By JUDY SHERIDAN
Citing safety concerns associated with low water levels, Parker County commissioners voted Tuesday to temporarily close a boat ramp and dock on the Brazos River, just north of the Tin Top Bridge.
The motion authorized Precinct No. 3, headed by Commissioner Larry Walden, to post signs and take other actions to keep traffic from entering the launch area from Old Tin Top Road.
Currently, the low water levels have created a large invisible drop off at the end of the concrete ramp, Walden said. Boat trailers can drop off the ramp and are then unable to get back on.
“In its current condition the boat ramp is a hazard,” Walden told the court. “It needs some work to make it usable.”
Walden said it wasn’t feasible to pour more concrete, but talked about extending the ramp with oversized rock. He also reported that the dock, with three legs, was in poor condition.
Judge Mark Riley said the launch area, picked up by the county when the state abandoned it, has been an issue over the years.
The last time the county considered closing it, he said, Texas Parks & Wildlife agreed to put money into it.
“Is anybody trying to use it at all?” Riley asked.
“I see trailers in that parking lot, so there are still people launching from there,” County Attorney John Forrest said.
Walden said the ramp would remain closed until a solution to the problem is found, which could mean waiting until the water level returns to normal.
Forrest was also asked to check into the prior agreement with Texas Parks & Wildlife.
In other action commissioners:
• Approved the construction of the East Dry Creek Road Bridge in Precinct 2, using $52,500 in discretionary funds from the Transportation Bond. The only bidder was Harris Welding & Construction.
• Approved the appointment of Kenneth Lombardo — at no cost — as reserve deputy constable for Precinct No. 4. Lombardo retired from the Lewisville Police Department as a lieutenant and has served in the Navy, Precinct No. 4 Constable Scott Jones said.
• Approved Thanksgiving weekend as a date for lighting the county Christmas Tree and a program kicking off the Christmas season.
• Authorized the judge to execute the Byrd Brothers Emergency Services LLC contract awarded as the primary contract for RFP PC12-09 disaster debris removal, reduction, disposal and other emergency services.
The contract has to do with counties using a uniform process when hiring outside vendors during a disaster, Riley said. He said it is required by FEMA to access relief money if the county qualifies as being on the threshold of a disaster.
• Approved a $7,177 change order for storm drainage for Aledo Trail, increasing the project cost to $3,297,480. The contract will allow contractors to push 50 linear feet of 18-inch reinforced concrete pipe through an existing 27-inch RCP crossing — in poor condition — under the railroad tracks. The change is not expected to delay the project, now scheduled for completion Feb. 20.
• Authorized Transsystems to proceed with the county’s last offer on a parcel of land related to the reconstruction and widening of Old Brock Road, a transportation bond project. The motion specifies that imminent domain proceedings begin if the offer is not accepted within the next two weeks.