Bellaire council discusses ways to improve village streets, alleys

BELLAIRE — Mayor Edward Marling told Bellaire Village Council on Thursday that the community’s coffers got a boost in the past month.

Council met in regular session and heard that things are looking up in terms of finances.

“We brought in quite a bit of funds, about $8,000 worth,” Marling said, adding that the village got a lot of funds from a building permit for Chase Bank.

Marling also said contractors are working to revitalize West 23rd Street. Although he is unsure when the work will be completed, he signed a 90-day contract.

“It’s a $500 a day fine if the work is not completed within 90 days,” Marling said.

Jerry Olack, councilman at large, said two alleys will be paved in June. A building near one of the alleys also needs work on its water and sewage lines. Olack said he is concerned that the alleys will get paved before work on those lines is complete, meaning that workers might have to dig up the new pavement.

“I’ll get that checked out,” Marling responded. “I hope we can get it fixed by this week.”

Council received a request for a tag day for the Bellaire band on July 29. All members of council voted to approve.

J.J. Watson, police chief, gave a monthly report, noting that the police force had answered 455 calls to service.

“Twenty people were arrested, 17 adults and three juveniles. We had two felony investigations. Both those investigations are now closed, and the people involved in them are charged,” Watson said.

Watson said the police department got some new weapons and magazine pouches, and they are still waiting for more new supplies to come in.

Minor construction will also take place in the police department. Watson said workers have already started painting, and they are waiting for materials to come in.

Watson added that he met with a recent police academy graduate who wishes to become a full-time police officer in Bellaire. Watson said that the police force is currently down three full-time police officers, so he hopes to gain a new officer. Council plans to call a special meeting as early as possible with the finance committee to discuss hiring the potential officer.

Olack briefly discussed progress on the village’s waterlines. He says crews are waiting for more water testing to be completed and for equipment to come in.

Council also renewed the lease for the parking lot where the farmers market is held. Council has signed one-year leases for the property for several years. This time council discussed signing a three-year lease that would end in 2025. Elizabeth Dugmore, councilwoman at large, made a motion to sign a two-year lease instead of a three-year agreement.

The motion passed 3-2 with members Jerry Fisher and Robert “Bubba” Kapral opposed. Fisher argued for a longer lease after noting the property’s value to Bellaire and that council has been leasing the property for years.

Council also discussed fixing a red light, patching some potholes and trimming weeds and bushes that extend into roadways. Marling said he would look into correcting all of the issues right away.

Janet Richardson, councilwoman at large, was not present at the meeting.

Council plans to hold a Utility Committee meeting at 9:30 a.m. June 13 at the municipal building. It will be open to the public.


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