|Trinity Standard - Local News
Stories Added - April 2010
Copyright 2010 - Polk County Publishing Company
City set to restart road construction
Trinity Standard -
TRINITY – With the arrival of warmer weather, the City of Trinity is set to restart the street repair project begun last year and spend its remaining $350,000 in road funds. During their meeting last week, the Trinity City Council authorized interim City Manager Buddy Drake to obtain price estimates for the work. However, instead of seeking the cost of reworking individual streets, the council wants square foot prices on stabilizing road base as well as for two types of paving – asphalt and a two course chip-and-seal topping. Using these prices, they council can then work out how much each street will cost to repair and decide where to spend the money. During the meeting, Drake initially proposed directly bidding a number of streets for repair, including Israel Otis, Walker, Elizabeth, Rankin, 10th Street and a portion of Caroline. When Councilman Billy Jo Slaughter noted that Stadium Street also should be added to the list, the council backed away from calling for street-by-street bids and moved to obtaining prices for square foot work. Drake’s list also subsequently drew criticism from two citizens, B.J. Coleman and Johnnie Parker, who both objected to North Lakefield Street being omitted. The men indicated when the city held public hearings last year on the road project, they felt the community had been promised North Lakefield would be repaired. They noted the street is not only heavily traveled, it directly serves the Trinity Head Start Center. Mayor Lyle Stubbs assured both men that North Lakefield is still on the city’s repair list and would be addressed. “That’s why the mayor asked to bid this out by the square foot,” Councilman Neal Smith told them. “We can look at each street to see what it will cost, including North Lakefield, and then determine where to spend the money.” After the meeting, it was noted that Drake is still working to obtain additional funds for street repair. Last month he approached the Trinity Economic and Industrial Development Corporation (TEIDC) about having them fund additional street repair work. While that group rejected the request in a 4-3 vote, members of the TEIDC group indicated it would be addressed again. Originally, the city allocated $500,000 for the current street repair program, money obtained last year through the sale of certificates of obligation. Last fall, the city spent $150,000 of the money to repave six streets leaving the $350,000 balance. It was noted the streets selected for repair in the fall were chosen because, with minor exceptions, they did not require repairs to the road base. All of the remaining streets on the city’s repair list will require extensive base repair and will have to be completely torn up to make those repairs. Drake indicated they would be looking at the cost of adding 40 pounds of concrete per square yard of dirt in order to create a stable base before either topping the roads with asphalt or chip-and-seal. Sewer plant problems During the meeting, the council learned one of the paddle wheels used to aerate sewage at the city’s treatment plant off FM 356 broke down and will cost about $60,000 to replace it. Drake told the council that the city is set to receive $513,000 as part of the Hurricane Ike recovery grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Part of the money was already allocated to be used to make repairs to the plant. The city manager said he talked with grant officials and was seeking permission to use the grant money to replace the paddle wheel. “If we get permission, we will pay for the work ourselves and then, when the grant money arrives, we will use it to reimburse the city for the cost,” Drake told the council. The large paddle wheel is used to force the wastewater around a “race track” course as part of the treatment process. Entergy rate drop okayed In other business, the council met with Stan Foley of Entergy and approved a request to change electrical rates within the city. However, instead of asking for a rate increase, Foley said Entergy was seeking to decrease the local cost of power during a four month period from May to August. He explained that the cost of generating power had been reallocated among the five Entergy companies and, as a result, customers in Texas were now due a refund. Entergy will handle the refund by lower the rates over the next four months. He indicated that in May, Trinity customers will save $28 per 1,000 kilowatt hours of power usage. The savings will drop to $21 in June, $16 in July and $15 in August. Other business During the meeting the council also: • Approved a plan under which TEIDC will pay $32,500 plus the cost of some plumbing work to renovate and old 65,000-gallon ground storage tank. The water tank, located on Crestway Street in northern Trinity, has not been used by the city for a number of years and need to be overhauled before it can be put back into service. • Names Linda Ray Patton as the election judge for the May 8 city council/mayor election. • Met with Kenneth Newton, the city’s code enforcement officer, regarding the on going clean-up effort. Newton noted that as soon as weather permits, the Trinity Volunteer Fire Department will assist the city with the removal of a number of abandoned homes marked for demolition.