Mayor Joey Heard explained the mowing was the responsibility of the state, but he said the state is not going to do the mowing expediently. And he said in many cities, the state is trying to get the cities to take over the mowing.
Councilman Lenny Anzaldua pleaded with the council do discuss the topic and find a way to get the job done.
“When someone drives through our town, they see ugly,” Anzaldua said.
He said grass was growing through sidewalks’ seams, dirt had piled up, and weeds have grown, making it unsightly.
At first, the idea might have been to go ahead and have city workers take care of the state’s rights of way, but Benny Zuniga, a city employee had other things to say about that notion.
“Put pressure on the state to go and mow. It is the state’s responsibility ... whose money is going to pay for it? ... It is dangerous to be out there,” Zuniga said.
Anzaldua said he wasn’t trying to cause work.
“It’s not every spot ... little pieces here and there,” Anzaldua said.
Heard reiterated that the state will not be pressured and will not do the work.
“How do we get there? Do we hire out? As suggested by the mayor. What we know for a fact is we have a black eye,” Anzaldua said.
Also, the idea that businesses should take responsibility for their fronts was discussed, and maybe adding the requirement to the city’s ordinances.
Zuniga pointed out it is visitors to the city, visitors who are not living in Refugio.
“The ones making the revenue are the businesses,” he said. He added it only takes a half block to run over a man.
Zuniga also touched on the liability for doing state rights of ways.
Councilman Dale Skrobarcek suggested contracting someone to do the weeding, grass cutting and sprucing up periodically. Councilwoman Karen Watts said she liked the idea of contracting out for the job.
The council agreed to seek bids from local contractors and bring it back to the council for consideration at its next meeting.
In addition, the council agreed to set the pace by meeting 8 a.m. Dec. 7 and personally performing cleanup along U.S. Highway 77.
The council plans on meeting in the high school band parking lot to begin cleanup. And it invited the community to join them.
In other business, the council approved promoting Bruce Radford to the rank of sergeant in the Refugio Police Department.
The council also acknowledged the hiring of Jose DeLeon as the city’s water and wastewater superintendent.
And the council approved the 2013 certification of the tax levy, an amount of $587,822.24.