Weatherford Democrat

October 5, 2012

City council to consider police, TxDOT agreement

Brian Smith
CNHI

WEATHERFORD — City council members will discuss a resolution authorizing the police department to enter into an agreement with TxDOT during Tuesday night’s regular meeting.

With approval, access to the Crash Reporting and Analysis for Safer Highways, or CRASH, system will be granted at no cost to the city. The system will allow the police department to file accident reports via a secure Internet line, alleviating the need to submit paper reports. Each crash report submitted to TxDOT will then be made available in an .xml format.

Police Chief Mike Manning said the system will save money in the long run by catching mistakes that are inevitably made in the initial filing of reports.

“It will increase accuracy in filing the reports,” Manning said. “Once a report is submitted, TxDOT normally finds mistakes in it and sends it back to the reporting agency to be corrected. With this program, those errors are caught before the report is submitted.”

The pilot program is being used by medium and large size departments right now, Manning said. Nothing will change as far as residents' access to a report, however.

“They can always come by the police department and get a copy or do it via our website,” Manning said. “Nothing will change with that.”

TxDOT will also provide training and consulting services in getting everyone  onboard with the workings of the program, according to a staff report.

Also on the agenda is a presentation from Kathy Daniel with the Fort Worth Community Learning Center on a grant the organization has received. City Manager Jerry Blaisdell said the city is helping out the CLC by providing work sites for center workers to hone their skills.

“The CLC is providing a job training program for those who are having difficulty finding a job,” Blaisdell said. “After they are trained, they will be allowed, under a construction manager’s supervision, to work on projects.”

The $100,000 training grant can only be used for workers to use on government projects, Blaisdell said. Under the grant, the workers will be trained in areas such as plumbing, electrical work and roofing.

CLC officials contacted the city and asked if they had anything the workers could do. The Girl Scout Camp and a historic black schoolhouse in town were suggested and approved. Blaisdell said the schoolhouse will be turned into a meeting room under the proposal. Blaisdell said work on both projects could begin as soon as November once the workers are trained.

“We’re saving the taxpayer money by having these workers work on the projects,” Blaisdell said. “We’re renovating the Girl Scout Camp at no cost to the taxpayer. “

Council will also receive an update on the many transportation projects going on by Director of Capital Transportation Projects Terry Hughes.

A public hearing on declaring 2.7 acres in the Yeoman Addition at 703 Eureka St. a reinvestment zone will also be held with the council considering a resolution approving the measure. The Weatherford Economic Development Authority has to have the area declared a reinvestment zone in order to offer tax abatements.

The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. at city hall.