By Bill Spinks

The Waxahachie City Council moved forward Monday night with a new and improved water line in the Saddlebrook Estates neighborhood.

In a very brief meeting, the council approved an oversized agreement with 287 Waxahachie L.P. for the 1,160-foot water line along Big Brown Drive in the amount of $90,960. The upgrading of the line from 12 to 16 inches in diameter is included in the city’s budget and funding is included in the city’s five-year capital improvement program.

The city intends to use funds from the Water Operating Fund to pay for the project initially, with the money later being reimbursed from a future bond sale. The agreement and the funding were approved unanimously in separate motions.

The council also approved a contract of $107,320 with G2 General Contractors for sewer system repairs. City director of utilities David Bailey said a number of problems were identified through smoke testing over the last couple of years, and city staff already has been able to address a number of smaller issues.

Finally, the council OK’d a $56,000 supplemental payment from the water fund as part of its agreement with the Trinity River Authority to maintain Bardwell Reservoir. The payment has been more than offset by a $75,000 refund from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for unused funds from last year.

Other items

• Consent agenda items included a budget amendment from the city’s emergency management department and approval of taxicab license renewals.

• The matter of a new special-use permit for the Oak Cliff Recycling facility at 500 Brown Industrial Road was continued a second time, to the June 15 council meeting. The facility has been the scene of a number of large fires over the years, most recently last December.

• By a 4-1 vote, the council authorized Mayor David Hill and/or his designee to file an application for funds from the Coronavirus Relief Fund or any other funds providing grants for coronavirus-related grants. Councilmember Melissa Olson cast the no vote.

• Four special-use permits for electronic message signs at Wedgworth, Felty, Clift and Marvin elementary schools were all approved in separate motions. City planning director Shon Brooks said each of the signs meet all requirements.

• City manager Michael Scott said City Hall was unlocked on Monday for the first time since the start of COVID-19 restrictions.