Tonight's meeting of the Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation(BCIC), held on the fourth floor of the City Commission/Post Office building, dealt primarily with the Belden Trail, the new bike trail located where the old rail tracks used to connect Matamoros and Brownsville. In fact, in the executive director's report, she admitted that 75% of her efforts had been dedicated to the Belden Trail. Three door-to-door canvasses had been conducted to make certain all the folks living along the trail were on board, but still three families plus O'Reilly Auto Parts raised issues once construction started. Change orders to satisfy citizen complaints and other issues raised the original contract amount from $786,528,000 to $861,038.50.
One agenda item, that was eventually tabled dealt with a bill from the Whitley Penn accounting firm. Sports park audit? Who knows? The BCIC board speaks inaudibly so as not to be heard beyond the board table.(This lack of projection frustrates someone who taught public speaking for 30 years, but goes with the territory of auditing Brownsville board meetings. I won't waste my time with another BCIC meeting. Nena simply reads a book during such proceedings.) Anyway, Whitley Penn submitted a bill far exceeding their bid. While the executive director felt the company had done the work, they had multiple opportunities to mention they were using more auditor hours then projected. The BCIC board decided to table the consideration of payment until legal had ascertained their rights in this area.(Assistant City Attorney Allison Bastain was one of the few board member who could be heard.)
In another agenda item the board agreed to pay $19,500 annually for a firm to water 46 trees planted along the Belden Trail. The firm has done work for the city before and always watered when they said they would water.