The Denison City Council acted on a variety of issues during a regular meeting on Tuesday, ranging from the presentation of a new K-9 unit in the police department to an update on the city’s Minimum Property Standards program.
The Council got its first look at the latest addition to the Denison Police Department as Officer William Deering presented officer Ivar to the Council. Ivar, a Belgian Malinois, is the first K-9 unit to be used in the department in more than a decade.
Ivar was trained for eight weeks in Europe before Deering joined him for an additional month of training. Ivar will begin active duty after he has received his final certifications with the DPD.
Chief Building Official Dale Jackson presented a report to the Council addressing unsafe conditions at three derelict buildings. The structures are located at 715 W. Bond, 3811 Pottsboro Rd. and 4504 S. Highway 75.
Jackson recommended the demolition of all three structures, as the damage to each was beyond rehabilitation. The council voted to approve the demolition of the three buildings, but elected to put a lien on the property on 75 due to its location and possible commercial development.
The Council received an update on its Minimum Property Standards program, which holds property owners to maintain the upkeep of their buildings. This is the second phase of the project, which encompassed over 600 properties. This comes after the Council, in a split decision, ceased the program briefly in May of 2012.
After a year in the second phase, the program found 125 properties that were in violation of the ordinance. Of those properties, 88 were brought into compliance and another 20 were in the process of repairs and upgrades. Thirteen property owners applied for financial assistance, which was included in the program, with four receiving it. Two of the 125 properties have been added to the list for demolition, said Johnson.
In many of the properties, the repairs were as minor as needing paint, said Johnson. Johnson expressed plans to go forward with phase three of the program, which will encompass areas north of Martin Luther King Street.
Council member Matt Hanley expressed his support for the program.
“I am proud of of citizens who complied,” said Hanley. “Sometimes we just need a nudge to get things started.”
As its last action of the evening, the Council came out of executive session to recommend Gary Mobley to replace Barr Antilla for the Civil Service Commissioner position. The replacement comes as Antilla reaches the end of his term limit. The position will charge Mobley with overseeing the administration of local government code and the Civil Service Statute.
Mobley, who has practiced orthodontics for over 40 years, has a history of leadership in Parkside Baptist Church in Denison. Mobley also served as president of the Denison Rotary Club in 1990.