Seal coat pacts OK'd by council

Big Spring City Council approved a couple of measures Tuesday night designed to move the annual seal coat program forward for the third year in a row.The council unanimously approved an inter-local agreement with other local government entities for joint bidding and engineering management for the 2013 seal coat project, including a contract with engineering firm Parkhill, Smith & Cooper for the same project.“We join a coalition of other cities, counties and colleges, which gives our aggregate pool a much larger resource for the commodity we're all looking to purchase,” said Todd Darden, interim city manager. “This is our third year doing this seal coat project under this and it has been very successful. I feel like, on an economic scale, the cities, counties and schools have all received excellent pricing with this type of inter-local agreement.”Darden said the timeframe of the program, which will include engineering services from Parkhill, Smith & Cooper, is also a positive factor for local residents.“I really feel like this program is the best bang for our buck with the least inconvenience for our citizens,” Darden said. “These guys are in and out before you can blink an eye.”Also Tuesday, the council approved an amendment to the John Crane Productions Solutions Inc. lease agreement.According to City Attorney Linda Sjogren, the amendment includes an expansion for the local business, which will be taking over some new rental properties in the McMahon-Wrinkle Airpark.“John Crane is one of our really good tenants out at the airpark and he occupies several buildings,” Sjogren said. “This lease agreement covers two of those buildings and they are renewing and extending their lease. Also, they are taking over the complete building in one of the areas they are in. It's a pretty straightforward lease agreement.”The council also approved an agreement with the company Maximus for cost allocation consulting services. According to City Finance Director Peggy Walker, the contract is a renewal of an existing contract.Also, the council gave final approval to an ordinance amending Chapter 20 of the Code of Ordinances in order to adopt the 2012 editions of the International Code Council building codes and the 2011 edition of the National Electrical Code.Darden also announced Tuesday night Lt. Chad Williams will be taking over interim chief duties for the Big Spring Police Department.“By going ahead and having an interim chief appointed, it gives them a chance to learn the ropes while the existing chief is still in place,” Darden said. “We'll be making a final appointment to the position in the near future.”Williams will take over the duties of longtime Big Spring Chief Lonnie Smith, who is retiring at the end of March.Also accepting an interim title during the meeting was Darden, recently named the interim city manager. Darden has served as the assistant city manager for more than a year, a position that will be taken over by Walker. The current city manager, Gary Fuqua, has also announced his retirement.“Really, all this is a shuffling around of responsibilities,” Darden told the council.