Meridian City Council
On February 20, 2023, Meridian City Council called to order a regular session meeting with Mayor Ryan Nieuwenhuis, Mayor Pro-Tem Shawn Stauffer, Council Members Doug Davis, Jackye Hatley, Sharon Wilson, and Meghann Giesecke in attendance for the meeting.
During citizens participation and comments Ruben Felan stood to address the council. He said although there aren’t many volunteers left, he would like to see them recognized for all their hard work and dedication. Felan added until a person volunteers and sees firsthand what is involved a person couldn’t possibly understand how much work they do. Felan said there are a lot of groups like Meridian Parks and Recreation and Grassroots that hadn’t been thanked or recognized. Felan suggested a plaque, or something put in the parks for all their hard work.
“We’re not young pups anymore, and it’s getting harder and harder to find volunteers to take these jobs these guys do,” Felan said.
Felan added that although he hadn’t been involved very long, some of these volunteers have mowed, cleaned, volunteered at cook-offs or benefits and other events. Felan reminded everyone of the volunteer work not long ago demolishing the old jail and building new things to make the city better. Felan specifically recognized Jerry Mobley, Don Hatley, and Paul Hardcastle for their countless volunteer work.
Felan ended with “hopefully we can push this off to the younger generation and keep these things going.”
Jennifer Lumpkins, with The EpiCenter Youth Complex in Meridian, addressed the council. Lumpkins said the EpiCenter recently took over the distribution of the Tarrant Area Food Bank and became an authorized “brick and mortar.” Historically distribution had been free for all produce and food and the only monetary responsibility of the representative of the distribution was a .14 cent per pound protein fee if they choose to offer protein, which they do.
Lumpkin said she received notice that because of distribution every food bank will incur a .5 cent per pound delivery fee as well as an increase of .19 cents increase per pound for protein. Clifton reached out and said because they serve over 260 people they will no longer be able to continue to operate with those fees. Lumpkin said that will likely cause many people to come to Meridian. The EpiCenter serves about 40 people now but this will be a major cause for concern. Because they don’t discriminate or turn down anyone for food, they won’t be able to financially accommodate those numbers, Lumpkin said. She added The EpiCenter has already acted by applying for grants. Along with the Distribution Representative they are calling for state lawmakers to increase funding for Surplus Agricultural Products Grant in the 2023 State Legislative Session. That program helps food banks rescue unsold produce for distribution to Texans offsetting the losses for Texas growers, and help to minimize the impact of food waste on the environment.
“I asked that y’all, since this has such a huge impact on our citizens, help us call on those Texas State Officials,” Lumpkin said.
Nieuwenhuis said last Friday, February 17th was the last day to sign up to be on the city council election ballots for the May 6th election. Davis and Giesecke along with the mayor’s positions were open. Giesecke will be running for her position again, but Davis was not. New candidates are Daniel Yguerabide, Ruben Felan, and John Oldham. The mayor is unopposed but will stay on the ballot. Write-in candidates can still be added through Friday, February 24th.
Nieuwenhuis said there will be a candidate forum open to the public on March 27th at 6 pm at the Meridian Civic Center.
Nieuwenhuis said the new LED sign in front of the Chisholm Trail Plaza was delivered last week, and the company who made the sign will be installing it themselves soon.
Nieuwenhuis said he had received multiple complaints about tractor trucks being parked on city streets, which is a violation of the city ordinance.
City Administrator Marie Garland said two people were put on the agenda to speak about the issue but were not present at the meeting.
Hatley asked Garland if the city owned any property to accommodate the citizens in need, to which Garland said there was not after the sale of the property located next to Cobra Tech.
Nieuwenhuis said although the city would like to accommodate, the city is not legally responsible to provide parking.
Meridian Police Chief Blake Johnson said he spoke with several individuals multiple times and gave allowance to the violations, but reminded that violations of commercial vehicles are actively being enforced.
Nieuwenhuis added, tractor trucks can be parked within the city, off public roadways and easements, and on an approved improved surface.
Wilson said she would like to investigate any options the city may have to help accommodate those citizens.
Wilson made a motion to take no action and re-address the issue at the next council meeting, and the council voted for the motion unopposed.
Regarding the agenda item concerning the generators for the well site/wastewater plant. The council was provided with a quote from Wallace Controls and Electric for new generators, and the cost to purchase other used generators from an out of state company. City Secretary Tiffany Gentry reminded the council this was a requirement by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality “TCEQ.” Gentry said because the entire state is mandated to the same requirements, generators and parts were significantly on backorder. Gentry said it could take at least a year or more before the project could be finished, but TCEQ granted the city an extension which allowed the city extra time to become in compliance.
The quote from Wallace included installation, warranty and delivery and was significantly lower than the other bids according to Gentry and Garland. Garland said $100,000 of the funding would be pulled from the COVID Funds, and the remaining $70,000 would be used from the TXPOOL account.
Hatley made a motion to accept the bid from Wallace Controls and Electric, it was seconded by Stauffer, and the motion passed unopposed.
Regarding the agenda item concerning an electrical drop being added to the Meridian Civic Center to be used as an emergency shelter, Nieuwenhuis said the current generator used at the Fire Department could be used at the Civic Center if a drop was added which would cost $8,481.
The Red Cross is offering ways to help with placement of electrical drops for emergency shelters, but in doing so, the Red Cross could use the Civic Center as a shelter for nationwide disasters. If the city pays for the electrical drop the city would be in control of the shelter and can open it up to Bosque County residents, Gentry added.
Nieuwenhuis asked if there were any grants through Heart of Texas Council of Governments “HOTCOG,” FEMA, or other places, to which Wilson said FEMA would likely have control of the shelter as well.
Garland said there might be a grant through AARP or Texas New Mexico that may be an option but it would be a reimbursement grant.
Stauffer suggested at some point an electrical drop be added to City Hall to allow for operations to continue in the event of a catastrophic electrical grid failure. Public Works Director Mike Walker suggested the Power may be able to run underground and connect to where the generator connects to in the Fire Station. Stuffer said it may be cheaper to add a drop and bring the generator into the alley and power both locations.
WIlson made a motion to approve the electrical drop at the Civic Center, Hatley seconded, and the motion was passed unopposed.
Regarding the agenda item to go out for bids on the sanitary trash services that expires in August 2023, Nieuwenhuis said the current company used will be raising their cost between $4 and $5 dollars per resident.
Wilson made a motion to allow city hall to go out for bids for sanitary trash service, Giesecke seconded, and the motion was passed unopposed.
The council voted and approved unopposed to order the general election on May 6, 2023 for the mayor and two council members postitions.
Nieuwenhuis said the city auditors agency Merritt, McLane, and Hamby have requested an increase for their services from $16,000 to $19,000 plus travel expenses. Nieuwenhuis suggested they stay with the company due to the city audit beginning soon. He said switching during an audit may be a bad idea, and he and Garland agreed that they may be able to negotiate with them. Garland said what she’d like is for the council to approve the $19,000 and allow her to negotiate with the company, then she would bring back the results to the next council meeting.
Hatley made a motion to approve up to $19,000 and allow Garland to negotiate, Giesecke seconded, and the motion passed unopposed.
Regarding the agenda item concerning approval of contingency to represent the City of Meridian to the police officers memorial for fallen officer Butch Nowell to Washington D.C. Nieuwenhuis said Meridian Police Chief Blake Johnson’s request was denied by Garland and that decision is being brought before the city council for further review.
Chief Blake Johnson said by the rules of Senate Bill 22 Officer Butch Nowell’s COVID-19 death was ruled as an “in the line of duty” death. Johnson added this was the first in the line of duty death for the city of Meridian. Since his death was in the line of duty, one of his honors is his name along with the city of Meridian, to be placed on the Police Officers National Monument during Police Week, May 11 through May 17. In the letter he received, he was asked to escort Nowell’s widow Lucy to the ceremony during that week. Johnson added that during the week there would be extensive honors for the families of fallen officers. Johnson introduced Lucy, who was present at the meeting, at that time.
The council had a rough quote of what the cost would be for flight and accommodations to arrive on the 10th as they requested. Johnson said the flights he found were for about $400 to arrive and the return flight about $300 per person. The hotel associated with the ceremonies is the Washington Hilton which would cost $325 a night per room, and the city policy per diem rate. He added staying at that location would eliminate any rental car expenses. Johnson said expenses could be cut by sending “more of an envoy” for group discounts, or by reducing the length of stay. Johnson said his wife would be joining him along with Lucy and her friend.
Johnson said he would like to see the city honor the full week to allow for Lucy to have a representative of the city with her. Johnson said he was open to anyone who can find cheaper travel rates.
Stauffer said “what a great honor. I mean for someone who worked for our department, it doesn’t matter if for 50 years or one day, wearing our uniform. I’m familiar with these kinds of line of duty deaths, they don’t happen thank goodness very often, and hope not again in our lifetimes. We should send an entourage.” He suggested donations and fundraising but he was 100% for it. Davis concurred.
Hatley said she did not concur and said, “we have just been talking about our budget and we have no money. We’ve used all of our COVID money and have now dipped into our TXPOOL account, and we have issues in the city with infrastructure. If we have an emergency, we have no money.”
Hatley addressed Lucy and said, “It’s not that I don’t appreciate, and I’m so sorry for your loss, but if I’m not mistaken they are not supposed to give money away and can only send an employee.” Hatley asked Garland if that was correct to which she replied that was correct.
Stauffer recommended a hybrid type system, and asked Johnson what the dates were. Johnson said there were a number of things he was looking at and certainly the law is the first place to start. He said he had a fundraiser on the horizon, but it’s unknown if it would make money or not. He said he was coming to the council to see if money was available along with fundraising. Johnson added that the state and federal benefits Lucy should receive have not been awarded to her. The only benefit she has received was Texas Municipal League benefits, which is what she was living with currently, and is why she has come to the city council for assistance.
Wilson asked what fundraisers Johnson had planned to which he said a Jeep fundraiser that historically made around $3,000. Wilson said that would cover Lucy’s expenses and asked the newspapers to help publicize that.
Wilson added, “We have a great community and county when it comes to things like this. We have people that are more than willing to help.”
Stauffer and Wilson asked what Garland’s ruling was when Johnson initially asked for the funding.
Nieuwenhuis thanked Lucy, being here. He went on to add, “do not take this out of context, because I know some of you might. This is not coming from not being a good person or not liking cops, but I see both sides. I have pros and cons to this whole thing. Number one, I think this is a misuse of city funds to be brutally honest with you. Do I want to send you, absolutely. Butch served our city and I’m not discrediting anything he did for our city, and unfortunately, we only had him for a very short time. I just think this was a misuse of city funds.”
Nieuwenhuis added, “I can see it happening if this is approved whether the full amount or any amount. Citizens coming to city hall and saying, I’ve got a pot hole at the end of my street that’s been there for five years and you can’t fix that, but y’all can send a whole bunch of people out of town.”
“Another reason, Johnnie Hauerland who served our city for 15 plus years whether it be city council or mayor, also passed away before Butch died of COVID-19, and we as a city have done zero for him. We’ve all raised funds and donated to a memorial bench that has not been done over a year ago,” Nieuwenhuis said
Nieuwenhuis said he went a step further and contacted City Attorney Charlie Olson, recorded the conversation, and had Gentry type up the conversation verbatim which included;
“Constitution provisions that cities may not give money away. Municipalities will not donate, gift, and cannot pay for non-employee related trips. The city is not authorized to pay anyone other than employees to go. The limitation of law states the taxpayer money can only be used for certain things and is specific. The council can make whatever decision they want to, but use discretion on exactly what you want to pay for.”
Wilson asked if it was illegal for them to approve it to which Nieuwenhuis said if the council were to approve it as it was given, then absolutely it was. He added, Lucy and Monica were not city employees. Wilson asked if they could pay for the Chief to which Nieuwenhuis said yes they could. Niewenhuis said to use discretion for what is to be paid for, and it was in the cities best interest to be event specific. He used an example of “fly in for the honors, stay one night, and fly back, and that it could not be a vacation.”
Nieuwenhuis added that Olson said “is it going to be beneficial for the Chief of Police to be there, and will the outcome change anything? Will Butch only be honored if the Chief of Police will be there?” The council can do what they want, but that is what the attorney advised.
Stauffer asked Johnson if they tabled the item to see if fundraising and a hybrid situation could happen, would that be too late?
Johnson said, “ Just plainly speaking, I’m going regardless. If I have to pay for it out of my own pocket. Lucy is going as well even if I pay for it out of my own pocket. I respect where you are coming from on the legal aspect.” Nieuwenhuis said, “That’s all I’m doing, don’t think I don’t like you and didn’t like Butch, but ultimately it comes back to can we do this as a city.”
Staffer said “the specifics came to us the last couple of days. Give us a chance to publicize in the newspapers and fundraise.”
Nieuwenhuis said he thought they needed to vote to allow time to raise money, and find the best scenario for the city, taxpayers, and the family.
Garland suggested the vote be made for the chief going for a certain amount of days.
Giesecke asked who the six people were that were asked to go. Johnson said the scenario they were looking at was for Johnson, Sgt. Sam Hathaway, and Lucy go, and each bring one person with them. Giesecke asked Garland if it would be legal to send Hathaway and Chief, to which Garland said they could. Garland said her concern was taking other police officers off the streets for that amount of time. Johnson said Valley Mills sent their entire agency to accept an award for one of their officers, and the Sheriff’s Office provided coverage for their town. He added that he believed he could provide coverage for the town with current staffing. Johnson said they had until next month and could wait until the next meeting for a vote.
Wilson asked what dates would be most significant, to which Johnson said the 13th through the 15th.
Hatley suggested the item be postponed until the next meeting and come back after fundraisers had happened. Wilson said she thought a decision should be made and 100% of the chief’s expenses paid, because it’s an honor. Giesecke asked should they not send Hathaway, to which Wilson replied she did not think having the remaining officers work more would be beneficial. Johnson said he would make the commitment that if he and Hathaway went they would only go for the three ceremonial days, to eliminate any burden on the other officers as well as the Sheriff’s Office. Wilson added, the Sheriff’s Office was already short handed and that would make it harder on them.
Wilson made a motion to pay 100% of the expenses for the Chief of Police as an employee to go and represent the city of Meridian for National Police Week for three days, Hatley seconded, and the motion passed unopposed.
Jeanette Kattner with the Meridian Public Library addressed the council regarding police security for the Meridian Public Library’s Jewels and Jeans Annual Banquet on April 15. Kattner thanked the council for the opportunity to speak with them and their generosity towards the library. She said all of their operating expenses are donations, fundraising, and grants. Their biggest fundraising event is the Jewls and Jeans Banquet which is held in the Civic Center. She said she is aware of the city ordinance to hire police officers to cover events when alcohol was served, which was planned to be served. She was there to ask if the police officer’s schedule could be arranged to allow for them to cover the banquet. She said the purpose of the banquet is to raise money, and if officers could be arranged, that would save the library about $600 out of the raised funds.
Stauffer said he felt although it was for a good cause, the city is working toward equality and transparency. He didn’t feel it fair to offer that to one non-profit organization and not to all.
Nieuwenhuis said although the police department donated their time for the National Championship BBQ Cookoff fundraiser, in turn the city of Meridian ended up paying for it. Their time was not donated if someone receives a bill, he added. Wilson said if the schedule is made for two officers to be there, and an emergency arises, then both officers leave with the event uncovered.
Giesecke said the nonprofits have use of the facility free of charge so the only expense they have is for security.
Hatley said, “I used to be on the library board, and they work so hard putting stuff together which is all volunteer work for the betterment of the city. They get nothing in return. Our library is second to none and I don’t see why we can’t waive the fee or do something for the nonprofits. Our community runs on nonprofits and donations.”
Giesecke said, “The security is because alcohol is being served, they can do their fundraiser without alcohol technically. Jackye you just said misuse of city funds and that people can go back and say we didn’t fill their potholes at the end of their street. We can’t send someone to honor someone who died in the line of duty, but we can pay for security because they’re going to serve alcohol, that doesn’t make any sense to me.” Hatley said our volunteers are the ones doing really hard work to better the city.
Kattner asked, if they had someone who was a police officer, could they volunteer their time? Johnson said he was not budgeted to donate time for that event, and he must approve the person. The requirements for an officer not employed by the city of Meridian was they must have original jurisdiction in Bosque County, a full time officer, and must be in uniform.
Giesecke made a motion for the city of Meridian not to cover the security fee for alcohol for the library board for their fundraiser and follow city ordinance, seconded by Wilson, and the motion passed with Hatley opposed.
Regarding the agenda item concerning appointment of Meridian Parks and Recreation Board, Nieuwenhuis reminded that it was a yearly requirement just as any other board.
Nieuwenhuis said the board members to be approved were Don Hatley, Jim Ballard, Dana Williams, Tonya Garza, Ruben Felan, Jennifer Lumpkins, and Simone Witchers-Voss.
Stauffer said, “I love the parks, they are beautiful, and I spend a lot of time there playing basketball with my kids. They are absolutely beautiful done by a lot of work by very good people. I told Jackye, everything you and Don touch y’all leave better. But something has gone wrong and is off the tracks. If the context is that this board hates volunteers and does not appreciate them, then I want to re-write that context. People say the council is too divisive; this is where the debate is. It doesn’t happen out there where half truths can be said and one sided arguments get put in. This is where we can debate it where sometimes we are on different sides, but a lot of times we vote 5-0 like tonight.”
Stauffer added, “Where did we go off base? From my context, I remember the mayor calling me and saying they were putting bollards across the park, and him asking if we approved it, and I said we didn’t. I thought it was a difference of opinion and the mayor saying they are doing things without the council’s approval, so we need to rein them in a little bit. The park board did agree on the bollards. Their board had some resignations because they didn’t agree. After that meeting and push back from the council more resignations happened and the threats came. This is where we were getting off base. People were writing the narrative, and we were lectured to come to the meeting if we wanted to know something, because they do things by the book. The park wasn’t in our name, and I realize why it wasn’t, but the mayor went to the county commissioners, and within a day or two the park was in our name. We can’t talk in context without bringing up the city ordinances which is where I think the parks board and the council crashed.The sex offender ordinance, I hated the conflict of it and hated those days. We have to make hard decisions here, and you don’t make friends here. I have lost more friends being on the council. Back to the sex offender ordinance. If your house catches on fire, you call 911 and hope the fire department gets there in time. There are preventative measures you can take to keep your house from catching fire, and I look at the sex offender ordinance as preventative measures. Then to the alcohol ordinance, which was a 5-0 vote, but I don’t think anyone on this council likes it, I know I don’t. The compromise was going from no alcohol in the parks to giving everyone equal access to the park. For anyone having an event they get a permit, that was the intention of that. Shortly after that, the push back became more with the bullying. A couple of things I heard said were let them pass it and we will resend it, if you can do it, then do it, we will move the horseshoe pits and frisbee golf, and the ordinance is racist. I have strong feelings about that so I’m going to leave that right there.”
Stauffer said, “The one that really bothers me was Shaun better watch himself, because we are supporters of the fire department and we don’t have to be in the future. You have to ask yourself if you, yourself, were a part of that. Then there were people saying they weren’t going to pick up trash and sit this out. If you are a volunteer you don’t have to show up to everything. I’m rooted deep in volunteering, but there are times I don’t respond to every single call. But, if I were ever to announce I was sitting this grass fire season out, I would have to say those guys wouldn’t want me back. They would tell me to take my volunteerism somewhere else. I’m going to look at the prism of how we reinstate this board, and not from what they’ve done because it’s much appreciated.”
Stauffer added, “I don’t have a problem with the individual members, some of y’all I don’t even know, so I’m not going to be against you. My question is this, what do we want and is this the kind of war we want to go on? I can’t even get a couple of members to have a conversation without it seemingly being a threat to them. They don’t come to the council meeting to give advice and consent, which is what their role is. You have to wonder if you yourself want to be renominated to the board.”
Nieuwenhuis said ultimately this is a vote to appoint the new members or disband the park board and start over from ground zero.
Wilson said, “I am surprised any of you want to stay on the board with the contention we’ve had all year. It seems like we have continuously butted heads, but I am so proud of everything y’all have done. It looks great, and when I lived in Idaho, I came back every summer. We are seeing growth, so I appreciate everything you’ve done. No matter what the council decides tonight, I hope we can take each incident on a case by case basis, and do it respectfully.
Davis had no comment.
Giesecke said, “no one in this room can say this has been working well. It’s not working well for the council or the parks board. If you’re here for the first time tonight hearing some of this stuff you can tell it’s not been working well. When something isn’t working, you don’t keep forcing it trying to get it to work well and expect something else, as we had this last year. We kept pushing through but it never got better, it got worse. We are all partially to blame. We have good volunteers and a good council, but we can’t keep going the way we are going. The responsibility to change starts with the council.”
Giesecke added, “Over the last two months I’ve talked to a lot of people trying to figure out if I want to run for council this next term. I’ve actually been surprised, after talking to a lot of citizens it’s so clear, even the citizens aren’t happy with the way things are going. We aren’t happy, y’all aren’t happy, and the citizens aren’t happy so what are we doing? What I would like to see is the council reach out to citizens more and see what direction they want to go with our parks system.With that information, we need to figure out what we want out of our parks board to help us accomplish what the citizens want. Only after we do these things does it make any sense to move forward with the board. I feel like we need to stop, take a breath, and reassess when emotions aren’t so high. I think we need to temporarily not reappoint anyone to the board. Then once the council has done the work they need to do, then appoint people to the board who will work with us.”
Hatley had no comment.
Felan asked if they get to speak, to which Nieuwenhuis said ultimately this is the five member council who has the decision. He said he was willing to stay all night to hear from each member of the parks board but didn’t think it would be beneficial. Nieuwenhuis asked each member of the council if hearing from anyone would change their votes, to which each council member said it would not.
A citizen said they would like to hear from the park board. They’d like to know the list of people who said they weren’t happy with the parks board, because they didn’t believe that to be true.
Wilson said she didn’t think they shouldn’t have a park board, and asked what would happen to the parks if there wasn’t anyone on it, to which Nieuwenhuis said everything would be in limbo. Nieuwenhuis added, it’s no different than with other boards under the city council, if the city doesn’t approve it, then it doesn’t happen. He said, “it’s not about the individuals on the board, it’s about whether or not you want to vote them in to continue, or are you going to disband the parks board.
Giesecke said, “just to make it clear, y’all really are my people. I was trying to think about it, and it’s not personal, because the people I’ve spent the most time with, it’s y’all. It’s not fun for me, but sometimes hard things have to be done and this is a hard thing.”
Nieuwenhuis said if the park board is not appointed there would be no park board until one was appointed. Garland said, in the meantime the city would maintain the parks. Stauffer suggested they call a workshop meeting.
Giesecke said they wouldn’t until they got on the same page. Wilson responded how do you get on the same page if there is no park board. Giesecke said the council needs to decide what they want from a parks board.
Nieuwenhuis said if they aren’t disbanding the park board what would there be, because there is no temporarily suspending the board.
Davis said, “we just aren’t accepting, this late, these proposed people at this point.”
Dana Williams said it couldn’t be run without a board, to which Gentry said they would not be reappointed at this time. Nieuwenhuis said, if nobody is appointed, then who would answer should someone ask to speak with the parks board. Gentry said they would need to speak with city hall, to which Nieuwenhuis responded because they no longer have a parks board.
Giesecke made a motion to not appoint any members to the parks and recreation board at that time pending a workshop in the near future to determine what the council wanted from a parks and recreation board. Davis seconded the motion and Nieuwenhuis asked for discussion.
Nieuwenhuis said, “I want the record to reflect; “Thank you to all for the countless hours that went into all the volunteers including some who are no longer on the board. I get calls and complaints about how much the taxes have been raised, so I met with Marie because I wanted to know exactly how much money parks and recreation has cost the city of Meridian roughly in the past five years. That includes tearing down the jail, the amphitheater, signage, dances, movie nights, trash cans and whatever else has gone into our parks to drastically improve the parks. We as a city council spent roughly $2,500 after reimbursements. I have no words to commend our volunteers.
Stauffer agreed with Nieuwenhuis but added, “appreciation has been all along the way. If all of it was donated, and the city paid zero you have to ask yourself, is the rogness of the board worth it. All of us haven’t been happy, so I don’t necessarily think this is a bad thing. We don’t appoint the board but go to a workshop.”
Wilson added “why does it have to be no board and workshops, rather than a board with workshops?” Giescecke said, “We can and we need to, but the thing is, we have to decide as a board where we are going.” Wilson asked why they couldn’t do that together.
Hatley suggested they vote because there had been enough discussion.
Nieuwenhuis noted that the board agreed not to allow citizens participation in the discussion, and reiterated the motion made earlier by Giesecke to not reinstate the board members that was seconded by Davis. Giesecke, Davis and Stauffer voted in favor of the motion, Wilson and Hately voted against, and the motion was passed.
The council did not approve the city council meeting minutes from the last meeting, but voted to approve the Covid Relief Funds Report, payment of bills, and the meeting was adjourned.