— By BRIAN SMITH
Weatherford City Council members approved way-finding signs around the downtown and major corridor areas during Tuesday night’s meeting.
Two years ago, city staff presented council with an idea of having a way-finding program used by several Texas cities, including Burleson, Granbury and Fort Worth, according to Director of Capital Transportation Projects Terry Hughes.
Under the program, a private sign company would be able to place specific-type signs on city rights-of-way and then rent spaces to individual businesses. The company would then pay the city a percentage of the income for the use of the right-of-way.
Council agreed to the five-year contract with Baker Clearview Operating LLC, which did signs for the city during the recently completed South Main Street construction projects. All 10 downtown sign locations and all 35 major corridor locations, primarily along Main Street and U.S. Highway 180, have been approved by the city.
According to a staff report, monthly rent for the signs is $50 for a 10-inch by 42.5-inch panel and $75 for a 20-inch by 42.5-inch panel. Two different styles of panels are planned with the downtown area one being more rustic.
The city then gets back 20 percent of the funds plus up to 20 percent of all signage will be directed to municipal locations. The contract is automatically extended unless terminated in writing.
In other activity during the hour-long meeting:
• After many months of study and work, council members gave approval to the Downtown Action Plan.
Two meetings were held last year to get public and business owner input on exactly what they would like to see downtown over the next several years. Work on the plan has already begun with the approval of updated construction codes, and installation of wayfinding signs around the city.
• Approval was granted for library staff to apply for a TexTreasures grant to continue work on the Preserving and Expanding Access to Culture and History project.
For the past three years, the Weatherford Public Library has been awarded $40,000 in funding through a library cooperation grant offered by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, which is limited to three years and expires in August. TSLAC also offers the TexTreasures grant, worth $25,000, which is specifically designed to be used for digitization of historical materials.
The grant, which would fund the program from Sept. 1 through Aug. 31, 2015, will continue to allow Weatherford and Parker County citizens easy access to fragile historical resources that would not otherwise be available to the general public. Director of Library Services Dale Fleeger said the library is looking to make up the $15,000 shortfall in the two grants through private donations to be able to keep both employees working on the project.
• Council members also accepted the donation of the right-of-way from Parker County on the Ric Williamson Memorial Highway project.
On June 8, 2009, Parker County Commissioners approved a resolution to donate the Western Loop to the city. Deeds for phase one of the loop, from FM 51 to I-20, were presented on April 12, 2011. Commissioners approved the transfer of the remaining right-of-way deeds to the city during their meeting two weeks ago.