City news

In taking over the mayor’s gavel, Brandon Rein said at the Abilene City Commission’s regular meeting Monday that the outpouring of support he had received had been tremendous.

Rein’s sister, Erika Rein-Mills, died on Jan. 3 and the funeral was held on Friday.

“The past week has been rough,” he said. “It makes me real proud to be your mayor for 2021. I just wanted to say I appreciate that.”

By receiving the most votes in the November 2019 election, Rein was selected to serve as mayor his second year in office as outlined in the city ordinance. He took over the center seat on the commission from Chris Ostermann.

Also on Monday, former mayor Dee Marshall was selected as vice-mayor. She received the second highest number of votes in the city election.


Garfield bonds

After accomplishing what they were intended to do, providing a retailer sales tax exemption for materials used to renovate Garfield, the commission voted 5-0 for the termination and release of site lease.

Bond council Mary Carson, speaking by phone, said the resolution was designed to undo the industrial revenue bond issue that the city did earlier in 2020 for the Garfield project.

“Since they have completed the project, they don’t need to continue to leave that bond structure in place,” she said. “What this does is basically undo that.”

City Manager Jane Foltz said the staff is still working with the Rural Water District No. 2 on a fee increase proposal.

“We are hoping to find a workable solution in the very near future,” she said.

The city of Abilene has been negotiating a fee increase for the water the city sells to the rural water district since 2019.

Foltz said that the Faith Avenue detention pond project for storm water runoff will start next Monday, weather permitting.

She said Dickinson County staff plan on occupying the Abilene Civic Center in March through the end of August.

Monday being the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, the Abilene City Commission will hold a study session on Tuesday, Jan. 19.

Contact Tim Horan at

Contact Tim Horan at

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