After much work from leaders in the City of Dayton Lakes and Liberty County officials, that community took a huge step forward last Thursday night, as they held their first council meeting in well over a year. A healthy number of citizens from the city assembled outside of the small city hall, where the meeting had to be held, because there was not enough room inside the chambers for those that were in attendance.
There was a lengthy agenda that had been put together by officials, with the intent of straightening out several key problems that had developed over recent years.
One of those issues was filling the open seats on the agenda, which saw a step forward and a step back by the end of the meeting. Going into the night, the council consisted of Bonnie Docken, Chris Sullivan, Terri Andrews, and Mark Goodlock. By the end of the night, Goodlock and Andrews remained, while Docken and Sullivan resigned. The council did, however, appoint Skyler Demoss and Justin McCormick to the open seats, and McCormick was named Mayor of Dayton Lakes. The changes leave a pair of openings going forward for the council to fill in the coming days.
Council did successfully appoint Betty McCormick as the new City Secretary, allowing the city to function in a more efficient manner, as some of the issues that were troubling Dayton Lakes stemmed from the lack of anyone in that position officially.
Council also gave an update on the current budget of the city, with a bank balance of $9,914.92 in the accounts. Dayton Lakes has received an approximate average of $9,000 per year over the last two decades from the taxes collected by Liberty County on behalf of the city. Council voted to continue utilizing Liberty County in the role of collector and entered into an official agreement.
In other important business, the city addressed the ongoing situation relating to the water system in the city, with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality having recently found the system to be out of compliance. TCEQ asked Liberty County to issue a boil water notice for that system in the last couple of weeks and is currently looking to work with the city on correcting the issues associated with the system.
According to some reports, the water system has caused medical problems for residents, which has left lingering questions about the safety of the water for things aside from drinking water. TCEQ informed Liberty County and said the water is safe for bathing, washing clothes and that outside animals may drink the water, but for any human consumption, residents need to continue boiling the water. Now that the city has a city secretary, TCEQ will be in contact with Dayton Lakes to work on the issues.
Finally, the council did agree to establish an interlocal agreement with Liberty County for police and roads, the specifics of which will be worked on between the county and Dayton Lakes soon.
Council will work on several budgetary items and present a budget at their next meeting for expenditures across the board, to include a new city phone, pay for a pair of city employees, as well as trash collection after hearing from Frontier Waste Solutions on bringing those services to the citizens in that city.
The new council and city secretary are continuing to work with Liberty County and Elections Administrator Klint Bush.
“I was excited to see that the citizens of the community actually came out and got involved in their city. It was a unique experience, but their city is going to be what they make of it,” Klint Bush said.
The council hopes to meet again in the coming days, and we will post that information when made official.