By Sonya Campbell

Killeen Daily Herald

BELTON - With Belton Fire Chief Roy Harmon retiring Jan. 31, the city is looking to create a framework for its fire and EMS services for the next decade.

Council members started Tuesday night by authorizing the city manager to execute a contract with International City and County Management Association Public Safety Services to develop a comprehensive study.

The assessment is expected to take about four months, and will be followed by a national search for a new fire chief.

City Manager Sam Listi said the search will have a regional focus.

The cost of the comprehensive assessment will be $39,000, with a minimum of $6,000 for travel expenses, and not to exceed $45,000.

The cost of the personnel search is $5,000.

On another matter, the city gave consent for the Belton Economic Development Corporation to proceed with the purchase of a vacant lot adjacent to the Belton Chamber of Commerce on Central Avenue.

The lot is co-owned by Mickey Wade and the chamber.

The BEDC plans to build a 2,505-square-foot office building, which will feature offices, a conference room with seating for 18 to 25, and two furnished offices for business counseling.

Also, the council approved the consent agenda, which included a final plat for H-E-B Sparta Road Subdivision, a 31.91-acre tract. Lot 1 will be the site of a new H-E-B grocery store and retail center, and Lot 2 will include an existing Valero gas and convenience store.

In other business, the council:

Introduced Denny Lassetter, the city's new information technology director.

Approved the second and final reading of an ordinance granting a residential solid waste collection franchises Allied Waste, Waste Management, IESI Corporation, Eagle Disposal, Kerr Refuse Service and Bell County Iron & Recycling.

Approved the second and final reading of an ordinance granting a residential solid waste collection franchise to Waste Management of Texas Inc.

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