City Council meeting of 4.13.21

| April 14, 2021 | Reply

Van Alstyne City Hall entrance, photo by Mary Jane Farmer

By Mary Jane Farmer, Van Alstyne News, Scene In Town

Facing a shorter-than-usual meeting agenda and with two council members not in attendance, the Van Alstyne City Council got quite a lot accomplished at Tuesday night’s regular council meeting. The meeting began at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, with council members Katrina Arsenault, Lee Thomas, Ryan Neal, (creating a quorum) and Mayor Jim Atchison in attendance. Absent were Bruce Dawsey and Marla Butler.

After spending about 40 minutes in executive session with financial advisors from Hilltop Securities, the Council returned to open meetings without making any motions regarding their subjects discussed. These were, according to the agenda, future options for road improvements, park land, and a municipal building.

Consent agenda

CORRECTION: Council also approved a resolution creation to allow for a public hearing for May 11, at the regular City Council meeting, to discuss the annexation of land on the northwest corner of State Highway 5 and Spence Road, commonly called the Spence tract, not for the land on east FM121 at Lincoln Park which has already been annexed into the city.

voluntary/requested annexation of more than 34 acres of land into the city. These two new additions are at East FM 121 and North Lincoln Park Road, and at East FM 121 and about 1500 feet east of Ballpark Way. (Atchison said that land was annexed at the March meeting.)

Regular Agenda

Pacheco Koch Consulting Engineers, Inc., which has been working with the city for a while on plans for the new Central Social District Park, gave an informational presentation to the Council about the various areas of the park. Later, they approved budget increase of $390,000 to build this park, bring the total to $4,421,000. City Manager Lane Jones said, after the meeting, that this additional funding is “to  bridge the gap between the original estimate to build the park and actual cost determined by totaling bids for the individual elements.”

And even later on, the Council approved a Community Development Corporation budget amendment in which Executive Director Rodney Williams said the $100,000 adjustment will go toward the CSD (downtown) park.

After the meeting, Williams said that this was not an increase in the yearly budget, but rather simply adjustments — less spent here and there to arrive at the $100,000. He also said it is meant for lesser-or non-funded items, such as tables and benches for public use.

The Council approved appointments to the Architectural Review Panel for Maria Hickson-Grimmett, Dusty Williams, and Jim DuBois, and then made volunteer Dee Greve a member of the EDC and CDC boards of directors.

The Council allotted the best bid submitted to work on paving and utilities improvement on Marshall Drive from Hopson to Henry Hynds (U.S. 75 service road.)

And lastly, the Council, acting on information provided by the city’s attorney, declined to re-declare a local state of disaster because of COVID-19 virus outbreak.

All votes were unanimous.

 

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