Benbrook police and city services departments win Voice of the People awards

By A.C. Hall

Meeting last week, the Benbrook City Council learned that once again the City of Benbrook won multiple Voice of the People awards.  These awards are bestowed upon communities as part of a survey that asks citizens to give input on the city they live in and the services it provides.  Among the hundreds of communities that take part in the surveys, only around a dozen win awards each year.  

The awards are given when citizens indicate they are highly satisfied with municipal services.  This year Benbrook received a Voice of the People award for both their Police department and for their City services.  They were the only city in Texas to receive any Voice of the People awards this year.

Council member Ron Sauma praised all of the employees of the City of Benbrook.

“It’s a total team effort and I’m proud to serve here as the citizens representative to such a good city,” Sauma said.

Mayor Jerry Dittrich also spoke about the award, thanking the City staff.

“I think our citizens are appreciative of the fine work that you do,” Dittrich said.

Moving on to other items of business, the council learned what the focus of the year 38 Community Development Block Grant program is going to be.  Streetlights and housing rehabilitation will be targeted this time around, with the streetlights centered around the central fire station.  There will be 21 new poles containing 18 new street lights, and as part of the CDBG grant, the City is receiving $5,000 from Tarrant County to do this work.

A motion was made to approve this part of the year 38 CDBG project.  That motion passed unanimously.

Also discussed was the housing rehabilitation, which will make funds available to residents of Benbrook who meet income limits to assist them in repairs to roof, foundation, plumbing, electrical and weatherization.  Applications will be made directly with the Department of Community Development and Housing Division.

The amount set aside for this program is $77,000, but no action was taken on this part of the year 38 CDBG project at the meeting.

The council also unanimously approved the purchase of five new vehicles for the Benbrook Police Department.  The vehicles are Chevrolet Tahoes and this item was a part of the approved budget.  The total cost of the five new vehicles was $140,500, which is $4,500 less than the budgeted amount.

A proclamation was read recognizing the group 4Paws for the work they do helping pet owners, the Benbrook animal shelter and promoting pet adoption.

“You do a great service for our community and for the pets of our community,” Mayor Dittrich said.

The Mayor also praised their involvement in many other city events, saying 4Paws is highly respected by the citizens of Benbrook.

The recent election results were canvassed, and Charlie Anderson, Rickie Allison and Mark Washburn were all given the oath of office as they were re-elected to their council seats.

The Council then voted unanimously to name Allison as Mayor Pro Tem.

“He represents our city well not only here in the city, but outside this city,” Sauma said.  “He’s a credit to all the citizens for his service.”

The council unanimously chose Sauma as the representative to the North Central Texas Council of Governments.

At the close of the meeting, council member Jim Wilson congratulated all the winners in the recent election and praised all the citizens who took the time to vote.