There will be no election for Pinehurst in May. The Pinehurst City Council approved cancelling the city’s May 4 municipal election during its meeting Tuesday evening.
City Secretary Debbie Cormier certified there were no write-in requests to be on the ballot meaning there are no contested races for three positions on the City Council. Only incumbents Dan Mohon, T. W. Permenter, and Sarah McClendon filed with Cormier to serve on the council. By cancelling the election, Cormier said Pinehurst will save the four thousand dollars budgeted to cover expected election expenses.
In a somewhat related matter, county Elections Administrator Tina Barrow gave a demonstration of the new voting machine that will be used for the first time in municipal and school board elections held elsewhere in the county on May 4. Barrow is wanting to get more people familiar with the new machines which are especially accessible for voters with visual, hearing, or other impairments.
A public hearing was held as part of the meeting. City Administrator Robbie Hood explained the reason for the hearing was to receive input on improvements in drainage for the city in order to prepare a notice of intent to spend about $4 million for construction to be done by contractors Schaumburg & Polk. There were no citizen comments. The City Council authorized Hood to complete and submit the notice of intent to the Texas Department of Emergency Management.
Also approved were five items to be amended to the Orange County Hazard Mitigation Plan. Pinehurst Emergency Management Coordinator Fred Hanauer summarized the items which will be numbers 12 through 16 on the plan. Hanauer said upgrading the entire drainage system for Pinehurst and the elevation of the sewer systems lift stations were two of the main action items added.
A memorandum of understanding between the City of Pinehurst and the Texas Department of Public Safety was approved covering a communications system that will be used in the cases of emergencies like a severe storm. Approval was given to the Mosquito Control District to make low level flights over Pinehurst while spraying to kill mosquitoes.
The City Council voted to approve a resolution supporting Orange County in its efforts to have the Texas State Legislature amend the tax code. The county wants to use Hotel Occupancy Tax revenues to build a pavilion at the City of Orange Boat Ramp.
A letter of support for the Chevron Phillips Chemical application to the State of Texas Enterprise Fund was approved. Hood who serves on the board of directors for the Orange County Economic Development Corporation spoke in favor of efforts to get the proposed Chevron Phillips plant in Orange County. Mayor Pete Runnels and Alderman T. W. Permenter echoed Hood’s support for getting the new chemical plant in the county.
-Dan Perrine, KOGT-