The following information is taken from City Manager Josh Selleck’s biweekly update for Jan. 17 – Jan. 31.
• February 8th – Kilgore to Longview Run starting at the Texan Theater at 7 a.m.
• February 11th – City Council Meeting at 5:30 p.m.
• February 11th – Valentine’s Day Cookie Class at Kilgore Mercantile and Music at 6 p.m.
• February 14th – Free movie night at the Texan at 7:30 p.m.
• February 21st — 22nd — KilGogh Arts Festival
PUBLIC WORKS AND PROJECTS
• Maintenance completed installation of an access control box for tennis court lighting at Harris Street Park.
• Parking lot lighting at Driller Park has been repaired and the parking lot has been re-striped.
• A new water fountain with bottle filler has been installed at Kilgore Public Library.
• City Hall hallway lighting is currently being upgraded to LED.
• The framing process of the new Cart Barn at Meadowbrook Golf Course is 2/3 complete.
• The Dog Park has been closed with a sign letting citizens know of a reveal of its new location coming soon.
• Rain has slowed several in-house projects including Crescent waterline replacement and Wells Street extension.
• Repair of Kay Street is complete, including sidewalk repair in front of Lions Club. This was the first time we attempted an exposed aggregate finish to match the surrounding pavement. It turned out excellent and will be implemented in our future repairs.
• We had 8 water main breaks (within 2 hours of each other last Friday) 3 of which were hit by contractors.
• KPD joined up with the Library in a Mock Crime Scene, which allowed kids to solve a (mock) crime. Kids got introduced to lifting fingerprints and collecting DNA as they helped police officers solve the crime.
• KPD and KFD hosted a Public Safety Open House to discuss our facilities and the assessment that had been conducted by Randall Scott and Associates. Citizens were given a tour of Station #1, Training/Dispatch, Evidence, and the main PD building.
• During the week of the 27th, we honored Assistant Chief Roman Roberson with several events for his retirement. His last day is January 31st.
• KFD firefighters have concluded training this week with hands on inside an old KC building. Training included search and rescue, hazardous material identification, positive pressure ventilation techniques, initial fire size-up and actions, MAYDAY, and thermal imager use.
QUALITY OF LIFE
• State of the Community Kilgore 2020 video was a great success and is now available to watch here.
• Valentine’s Day social media campaign for Kilgore Main Street starts on February 1.
• Sonya spoke at Kilgore Lions Club to promote the new goals of the Main Street Program and explain the new downtown building improvement grant program.
• In regard to the City Hall map room, we are on our last two boxes for scanning plans, plats, etc. The scans are currently being scanned into the laserfiche program for archiving. This is great progress on digitizing and archiving old maps, infrastructure plans, plats, etc.
• The draft of the Master Plan for downtown, land use and housing will be sent to the steering committee on February 11 for them to review and discuss at the February 25 meeting.
• Asbestos abatement complete at 501 Fritz Swanson Rd. Demolition to be scheduled after filing of paperwork.
• Tasty Donuts passed inspection for opening.
• Thank you to KPD for helping facilitate our Mock Crime Scene event! This was our 2nd Afternoon Adventure for 2020 and we had over 40 kids in attendance. This week we had our Slime Buffet and next week is Gnomes!
• The first planning meeting with Hidell & Associates for the Library Master Plan will be next week.
Highlight of the Week – Retirement of Fire Chief Johnny Bellows
Statement from the City of Kilgore: In a short 8 years, Chief Bellows has had an impact and created a legacy that most Chiefs work a whole career for. He came to Kilgore at a time where the Fire Department needed healing and new direction. The list of the Fire Department’s accomplishments under his direction include:
•Improving the ISO rating to a #2, a rating claimed by less than 4% of departments in the country.
•Best Practices Recognition through the Texas Fire Chief’s Association
• Implementation of Advanced Life Saving protocols for fire first responders in coordination with Champion EMS.
• Acquisition of a first-of-its-kind Rapid Response Vehicle, which uses a high pressure pump and lighter vehicle to provide a much more flexible and cost effective tool for fighting small structure fires and wildland fires.
• Training partnership with Kilgore College which ensures that Kilgore Fire fighters are some of the best trained in the state.
• Creation of the nationally regarded SAFFE Day program, (Special Abilities Family Fun Event), a day for people with special needs and their families, allowing them to participate in fun, educational and exciting activities that are free.
Fire Chief Johnny Bellows: “This is my last week and I would like to express my appreciation to all in the City. I have been blessed to gain so many friends during the past eight years. The strides and accomplishments with the Fire Department could not have taken place without everyone’s support.
Remember the KFD motto not only at work but also in your daily life, ‘Finish the Call’. May God bless each of you- come and visit.”