HOULKA – The Houlka Board of Aldermen moved one step closer to a new city shop at the July 2 meeting. The old shop will be torn down later this year to make way for expansion by the Houlka Nazarene Church and city leaders are still trying to determine what kind of structure to erect to house equipment.
The board has debated building a closed facility or a pole barn to cover tractors, dump trucks and backhoes and to house mowers and small equipment and now are trying to meet in the middle.
Budget constraints are an issue with building a closed facility, but safety concerns and protecting equipment also factor in to the decision.
“We could do a pole barn with parts enclosed in stalls for the mowers and weedeaters,” said Mayor Jimmy Kelly. “The dump trucks and tractors can sit out.”
The plan could be modified at a later date with additional sections enclosed as needed to fit the budget.
At the board’s request, Kelly and Street and Water Supervisor, David Ray, will assess the property and equipment to get specifications on size and request quotes on the project.
City officials were sworn into office for the new term at the meeting. Judge Garry Turner delivered the oath of office to Kelly, City Clerk Gay Williams and the board of aldermen. Dustin Eaton is the only new member of the board while Beverly Davidson, Kim Murphree, David Wiggs and K.C. Gates all return to their seats. In Houlka, the five aldermen serve at-large. All city employees were reappointed to their positions with City Judge Turner expressing his desire for all government members to continue to work together for the good of the community.
“I want to see our town progress and I want to be a part of it,” Turner said. “I thank you for letting me be a part of it.”
In other matters, the board:
* Declared two old police cars as surplus. The cars had been bid for sale, but the bidder did not pick them up or pay the bid. They will now be sold for salvage.
* Decided to postpone purchase of a new sewer machine until they finish paying off a note on a city tractor.
* Heard from resident Becky Harrison who said sewer repairs are tearing up her garden
* Repealed the current dog ordinance from the books as there currently is no dog catcher employed to work in the town.