Wichita Falls City Council Makes Decisions On Agenda

Wichita Falls City Council discussed and approved several items on their agenda Tuesday morning.

The city of Wichita Falls settled a lawsuit from a former Wichita Falls police officer. Steve Fontenot was indefinitely suspended in June 2008 for various violations of civil service and department rules and regulations. A hearing examiner ruled in November 2009 that Fontenot should have his suspension reduced to 60 days.

The city filed a petition in state court challenging the ruling, claiming the examiner exceeded his jurisdiction. City Attorney Julia Vasquez told Newschannel 6 the case was settled because the city "wanted to avoid the uncertainty of an appeal ruling." The city council approved a $55,000 price to settle the lawsuit.

Councilors approved spending $450,000 for a drainage improvement project along McNeil avenue. The funds for the project will not be available until 2013.

Councilors also approved a joint funding agreement. The city will pay more than $79,000 to work with the U.S. Geological survey to study tributaries of the Wichita and Red Rivers as well as other lakes of concern. The study will monitor lake levels and flooding situations.

Councilors approved a tax abatement for Cryovac Industrial Reinvestment Zone. Cryovac is trying to install new equipment on 3800 Central Freeway. The company said the move will create more jobs. The tax abatement does not affect current taxes, only future ones, and the guidelines and criteria automatically expire after two years.

Councilors authorized the city manager to execute contracts worth about $391,000, in part to promote tourism. They said about $11,000 is going to River Bend Nature Works and the Fantasy of Lights Basketball Tournament. The rest of the money is going to community service programs, such as senior citizens services and child care.