance price and pension rates

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KERENS–Kerens City Council voted Tuesday, June 11 to approve Mayor Jeffrey Saunders’ appointments to four municipal positions.
Saunders said the mayoral appointments come every two years, in the wake of elections during which the Kerens mayoral slot is on the ballot. Continuing city service are Kerens Police Chief Bryan Miers, who has led the department since March 2010, and City Secretary Katherine Combs, who also holds the title of city administrator, holding both since Jan. 2018.
Council also approved Jackie Freeland as municipal judge, replacing Connie Hickman. Freeland is Navarro County Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace; Hickman is Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace.
Further, the new Kerens City Attorney and Municipal Prosecutor is Kathleen Cameron of Corsicana. Those positions were formerly held by Kerri Anderson Donica, a Corsicana lawyer. All four appointments go into effect immediately.
Council members also approved the city’s 2020 contribution rates toward municipal employee benefits administered by the Texas Municipal Retirement System (TMRS), in which council voted to participate in Oct. 2015. The 2019 contribution rate is 8.52 percent and decreases to 8.33 percent in 2020, said City Administrator Combs.
Council also voted to set municipal insurance rates for plans through the Texas Municipal League (TML). The current per-month, per-employee rate is $680.44, which now increases to $688.30. All City of Kerens employees are covered by the insurance plans, except for one person who is insured through another provider, Combs said.
Additionally, council approved a bid for SCADA system improvements for municipal waterworks. SCADA stands for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition and is a computer system used to monitor and control processes, which in this instance includes the city’s two elevated water storage tanks, a ground water storage tank and the meter measuring flow from City of Corsicana-provided water, all supervised from Kerens City Hall.
The SCADA system will cost $40,500, much of which will be grant-funded, with the City of Kerens matching 20 percent of the price, Combs said.
Finally, in other council action, members denied a specific-use permit that would have allowed a property owner to reside at a business located 105 N. Colket Ave.


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