The Waxahachie city council approved the future construction of two new roads near the land for the new Waxahachie ISD high school on Monday.
The council voted to include the roads into its thoroughfare plan. The roads would start at Farm-to-Market Road 664 and go west, and then a second road would connect U.S. Highway 287 Business and U.S. 287 Bypass. Voters passed a bond referendum on May 9 to build a new high school in that area.
“Since the last time we met, they passed $125 million bond. They plan on placing a 450,000-square-foot high school and possibly more schools at that site. Nonetheless, there will be (about) 300 acres worth of development in that area,” said Clyde Melick, the city’s planning director. “We do have Kimley-Horn (an engineering firm) doing a small area study in this area. But in the mean time, we felt the need to amend our thoroughfare plan. Currently, we don’t have any circulation routes in this area.”
City manager Paul Stevens said the new roads would provide a needed connection to the developing area. Stevens added that if a subdivision in the future were to develop out there, the two new roads would be the main access road.
The city council also canvassed and accepted the votes from the city council election that was held on May 9. City attorney Steve Chapman then swore in incumbents members Chuck Beatty and Mary Lou Shipley for a new two-year term.
“I am elated that the people had enough confidence in me to re-elect me to the position and I am humbled, of course,” Beatty said. “I am pleased to be able to give something back to the community.”
Shipley shared Beatty’s thoughts about getting another chance to serve the community. This will be Shipley’s first full term to the council after being elected to serve the remaining year of term from the late Buck Jordan who passed away while in office.
“I am really pleased to be able to serve again. I feel like I learned a lot this past year and I hope to make a better contribution the next two years,” Shipley said. “It is an honor and a privilege to be elected by the public. I am certainly going to do everything I can to fulfill that responsibility.”
The council then voted to reorganize the council. Mayor Kevin Strength was voted again by the council to serve as mayor.
“I am very excited about being voted in as mayor. I am really proud of the position and I take it seriously. It is a fun job. It is a taxing job. It is very fun. We have great people in this town and I enjoy serving them,” Strength said. “I really think that the city is growing and we are making the right moves as a city. I think that people are excited. The school district is making good moves. Our retail is coming back. The hospital is doing well. The highway is getting a new make over. So I am very excited. We are going no where but up.”
The council vote to name Mark Singleton as Mayor Pro Tem again, which is the office he currently serves in. Singleton said he sees a bright future for the city and he is proud to serve the public.
“It is an honor,” Singleton said. “I thank God for the blessings that we have received.”
The council then heard from Bryan Johnson who presented a request from Optimist Pool officials for pool maintenance and associated budget adjustments.
“We are here on behalf of the Optimist swimming pool. We are about to start the pool back up. We all got in and started to get things ready. We have some maintenance stuff that needs to happen to the pool. We have some money to put with it, about $11,000 - $12,000, but that is going to tap us pretty hard with the setup and everything that we have. What we are asking for is about $12,000 of help,” Johnson said. “We already have the contractors in place and ready to do it. All we are asking to do is to re-plaster the pool and fix the coating all around the pool. There are some soft spots on it. It is just wear and tear over the years. This is something that instead of having to paint it every year it is going to be a lot better fix.”
The city gives $15,000 a year to help with its operations and it is a really a great benefit to residents, Stevens added. If the repairs are not done, the pool might not be able to open, Stevens said. The council approved the request made by Johnson.
In other business the council
• Approved a request by Glenn Thurman, Inc. for a specific use permit for a temporary batch plant to be used in the construction of The Cove phase one.
• Approved a request from Glenn Thurman, Inc. for a specific use permit for a temporary batch plant for the construction of Settlers Glen phase three.
• Approved a request made by Hunt Properties, Inc. for a site plan for a retail building located at the corner of Country Meadows and Highway 77.
• Approved a resolution for request made by Atmos Energy for a rate case request. Through this request residents will see an increase in their monthly bill of around $0.36 per month.
• Approved an ordinance closing a 25 foot unimproved alley located on Brown Street.