The Waxahachie City Council approved a zoning change to create a new facility for the Utilities Department’s field operations division at its Monday night meeting.

To accommodate the building’s size, it will have to use land currently occupied by Hot Well Park, located at the corner of Cliff and Jefferson Streets.

Director of Utilities David Bailey said, over time, the building has developed structural uses such as foundation problems and cracks in the walls. Currently, 16 city employees operate out of the building, which is used to conduct crew training and operations for water and sewer line repairs. The existing facility borders the park.

“We have looked at several options where the small building is now, and that would necessitate taking down some of those rather large pecan trees. We were really not in favor of doing that,” Bailey said. “So we looked at how we could position a new operations building in that lot. That was the outcome to put it in the corner of Cliff and Jefferson."

Bailey stated that the existing field operations building is a repurposed 750-square foot house that was used first by the city’s health department in the 1980’s and later by the Utilities Department in the early 1990’s. The new building will be 6,000 square feet.

“Our intent is to award the contract in December and start construction right after the first of the year,” Bailey noted. “The cost of the project is $775,000, but that depends on what is built on the exterior.”

Bailey said crews will work out of the existing building during construction. Once construction is completed the old building will be demolished.

According to the city’s website, Hot Well Park is a small neighborhood park that is named for the hot mineral wells that existed in the early 1900’s and were visited for their healthful benefits.

“Ideally if we had another vacant lot to put this building in that would be ideal. Because there is not, this lot is a really helpful location for this building and very useful for it,” Scott said. “We are going to try to accommodate a park in a different fashion. “

Scott said the city at this time with the new amphitheater project is going to be putting in a park in downtown and also looking at expanding recreational facilities at the existing Freeman Memorial Plaza area to accommodate the loss.

In other business the council,

• Presented a proclamation proclaiming Oct. 27 as Pink Out Day in the city.

• Approved a specific use permit to allow a unified lot sign for the North Grove Business Park located at 2325 U.S. Highway 77.

• Approved a request to amend the city zoning ordinance by revising the medical facility category creating additional uses and altering definitions.

• Approved a zoning change from a planned development eight general retail zoning district to a planned development general retail with a concept plan located at 301 Stadium Dr.

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