Jacksboro City Council met April 14th in a regular scheduled meeting at City Hall. The meeting opened up with a review of the city’s annual audit report. Overall, the report was good, with the sales taxes being up in 2014 by $400K and earnings from the landfill purchase at $500K. Unassigned monies are at $1.2 million. Spokesperson Valerie Halverson, of the MWH Group, stated that the recommended amount of money put back for emergency funding is usually 3 months, Jacksboro currently has 6 months in reserve. According to Halverson “It was a good year, financially” with nothing significant to report from the audit.
Local businessman and developer, Doug Angel, addressed the council concerning a proposed housing addition to be located in the 3rd and Mesquite area of Jacksboro. The proposed start date would be 2 weeks after the approval by the council. Construction on the homes is estimated to take 60 days (weather permitting). There would be a total of 5 homes built. The council accepted the proposal.
Next the council heard a proposal by Air Evac insurance to provide the opportunity to become members of the AirMed Care Network a company that provides air evacuation during times of need at a fraction of the cost. In the proposal, city residents will be able to sign up for this program for an additional $5 added onto their water bill. The average cost of a patient being flown to a hospital is $35,000. One concern from the council was if there would be an increase workload on the administrative side of the program, to which studies have shown that once the initial set up was completed, there was minimal to no increase noted in other cities that are participating. In a sobering comment it was noted that at one point, Ranger Hill (on Interstate 20 going west) had 2 different times in which there were 6 helicopters called in to transport victims of wrecks. Participants would get a packet with phone numbers needed for the program. Participation is 100% voluntary.
Council also approved designating a “No Parking” area on the west side of Belknap to Richardson Street, to alleviate safety issues caused by parking too close to traffic and the intersection. Signs will be placed soon.
City Manager Mike Smith offered for discussion the consideration of “sponsoring” individuals that are interested in entering law enforcement but might not have the funding required to become certified and licensed (academy and training expenses). Under this plan, the city would provide assistance for those individuals, who would then serve as officers of the Jacksboro Police Department as a “re-pay”. Councilman Jeff Miller agreed with the proposal, with caution. Miller has seen these programs being used but has also seen individuals leaving the cities they contracted with before fulfilling their obligations. “Contract details would need to be worked out” Smith said. Councilman Joe Mitchell agreed, stating “It would be a great idea in theory”.
A brief discussion to provide a trailer or other hauling equipment for residents to carry items to the burn pit was tabled for further discussion. Although council agreed that people would use it if available, the council was not sure this was the right time for it. The city is seeking a new burn pit location. The council will discuss options to make resources available for residents that are cleaning up their properties.