LIVINGSTON – The Livingston Board of Aldermen voted Oct. 11 to adopt a proposed ordinance limiting use of its Red Oak sewer treatment plant.
For the past several months, the aldermen have discussed upgrading that plant, which has reached max capacity after 40 years of use and continued development throughout the town.
Engineer Eddie Aydell from Alvin Fairburn & Associates LLC said his department has been considering various options to increase treatment capacity, increase the quality of treatment and provide an additional buffer during wet weather flows.
They applied for $8.7 million in grant applications, but it will take 12-18 months before they know if any of those grants were approved. Aydell asked Town Clerk Lea McDonald to add a resolution to apply for funding for plant improvements to the next meeting agenda.
The Red Oak plant is operating at 300,000 gallons per day, but there is a possibility of overflow during heavy rain events, which is why the town wants to limit the number of users who tie into the plant. They hope to upgrade it to either 500,000 gallons per day or 750,000 gallons per day, which would cost approximately $4 million.
To help prevent overflow, the board voted to amend the Town of Livingston Code of Ordinances by adding a moratorium on the addition of new users situated outside the town limits to the Red Oak sewer treatment plant.
During the public hearing before the meeting, Mayor David McCreary said the moratorium would be in place for one year.
In other business, resident Errol Hicks asked the board to allow horseback riders in the town’s annual Christmas Parade starting this year.
“Us old cowboys are too old to be rodeoing anymore, and that’s all we’ve got left. That’s all we want to do,” Hicks said.
He said the cowboys will ride at the end of the parade so they do not interfere with any of the floats.
Alderman Joey Sibley asked that every child on horseback be accompanied by an adult to keep things safe in case any of the horses get spooked. Hicks agreed and added that he will keep an eye on everyone in his group to make sure no one is drinking anything other than water. The board approved his request.
McCreary also announced dates for two upcoming events.
Halloween Trick-or-Treat hours will be on Oct. 31 from 6-8 p.m.
The town also will hold a Trash Bash on Nov. 3 from 9:30 a.m. until clean-up is complete. Volunteers will meet at the Town Hall to get started. The mayor said there will be hot dogs and drinks for lunch.
The board also heard from residents who want to evict squatters in an abandoned property on South Cedar Street. The house has no electricity or water, but there is a pipe connected to the bathroom to drain out waste, which runs into a ditch.
McCreary said he will add the issue to the next meeting agenda, and Attorney Mike Lee said they will have to find any relatives of the deceased owners before condemnation can be considered.
In other business, Police Chief Randy Dufrene said the police department handled 149 citations, 43 offense reports and nine crashes.
Dufrene asked the board to consider purchasing new units for the officers, as the department’s newest full-time officer is driving the oldest car, one the department had in reserve.
Dufrene said all of their cars are more than five years old with at least 100,000 miles on them, and they are frequently taken in for maintenance and repairs.
He also gave an update on collections from American Municipal Services, a municipal debt recovery company that collects money from old warrants for the police department. So far, the department has received $12,361.25 in old fines.
Alderman Jessie “Dusty” Glascock said for the month of September, the fire department handled six first aid calls, three motor vehicle accidents, one vehicle fire, two canceled calls, two fire alarms and one downed power line in town; and eight first aid calls, four motor vehicle accidents, one grass fire, two false calls and two natural gas fires outside of town.