Overton City Council met Thursday, September 2, to hold an open public hearing to discuss the city’s 2022 Budget and proposed tax rates which went a little off the rails as public comments took over.
The City of Overton continues to be plagued with water system problems even as Henderson City Manager Jay Abercrombie has allowed Henderson crews to help with much-needed repairs to broken lines and the neglected sewer treatment plant.
Charlie Graham, part of the City of Henderson crew, spoke to the council and Overton residents regarding the state of disrepair of the entire water system. “I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Graham, remarking on the number of TCEQ-finable issues and the apparent lack of response to citizen complaints, “We’ve fixed more in a week than any city employee has in five years.”
Graham’s description of the water problem continued well beyond the three allotted minutes with citizen and council questions and answers prompting Overton Mayor C.R. Evans to attempt to regain control of the proceedings. Adamant of the citizens’ need to hear the details presented, Interim City Manager, Shane West emphatically objected to the Mayor’s attempt saying, “Quit trying to interrupt! These people need to know what the h***’s going on here!” There was a brief back and forth between Evans and West as Graham reassured concerned citizens that he would make himself available to address any issues they might have.
Recently-hired Chief of Police Bryan Pool also took a moment to address the meeting’s attendees and recognize the Rusk County Sheriffs Office for their regular assistance with Pool’s effort to clean up the streets of Overton. One of the meeting’s agenda items was the approval of an Interlocal Agreement with the RCSO for mutual aid.
While short-staffed, Overton PD has consistently managed to address community issues and has made several drug-related arrests.
The council did manage to move on to regular agenda items, eventually approving the August 19 meeting minutes, and resolutions relating to the issuance of credit cards through Texas Bank & Trust and Corporate authorizations with the same.
Council moved into executive session to discuss necessary action for posting the City Manager position.