Members of the Dayton Lakes community on Thursday held a joint city council and townhall meeting with Liberty County officials to begin working on issues related to elections, roads and a failing water system, the latter of which currently has all of the 50 or so residents in the small community under a boil water notice.
Liberty County Elections Administrator Klint Bush attended the meeting, which was held under an oak tree in front of the building previously used for council meetings. Bush told Bluebonnet News on Friday that the building is in disrepair and could not support hosting the meeting.
“We had dogs at the meeting, school buses were dropping off students and people in cars and four-wheelers were going around us as we were also in the road, but it was a start for good things to come,” Bush said.
Thursday’s meeting followed a gathering on Monday in Liberty with several members of the Dayton Lakes community. In that meeting, county officials learned that Dayton Lakes did indeed have a mayor and council, though it was short on members, and meetings had not been properly posted or held according to state laws for quite some time.
On Thursday, the old mayor stepped down and Justin McCormick was appointed as the new mayor after first being appointed to city council, Bush said. The remaining council members are Terri Andrew, Mark Goodlock and Skyler Demoss. Council also appointed Betty McCormick as the new city secretary and discussed holding an election, either in November or May, to officially elect council members.
Bush helped swear in the new mayor and council members and finalize the legal documents that are required to hold those offices.
“The new city secretary is going to be handling things, such as posting meetings. The council is also starting the conversation about the water department. The city of Dayton Lakes gets about $9,000 a year for property taxes and about $1,100 a month in water payments,” Bush said.
The boil water notice could be in effect for quite a while, he added. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Public Utility Commission is working on solutions but that process is slow.
“In order to work on the water issues, they had to have points of contact, which will be the new mayor,” Bush said.
According to Bush, the City has a modest amount of money but it will not nearly be enough to fix roads and the water system. However, as a city, they will be able to apply for grants, which would have been impossible had the city been disbanded.
“It’s better for them to stay a city and start operating as a city,” he said, adding that city leaders are in talks with Arthur about an interlocal agreement regarding road maintenance.
Dayton Lakes is located along the Trinity River northeast of Kenefick off of FM 1008. The city was established in 1985.
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