By Judy Sheridan
Aledo City Council members found themselves very much in the dark Thursday night as they sought answers to questions about the street lighting plans for the Aledo Trail couplet.
In the end, they emerged with a solution and a schedule, but they may have accepted a short delay.
Chris Bosco, of Freese & Nichols, the firm managing the construction of Aledo Trail for Parker County, asked the council to approve an engineering design for the project’s street lights, so the contractor could order the light poles, which have a long lead time.
As the council examined the design, however, they discovered they needed a lot more information.
The number of lights (10) and their spacing had been estimated — not analyzed — as well as the 30-foot height of the poles. There were no lights for the westbound turnaround lane on the north side, Mayor Pro Tem Bill McLeRoy noted, and no coordination with another Freese & Nichols team contracted last month to plan the couplet’s interior.
New Councilwoman Kim Hiebert noted a spot where a light pole with two arms and two lights might work better than a pole with one.
“If we don’t know if we want 20-foot or 30-foot poles because we don’t have a lighting study yet, how can we approve anything,” Councilwoman Jean Bailey asked.
“Can we just authorize the lighting study to determine how many lights and how high the lights are,” Councilman Kerby Smith asked.
Mayor Kit Marshall asked Bosco if going ahead with the design and waiting on ordering the poles would be a catastrophe.
“No, the end result is, it may delay us a month on the back end,” he said. “They’d be able to do the foundation, and when the poles came they’d assemble them.”
Marshall said she was disappointed in the project’s contractor because “he didn’t have his stuff together.”
“This council is accustomed to making wise decisions with finite money based on data and information that helps them make the best decisions,” she said. “This information has been out there.”
When Marshall asked about a lighting plan for the interior of the couplet, Bosco said he assumed he was only looking at lighting the roadways.
City Administrator Ken Pfeifer, however, said the council had approved a contract with Freese & Nichols for the interior, too.
“Whatever’s done here on the lighting covers both the street and the interior,” he said.
After some discussion about schedule, the council approved spending $18,200 for the lighting study, stipulating a 15-day turnaround followed by council and Economic Development Corporation approval.
Freese and Nichols must then produce plans for the contractor within another 15 days, according to the motion.
The study will consider the glare factor as it might affect the Union Pacific Railroad, per the concerns of Public Works Director Gordon Smith, and both teams from Freese & Nichols must coordinate with each other as the plan progresses.
Regarding the added cost, Freese & Nichols will amend their contract with the county, Bosco said, and the county and city will enter into an interlocal agreement.
In other action the council:
• Approved the annexation of 12 acres of land south of town for the proposed Brookhollow subdivision.
• Reappointed Bill McLeRoy as Mayor Pro Tem.
• Decided to meet Tuesday, May 28, at 7 p.m. to consider a road closure related to First Friday, June 7.
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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