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Public Safety

Jefferson County
Beaumont City Council
by Garrett Bryce
Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Beaumont City Council today voted unanimously to reduce the number of positions at the Beaumont Police Department to eliminate the department's assistant chief position. 

According to City Manager Kyle Hayes, Weldon Dunlap recently retired from the position of assistant chief.

"We are asking that city council eliminate the position of assistant chief so the police chief can work closer with the three captains," Hayes said.  "This is possible at this time without compromising the efficiency of the organization."

The change would reduce the total number of positions at the department to 263, and result in savings of approximately $125,000 per year.

The city council held a public hearing regarding 59 structures being considered as dangerous structures.  The city council voted to declare a total of 43 of the structures as dangerous, requiring the removal of the buildings on the property within 10 days.  Another 14 properties were allowed to enroll in a dangerous structure work program, and two properties were held for consideration a future meeting.

The city council voted to approve a one-year, $61,488 contract with CapitalEdge Advocacy, LLC to act as the city's Washington assistant and revoke a similar contract renewal with Carolyn C. Chaney & Associates, Inc.  Chaney, the owner of the company, had changed the company's name to CapitalEdge Advocacy, requiring the contract to be reapproved under the new name.

The city council voted to approve a resolution authorizing the settlement of a lawsuit styled Donald Jackson vs. City of Beaumont, et al, in the amount of $65,000.  The item had been discussed in an executive session during the January 19 meeting.

The city council voted to authorize the suspension of the effective date of a proposed rate increase by Entergy Texas, Inc. until May 4. 

"This would allow for the city to join with other cities in the Entergy service area as a steering committee to combine efforts to review the rate filing package and participate in the rate case filed before the Public Utility Commission of Texas," Hayes said.

According to Hayes, the proposed rate change would increase an average customer's electricity bill by $25.85, or 20.3, percent per month, as well as increase municipal lighting service by 10 percent. 

The city council voted to approve a resolution authorizing the city to participate with other Entergy Texas, Inc. service area cities to intervene in the proceedings before the Public Utility Commission regarding Entergy's proposed rate increase.

The city council voted to amend the Fiscal Year 2010 Budget to appropriate $179,966 from the Hurricane Rita Recovery Fund to transfer to the Hurricane Gustav Recovery Fund.

According to Hayes, the city incurred $1.22 million in expenses related to Hurricane Gustav, of which all but $179,966 was reimbursed through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  Transfer of the remaining negative fund balance will allow the city to close the fund.

All other items were approved by unanimous vote.  All members were present.  Agenda

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