By Alton Porter
Crockett's elected government leaders welcomed a new retailer to the city's business community at a meeting Monday evening, May 16.
The Crockett City Council extended a cordial greeting to Manager Damon "DJ" Jackson and 6 of 20 employees of Parker's Building Supply who attended the council's meeting to make their presence known and announce the store's grand opening event schedule the first week in June.
Jackson addressed the council during the audience comments part of the meeting.Reading from a brief prepared statement, Jackson began by noting that the store is located at 1151 East Loop 304.
"On behalf of (the business), I would like to say thank you for embracing us into the community," Jackson told the council, adding, "Parker's has been family owned and operated since 1930. And now in 2016, we are making a mark in Crockett, Texas, which totals us to 22 stores, 18 in Texas and four in California.
"As a resident of Crockett for almost four months, this has become home. And that's the way Parker's Building Supply shopping experience is becoming, like finding what you need for your project with outstanding products and services."
Jackson continued, "To give you an insight of what's been going on next to Walmart for the last four months, we have incorporated many a firsts in the company. The Crockett location will be the first drive-through lumber yard (of) our 22 stores, the first store with all LED lighting, and mainly a concept for our company to change and update some of the older stores."
He said, "On June 2, 3, 4 of 2016, we will be having grand opening. And we would like to have a ribbon-cutting ceremony on June 2 at 11 a.m., including the mayor and council members.
"In conclusion, I would like to thank a few local companies for their parts in the construction: Crockett Fence Co., Consumers LP, Culpepper Electric, C&C Heating, Gregory Plumbing and Mr. Roger on the concrete work. And last, but not least, I'd like half of my 20 employees who are local to stand up."
Mayor Robert Meadows told Jackson and his employees, "We're glad to have you folks here and look forward to a great relationship. We're excited about a new business here .... If there's anything we can do on our end to help you guys get up and going, please feel free to contact us. Thank you for hiring locally."
In the business portion of the meeting, the council followed suit with the Houston County Commissioner's Court and Grapeland City Council, passing a motion to approve a resolution designating GrantWorks, a grant consulting firm, as the City of Crockett's grant advisor and grant application preparer.
The motion to approve the resolution was offered by Precinct 2 Council Member Ray Bruner and seconded by Precinct 3 Council Member Ernest Jackson, and all four council members present voted affirmatively. Precinct 5 Council Member Mike Marsh was out of town.
Both the county commissioners and Grapeland council members approved identical resolutions just days before the Crockett council acted on Bruner's motion.
In addition, the court took a final vote on the matter of establishing a lease-to-purchase arrangement with Serenity Place, Inc., for the former Crockett State School property, after meeting in executive session to discuss the matter.
In open session after the closed session, Meadows restated the motion the council passed Friday, May 13, approving the contract agreement with Serenity Place, Inc., emphasizing that language in the contract stipulated that minor details in the agreement would be worked out by Serenity Place, Inc., executives and City Administrator Sean Hutchison, on behalf of the council.
"Those minor details have been worked out," Meadows gleefully announced, adding, "I'm proud to say at this point we have an agreement to move forward with the signing of the contract." Then, he asked for a motion, passage of which would allow him to sign the contract entering into the lease-purchase agreement with Serenity Place, Inc.
The motion was offered by Precinct 4 Council Member Muriel Williams and seconded by Ernest Jackson. It passed on a unanimous vote of the council members present at the meeting.
Another item on the council's agenda was the administering of the oath of office to Ernest Jackson and Williams, who were recently re-elected to their positions. The oath was administered to the council members by Hutchison, who said it had already been administered to Marsh, who also was recently re-elected.
In other business, the council voted 4-0 to receive Miguel Quintero as the Crockett Volunteer Fire Department's (CVFD) newest firefighter. CVFD Chief John Angerstein presented Quintero to the council. The motion to elect Quintero was submitted by Precinct 1 Council Member Jeannie Julian and seconded by Williams.