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
Suspicious house fire under investigation
The Weatherford fire marshal says a fire that damaged a house and killed two puppies Wednesday night is being investigated as a suspicious fire and a suspect is in jail on unrelated charges.
Parker County Attorney John Forrest will ask county commissioners for additional funds as county budget discussions begin this year; he hopes to hire another attorney to help with an increase in Child Protective Services cases.
Firefighter arrested on child sex assault charges
A volunteer Hudson Oaks firefighter is in the Parker County Jail on charges he repeatedly sexually assaulted two young relatives over a several year period.
Richard Frederick Adams Sr., 62, arrested Monday, faces two charges of continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14, a first-degree felony.
Developer withdraws site plan
ANNETTA —A controversial 34-home subdivision proposed for a 41-acre tract on Duncan Road will not go forward as planned, according to action taken by both the proposed developer and the Annetta Town Council after a public hearing Thursday night.
Aledo City Council to meet July 24
The Aledo City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 24, in the Aledo Community Center, 104 Robinson Court, Aledo.
Fires damage business, home
Two separate fires around 2 p.m. July 15 damaged a Willow Park business and destroyed the home of a Weatherford family.
Letter to the Editor
Thursday night, July 17, I was present for a surprisingly interesting experience when State Representative candidate Matthew Britt addressed a small group of supporters, followed by a question and answer session.
ESD 1, Annetta South close on fire station site
Parker County Emergency Services District No. 1 and Annetta South officials said Tuesday that the ESD is homing in on a site for a new fire station to serve residents in the Annettas and surrounding areas. Annetta South is expected to consider a zoning change to accommodate a new station next month.
Registration has begun for Aledo ISD
Aledo ISD enrollment for the 2014-15 school year began yesterday, July 21, and students new to the district need to register before school begins, Monday, Aug. 25.
County scrambling to fill elections post
Former Parker County Assistant Elections Administrator Laura Watkins, who sought, but was not appointed to the post of Parker County Elections Administrator after Robert Parten retired, last week began work as assistant elections administrator for Palo Pinto County, Palo Pinto County Elections Administrator Judith Evans has confirmed.
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