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Saturday, September 18, 2021
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City of Wharton holds payment on street improvement project, approves community logo, resolutions

Wharton City Council members postponed payment to street repair contractor, as well as expressed dissatisfaction for road and project status in the 2020 Wharton Street Improvement Project. 

City of Wharton Public Works Director John Plaia requested that council approve payment of an invoice from Fuquay Inc. for 75.51% of work completed in the improvement project.

“The project invoice has been submitted for work completed through Oct. 31, 2020,” Plaia said in a memo to council. “Progress payment request number one includes cost and progress. I recommend payment in the amount of $521,297.51 to Fuquay, Inc. City staff and Chad Emmel (BEFCO) have inspected the work and we are satisfied with the quality and progress for the payment.”

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Members quickly raised concerns.

Councilman Donald Mueller noted that he was losing hope in BEFCO, the city’s consulting engineer company, saying, “I can’t go along with it until I know what was shot, when it was shot and if the engineer approved it.”

Councilwomen Alice Heard-Roberts said, “ I’m not going to say I’ve lost hope, but I’ve been getting a lot of feedback about people being unhappy with the streets.”


Even with reassurances from Plaia that street repairs would be done to the completed portion of the project, Wharton City Manager Andres Garza Jr. stated payment would be held until repairs were completed and city staff has met with Fuquay Inc. 

“I’m also disappointed,” Garza said. “This contractor should have completed this project months ago. We will bring this again, to council once we sit down with them.”

Wharton City Council also approved and heard several recommendations and resolutions by office of emergency management, code enforcement, community development and finance departments, including:

  • COVID-19 Updates from Wharton Office of Emergency Management Officer Steven Johnson and Wharton EMS Medical Director Dr. Jeffery Gubbels.
  • Presentation from Ms. Laura Clemons, Certified Floodplain Manager, regarding the Emerson Heights Housing Project. 
  • Request by Mr. Alberto Vasquez for approval of a variance for the temporary placement of a travel trailer while construction is occurring at 532 East Elm Street. 
  • Request by Ms. Valerie Johnson, 212 Dahlgren Ave., Ahldag Subdivision, Block 9, Lot 9B, 9B-2 & 10A-1 for a 0’ variance to build over property lines. 
  • Request by Ms. LeaAnne Klentzman, 318 Ave. A, Barbee Subdivision, Block 4, Lots 4A – 6A for a 2’ side building line setback variance from the required 5’ for construction of a carport. 
  • A resolution authorizing publication of Notice of Intention to issue Certificates of Obligation. 
  • Request from Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) for right-of way (ROW) for the proposed traffic signal upgrade at SH 60 and FM 102. 
  • An ordinance declaring a public necessity for rights of entry and/or acquisition to the below listed properties located in Wharton, Texas, for a public purpose, namely for geotechnical studies, appraisal, surveying, environmental assessments and borings and/or acquisition for the Lower Colorado River Basin Phase II, Texas, Wharton Flood Risk Management Project; ratifying and affirming all prior acts and proceeding done or initiated by attorneys and employees of the City to acquire such rights of entry/acquisitions for the property; authorizing all other lawful action necessary or incidental to such rights of entry/acquisitions. 
  • A resolution of the Wharton City Council adopting the 2020-2021 Title VI Nondiscrimination Plan & Annual Report and authorizing the Mayor of the City of Wharton to execute all documents relating to said adoption 
  • Texas Community Development Block Grant Downtown Revitalization Program and Main Street Grant Programs administered by the Texas Department of Agriculture: 
  • A. A resolution of the Wharton City Council authorizing the City Staff to issue requests for proposals (RFP) for administrative services and establishing a Consultant Selection Committee and developing evaluation criteria for the selection of administrative services for the 2021-2022 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)-Downtown Revitalization/Main Street (DRP/MS) Programs administered by the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) for application and grant management. 
  • B. A resolution of the Wharton City Council authorizing the City Staff to issue Requests for Qualifications (RFQ) for engineering services and establishing a Consultant Selection Committee and developing evaluation criteria for the selection of engineering services for the 2021-2022 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)-Downtown Revitalization/Main Street (DRP/MS) Programs administered by the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA). 
  • Approving one or multiple firms as eligible for construction contracting, having been the lowest qualified bidder(s) for the City of Wharton’s bid solicitation under the Floods Housing Assistance Program – GLO CDBG-DR Contract # 19-076-050-B70″: 
  • A. A resolution of the Wharton City Council awarding a contract for construction for the 2016 Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Grant Programs administered by the Texas General Land Office (GLO) and authorizing the Mayor of the City of Wharton to execute all documents related to said award. 
  • Request from the Community Development Department in conjunction with the Wharton Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), the Wharton Downtown Business Association (WDBA) and the Wharton Chamber of Commerce for a new community logo. 
Adopted community logo.
  • Texas Community Development Block Grant (TxCDBG) – Texas Department of Agriculture for Contract 7220499: 

A. A resolution of the Wharton City Council adopting Civil Rights Policies for the Texas Community Development Block Grant (TxCDBG) Funding issued from the Texas Department of Agriculture for Contract 7220499 and authorizing the Mayor to act as the City’s executive officer and authorized representative in all matters pertaining to the City’s participation in the TxCDBG Program. 

B. A resolution of the Wharton City Council designating authorized signatories for contractual documents and documents for requesting funds pertaining to the Texas Community Development Block Grant Program (TxCDBG) Contract Number 7220499. 

  • Cancellation of the December 28, 2020 Regular Wharton City Council Meeting.
  • Appointment of Larry David to the Wharton Regional Airport Board and Adraylle Watson to the Mayor’s Committee on People with Disabilities. 
  • City Council Boards, Commissions and Committee Reports: 

A. Wharton Economic Development Corporation Regular Meeting held November 16, 2020. 

B. Finance Committee Meeting held November 23, 2020. 

Appointment of Paula Favors as Assistant City Manager for the City of Wharton. 

For more information about ongoing projects or for minutes, packets and agendas, visit www.cityofwharton.com.

Jessica Hartmanhttps://www.thecountygin.com
Jessica Hartman is the publisher of The County Gin and a realistic dreamer with creative expression. She can be reached at jessica@thecountygin.com or (979) 533-0122, but careful — she's a talker.

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