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
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.
VETERANS’ CORNER: Soldiers, families warned about latest Internet scam
The Army’s Criminal Investigation Command is warning about a new website scam in which criminals are attempting to take advantage of soldiers and their families.
Count of area homeless youth begins Monday
ACH Child and Family Services, Tarrant County Homeless Coalition, Crossroads Youth Ministries of Parker County and University of Texas-Arlington are conducting the first ever youth count in Tarrant and Parker counties for unaccompanied youth, ages 13-24, in unstable living arrangements (i.e., shelters, streets, couch surfing).
CASA seeks 100 new advocates to represent children in CPS care
In Spanish, casa means home, but for thousands of abused and neglected children, it’s an acronym that has even more meaning – it’s the hope of finally finding a safe, permanent home where they can thrive.
Spivack to speak at PCRW event
Parker County Republican Women will have Loren Spivack as the March 13 luncheon meeting guest speaker.
State education board candidates in runoff
Tuesday’s voting tallies signified an extremely tight race for State Board of Education District 11 candidates in the Republican primary.
Renfro in runoff for job he didn’t want
Precinct 4 Commissioner Dusty Renfro, who unexpectedly scored 1,213 votes in Tuesday’s Republican Primary while campaigning for an opponent, is still trying to lose his job on the Parker County Commissioners’ Court.
Area council, school board filings
Filings for school board and city council elections in May ended last Friday. Here are the filings for area city council seats open in May:
ALEDO – Patricia Weckel, 60, died Tuesday, March 4, 2014, surrounded by family at her home in Aledo.
- More Aledo ExtrA Headlines
- ASK A MASTER GARDENER: Is it too early to start a vegetable garden?