Council discusses bridge construction issues

The construction of the bridge on Couch Street was a hot topic of conversation at the monthly meeting of the Italy City Council Monday evening.
Brad Chambers, public works director, said the contractors should begin pouring the guardrails soon.
Council member Mark Souder Sr. asked when liquidated damages would begin.
Teri Murdock, city administrator, said she was unsure but said she had discussed the matter with the city attorney.
Council member Greg Richards said Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) does give extra credit to contractors when it rains.
Souder said the excessive traffic is damaging Sparkman Street. He said this is going on three months longer than planned and Sparkman Street is falling apart. He said the contractor should help pay for the road damages due to the contractor’s negligence.
Chambers said the city has also had problems with the cities of Cedar Hill, Duncanville and DeSoto and their new radio system. He said the FFC gave them the same frequency as the one owned by the City of Italy. This, ultimately, affects their system. Chambers explained the cities have offered to pay the City of Italy to change its frequency. He said the only problem is they refuse to be responsible should the new frequency not work.
Rodney Guthrie, council member, suggested Murdock contact the city attorney to see what options is available to the city. He reiterated this is not a problem created by the City of Italy.
In other business, Mackey Graves approached the council to discuss allowing the Italy Cemetery Association to use the railroad easement from Simms Street to Cohagan Park.
Graves said John Droll, council member, suggested last month that the cemetery association use the easement rather than an easement off SH 77 to Cohagan Park. He said the cemetery association agreed with the suggestion.
Graves said a culvert would be required to go across the deep ditch on SH 77 and would be costly.
Richards said he did not have a problem with the request.
Guthrie said he was concerned about the deep ditch and said he would hate someone to run off into the ditch.
The council agreed that the cemetery association, fire chief and street department discuss options further and come back next month to get the council’s approval.
The council approved a joint election agreement with the Italy ISD.
Carl Jaynes was not present for the second month in a row regarding trash and trespassing by residents of the trailer park.
During department reports, Murdock said the cost for a new concession stand at Upchurch Park is higher than the city originally expected. She said a citizens has offered to put the concession stand together at no cost.
Souder said he appreciated the volunteer but asked who would be responsible should there be problems with construction. He said he understood about saving money but said he did not want to save a little now to only cost a lot more later.
She said the planning and zoning commission will meet March 15 to discuss an auto/welding/auto sales shop to be built across the street from David’s Supermarket on SH 34.
C.V. Johns, police chief, reported the department received 120 calls to service and made 12 arrests in February. He said officers worked/trained for 1,033 hours.
The warrant officer made 10 contracts during the month.
The animal control officer received six calls in February, issued one citation, two warnings and captured two animals.
The code enforcement officer received five complaints and took action on four of them. He found 18 issues during self-initiated activity and issued 16 written warnings.
The municipal court received 319 citations filed by the police department and cleared 11 warrants during February.
The council also approved minutes from the February meeting, bills and employee earned compensatory time.