Brownwood City Council members resumed an earlier conversation on improvements to multiple city facilities — and a potential tax note to fund them — when they held a council workshop Monday afternoon.
Council members took no action but agreed on a list of projects with an estimated preliminary cost of $715,000. Those projects and a tax note will be on an agenda for future council approval.
Council members worked off of a memo from City Manager Emily Crawford, which listed projects and their estimated costs as:
• Aquatic Center pool resurfacing. The original pool surface was plaster, which should have an eight-to-10-year life. After six years, it began to crack and degrade. A polyuria pool liner was installed in 2016 but it has not performed according to expectations. The liner has peeled off in multiple places and has been patched and repaired several times.
Three quotes have been received ranging from $225,000 to $99,000. Staff needs to determine the surface type, write specs and go to bid for the final cost.
• New carpet in the police department offices and municipal court — $25,000. The building is 20 years old and the carpet in those areas is worn and stained.
• Fuel pumps at fleet service center — $130,000 for pumps and software, relocation of pumps and concrete and canopy. The four fuel pumps are about 40 years old, and the pumps and software are at the end of their life.
The plan is to relocate the fuel island because its current location causes a backlog of vehicles that cannot get around each other.
• Water/sewer truck shed — $60,000. The city purchased a combo truck in 2018 with an intricate piping system that can be damaged by cold weather. The truck should be kept in an enclosed, insulated area and connected to power.
Currently, the truck takes up a maintenance bay in the city garage during cold weather. This prevents the shop from using one of the bays for break-down vehicles because it must be kept empty for the combo truck.
• Landfill truck scales — $100,000. Last year the city spent $20,000 repairing the scales. When the scales go down, there is no way to accurately calculate tonnage for the landfill and the city loses money.
The plan is to install new scales parallel to the existing scales, which would remain as backups. Included in the estimate is a small scale house between the two scales.
• Landfill litter netting — $175,000. The Indian Creek side of the landfill does not have litter control netting. The state requires litter netting. The netting will be 3,000 feet long and 25 feet tall. The cost includes the relocation of eight Oncor power poles.
The memo initially included an expansion of Fire Station No. 2 for $100,000. Council members agreed that funds could be used from a 2016 Certificate of Obligation to pay for that project. The 2016 CO has a contingency balance of $113,000 which can be used for facilities improvements.
The Fire Station No. 2 project includes a 546-square-foot addition for sleeping quarters. There is only one rest room and there is no room for expansion in the existing space. The plan is to remodel the rest room area and add one more rest room and shower unit.
Also at the council workshop, Crawford initiated a discussion on a topic that is not among the tax note projects: the needs of the Brownwood Senior Citizens Center.
The center needs space, and a contractor has given a quote of $330,000 for a 2,470-square-foot expansion.
If the city goes forward with an event center, the Senior Citizens Center and Health Department facilities will be impacted, Crawford’s memo stated.
Opening an event center would create parking conflicts for the Senior Citizens Center and event center/coliseum guests, the memo stated.
Deciding on whether to expand or relocate the center “will take more than one conversation,” Crawford said.
The memo also initially included a renovation of the Adams Street Community Center, for an estimated $340,000, but Crawford said she no longer recommends that project as a tax note project.
“At this point I’m going to recommend that we not include Adams Street in the tax note, just because of the amount,” Crawford said. “And also, with the convention center/senior citizens’s center discussions, I think it might be premature to put money into Adams Street beyond what we need to do shore up the foundation.
“That foundation work, we did put into the budget this year.”
The memo also noted that three projects related to the Brownwood Coliseum had been removed from the original list of projects: HVAC, an electronic sign and materials for exterior painting.
The city last issued a tax note in 2013 for $600,000 for facility improvements, Crawford’s memo states. The tax note is paying off in the current fiscal year. The note payment in this year’s budget is $104,700. To keep the same debt service as in the current budget, the tax note would need to be about $675,000, the memo states.