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Kerens plans to move City Hall

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Sanitation rate increases June 1 after April 6 vote

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KERENS–The City of Kerens is looking for a new City Hall location and is seeking a grant to improve its water system, including an elevated tank erected in the 1920s.
At a March 16 special meeting, Kerens City Council voted to transfer the city’s property ownership in the 200 block of Colket Avenue, Kerens’ main downtown street, to the Kerens Economic Development Corp. (EDC).
That includes Kerens City Hall and the building just to its south. Previously, the EDC purchased property further south in the 200 block of Colket from private owners. City Administrator Katherine Combs said the EDC plans to demolish the buildings from 200-212 Colket and then rebuild.
The City of Kerens is looking at alternatives for a new City Hall location, Combs added.
Also March 16, Kerens awarded Brannon Corp. an engineering contract in relation to a Texas Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) which would help pay for the water system upgrades.
Council later voted April 6 to submit the CDBG application to the state Department of Agriculture, which will be handled by Public Management Inc. of San Antonio. The block grants are geared toward rural communities.
In other April 6 action, council voted to continue participating in the Steering Committee of Cities served by Oncor Electric Delivery Co. Steering committee membership costs Kerens $105 annually, Combs said.
Kerens Council also passed a resolution about an Atmos Energy Corp. application to increase natural gas rates. The vote seeks to suspend the effective date of the rate application for 45 days.
Further, council gave second and final approval April 6 to a sanitation rate increase for residents and businesses, which starts June 1.
Combs said the rate increase reflects a higher cost to the city from Kerens’ sanitation provider, Republic Services.
For the first trash bin, residential rates will move from $13.50 to $13.75. For the first business bin, rates will go from $22.50 to $23.25. The rates for second bins for both categories will remain $7.