The Glen Rose City Council discussed changing regular business hours for the city during the city council meeting Monday night.
Councilman Bob Stricklin said he put it on the agenda to open the discussion and get feedback. He said he considered the change because of rising energy and fuel costs. The new hours would effect all city employees.
Councilman Ricky Villa said he liked the idea of the city working to become more “green” but was not sure changing hours of operation was the solution.
“I don’t like the idea of the city being open only four days a week,” Villa said, adding that the savings would not justify the cost of customer convenience.
Councilman Chris Bryant also had concerns about overtime and the consequences for outdoor workers. He felt that if an emergency occurred on the fifth day, the overtime incurred would surpass any potential savings. And he also felt asking outdoor workers to spend 10 hours a day in the heat was too much.
Stricklin said the biggest benefit would be for employees who drive to work. If employees were commuting four days a week instead of five, then they would be able to conserve gas.
A quick survey of people around Glen Rose reveals they too have concerns about the city adopting new hours.
“I wouldn’t like it,” said April Crabtree. “What if the only day you could go down there was the day they were closed?”
Lanelle Sandlin shared the same concern.
“I don’t think I would really like it. I guess it wouldn’t make a difference to me really, but it would be inconvenient,” Sandlin said.
Cheryl Cummings and Brooke Lane also felt the new hours were not a good idea.
“I totally disagree with it,” said Cummings. “I think the city offices need to be open. Especially for a small town.”
“It’s a government office. I think they should stay open five days,” Lane said.
Others seemed to understand why the city would want to change operational hours.
Hugh Leslie works for Glen Rose Independent School District and said the school uses the 10/4 schedule during the summer.
“I totally understand,” Leslie said. “But it may be inconvenient for some. Maybe they could test it on a trial basis.”
Stephen Gattis is retired from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and said he has a lot of experience in working with 10-hour and 12-hour shifts.
“It would definitely help the moral of workers,” Gattis said. “But I just don’t see how they would really save any money. And how would they meet the needs of the citizens if they’re closed three days a week?”
Gattis thought the city could still help employees by staggering their schedules, but still keep the city offices open five days a week.
“When you’re a service organization, you’re in the business of providing a service - in this case, to the city,” Gattis said.
Villa said he would like to hear how the citizens felt and the council tabled the discussion until their next meeting.
The council also received an update from the Texas Department of Transportation on the flood control issues in the stadium addition. The report said the project should be completed by mid-November.
A temporary stop sign was placed where Valley View intersects Vista Ridge on Monday. The council approved placing a permanent stop sign at the intersection.
The council also revisited the new commercial building ordinance. Last month, the council felt new commercial buildings should be limited on the type of exterior masonry used for construction. They reviewed similar ordinances from Granbury and Terrell on Monday night. They discussed adopting the Granbury ordinance, which requires 80 percent of the exterior surface to be constructed out of natural or faux rock. They agreed to lower the percentage to 60. The ordinance will be written and considered for adoption at next month’s meeting.
Another hot topic Monday night involved the Animal Control Department. The City Council discussed making current Police Chief Weldon E. Mitchell the Animal Control Supervisor as well. The move would separate animal control from the code enforcement department.
The problem stems from the lack of personnel who are certified to euthanize animals. Tammy Ray and Bill Daniels are the only two employees with the proper certification. One of the two employees must be on call 24 hours a day to assist with animals that may be injured.
Councilman Rocky Terry is also a veterinarian.
“Killing animals day in, day out takes an emotional tolls,” Terry said. “They need a break.”
After a lengthy discussion about whether or not the police chief should be cleaning kennels at the pound, the council said the matter should be decided in executive session. They tabled the issue until the meeting could be scheduled.
Property owners cannot be annexed into city limits without having to pay city ad valorem taxes because it is illegal. Mayor Pam Miller said the goal of the proposition was to prevent other cities from annexing property surrounding Glen Rose. However Councilman Ricky Villa said current development agreements allow the city to expand without annexation and are also legal. The council agreed to remain with the status quo.
The final agenda item was the Convention and Visitor Bureau’s report presented by Billy Huckaby. He said numbers and revenue reports are much stronger than expected, especially considering the economy and rising gas prices.
Huckaby also said they are gearing up for the Paluxy Pedal on Oct. 11. He announced that those who register before Aug. 31 will receive one free ticket to The Promise, Dino World, and Fossil Rim.