By JUDY SHERIDAN
A high 11th-hour estimate from contractors and unknown maintenance costs were the most recent obstacles to the Aledo City Council moving forward with streetlight upgrades for the Aledo Trail downtown couplet project.
The council meeting is the second in a row where the council has been unable to make a decision on the lighting plan due to insufficient information.
By the end of the June meeting, however, council members had tentatively selected a lighting design recommended by Freese & Nichols and were moving forward to solicit competitive bids on the lights to obtain a better price than the one estimated by the current contractor.
Just before the council meeting, Freese & Nichols received a price from McMahon Contracting that was $2,000 more per fixture/pole assembly than the engineering firm had estimated, Chris Bosco, of Freese & Nichols, reported.
“That’s what drawn us to say, going forward, we should bid this out,” he said, “have our current contractor put in the foundations and conduit, and we bid out the lighting to come in at the end of the project.”
The new bids, as well as maintenance estimates the city is asking Freese & Nichols to provide, could determine whether the couplet is illuminated by upscale antique-look lights or the less costly TxDOT standard.
Bosco presented four different lighting concepts to the council. The options ranged from $83,600 for 14 30-foot-high standard TxDOT fixtures/poles to $133,600 for 17 21-foot decorative fixtures/poles referred to as the Clearfork option.
The TxDOT fixtures, matching those slated for FM Road 1187, were part of the original bid for Aledo Trail.
After some discussion, council members expressed a preference for the engineering firm’s recommended option, a decorative 29-foot fixture/pole assembly priced at $111,600, similar to the standard TxDOT option in the number of poles, mounting height and low glare.
The council was uncomfortable picking an option, however, without knowing the annual maintenance cost to taxpayers, information Bosco had not prepared.
The engineer pointed out that the state would maintain the TxDOT standard, while the city would pay to maintain any of the other options.
“In Fort Worth they acquire a couple extra poles in the event that one gets knocked down,” he said, responding to a maintenance cost question from Councilman Kerby Smith. “That’s one method where you can put back the same style of pole.”
“Most maintenance on these fixtures would be re-lamping, and the biggest cost of that would be the cherry-picker to go out and put the new lamp in,” a lighting designer from the firm offered.
The designer said a new lamp might be required every four to five years, a new ballast every 10 years.
Bosco said Freese & Nichols must have council approval of a design to go forward with bids.
The conflict was resolved with the council voting in favor of proceeding with the preferred option, while the firm researches maintenance costs.
If those costs prove prohibitive, the council could return to the TxDOT option with only a “minor rework” in the design, according to the lighting designer.
The board of the city’s Economic Development Corporation, which is promoting a more attractive look in downtown Aledo, has agreed to provide $81,600 for the decorative fixtures/poles.
County Judge Mark Riley, on hand to answer questions about the county’s contribution to the project, told the council that Aledo would receive no further funds from the Transportation Bond. Commissioners have approved more than $114,000 for Aledo Trail upgrades, he said, including some $87,000 for lighting.
Council presses on despite lack of information
By JUDY SHERIDAN
- Aledo ExtrA
SPRINGTOWN – After finding that a breaker manufactured by a company with a history of issues contributed to a house fire Friday, Parker County Fire Marshal Shawn Scott is urging Parker County residents with Federal Pacific Electric Stab-Lok circuit breakers to call an electrician and get them checked for safety.
Candidates have filed for city, school board elections
Filings for May 10 city and school board elections are now complete. A summary follows:
On the Aledo ISD school board incumbents David Davis, in Place 6, and Hoyt Harris, in Place 7, have both filed for re-election, each drawing one or more opponents. Farida Goderya has filed for Place 6, opposite Davis, and Riley Morrison and Debra Rogers have filed for Place 7, opposite Harris.
East Parker County Calendar of Events
The East Parker County Chamber of Commerce will welcome retired USAF SMSGT Vernon M. Anderson, Jr., senior technical instructor, Bell Helicopter, Integrated Operations Engineering Support Technical Training Department, as the key note speaker for the March 12 luncheon.
The Sunny Side
WILLOW PARK – Peppered with anecdotes from his stellar baseball career, former Texas Rangers catcher Jim Sundberg gave witness to his Christian faith and told how it changed his life before a crowd of about 200 at the recent annual Trinity Christian Academy dinner and fundraiser.
Aledo ISD approves suicide prevention program
The Aledo School Board approved the LifeLines Suicide Prevention Program in February, lining up with a recommendation from the Student Health Advisory Council, which has spent a year reviewing choices.
Aledo ISD could save up to $2 million
Expecting to save close to $2 million, Aledo ISD trustees recently voted to let district staff pull the trigger on a bank-qualified refunding of some of the district’s outstanding bonds once market conditions are optimum.
Don't feed the deer!
HUDSON OAKS — The city council recently passed an ordinance banning the feeding of deer.
Parker County Sheriff's Report Feb. 27-March 2
Burglary of a vehicle
Deputies were dispatched to the 300 block of James Street in Aledo shortly after 6 p.m. regarding the burglary of a vehicle.
ASK A MASTER GARDENER: Is it too early to start a vegetable garden?
Considering our winter temperatures this year, that’s a good question. When it comes to a successful vegetable garden, timing is everything. The goal in Texas is to have most of your vegetable crops mature before the temperatures soar in mid-summer.
EXTENSION NEWS: Getting more zzzs could help you lose some lbs.
We spend about one-third of our lifetime sleeping. Sleep is important for learning and memory. Sleep also helps our immune system to resist illness and disease, increases response times in emergencies, improves our mood and feelings of wellness and gives us the energy we need to be more active and alert.
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