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Parking Ordinance, Grant Writer For Senior Center On Dec. 7 Council Agenda

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Sulphur Springs City Hall
Sulphur Springs Municipal Building (City Hall)

If you have something to say about parking on East Shannon Road, from Broadway Street to Mockingbird Lane, Tuesday night is the time to voice it. Ordinance No. 2794, which would prohibit vehicles from parking on the south side of East Shannon Road along that block, and selection of a company to compose a grant application which would provide additional funding for the Senior Citizens Center to be built on Oak Avenue are among the items Sulphur Springs City Council will be asked to approve at the 7 p.m. meeting Dec. 7.

Administration of the oath of office to two new appointed city employees, an appraisal district appointment, opioid abatement fund council and settlement participation, plat request, several 380 requests and an amendment to the 380 policy, and an agricultural land lease contract are also on the p.m. agenda. An executive session regarding a potential economic development project is also slated for the City Council Tuesday evening.

Shannon Road Parking Ordinance

According to Sulphur Springs Police Chief Jason Ricketson, the proposed parking ordinance would only prohibit parking on the south side of East Shannon Road, as a safety measure. Vehicles, including passing truck drivers, would still be allowed to park on the north side of the road.

The city ordinance was to prevent parking between driveways and properties obstructs the view of the road way by motorists attempting to exit business driveways. If the vehicle is large enough, motorists passing on East Shannon Road also are unable to see vehicles that are attempting to enter the south service road from a restaurant parking lot. The causes frequent near misses and has resulted in a a few collisions along that stretch of the south service road.

A proposed parking ordinance would allow parking on the north side (left) but prohibit it on the south side (right) of East Shannon Road.

The ordinance would apply only to vehicles that are parked and left on the south side of East Shannon Road. This would not apply to a long line of vehicles which spanned onto the service road from the drive-thru lane at a restaurant. Those vehicles are not parked. For instance, if 10-20 families all decided to grab take-out after a school or community function that ended at or after 10 p.m., the line would be long and likely would continue out of the burger business parking lot onto East Shannon Road; that would not violate the ordinance as the vehicles are frequently moving up one place in line, with all occupants still in their vehicles. The ordinance applies when the vehicle is parked on the south side of East Shannon Road and the driver and/or occupants exit and leave it for any period of time.

A violation of Ordinance No. 2794, as proposed, would be a Class C misdemeanor offense, punishable with a fine of up to $500. If approved on second reading Tuesday evening.

Click here to view the proposed draft of the East Shannon Road parking ordinance.

380, Economic Development Projects

Although the regular City Council meeting isn’t scheduled to begin until 7 p.m. Dec. 7, the council members are slated to report at 6:30 p.m. for an executive session to discuss a proposed economic development project, identified only as Project Superman. Should the City Council decide to act any proposals for Project Superman, any voting would be conducted during the regular open portion of the meeting which starts at 7 p.m.

Also on the Dec. 7 agenda is a resolution to amend the city’s 380 policy. The 380 agreement allows cities to offer certain incentives such as the city’s infill housing policy, which prioritizes and promotes infill development on vacant and underutilized lots within the City utilizing existing infrastructure to increase the tax base and enhance established neighborhoods with new improvements. 

As part of the Dec. 7 consent agenda, the City Council will be asked to consider approving five 380 agreements. Several infill housing agreements were requested this month. (The consent agenda also includes minutes from two past City Council meetings as well as the Sept. 20 Downtown Revitalization Board meeting and Sept. 27 Economic Development Corporation meeting.)

To view the City of Sulphur Springs’ Infill Housing Development (380) policy, click here.

Senior Citizens Center

The City Council too is expected to be presented with proposals submitted through Nov. 30 for grant administration services for Texas Community Resiliency Program grant application to be submitted to Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. If approved, the grant would allow the City of Sulphur Springs to not only enlarge the new Senior Citizens Center building to be constructed on 301 Oak Ave. but, if fully funded at the requested amount, would include all wish list items for the new facility, according to Sulphur Springs City Manager Marc Maxwell.

Senior Citizens Center sign

City staff is expected to make a recommendation from the submissions for a grant writer for the Council to approve. During a special meeting last month, the City Council approved a resolution amending the city’s contract with REES for expansion of base services to the contract for the Senior Citizens Center project. The architectural firm is already working to adapt the design for the new Senior Citizens Center, making it bigger than originally planned due to available funding for the project and including other items requested for the facility as well. The grant, Maxwell said, “would allow us to do all of the wish list.” As proposed, the new facility would be a 8,000-plus square foot activity building for senior citizens’ activities, events, educational opportunities, and would house the Meal A Day program.

The City has $1.4 million to contribute and anticipates asking for $500,000 to $900,000 in grant funds to complete the project. The deadline to submit an application is 5 p.m. Jan. 19, 2022, with estimated award announcements to be made March 10, 2022 and estimated grant contracts starting March 15, 2022.ation has to be in by Jan. 19, 2022.

The project has been delayed several months due to the high cost of materials, which would put the cost of the project over the original budget for the facility.

Other Agenda Items

Nate Smith

Also on the 7 p.m. Council agenda is the administration of the oath of office to Nate Smith, who was officially appointed last month and is scheduled to take over duties as City Manager starting tomorrow from longtime city attorney Jim McLeroy, who is retiring this month. A retirement reception is planned for McLeroy Dec. 29 at The Venue.

Natalie Darrow

The oath of office will also be administered to Natalie Darrow, who will become city secretary. Gale Roberts is slated to remain on as assistant secretary through the end of the year, when she retires at the end of the year. Darrow has also been officially appointed and training with Roberts for a few months to take over the duties.

Resolutions are proposed to appoint a person to represent the city on Hopkins County Appraisal District Board of Directors and for the city to participate in Texas Opioid Abatement Fund Council and Settlement.

A plat request has been made by Ramachandra Yennam to plat a 9.31-acre property at the end of Live Oak, Cadi Lane and Marianne Circle into 39 single family lots.

To be considered is a contract lease/license for an agricultural land lease at Thermo Mine Site A.

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Author: Faith Huffman

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