GShoals cityhall to remain closed


Due to a small influx of COVID-19 cases in Burnet County, including one new case in Granite Shoals, city officials recommended keeping city offices closed until further notice.

At the Tuesday, June 9 regular council meeting, City Manager Jeff Looney said it would be in the “best interest” of the city and its residents to continue conducting business with the city offices closed to the public until the number of cases of COVID-19 subsides.

He said city officials were doing “quite well” conducting city business with the restrictions in place. City council meetings have been conducted via video teleconference since March 30.

However, Tuesday’s meeting was marred by technical difficulties with the video teleconferencing program.

The city’s financial consultant Robert Traylor experienced connection issues that prevented clear delivery of his updates on the city’s bond sales and expected interest rates. Council members lost connection to the teleconference and cameras malfunctioned, which hindered their ability to vote by raising their hand.

Looney said the problems were not caused by the current city hardware but each individual’s location.

“Mr. Traylor had interference at his office, and Mr. (Jim) Davant and Mr. (Bruce) Jones were at the same location, which caused feedback,” he said in an email statement.

Despite the setbacks, council members agreed that keeping city offices closed and council meetings virtual was the best course of action. Councilman Steve Hougan - a retired medical doctor - said he believes that social distancing has proven effective against the spread of COVID-19.

Looney recommended re-assessing the opening of city offices on a weekly basis.