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January’s Eastland City Commission meeting began the evening with Police Chief David Hullum recognizing officer Kolton Preston as Eastland Police Officer of the Year 2017. Next, Mayor Larry Vernon honored two police officers with a letter of commendation for their part in the rescue of residents from a burning home on January 10, 2018.
Officers Kolton Preston and Officer Kevin Willis were commended for the rescue with the following letter:
The purpose of this letter is to commend you for your valor, initiative and performance of duty, under extremely hazardous conditions, which enabled you to save the lives of four occupants of a structure fire at 203 S. Connellee Street in Eastland, Texas on January 10, 2018.
Without regard for your own safety you entered a burning structure several times to ensure all occupants including a wheelchair bound disabled resident were removed from the building with no loss of life.
Due to your outstanding performance of duty on January 10, 2018, tragic loss of life was avoided. Your valor, professional judgement and selfless service during your emergency response on January 10, 2018 were in keeping with the finest traditions of law enforcement and truly reflect great credit upon you, the Eastland police Departmetn and the City of Eastland.
A presentation by the Eastland Fire Department to firefighter Dan Davidson to commend his actions in the fatal fire that occurred in December on South Daugherty was on the agenda. Dan, however, was unable to make the meeting.
Commissioners approved a resolution to hold a general election on May 5, 2018, for the purpose of electing two city commissioners. The two commissioners whose terms are expiring are Larry Vernon and Richard Rossander. Wednesday, January 17, 2018, was the first day to apply for a place on the ballot and Friday, February 16, 2018, is the last day to apply.
Commissioners approved a resolution to receive funding from TxDOT for improvements to the Eastland Municipal Airport. Project costs are estimated to be $60,531 and the City of Eastland will be responsible for 10% of the total project cost, estimated to be $6,053.
During the City Manager’s briefing, Ron Duncan lauded the Eastland Fire Department and Police Department’s performance during a recent tragedy when a 14-year-old Eastland boy was struck and killed by a train.
The game fence at the Eastland Municipal Airport should go out for bids around mid-February and the project should be completed around mid-spring.
Duncan said the homes being rebuilt under the HOME Program are progressing at a great pace and should be completed by early March. The HOME Program is a grant from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs to assist eligible homeowners to reconstruct their homes.
In an update on Park Hill, Duncan said the Lion’s Club plans to add more ADA equipment to the City Park probably within the next month. A request has been made to hold a Cub Scout Cubaree at Ringling Lake Park the weekend of March 16-18. The item will be on the February agenda.
Duncan reported that the City of Eastland will no longer be able to provide the required fire inspections for state licensed facilities without adopting a local fire code. Without the City doing the inspections, an entity is required to make an appointment with the State Fire Marshal’s office to have the inspection done. Duncan said that the Fire Department will bring recommendations to the commission at a future date. Mayor Vernon requested that the Fire Department also bring the costs to the city for these inspections and the pros and cons of offering this service.
Police Chief Hullum reported 155 calls for service during December, 13 arrests, three cases filed with the District Attorney, five cases filed with juvenile authority, 101 traffic citations issued and 503 warnings. He also reported that one vehicle was searched with the K-9 unit resulting in three arrests and 1 gram of meth seized.