Regular siren tests to begin soon

FB Jay Cates

Hughes Springs Fire Chief Jay Cates demonstrates how the sirens are activated via his cellphone.

Council also appoints Robyn Shelton as its water district representative
By MARLENE BOHR
Special Correspondent
Fire Chief Jay Cates explained the three new sirens to the Hughes Springs City Council at its July 21 meeting
“The three sirens are installed,” Cates said. “The sirens at the American Legion and the water tower are hooked up. We are waiting on SWEPCO to get the one hooked up at the wastewater treatment plant. At this time we have to activate them manually by going to the pole. I have been working and we have codes for them. When you key in the siren’s code, it works. Each siren has its own code. Each siren has two sounds. The sirens go off for three minutes.
“I have a Facebook page that is strictly emergency management. If you all do Facebook, it is a good one where you see actual happenings on it. I also have a twitter account. The sirens you chose to put in are the best in the nation. They will sustain us forever.”
Cates said he had a few firemen out of town during this test.
“They will let us know later how far they are going out and if they could hear,” Cates said.
The council approved Resolution 072115 to apply for 2015 Texas Community Development Block Grant assistance under the Community Enhancement Fund through the Texas Department of Agriculture. The council also approved memorandums of understanding between the Hughes Springs Independent School District and Northeast Texas Community College. The memorandums of understanding are for joint participation in the 2015 Texas CDBG Community Enhancement Fund Project, contingent upon the grant award.
“If we get funding for the training facility, each school uses the facility for a period of 10 years,” City Secretary George Fite said. “I have spoken with Superintendent Sarah Dildine and if we pass this, I will forward this agreement to her and to the college.
“I have been in communication with the college and this is for them to offer continuing education classes. They could be utilizing this facility in the evening providing a professor to hold classes for the surrounding area.”
In other business, the council approved acceptance of a quit claim deed from the Hughes Springs Area Foundation transferring ownership to the city, contingent upon receipt of the 2015 Texas CDBG Community Enhancement Fund Project grant award.
“The city can apply for the funds and they have agreed to transfer the property of the library to the city,” Fite said. “We would not take over running the library. They would be the occupants of the property and the property would be in the city’s name.”
The council approved the 20-year financial note with the First National Bank of Hughes Springs for the emergency medical services property at 106 S. Pine St. and the payment agreement.
“As you know, we have had possession of the property,” Fite said. “We were waiting on the final asphalt work that would be done. The note would be for $151,359.64.”
The council accepted a letter of resignation from the city’s water district representative, Carol Leftwich, vacating his seat on the Northeast Texas Municipal Water District effective July 1. Robyn Shelton was approved to be the city’s representative in his place.
Approval was given for J.M. Cook to purchase a portion of the alleyway behind his property for $250, more specifically described as Hughes Springs OT Block 30 Lot 4 and requesting the city to allow an encroachment along Lot 6 where a retaining wall has existed for over 40 years.
The council approved allowing Champion Emergency Medical Services to advertise its ambulance insurance.
“If you remember, Champion came to us offering our citizens ambulance insurance at a cost of $4 per month for the entire family,” Fite said. “I would need the council’s approval to advertise putting the information on the water bills. If you have the insurance and an ambulance came to your house, the cost can be covered.”
Under the mayor’s report, Fite reported on the Community Theatre of East Texas upcoming performance at the Legacy. Performance dates are July 31 through Aug. 2 and Aug. 7 through Aug. 9.
The council gave permission for the Traylor High School Alumni Reunion to tour the Legacy. The reunion starts July 31.
Purchase of an ice machine was approved for the city on the request of Cates.
“During the spring and the summer months and during the winter, we use a lot of ice,” Fite said “The cost that we can save is pretty phenomenal by having one that can be used for the fire, police and at the Legacy. The cost of the machine is $3,947 and it could be spread throughout the departments. The machine would be located at the fire department.”

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