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City of Shenandoah News

Posted on: December 20, 2023

Shenandoah City Council Meeting Update December 20, 2023

Supporting Documents for Agenda Items can be found HERE.

Missed the Council meeting? Check out our YouTube channel and watch at your convenience. 


Attendance: Present:   Mayor John Escoto, Mayor Pro Tem Charlie Bradt (Position 4), Mike McLeod (Position 5), Jim Pollard (Position 3), Ted Fletcher (Position 2), Ron Raymaker (Position 1)   

ITEM 6: Capital Projects Report No Council action needed; report only.

ITEM 7: Change Order No. 1 for the Pinecroft Force Main Replacement Project- The city received a deductive change order from Branch Construction Group for ($34,677.00). During construction one of the air release valves was determined by the engineer to be unnecessary. The installation sloping of the force main allowed for an existing air release valve on the old system to perform the needed function. Associated costs were also removed with this change order.   Council voted 5-0 to approve the change order.

ITEM 8: Design Proposal for Replacement of Asbestos Cement Pipe (ACP) and Sewer Line Repairs to Serve Oak Haven and Future McCowan St. Project -    Bleyl Engineering provided a design proposal and cost estimate for the replacement of an old ACP water line and repair of a sanitary sewer line. The lines are located in easements across the Oak Haven development. Design and engineering is $50,080 with total project cost estimated at $320,452.00. The city has a developer’s agreement with McCowan Industrial Park, LLC which shares the costs between both parties
50/50. Staff is recommending funding $162,500 for the project. McCowan will provide the remaining $162,500. Council voted 5-0 to approve the ACP replacement and sewer line repairs. 

ITEM 9: Resolution Reappointing Places 1 and 5 on the Planning and Zoning Commission - The terms for Places 1 and 5 on the Planning and Zoning Commission will expire on December 31, 2023 and the positions need to be appointed. Per ordinance, the Mayor appoints members to P&Z, subject to the approval of City Council. The resolution provides for reappointments as follows:
Place 1: Colin Caffey (reappointment) and Place 5: Wes Stephens (reappointment) All members are eligible to serve another term. Council voted 5-0 to approve the reappointments.

ITEM 10: Ordinance updating Building Codes - By practice, the city adopts and enforces building codes which are the second most recent versions of such codes
except for the National Electric Code. As outlined in the ordinance, the following building code will be adopted effective January 1, 2024.
(1) International Residential Code, 2021 Edition.
(2) International Building Code, 2021 Edition.
(3) International Fire Code, 2021 Edition.
(4) International Mechanical Code, 2021 Edition.
(5) International Plumbing Code, 2021 Edition.
(6) International Fuel Gas Code, 2021 Edition.
(7) International Swimming Pool and Spa Code, Edition 2021.
(8) International Energy Conservation Code, 2021 Edition.
(9) ICC Performance Code for Buildings and Facilities, 2021 Edition.
(10) International Property Maintenance Code, 2021 Edition.
(11) National Electrical Code of the National Fire Protection Association, Inc., 2023 Edition
(12) The city will continue to use the Standard Amusement Device Code, 1997 edition. 

NOTE: By Code Amendment parking structures shall be required to have a fire sprinkler system unless:
1) built of non-combustible materials
2) detached from any other building including no attachment by covered or enclosed pedestrian walkways
3) any portion of an adjacent building closer than 50 feet to a parking structure without a fire sprinkler system shall have a wall with a two-hour fire rating. The 2021 International Fire Code requires an automatic fire sprinkler system when the fire area exceeds 48,000 square feet.

With the note above,  the changes to the new code additions have been reviewed and are being recommended for adoption.  Council voted 4-1 to adopt the building codes. Raymaker voted nay.

ITEMS 11-12: Zoning Amendment from Interim Zoning (“IZ”) to Residential District R1 Zoning for Quest Collegiate Academy - The school property was annexed in 2013 and remains in the Interim Zoning District. The school has submitted an application for rezoning as they prepare for the campus expansion. In compliance with our zoning ordinance and the comprehensive plan, the request is for a rezone from the IZ zoning to our residential zone R1. Zoning Classification Low Impact Institutional: Neighborhood Related - Quasi-public or private activities that may have minor impact on surrounding uses and are occupied on an intermittent basis. Such uses are necessary to serve common functions within a residential area and are not designed to provide lodging. Council voted to approve the zoning amendment.

ITEM 13: Zoning Alcohol Permit “ZAP” for Hyatt House - The initial SUP issued to Hyatt House was granted in February 2021. Businesses must obtain an alcohol permit from the city prior to being granted a permit by TABC. A ZAP permit is applicable if the location has received a special use permit previously and the current application and request is identical to the existing SUP. The business is in the “PDD #13” – Planned Development District #13 Zoning District.  Council voted 4-1 to approve the alcohol permit. McLeod voted nay.

ITEM 14: Drainage Improvements at Water Plant #3 - On November 28, the city’s water system experienced a communication failure with the SCADA system at Water Plant #3. As a result, the pumps continued to run after the water storage systems were full,  causing the overfill line at the water tower to discharge water. The communication error has been corrected. However, during the discharge of water from the overfill line, a large volume of water flowed through the fence line and into the backyards of neighboring homes. No water entered the homes, but backyards were flooded. There is a concern about water entering into homes in a future incident where the overfill line discharges water. Staff designed a solution to intercept the water and route to a nearby storm drain and sought bids for the project. Solid Bridge Construction provided the lowest bid for the work. This project is unbudgeted and staff recommends using available cash to fund the projectCouncil voted 5-0 to approve the bid. 

Item 15: Approval of the 50th Anniversary Celebration -Council directed staff to form a committee including council members and residents to begin planning a celebration for the City’s 50th Anniversary. The committee has been meeting monthly to share ideas and put together a plan for the event. A lot of great feedback has come from these meetings and the attached budget is now being presented to Council for approval. The celebration will be held on Saturday, April 13, from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the Woodforest Stadium, which will provide ample parking for attendees. There will be live music, food/beverages, a children’s area, memorabilia, and other activities for everyone to enjoy. Several of our local restaurants and businesses will be participating. We are also reaching out to long-time residents to share their stories and memories about living in Shenandoah. Once the budget is approved, the City will be promoting the event starting immediately.

  • Logistics $32,800
  • Entertainment $45,000
  • Food/Beverage $18,200
  • Staff Time (overtime) $4,000

Total from General Fund $100,000       

Council voted 5-0 to approve the $100,000 budget.

Item 16: Equipment Replacement -  This is a routine procedure that is required to expend money from this fund. Staff needs to replace five (5) mobile radios for police patrol vehicles, one (1) handheld radio for new staff, as well as approve the purchase of three (3) new police patrol Dodge Durangos. The police patrol vehicles were placed in the equipment replacement fund for better budget presentation due to the capital nature of vehicle purchases. The scope of this purchase also changed from Tahoes to Durangos due to the ongoing scarcity of police package Tahoes. There is
a difference between the budgeted contribution and the actual cost of $9,949.86. Staff proposes funding the additional amount needed from available cashTotal amount requested: $318,272.87.  Council voted 5-0 to approve the purchases.

ITEM 17: Ratification of Accounts Payable for November- Council voted 5-0 to approve the accounts payable.

Civic Club Updates

  • Lighting of the Angels was a huge success and the feedback has been great. The estimated attendance was in the 1000 range. Special thanks to the Public Works crews who assembled the majority of the trees and deer before the Civic Club volunteers arrived to begin the transformation.  They were instrumental to the success of the event and greatly appreciated.
  • Luminary Workday saw great attendance as the luminaries for all the entrances were completed and additional luminaries for yards and areas were completed.  Charley Ballmer is in charge of the event and noted that we still had two entrances left for volunteering. Councilmember McLeod took one of the remaining entrances. Ballmer has a reserve in place if no one wants to volunteer for the last entrance.
  • January 6 is the first event of the new year.  Public Works and the Pool staff will host the Polar Bear Plunge from 10 - noon. Registration and release are required to participate and the jump is scheduled for 10:30. Civic Club volunteers serve hot coca and snacks during the event.

City Attorney Updates:  None

City Administrator Updates:

  • The January 16 Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing on the redevelopment zone, the area along Interstate 45 on the west side from Wellman Road to Research Forest.  A mailer will be sent to all residences.  City Attorney Bill Ferebee said that the meeting would answer questions and concerns about the proposed changes to the IDC regarding this area.
  • Trash collection is on its regular schedule for the holidays.

Executive Session:  None Scheduled


The meeting was adjourned at 8:15 p.m.   


Upcoming Events/Meetings

December 22Early Closing for City Offices, 3 p.m.

December 25-26:  Christmas Holidays, City Offices Closed

December 27 - January 5: Tree recycling, Pool Parking Lot

January 1New Year's Holiday, City Offices closed

January 6: Polar Bear Plunge, 10 a.m. - noon (registration required)

January 9: Civic Club, 6 p.m., Executive Conference Room

January 10: City Council, 7 p.m.

January 16 Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z), 6 p.m. - PUBLIC HEARING ON REDEVELOPMENT ZONE)

January 17-February 16Filing period for Municipal Election (Mayor, Council Positions 1, 5)

January 24: City Council, 7 p.m. 

January 24: Municipal Development District (MDD), 6 p.m. 

















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