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Sulphur Springs City Manager’s Report To City Council

By City Manager Marc Maxwell

COVID-19 RESPONSE – The number of active cases in Hopkins County decreased 13% since our last meeting, with a total of 120 active patients as of February 01, 2021. The is the second consecutive month of declining active cases. Last month active cases fell by 11%. The state has tested a total of 8,982 people at the Hopkins County testing site since this whole thing began. We have had 2,095 cumulative recoveries and 70 cumulative fatalities (40% increase from last month) in Hopkins County, and the hospital has 14 patients in the COVID-19 unit, a 53% decrease from last month. 

As a part of the city’s response to COVID-19, the city suspended the practice of cutting off water service for non-payment. Some of the balances are growing relatively high. The total arrearage is $153,906, with 601 accounts (8.96% of all reports) in arrears. The vaccines are beginning to roll out to the public, and we have had two consecutive months of declining total active cases. If total active cases fall again next month, I will propose requiring residents to pay their current bill along with 1/12th of their arrearage to avoid utility cut off. In this way, the city could bring their accounts current in 12 months.

GRAYS BUILDING –Crews have nearly completed the framing and the plumbing finishes by the end of the week. Next is the Electrical rough-in, followed by insulation and sheetrock.

 SENIOR CITIZENS BUILDING – REES Associates are still preparing construction drawings. We have hired Tandem Consulting to oversee the construction, just like the Grays Building.

 WOODLAWN STREET –The Capital Construction Division has completed the sewer main and the water main. They will be finished with curb and gutter improvements this week. Texana Land and Asphalt will then cement-stabilize the road base and pave the street with asphalt.

SAPUTO SEWER MAIN – The city has ordered materials for the project, and it will get underway this month. This $750,000 sewer project is funded entirely by a grant from the Texas Department of Agriculture. The new sewer main will supplement an older undersized main. The path of the new main begins at Saputo and continues under the interstate. It then continues South for 3,500 feet before connecting to an existing trunk line. The new main has a 15-inch inch diameter. This grant is made possible because of a $50 million plant upgrade at Saputo and their cooperation with the Texas Department of Agriculture. Without their collaboration, this project would not have been possible.

COLLEGE STREET – This will be the next project after the Saputo Sewer Line Project.

Elsewhere on the agenda is an item to approve a concrete crushing bid that will provide much of the project’s road base.

 CLAIMS – We did not have any worker’s compensation claims or liability claims in January. The city submitted a property claim for a police cruiser that someone struck while parked and unoccupied.

REVENUES AND EXPENDITURES – Finance Director Lesa Smith will present a report of revenues and expenditures.

Elsewhere around the city, employees:

  • The city made extensive street repairs following utility repairs.
  • Repaired 586 potholes in various locations
  • The city replaced various STOP signs, school zone signs, and speed limit signs.
  • Installed two new sidewalks at the airport
  • Removed Christmas decorations and replaced downtown banners
  • Cleaned water wells on Veterans’ Memorial
  • Responded to 177 animal control cans and achieved a 97% adoption rate.
  • Made five felony arrests in the Special Crimes Unit
  • Responded to 38 accidents, issued 532 citations, made 33 arrests and recorded 48 offenses in the Patrol Division.
  • Conducted 28 building inspections, 19 electrical inspections, 18 plumbing inspections, six mechanical inspections and issued 26 building permits.
  • Sold 2,574 gallons of AvGas and 12,120 gallons of Jet ‘A’ fuel
  • Checked out 2,809 items at the library, plus 741 eBooks
  • Responded to 249 fire/rescue calls, including three structure fires and five vehicle fires
  • Performed preventative maintenance and testing on 80 fire hydrants
  • Installed large main door at Hanger #3 at the airport
  • Achieved monthly average total suspended solids reading of .76 mg/L at the Wastewater Treatment Plant, well with our limit of 15 mg/L.
  • Repaired 12 ruptured water mains
  • Unstopped 51 sewer mains.
  • Repaired 13 sewer mains
  • Washed 75,000 feet of sewer mains
  • Treated 127 million gallons of potable water