Bids sought to demolish and/or remove Legion Hut on Fifth St.
KERENS–Kerens City Council voted Tuesday, March 12 to approve the implementation of a K-9 program for Kerens Police Department, contingent on later council approval of a written program policy.
During the February and March council meetings, Kerens Police Chief Bryan Miers proposed paying reduced training and certification costs from his department’s asset forfeiture fund. The K-9, in possession of Kerens officer Terry Jackson, would be used to search for drugs.
Chief Miers said ongoing annual costs for the drug dog would run about $500 for medical and liability insurance, and around $1,500 for veterinarian checkups, food and medication. Another one-time expense for equipment to house the dog in a police vehicle could cost anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000, Miers added.
Council gave initial approval and plans to take up the policy portion of the arrangement during its April 9 regular monthly meeting.
Also March 12, council decided to seek bids to demolish and/or remove the city-owned Legion Hut, located on Fifth Street. The Legion Hut was formerly owned by Kerens ISD before the district moved to its current campus, and once housed The American Legion, a veterans’ organization.
The city also plans to inventory and sell salvageable items and materials from the Legion Hut and shut off its utilities as soon as possible, said Kerens City Administrator Katherine Combs.
Council also awarded a $30,000 contract for professional planning services to Public Management, whose San Antonio-based vice president and business development director, Ken Coignet, was present at the meeting. The City of Kerens will match the contract, expected to be paid from grant funding, with 10 percent, or $3,000.
Coignet told members his company would survey the city’s housing, streets, land use, water and sewer facilities, economic development mechanisms and municipal parks, then seek capital improvement grants and suggest other spending.
Council also heard from representatives of Patriot Container Homes of Dallas, which seeks to build homes within Kerens utilizing metal shipping containers. Patriot, whose staff also consulted council last month, proposed homes using both containers and stick-built wooden portions, constructed on site.
The homes would range in size from 800 square feet, costing about $80,000 depending on finishes, up to 1,700 square feet, with a price starting around $120,000, said Frankie Limones, Patriot Operations Manager.
Jessica Soto, Patriot Marketing Manager, said “everyone was very nice and open to us” while her company surveyed community members. Council took no action on container home regulations, choosing to wait until city ordinance changes were developed by municipal staff.
Also March 12, council denied an application for a specific-use permit to place a 2,000-model mobile home at 404 N. Alma Ave. and voted to adopt an agreement outlining Kerens ISD’s responsibility for water and sewer lines the district constructed beyond the city’s easement.