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Abatements dominate city council meeting

by Dolores Hamilton
The abatement of substandard structures again dominated the agenda at Monday night’s meeting of the Iowa Park City Council.
In the first public hearing the mobile home, enclosed porch and two utility buildings were declared to be substandard. The owner was given 48 hours to secure the property and 45 days to abate the structures.
The next five public hearings were second hearings on properties where no progress was evident and the owners had requested an extension to abate the problems. The properties included 904 S. Wall, 606 E. Highway, 609 S. Colorado, 315 E. Crystal, and 401 E. Lafayette.
All five owners were given a 45-day extension, with a third hearing scheduled for Dec. 11 for a progress report. If the abatement has been completed on a property the hearing for that owner will be cancelled.
Three resolutions were passed, they include: authorizing a $200,000 expenditure by the Iowa Park Community Development Corporation (4B) toward the construction of a new animal facility; authorizing a $50,000 expenditure by the Community Development Corporation for deck improvements to the municipal swimming pool and spray park; and authorizing a $45,000 expenditure by the Community Development Corporation for improvements to the spray park features.
At the Sept. 12 meeting, the council heard a complaint from citizen about the usage of firearms at Lake Iowa Park (Middle Lake). At Monday’s meeting, no action was taken after the council discussed approving an ordinance prohibiting hunting at the lake which is inside the city limits.
Council members suggested that the area should be policed better, new signs regulating hunting be put up, the use of shotguns only for migratory birds, and no turkey or deer hunting.
An ordinance was approved to change the “YIELD” signs at the intersection of Karen Lane and Mary Drive to “STOP” signs.
The city’s Code of Ordinances was amended to add “vicious animal” to the animal control ordinance and clarify pet registration tag and disposition of dogs and cats.
A “vicious animal” is any animal without provocation that bites or attacks a human being or domestic animal. A pet registration tag is a current unexpired official tag or license issued by the city to be worn by a pet as proof of registration with the city.
Council voted to increase the amount authorized for the city manager and department heads to purchase goods and/or maintenance repairs. The new amount for the city manager is $10,000, and department heads can spend up to $500 per item with a total purchase of $1,500 with approval of the city manager.
In other business, City Manager Jerry Flemming gave the financial report, the date for the annual employee service awards was set at Jan. 12, and council discussed guidelines for selecting members for the Public Safety Facilities Committee. Each councilor is asked to recommend up to five citizens to serve on the committee.
Karel Davis, Nutrition/Chronic Disease Program Manager with the Wichita Falls-Wichita County Health District, spoke on the F.A.S.T. Stroke Awareness Program. F.A.S.T. stands for Face drooping, Arm (typically a stroke victim cannot raise their arms), Speech (slurred or strange), and Time (it’s imperative to move quickly to help a stroke victim. . . so time is truly key to saving a life).