City council stock art

Marshall city council will host its first meeting of the year virtually this Thursday at 6 p.m.

To kick off the new year councilmembers will be jumping right into a new project during the meeting, where they will consider approving a contract for Travis Street Water Main Improvement project.

Five bids were submitted initially for the project, with Director of Public Works Eric Powell recommending a bid with D and D Pipeline Consultants LLC of Longview, at the price of $589,541.

Powell previously told the News Messenger that the city originally hoped to have this project out to bid by Fall 2020, and completed by the end of last year.

Councilmembers will also consider eight new applications by local businesses for the city’s Small Business Grant program.

The program was initially funded in June last year, with $138,536 of the $212,544 in Covid-19 Funds which were originally received by the city in July 2020.

To date, the city has expended $44,948 of the Small Business Grant Funds, leaving $93,587 in funds left over, or about 37 more small businesses that can be assisted by the program.

Businesses include Choices Barber and Beauty Shop, Porky’s Smokehouse & Grill, Soul Palace, Pic and Pay Deli, What About Burgers Grill, Patterson Floors & Custom, Shields Insurance Agency and East Texas Driving School, all of which are applying for the maximum of $2,500.

The city will also consider changes to the Marshall Fire Fighters Relief and Retirement fund during the meeting this week.

These changes include an increase in the employee contribution rate from 14 percent to 16 percent for 2021. Additionally, the board sent a letter to City Manager Mark Rohr in July 2020 requesting that the city also increase its contribution by 2 percent effective Jan 1, 2021.

The city instead plans to increase the percentage of contribution by 1 percent in 2021 and an additional 1 percent in 2022, with money already set aside in the 2021 budget for these changes.

Councilmembers will also consider the 2021 meeting schedule for the city, before breaking into executive session to discuss personnel matters.

The meeting will be hosted virtually utilizing a video and audio conferencing tool, as well as, a standard conference call. Instructions and direct links to view the meeting or speak during Citizen Comment can be found at

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