The Lubbock City Council held a regularly scheduled meeting Thursday evening at City Hall. Before tackling the meeting's regular and consent agenda, the council listened to about two hours worth of citizen comments.

Many of those speaking either discussed the upcoming vote concerning mobile food vendors (aka food trucks) or the proposed strengthening of the city's ban on smoking and tobacco in public places which was tabled last month.

City of Lubbock
City of Lubbock

District 4 Councilman Jim Gerlt (pictured) was absent from Thursday's meeting which forced the council to postpone action on some agenda items.

The first set of items to be postponed were four different second readings for annexation ordinances.  Three of the four ordinances were for parcels of land bordering the southern edge of the city limits along FM 1585 (130th Street).  The fourth parcel of land up for annexation is along 114th Street, east of Frankford Avenue.

The council also decided to push back consideration of an appointment to the Electric Utility Board (EUB) because of Councilman Gerlt's absence.

The council voted 6-0 to approve a contract with an engineering firm for additional surface water planning for Lubbock.  The engineering study will take place at Lake Alan Henry and Lake #7.

The city council voted 6-0 to indefinitely postpone consideration of a resolution which could have changed the use of funds allocated to the North and East Lubbock Community Development Corporation (NELCDC). Also, consideration on a companion resolution concerning NELCDC duties was put off until the next council meeting by the same 6-0 vote.

One agenda item that received some discussion was consideration of a resolution to allow an oil drilling permit in northeast Lubbock. Texland Petroleum and Norton Drilling applied to drill in a part of the Upper Clearfork formation, located north of East Erskine Street and east of North Guava Avenue.

The drilling was described to be a traditional vertical well drilled to approximately 5,060 feet into the Clearfork Formation. High pressure fracturing, casually known as fracking, will not be used in the drilling.

The council voted 5-1 to approve the permit with District 1 Councilman Victor Hernandez dissenting.  Hernandez said he would like to hear a recommendation from the city's Oil and Gas Committee which was slated to deliver a report to the council on December 4.

Before the vote was taken, Mayor Glen Robertson praised the previous work of Texland Petroleum and Norton Drilling, "These are quality companies, quality people and their interest in doing things right and safe is top-notch," he said. Mayor Robertson concluded,  "I feel very comfortable with both companies and I appreciate your expertise and professionalism."

In other business, the council voted 6-0 against allowing a variance for a tobacco store to obtain an off-premises alcoholic beverage sales permit.

It's Another Tobacco Road store is located at 4202 Avenue A, which is approximately 245 feet from Lubbock ISD's Harwell Elementary school located at 4101 Avenue D. City ordinances prohibits stores or businesses within 300 feet of any church, public or private school, day care, or public hospital (measured from property lines of each tract) from being issued an off-premises alcoholic beverage sales permit by the TABC.

Finally, Greg Taylor was appointed to the Audit and Investment Committee by a 6-0 vote.

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