Onalaska council eyes grant engineers

ONALASKA – Proposals from management and engineering firms interested in handling the City of Onalaska's 2014 Community Development Block Grant programs, were presented Tuesday during the Onalaska City Council meeting.

The only proposal for the management services was submitted by Raymond K. Vann and Associates of Lufkin. Two engineering firms submitted proposals for that portion of the contract, including Klotz & Associates and KSA Engineering, both from Lufkin.

Council will likely make their selection in January.

During the meeting council members accepted the resignation of Officer Liham White, who is returning to the Polk County Sheriff's Office jail division and appointed reserve officer Michael Gregson to full time status, with the usual six months' probation period.

With Police Chief Ron Gilbert is still recovering from surgery, Capt. John Maddox presented the report for the police department. The department responded to 175 dispatched calls, answered 679 other incidents, made one felony and 10 misdemeanor arrests, issued 105 citations and 25 warnings, and assisted the county sheriff's office 18 times. Officers drove 4,631 miles, opening 38 new cases, including three driving while intoxicated or narcotic cases.

Fire Chief Jay Stutts reported the fire department responded to 23 medical calls and well as eight fire calls, including four structure, three grass and one vehicle. There were three motor vehicle accidents, seven calls to assist other agencies and two mutual aid responses. The 43 calls were divided by 16 in the county and 25 in the city and two mutual aid.

Building Inspector Lee Parrish reported they issued six permits, two for new homes, one for a new manufactured home, one for a commercial sign and an electrical permit. Total fees were $2.045 and the new structures increased the value to the city by $511,600. In his capacity as fire marsha, Parrish said is investigating one of the two incidents for November as a suspected arson. Code enforcement continues with one commercial cleanup, three citations being issued and 11 warnings sent out.

The Onalaska Library Board report acknowledge the donation from the Teague library of many excess books to add to the local collection. The summer reading program will begin June 15, unless there is too great a conflict with local bible school programs. They will have information on these in early spring. Tuesdays at 10 a.m. has been set for the program.

The librarian's report showed the facility was open 122 days with 1.095 books circulated and served 817 patrons and 239 computer users. Fax and copy fees were $235.90, fines $53.95 and regular donations of $48.85.

The consent agenda for vouchers, minutes and financials were reviewed and approved.

Mayor Roy Newport thanked all who participated in the Christmas in Our Town Parade and the events at the fire station. The flash mob appeared at the Tree Lighting and everyone enjoyed singing carols. He reminded everyone about the decorating contest for business, residential and subdivisions, entry deadline is Dec. 19 and judging will be that weekend so those wishing to participate should leave their holiday lights on.