Lawrence Bryant day
AZLE — Assistant City Manager Lawrence Bryant was recognized for 20 years of service to the city. Bryant started with the city as a college intern on Oct. 5, 2003, and has made it his sole career. Bryant has been an administrative service manager, director of administration and finance and was promoted to assistant city manager on July 17, 2011. “Lawrence is always trying to do whatever he can do that’s best for the city,” Mayor Alan Brundrett said “He’s one of our best employees here.”
With the reading of a proclamation, Brundrett declared Dec. 5, 2023 Lawrence Bryant Day in Azle.
Municipal Court coloring contest
The city also declared the winners and runners-up of the third annual Municipal Court Week Coloring Contest. There were 78 entries in the contest in which elementary-aged children submitted a completed coloring book page distributed at local elementary schools and daycares. Runners-up were Adley Sutherland, Sophia Rivas, Josephine Brester, McCoy Gentry, Micah Corban and Hank Loveless, aged between 2 and 10. Third place was Warren Geary, age 7, second place was Lauren Quick, age 11 and first place was Juliette Curtis, age 9, who missed the meeting to be at Disneyland. Winners and runners up received prizes, coloring books and reading material on bus safety in bags donated by CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) as well as awards from the city. The idea originated with Court Administrator Felicity King and was sponsored by Relentless Home Services, the Azle Lyons Club and Fidelity National Title.
“It was my decision just to kind of get awareness out to the community about what we do here and traffic safety,” King said. “So, everybody doesn’t just think we’re the mean people that take everyone’s money and throw them in jail. We really do want community action.”
Fire department annual report
Azle Fire Department Chief Thomas “Will” Scott recapped the year with the department’s annual presentation. He stated one of the Fire Department’s goals is to get out the door in 90 seconds.
“We fell a little short of that, but we’ll try to be better next time.”
Scott reported that, on average, it costs the city $848.10 every time the Fire Department received a call. This year there have been 4,179 calls for service, 4,149 fire responses, and 2,544 EMS responses. The fire department’s average response time was 6.57 minutes, and the average EMS response time was 4.22 minutes. The department estimates its total dollar loss as $1,149,193. With increasing demand for service, Scott informed the council a second fire station will eventually be needed with increased staff and a replacement of the current 2014 Quint 52 fire truck.
Scott informed the council that two of the three ambulances ordered this year should arrive within 24 months. There is no update on the third ambulance ordered in June, which has been untraceable since the United Auto Workers strike earlier this year, Scott said. Scott also described changes happening in the EMS industry that are making it harder to employ EMS personnel; many choose to work in emergency rooms where both the pay and working conditions are better than on a 911 ambulance.
“The employees that you do have are doing a fantastic job considering what the workload is,” Scott said.
Scott said he would like to have 32 firefighters on staff, but the current budget only pays for 21. The Azle Fire Department currently has 18 full-time nonadministrative employees and three job openings.
The city also reviewed and approved bids for mowing and landscaping services to be done throughout Azle. The contract will expire on Sept. 30, 2024, and will automatically renew on each anniversary date, unless either party gives a 60-day written notice of termination prior to the anniversary date. The funds are available in the general fund within the parks department budget. SRH Landscapes’ bid of $45,275.00 was approved by the parks department, purchasing staff and city council.
Polly Avenue Waterline replacement project
Rick White, public services director, introduced this year’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) project. The CDBG is a federal grant process introduced in 1974 that addresses needs in low to moderate income areas. In 2024, the grant will be put toward replacing a two-inch water main with a new six-inch PVC line, adding a fire hydrant, and new service lines on Polly Avenue in Azle. This project will go out for bid during 2024-2025. The project is expected to cost $197,212.50. The CDBG will fund $175,000.00 of that amount with the city providing the balance, currently estimated at $22,212.50. This will be the city’s 50th year to receive this grant.
bids on food truck park restroom trailers
Purchasing agent Jennifer Walls introduced much-awaited bids on a restroom trailer for a planned food truck park. The trailer will include one toilet, two urinals and sinks in the men’s restroom and two toilet stalls and sinks for the women’s restroom. The bid was awarded to Elk Creek Trailers out of Arizona for $59,810, shipping costs included. The city heard three bids Dec. 7 and approved Elk Creek Trailer’s bid at the Dec. 19 Azle City Council meeting. Comforts of Home Services, Inc. had the lowest bid, but did not meet the required minimum five-year limited warranty on the axles or the two-year limited warranty on the trailer as a whole. Therefore, staff chose to look at the next lowest bidder, Elk Creek Trailers, which met all the specifications. Elk Creek Trailers also had the shortest estimated delivery time.
With the retirement of the city’s previous finance director, Renita Bishop, Oct. 13, the city approved adding new finance director, Martin Avila, to the city’s NextBank and EastWest Bank accounts and removing Bishop during the Dec. 5 meeting.
After much public backlash to the planning of a landfill on 3411 Silver Creek Road, the City of Azle officially came out in opposition to the project.
“There’s talk going around about the proposed Silver Creek dump that they’re trying to do,” Mayor Alan Brundrett said. “Just to let the council know, with the help of Susie (Hiles) we filed a letter in opposition of the proposed dump on Silver Creek Road. So, it’s been filed with the TCEQ, and we gave a copy for them tonight for the public hearing. We officially have joined the others.”
In order to improve traffic safety, council member Rouel Rothenberger requested the council consider adding left-facing traffic arrows on Main Street in front of Azle City Hall. Feeling that may not fully address traffic issues in the area, City Manager Tom Muir and Public Services Director Rick White responded with information about a similar plan to re-stripe the first 100 feet of Industrial Avenue, Speer Street and a few others through a third-party contractor. The city is currently in the process of getting quotes for the project.
Muir said he plans to cancel the Jan. 2 city council meeting and will reschedule the next meeting to Tuesday, Jan. 23. Muir also mentioned Fire Marshal Kenny Wilson will retire from the city Jan. 2.