March 20, 2015 - Prior to the start of Joaquin City Council meeting, Mayor Mike Woods made a presentation to three Joaquin citizens who have over the past year proved to be a valuable asset to the city before council began discussion of changes to Water and Gas Rates.
Mayor Wood expressed appreciation first to Taylor Wilkerson, "During our Centennial Celebration we had a young lady who worked extra hard, every time you looked around she was accomplishing something along with the committee but she worked to make things fall into place and it was just a great experience for everybody and she had a lot to do with it. So at this time, we would like to show our token of appreciation by giving Taylor Wilkerson a [plaque]." The plaque said - Your timeless effort during the celebration of our town's Centennial helped make the occasion a great success. May your future be bright, successful, and God's speed."
The second individual to be recognized was Donna Fitzgerald. Wood said, "When I took office, there was some confusion going on and we were fortunate to get Donna Marshall Fitzgerald to come in as our city secretary along with a really good city council. We have had a pretty good couple of years of peaceful and accomplishing city government. As Mrs. Fitzgerald retires here in March, I would like to give her this award on behalf of the city council." The plaque says - To Donna Fitzgerald, your work as city secretary from March 2010 through March 2015, the City of Joaquin is grateful for your contributions and hope you enjoy a happy retirement, peaceful days ahead.
"And last but not least," finished Mayor Wood. "The previous mayor was kind enough to award me with a distinguished service award and I feel like we have a guy here who as fire chief has earned that so he is the second person to get this and its well deserved. I know that our citizens are well protected and that his efforts, which many of you never see, are appreciated by all of us. We owe a lot to our fire chief, Perry Pugh." The plaque said - Distinguished service award, Chief Perry Pugh. Grateful recognition for outstanding dedication to the citizens of Joaquin as a fire fighter and a fire chief. Always going above and beyond the call of duty to do the three things that fire fighters do: save lives, protect property, and suppress fire. God's speed Perry Pugh. Presented by a grateful mayor and city council of Joaquin, Texas, March 2015.
Following the recognition of Wilkerson, Fitzgerald, and Pugh, the Joaquin City Council meeting was opened by Mayor Wood. Council members present were Bill Baker, Pat Gray, Pat Gray, and Lee Vern Stotts-Gilliam. Not present at the meeting was Ben Brittain and Mike Atkinson.
Discussion of the Water and Gas rates was held and a three part motion was made and approved to adjust Water and Gas Rates. The three part motion was to (1) increase the current $50 water connect fee to $100 with a $100 deposit to stay the same for a total of $200 for new water service; (2) no longer accept letter of credits from other utility companies; and (3) no longer offer customers summer vacation rates for gas service. Customers already on summer vacation will remain so and just have the $25 reconnect fee. Once reconnected, the customer would then be charged each month at least the minimum amount during the whole year. 'Summer vacation' was allowing a customer to put their account on hold for an average of 7 months a year and not be charged the base amount of a little more than $14 per month during those 7 months.
After the approval of rate changes, a Joaquin citizen, Earlene Polley, spoke to the council concerning what she says is the horrible condition of East Saddle Street. The road has terrible pot holes, needs cleaning up of garbage and clearing of weeds. Mayor Wood apologized that the council would not be able to repair the road completely at this time due to funding; however, he said they would do what they could including clearing the weeds and patching the holes as best as possible. After the meeting adjourned, Lee Vern Stotts-Gilliam offered to assist Polley with scheduling a clean up day to help with getting the trash dumped in the area cleaned up.
To end the meeting, Mayor Woods expressed his appreciation to the council, "You know I have been a missing face for two weeks and I appreciate y'all carrying on without me, you do a good job. I could not ask for a finer council and I will try to be here next month."
Action Taken on Agenda Items: 3. Approved previous month's minutes. 4. Approved payment of bills with a correction - remove entry for a payment pertaining to Christmas Festival which was on the financial report in error. 5. Tabled till next meeting Discussion and Action on Gas Supply Agreement. 6. Approved changes on Water and Gas Rates - increase water connection fee to $100, no longer accept letter of credits, and no longer offer 'summer vacation'.