BY JUDY SHERIDAN
Parker County Commissioners approved a change order for the Aledo Trail couplet project last week, authorizing the removal of a $38,000 concrete block retaining wall designed to protect a huge tree in front of Aledo City Hall from the damaging effects of a change in grade.
Other changes included adding a $14,000 6-inch pipe under drain to channel seeping subsurface water at the couplet’s westbound leg — an unforseen complication — exchanging pavement markings and raising a box inlet to ease slope maintenance.
The combined change order was a cost savings for the county, subtracting $9,900 from the $3.3 million contract.
In describing the tree to commissioners, Freese & Nichols construction manager David Payne called it “a staple within the City of Aledo,” that had been determined to be “unsalvageable.”
“They’ve had several arborists come out and look at it, and they’re saying there’s no need to save it,” he said. “That’s what that block retaining wall was for, to salvage that tree.
“They’re saying we don’t need to do that now, so we’re going to pull that block retaining wall out and save them some amount of money there, and that tree’s basically going to go away ... in time. I mean, it’s not going happen overnight.”
Aledo Public Works Director Gordon Smith said he gave the directive to remove the wall and bring the soil up to the tree’s base after a discussion initiated by project managers.
“It was presented the tree has the possibility of living without the extra measures of an 850-square-foot concrete block wall designed to help mitigate effects,” he emailed.
Smith said Gay Larson, a Parker County master gardener who has worked with the city on several landscape projects, was present during the discussion.
Larson identified the 18-inch diameter tree as a cedar elm, he said, and was the city’s contact for the tree’s history and condition.
“The tree to our knowledge has been on the property prior to City Hall and no special designation has been attached,” Smith said. “It is full of mistletoe with signs of dying in a couple areas.”
Smith said the tree’s condition has remained the same during construction. He said it has been determined that cutting it back and removing the mistletoe might allow it to live longer.
When Aledo Trail was designed, Smith said, engineers were asked to protect the existing trees — many of them oaks — as much as possible.
When eight large trees had to be felled prior to construction, two 4-5-inch diameter “memorial” trees were transplanted to Community Center grounds.
The Aledo Trail Project, which has been stalled due to issues with AT&T lines, should start up again soon, Parker County Public Information Officer Joel Kertok said.
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.
- More Aledo ExtrA Headlines
- Breaker, breaker!