Weatherford News

City looks into grant opportunity

It may sound a little like a “cash-for-clunkers program,” but to the Weatherford City Council, it’s a real opportunity to save some money and at the same time get rid of some old equipment.

During their meeting Nov. 17, a public hearing was opened allowing for the city to consider or adopt a resolution, R2014-30, authorizing the city manager to apply for a grant through the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to reduce emissions of the city’s heavy duty, on road, off-road and stationary equipment.

“The city will be looking at vehicles that were budgeted to be replaced this year, as well as vehicles that may be scheduled for replacement next year,” City Manager Jerry Blaisdell said. “If we were fortunate enough to receive the grant, it would result in considerable cost savings to the city.”

Kathy Daniel, grant writer for the city, said any of the city’s equipment that is 8,500 pounds or more, or stationary equipment that has 25 horse power or greater, would qualify. If approved, the city could receive up to 80 percent reimbursement of the cost.

“If we trade in the old models for new models, this grant will pay up to 80 percent of the cost,” Daniel said. “As long as we can certify the new equipment will reduce emissions by 25 percent over its life, we can receive 80 percent reimbursement of the cost.”

Councilwoman Heidi Wilder asked Daniel what equipment would qualify.

“We’re doing the calculations right now,” Daniel said. “I know Community Services has requested a garbage truck and that particular vehicle is $160,000. We’re pretty confident that vehicle will meet the 25 percent expectancy; they will also give you $1,000 for scrap value, but we will have to get rid of everything. But at 80 percent reimbursement - it’s worth it.”

She added that the TCEQ is using a formula to determine what equipment will qualify.

Also, during the public hearing, council considered adoption of Ordinance 709-2014-54 for a zoning change for property zoned AG - Agricultural to be rezoned R1 Single-family Residential, located in the 2300 Block of White Settlement Road. Craig Farmer, Director for Planning and Zoning, made the presentation.

During staff reports, Terry Hughes, Director of Capital Transportation Projects, brought the council up to speed on Phase II of the Hike and Bike trail.

“The funding mechanism became available this summer,” Hughes said. “As for the timeline, we anticipate starting the construction in late 2015 and it’s an eight month project.”

Hughes said the project is a $1.4 million endeavor and that after the a local match of just $289,000, federal funding would pick up the remaining $1.1 million.

Lei Holder was recognized early in the meeting when she was presented the Distinguished Service Award from the Texas Court Clerk Association.

“One of the nice things about the award she received was that the nomination came from another city - Hurst,” said David Croff. “The nomination said Lei was always there to share her knowledge and back up answers with statutes and legality that proves her point. She’s a definite asset to the court clerk profession.”