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Council discusses proposed VFD construction

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KERENS–Kerens City Council met Tuesday, Feb. 11 with the board president of Navarro County Emergency Services District (ESD) No. 1 about potential expansion of the Kerens Volunteer Fire Department facility on Southeast Third Street.
The ESD, which would pay for the improvements, holds a 99-year lease on the Kerens VFD building. The lease is about 10 years into its term and the ESD holds a 50-year option upon its expiration.
ESD Board Presiden Jeff Stapleton said any building expansion would be a “win-win” for the ESD and the City of Kerens. Council members and Stapleton discussed design, the site of any construction, building costs and whether to amend the current lease or sign another one. No action was taken and all plans are preliminary.
In other council business, members voted to change the zoning of 905 NE Second St. (State Highway 31) from residential to commercial. John Koscielniak plans to build a recreational vehicle campground at the location, the elevation of which he plans to raise using fill dirt. The new designation as Commercial C2 zoning includes RV parks, Mayor Jeffrey Saunders said.
Council also voted to call a May 2 general election. The two-year terms of council members Brandon Blue, Ann Fessenden and Greg Allen are expiring and as of Feb. 11, no one had officially signed up to challenge the incumbents. The filing deadline was Feb. 14.
Members also agreed to reappoint Dixie Edwards, Norton Conner and James Martin for additional two-year terms as commissioners of the Kerens Housing Authority. They also decided to continue participation with the Atmos Cities Steering Committee, which advocates on behalf of 171 Texas municipalities during natural gas rate reviews before state regulators.