ABILENE, Texas (KTAB) – A number of items are on the agenda for the Abilene City Council this week. Among them, an agreement with the Abilene Police Officers Association.
At the association’s request, sworn employees would get a 2% raise and a cell phone stipend. Additionally, a fitness program will be enacted, a civil service examination will become part of the hiring process, and changes will come to promotional processes.
At the Abilene Fire Department, one big change is on the way. After the department’s equipment replacement plan went into effect in 2017, a goal was set for 2018 to purchase a new ladder truck. The new custom-built truck will cost more than $1 million, but that entire cost will be covered by the fire apparatus replacement fund.
In recreational news, the City is looking to execute new contracts to renovate the Nelson Park Splash Pad. The pad was out of commission through much of the year, and the work will bring it back up to like-new condition. A start date hasn’t been set, but officials say everything should be finished for the splash pad’s opening date in 2019.
Just a few miles away, the City is also applying for a grant to keep improving Kirby Lake Park. When making the master plan, the City saw hike and bike trails as the single most requested improvement. If the City gets the grant, awarded next summer, more land will be offered to help make the trail.
One more item affects the entire city. Following the hail storm of 2014, many city properties were damaged.The Texas Municipal League Intergovernmental Risk Pool serves as the City’s insurance, and disagreements between the TMLIRP and the City of Abilene led to a lawsuit.
The insurance payout was less than what the City said would be needed to repair all the damaged properties, but after mediation, a settlement has been reached. Both parties will need to agree to the settlement before a dollar figure is released.