Sulphur Springs City Council Approves Three 380 Infill Housing Agreement Requests, Final Plat

Approval of three 380 infill housing agreement requests and a final plat by Sulphur Springs City Council Tuesday night will allow for construction of three single family homes and two apartment buildings. The City Council also gave the go ahead for a drainage repair project on Beckham Street and to a proposal for solid waste concrete crushing.

Screen capture from the Feb. 2, 2021 Sulphur Springs City Council meeting, conducted via Zoom and streamed on YouTube for the community to view, with a call in number for public participation.

380 Agreements

The three 380 infill housing agreements approved Tuesday night make eight approved by the council since the infill housing incentive program was adopted in August. The program offers reimbursement was certain city fees such as permitting fees, water and sewer tap fees, and delinquent taxes owed to the city and liens on the property upon completion of a new single family dwelling on certain identified properties within the city limits which utilize existing infrastructure to provide affordable housing.

Tuesday night, the council approved a request from SM Family Holdings for an infill housing agreement for construction at 110 West Ross Street, located in the middle of the block between Ardis and WA Street. The property has $3,181.50 in city tax liens, which the can be reimbursed upon completion of the new home at 110 West Ross Street.

This marks the second month SM Family Holdings has asked for a 380 infill housing agreement. Last month, the applicant was granted an infill housing development agreement for 222 Craig Street and 306 South Moore.

Approval was also granted to Alexander Bent’s request to a 380 infill housing agreement for 212 East California Street and 214 East California Street. The vacant lots, located side by side, are fairly narrow. Bent proposes combining the properties to construct a new home on the property and request requested a building tap fee be reimbursed for the project.

“Are these homes about 12-14 hundred square foot new?” Councilman Oscar Aguilar asked.

“The building envelop on this one is going to be roughly 40 by 60, which includes a garage and a porch area,” Sulphur Springs Community Development Director Tory Niewiadomski noted. “They typically have been around the 14-16 hundred square foot range. I think one of them that we did do last was over 2,000 square feet.”

Gerardo Contreras of Eleven One Homes’ request for a 380 infill housing agreement for a vacant property acquired at 220 Craig Street also was approved. The new house, proposed to be approximately 1,400 square feet, is to be constructed next to the property approved for a 380 agreement last month. Contreras has asked for reimbursement of building and tap fees associated with the project.

“This 380 is an excellent incentive tool for this infill housing to get these lots back on payroll, generate income. I’m really glad to see these on the agenda, and I hope that we are aggressively pushing this to interested parties. And, I hope this continues. I hope this is trend that will continue,” said Councilman Jay Julian.

“We’ve had a lot of interest every month. Obviously, there may be a couple more coming next month again. I get a lot of phone calls from a lot of different people — it’s hard to keep track of sometimes,” Niewiadomski said.

One council member noted that much interest in the program “is a good thing.”

Jewell Subdivision Plat

BGE Inc.’s request for a final plat combining two lots in Jewell Subdivision was granted. The 5.488-acre property is located on the northwest corner of the League and Bell Street intersection, and abuts Rockdale Road. Two three-story apartment buildings that will contain 72 units each and wrap around a house on League Street. A public water line will need t be dedicated to run throughout the property with two connections on League Street, then loop through to Rockdale Road to help with pressure. Booster pumps will be built in to help address potential pressure issues identified by the city’s engineering team, the community development director noted.

Overall site plan for proposed senior apartments to be constructed between League Street and Rockdale Road, with fire line designated in gray.

“Each one of those will have adequate fire suppression,” Niewiadomski told the City Council during their regular meeting, conducted via Zoom and streamed to the public via YouTube.

Sidewalks will be constructed along League Street. A detention pond will be installed in one area for storm water runoff and drainage. Aside from the water line, all utilities on site will be private. Fire hydrants for fire protection will be provided. A utility wire spanning through the property impacted the design, but will not prohibit construction. Parking will be mostly hidden from view behind the complex, which fronts League Street. The complex will essentially make a U shape, looping around the a home on property in front of part of planned construction project.

The Planning and Zoning Commission in January reviewed the request and recommended it for approval, as did city staff who reported it meets all city requirements for that type of construction.

“Staff did indicate that this lot was approved for low income housing tax credits at City Council and the State. This is going to be an age-restricted community for ages 55 and older,” Niewiadomski said, and asked the City Council to also authorize the city manager as part of the approval to execute a community facilities contract for the property for the water line.

Darren Smith with developer MVAH Partners told the P&Z Commissioners last month that the 72 age-restricted units would be funded with low income tax credits from the State of Texas.

Beckham-Lamar Street Drainage Repair

The council agreed to amend the 2019-2023 Capital Improvements Plan for drainage at Beckham at Lamar Streets. The project will involve replacing 850 linear feet of 30-inch storm drain pipe starting at the southwest corner of Pacific Park and continuing to the northwest corner of Pacific Park.

Niewiadomski and City Manager Marc Maxwell explained that city staff responding to reported drainage issues between Lamar and Carter Streets found that the bottom of the existing underground metal corrugated pipe has rotted out. The drainage pipe was installed nearly 25 years ago, one of the first capital improvement projects after Maxwell came to Sulphur Springs.

Due to the serious level of deterioration and the drainage issue’s ties into Pacific Park, the city officials proposed going ahead and replacing the line with a polypropylene line that shouldn’t rot while work is under way in the park. This will move the project up in the CIP plan to address the need and eliminate the need to tear that area out again after Pacific Park improvements are made, which in the long run could provide cost savings as well.

City staff noted a previous drainage issue in the area also required amending the CIP plan. A storm drain under the railroad track near caused street flooding during heavy rains. The runoff was rerouted away from the railroad tracks, with $85,000 from the Summer Paving Program used for the repair.

drainage issue identified and addressed in the area of Pacific Park in 2019

Concrete Crushing Contract

A resolution approving the proposal from TBK Materials LLC to convert solid concrete into recycled millings by crushing it so that it can be used in street and infrastructure development, and authorized the city manager to execute the contract.

The city hired TBK two years ago to crush the solid concrete waste stored at the city stockpile adjacent to the City Wastewater Treatment Plant at a rate of $8.50 per ton. The company crushed 38,713 tons of concrete, at a total cost of $329,060.50. Approximately 45 percent of that crushed stockpile has been used already along with crushed rock obtained a rate of $23.87 per ton. Using the crushed concrete, stored from any city project and brought to the city by contractors like those who rebuild sections of highway, has over the last couple of years saved the City of Sulphur Springs $15.37 per ton, Maxwell explained.

Currently, the city has another stockpile of about 20,000 to 25,000 tons of concrete that needs to be crushed so it can be used as road based when rebuilding city streets. This year, city officials and TBK have negotiated for the pile to be crushed for $8 per ton of concrete, which the city manager pointed out, will save the city $310,000 to $387,000 in material costs.

“We will probably use every bit of this and more on College Street,” Maxwell noted of the planned rebuilding project. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to stockpile enough more that we’ll be able to crush once more before we’re through with College Street.”

The city is not required to go out for competitive bids for the project because the material is a solid waste, but Maxwell said the rate is a competitive bid, which he asked the council to approve due to the overall cost.

Author: Faith Huffman

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