Parades and budget items were on last week’s agenda at the Port Lavaca City Council meeting, kicking off the season.
During the meeting, four parade permits were given, ranging from October to December. Starting with October, two parades permits were approved, one for the Marian Rosary procession on Oct. 9 by Our Lady of the Gulf Catholic Church and another for the Calhoun County Fair Association for the yearly county fair parade on Oct. 1.
All of the agenda items passed were done so without two members of the council present.
Heading into November, Our Lady of the Gulf will return with its “Christ the King Eucharistic Procession Parade” on Nov. 20 and then into December with the Lighted Christmas Parade by the Chamber of Commerce on the 2nd. In addition, the council approved a road closure for the “Merry on Main” event right after the parade on Dec. 3.
Also on the agenda for the week was a long list of items related to the budget of Port Lavaca, with the most prominent being the approval of the 2022-2023 fiscal budget, alongside other items pertaining to its approval, such as city compensation plans, budget reports from the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA) over the city’s water treatment plan, and the ratification of property tax increases.
This year’s proposed budget for compensation had $232,888 reserved for merit increases with up to a 4% increase based on the salary of the employee in question. The city also added $73,437 for salaries in the compensation plan of the city. This would bring all city employees to the minimum needed for the pay grade, as well as allow for merit increases.
The current negotiations regarding the GRBA’s proposed new water treatment plant and future contracts are still ongoing between the GRBA and the city, with GBRA being the company that provides Port Lavaca, Calhoun County, and Port O’Connor with water for drinking and commercial use. However, the new budget for the city gives an estimated payment by the city for the cost of $1,403,989.
This comprises the costs for the raw water delivery charges, operating and maintenance expenses, and administrative and general expenses. It marks a 6.6% or $117,043 increase in the 2023 budget over the 2022 budget.
One item of note was the awarding of the next phase of the City Hall renovations to Barefoot Construction for $319,500. While Barefoot Construction submitted the lower bid of the two contractors who bid for the project, the city needed to adjust the funds required by $19,500 to meet the bid.
Finally, there were also minor adjustments to the splash pad and skate park rules, as well as the recommendation of a lease for a suite at the nautical landing suite 2.