CITY OF LUFKIN STATEMENT ON THE CITY’S DECLARATION OF DISASTER AND THE FREE EXERCISE OF RELIGION
The City of Lufkin has received numerous questions regarding the effect on church services in the City, of Mayor Bob Brown’s Declaration of Local State of Disaster Due to Public Health Emergency (Declaration), as well as Governor Greg Abbott’s Executive Order, which includes similar provisions.
Out of respect for the free exercise of religion in the City of Lufkin, and in light of the compelling interest the City has in the protection of its residents, the City offers the following clarification:
• First, the Declaration applies to all public or private gatherings of more than 10 people, including churches. Churches may, of course, meet for worship in groups of 10 or less, provided there is ample room for parishioners to remain six feet apart.
• Second, this limitation on numbers is not intended to prohibit the free exercise of religion, nor does it have the effect of violating the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
The City’s Declaration does not infringe belief or practice of religion. It temporarily limits the number of people in gatherings due to an existing imminent threat to residents of the City.
The Declaration’s regulations amount to a law of general applicability, and the City of Lufkin has sought to further its compelling interest in protecting the lives of its residents by the least restrictive means possible—that is, by limiting the size of gatherings so social distancing can be ensured.
Few governments—federal, state, or local—have been more encouraging and respectful of religion within its borders than the City of Lufkin.
Mayor Brown, and all City of Lufkin government officials, now appeal to the residents of the City, and particularly its religious leaders, to help protect the most vulnerable among us by rigorously complying with the local and state declarations.
COVID-19 RESPONSE: City of Lufkin announces proactive measures to prevent spread of Coronavirus
Consistent with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the City of Lufkin is taking proactive measures to prevent the potential spread of the Coronavirus in the City of Lufkin and Angelina County, including limiting in-person interactions for city business and temporarily reducing certain special events.
The City of Lufkin will continue all city services; however, the city will temporarily postpone public commission and advisory committee meetings.
Access to Lufkin City Hall will remain open, but the city is encouraging that city business be handled online or via telephone whenever possible.
These measures are being taken in response to CDC recommendations and out of an abundance of caution in order to protect the public health, particularly our most vulnerable populations. The measures are also intended to slow the potential spread of this virus in our area, which in turn eases the burden on medical care providers. Preserving the health and safety of our employees allows essential city services to continue without interruptions.
While the city is discouraging public gatherings with significant numbers of people present, the city does encourage the continued support of local businesses by Lufkin residents and visitors.
Remember to follow these preventative measures in your daily life:
• Frequently wash your hands;
• Stay at home if you have any symptoms of illness, especially fever or difficulty breathing;
• Avoid close personal contact with people, such as shaking hands; and
• Frequently disinfect surfaces at home and in the workplace.
Effective as of 8 a.m. on Wednesday, March 18, neither the Pitser Garrison Convention Center nor the Pines Theater will conduct special events open to the public. In keeping with the CDC recommendation, the city encourages private event organizers in the City of Lufkin to postpone events with 10+ people.
PAYING UTILITY BILLS
Anyone who needs to pay a utility bill may do so via the web portal at: Click2Gov. Payments for your water bill may be made at the department’s drive-thru window.
LUFKIN PARKS AND RECREATION
All activities at the Recreation Center and all off-site activities sponsored by Parks & Recreation are temporarily postponed. City parks remain open to the public.
Effective as of 8 a.m. on Wednesday, March 18, Lufkin’s Municipal Court calendar of activities will be temporarily postponed. Payments may be made online.
LIBRARY AND ZOO
All public activities at the Kurth Memorial Library and the Kurth Memorial Animal Shelter are temporarily postponed. The public park at the Zoo remains open.
Director of Public Safety Gerald Williamson said, “We want the public to know that there is no need whatsoever to panic or jump to conclusions. These temporary measures are simply designed to comply with CDC guidelines, to be proactive in protecting the public, and to maintain all essential city services.” Williamson further stated, “We ask for the public’s patience and understanding as we navigate this uncharted territory.”
Anyone with questions can call the city at 936-634-8881.
As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 17, Angelina County had no CDC confirmed cases of Coronavirus.
As this situation is constantly evolving, please check back for updates and stay tuned to your local news.
You can do your part to help prevent the spread of COVID-19
The city insists that the public observe the following best practices:
• SOCIAL DISTANCING - Limit your chances of exposure by avoiding large, dense crowds. especially if you are a member of the population proven vulnerable to dying from the illness – i.e. the elderly with underlying health conditions and people of any age who have a compromised immune system (like cancer patients for example).
• COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER - If you must go to the doctor and have fever and/or flu-like symptoms, call ahead to ensure that they are aware of your condition. Protecting healthcare staff at the frontlines of illness is paramount during a widespread outbreak.
• COMMUNICATE WITH FIRST RESPONDERS - If you are calling 911 for medical transport and have fever and/or flu-like symptoms you MUST make dispatchers aware of your condition so paramedics can take proper precautions. And when you call, be expected to answer questions regarding your potential exposure to Coronavirus.
A community-spread case was just announced earlier this afternoon in the Houston area – a man in his 40s who had not recently traveled or had known contact with an infected person. Director of Public Safety Gerald Williamson called the development “concerning.”
“When you know a person has been overseas or in close contact with an ill person that is much easier to track, control and provide medical services for,” Williamson said. “Community spread changes that entire dynamic.”
Rest assured; the city is prepared to handle infectious diseases. These protocols are long-established and serve as best practices on a regular day not just in a “pandemic.”
City officials also want to remind the public of additional precautions and guidelines set forth by the CDC.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
• Stay home when you are sick.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
• Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
You can monitor the latest CDC updates at: cdc.gov.
NOTICE OF INTENTION TO ISSUE CITY OF
LUFKIN, TEXAS CERTIFICATES OF OBLIGATION
TAKE NOTICE that the City Council of the City of Lufkin, Texas, shall convene at 5:00 o'clock P.M. on the 5th day of May, 2020, at the City Hall, 300 E. Shepherd, Lufkin, Texas, and, during such meeting, the City Council will consider the passage of one or more ordinances authorizing the issuance of one or more series of certificates of obligation in an amount not to exceed $5,200,000 for the purpose of paying contractual obligations to be incurred for
(1) the construction of public works, to wit:
(a) designing, constructing, improving, renovating and equipping public safety facilities;
(b) designing, constructing, purchasing, improving and equipping municipal park and recreation facilities, including walking trails and one or more public restrooms;
(c) constructing, resurfacing, and improving various streets, roads, pathways and related municipal facilities within the City, including bus stop improvements, lane markings, street drainage, street lights, ADA accessibility, traffic signals, utility extension and relocation, lighting, signage, streetscaping, relocation of fiber optics and landscaping related thereto; and
(d) designing, constructing, acquiring, and improving a pedestrian plaza and one or more public restrooms in the downtown area; and
(2) professional services rendered in connection with such projects and purposes and the financing thereof; such certificates to be payable from ad valorem taxes and a limited pledge of the net revenues of the City's combined Waterworks and Sewer System. In accordance with Texas Local Government Code Section 271.049,
(i) the current principal amount of all of the City's outstanding public securities secured by and payable from ad valorem taxes is $41,345,000;
(ii) the current combined principal and interest required to pay all of the City's outstanding public securities secured by and payable from ad valorem taxes on time and in full is $48,168,611.26;
(iii) the estimated combined principal and interest required to pay the certificates of obligation to be authorized on time and in full is $7,580,000;
(iv) the maximum interest rate for the certificates may not exceed the maximum legal interest rate; and
(v) the maximum maturity date of the certificates to be authorized is August 15, 2040. The certificates are to be issued, and this notice is given, under and pursuant to the provisions of Texas Local Government Code, Subchapter C of Chapter 271.
City of Lufkin, Texas
Lufkin City Council Monthly Meetings
Lufkin City Council meetings are held on the first and third Tuesday of each month.
Check the city's calendar for exact dates
There is a new free tool to help you save money on your water bill.
AquaHawk is a billing Alert System, a service for the City of Lufkin customers that will enable you to efficiently manage your water usage and lower your monthly bills. Customers who are interested in the service must register to create a new account to receive notifications.
After you register, AquaHawk will analyze your water usage with the customer portal and can notify you of the following after you set your alert thresholds.
AquaHawk allows you to specify an amount of water (gallons) or an estimated bill amount (dollars) that you don’t want to exceed. If your water consumption or bill amount has exceeded or is projected to exceed the threshold value, AquaHawk will send you a notification.
You will need your service address and account number, which can be found on your monthly water bill, to create your account. View your water consumption, set a monthly water budget, receive timely leak alerts, and control your expenses with AquaHawk.