There will soon be some new faces behind the bar at the Killeen Civic and Conference Center.

Following a spirited discussion Tuesday evening, the Killeen City Council voted to enter into a contract with Let Us Do The Cooking for mixed beverage services.

“Everything we’ve done in the 13 years that Let Us Do The Cooking has been in business has been designed around serving this community with excellence,” said Meredith Viguers, owner of Let Us Do The Cooking. “That’s what we want to bring to this contract.”

The city has had a management services agreement with YH SH, LLC, DBA Jesters since 2005, which will expire March 14.

City Auditor Matthew Grady performed an audit on Jesters beverage service and recommended other companies be considered. The city opened the request for proposal on Dec. 9. It closed Jan. 10, with three proposals received; Shilo Inn & Restaurant, YH, SH, LLC, and Let Us Do the Cooking, LLC.

“We did a couple of audits, and there was a lot of shortfall going on in the audit,” said Councilman Juan Rivera. “A lot of issues came out that were negative about money and other things that had been going on for many years.”

Several council members disclosed they had received phone calls and messages prior to the meeting from the owners of Jesters claiming that communication from the city had been unclear.

“The RFP that was put out was crystal clear,” City Manager Ron Olson said. “The performance of the current contractor is really not the issue, and to assume because you were lobbied by him that he was not communicated with, or that he is being discriminated against, is untrue. It is just absolutely not the truth.”

City staff held interviews with all three proposers on Jan. 15, and evaluated each proposal based on the criteria outlined in the RFP.

Let Us Do the Cooking, LLC ranked the highest of the three proposals, as well as presented several new options that could potentially bring more revenue to the city, including table service and glassware rental.

The council voted 5 to 2 in favor of the contract with Let Us Do The Cooking, with Gregory Johnson in opposition, and Jim Kilpatrick abstaining from the vote due to a personal relationship with one of the parties involved.

In other business Tuesday, the council voted against a proposal to update the city’s email services.

The city currently utilizes Microsoft Exchange 2010, which is approaching the end of its support life cycle.

Two options were presented to the council, with city staff making a recommendation to upgrade to Microsoft Exchange 365.

However, there was debate over the cost associated with that option.

One option came with a one-time cost of $219,956, with an annual cost of $24,000. However, Olson said that in talking with the city consultant, an additional staff member would need to be hired to oversee the system, which would add an expense of approximately $80,000 annually.

Microsoft Exchange 365, the recommended option, would have a one-time fee of $126,991 and a $126,991 annual fee for the following years.

“I just have trouble approving this amount, especially with the things that are already going on in the city with our streets,” Councilman Johnson said. “I think we need to look for more options.”

In other votes Tuesday:

The council voted unanimously in favor of holding a joint election on May 4 with Killeen ISD and Central Texas College, utilizing Bell County election services and software.

The council voted unanimously in favor of making Aero-Nautical Services, LLC an operating authority for another five-year term to provide airport shuttle services.

The council approved the procurement of fleet replacement vehicles.

The council approved proposed changes to the Financial Governance Policy.

The council voted unanimously in favor of constructing an outdoor fitness court at Lions Club Park.

The council unanimously approved Killeen Police Department entering in to Memorandums of Understanding with KISD police and Texas A&M University Central Texas police departments.

The council voted to enter in to a contract with Routeware, Inc. to provide GPS tracking systems for the city’s solid waste fleet.

The council unanimously approved an ordinance to repeal construction zone speed limits and establish uniform maximum speed limits on designated streets.

The council voted unanimously to approve an amendment to city ordinance regulating accessory and fence structures.

The council voted to table further discussion on the rezoning of 79.117 acres off of Clear Creek Road until further information is provided. | 254-501-7552

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