The Cascade City Council discussed two water projects at the Feb. 13 meeting. The first would install a water main on Third Avenue SE between Taylor and Polk Streets. Currently, there are only two dead-end pipes in that area.
City Administrator Lisa Kotter said a new main would loop the pipes, which would be better for the water system. A small section of the sewer main would also be replaced.
The second project would be new stormwater catch basins at the Claddagh Subdivision in the northwest region of town. The stormwater improvements are expected to be brought up again at the next council meeting, but more engineering work is required before discussion can continue on the water main.
The Council also discussed plans for the annual budget. Key topics included the raising of property taxes to keep up with state insurance inflation increases, increases to swimming pool lifeguard wages and a look at how much money is available in the budget for capital projects. Over the next month, the Council will be considering the exact amount of the property tax increase, as well as a water utility increase to pay for repairs and improvements to city water.
In other news, the council:
• Voted to accept a new contract with Lynch Dallas Law Firm at a slight rate increase. This law firm does the City’s municipal work and the increased rates were found to still be cheaper than rates of other similar firms. The contract goes into effect immediately.
• Changed two city personnel policies: The first added two holidays for full-time city employees, Martin Luther King Day and Veterans Day. The new policy also decreases the number of years needed to reach vacation increments. Previously, city employees received no vacation until their second year — this has been changed to allowing vacation after a three-month probation period. This will enable the city to remain a competitive employer.
• Voted to purchase two new computers and a monitor for the offices of the city administrator and city clerk.
• Heard an announcement from Kotter that public funding for the new library building has now surpassed $1,000,000. This includes money from grants, private donations, Bunco nights, t-shirts and food sales as well as other fundraising events. The library is still hoping to raise an additional $500,000.
• Noted that Cascade City Ordinances are now available to be searched and viewed on the American Legal website. It can be accessed from the city website at https://www.cityofcascade.org under City Ordinances.