A unanimous vote by the Brownwood City Council during Tuesday’s meeting, combined with an excess of funds, will allow the city to move forward with four new projects.

In October 2013, the city issued a certificate of obligation for $3.87 million for the construction of two new cells at the landfill. A lower than expected bid of roughly $2.2 million for the construction left excess funds of slightly more than $1 million. City manager Bobby Rountree said the purchase of a new baler was crucial. “The current baler is worn out,” Rountree said. “It needs $14,000 in repairs and is too small for our current operations. It is not even capable of baling newspaper at this time.” Rountree reported that the landfill baled more than 227,000 pounds of cardboard and plastic bottles last year.

The second of the four projects is to pave the recycling center and conduct landfill road maintenance. “One of the biggest complaints we receive is in regard to the dust,” Rountree said. “It has a good layer of base, but paving would be beneficial to keep the dust down and prevent mud when it rains.”

With the approval of the council, another project will be for a storage building for the baled recyclables. “We currently use shipping containers that will typically hold 18 bales,” Rountree said. “They are about $4,500 each and are usually in bad condition when we get them.”

The last of the four projects will be the purchase of a glass pulverizer for recycling. “This machine turns glass into sand or gravel with no sharp edges,” Rountree said. “This will help us to be able to keep glass out of the landfill.”

Rountree explained that after these four projects, $825,000 would remain from the excess funds, which could be used to pay down the remaining principal on the bonds. “This will save approximately $172,000 in interest costs,” Rountree said.

In other business:

• The council approved an ordinance on second and third/final readings to establish a temporary construction speed limit zone of 30 MPH on a portion of Austin Ave.

• Ratified a BEDC action to buy back nearly two acres of industrial property located on Drisco Dr.

• Authorized the city manager to execute a professional services agreement, in the amount of $8,800 with Ron Morrison of BSP Engineers Hydrology Division to prepare documents to submit to FEMA to address the city’s comments and update the Federal Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) and Flood Insurance Study (FIS)

• Mayor Pro-Tem Draco Miller read proclamations recognizing Social Welfare Month and Work Zone Awareness Week.

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Rick Phelps is news director at KOXE.