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Trinity Standard - Local News
Stories Added - August 2010
Copyright 2010 - Polk County Publishing Company

Effort to rename street put on hold

Trinity Standard -

TRINITY – A move to rename a Trinity street in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. hit a speed bump last week when supporters withdrew their petition and indicated they planned to start all over again. The group had sought to change the name of Lakefield to Martin Luther King Street but opposition from residents on South Lakefield prompted them to change their plan. During the Aug. 12 meeting of the Trinity City Council, officials were faced with two opposing petitions. All of the residents who reside on North Lakefield as well as a number of other city residents filed a petition seeking the name change. However, all of the residents on South Lakefield presented a petition opposing the name change. Interim City Manager Buddy Drake told the council that while there were only three homes that face South Lakefield, all three of the residents had voiced their wish to keep the name. During their July meeting, the council was set to approve the name change after the first petition was received, but decided to postpone action for study after South Lakefield resident Jean Johnson voiced her opposition. At that time, the council asked Drake to determine how the Lakefield Street residents felt about changing the name of the street. After receiving the petition signed by the three South Lakefield residents, the council was set to rename North Lakefield in honor of King but planned to leave South Lakefield unchanged. Under the plan, the street north of FM 230 (Main Street) would be renamed Martin Luther King Street while south of FM 230 it would be know simply as Lakefield. However, before the council could vote on the measure, supporters of the name change asked that their petition be withdrawn and that the council take no action at this time. Barbara Parker, one of the supporters of the MLK name change, told the council that if they could not have all of Lakefield renamed, they wanted to back off, regroup and find another street to rename in honor of King. “We want to get a street that is worthy of the name of the man we are putting on it. We don’t want a little cutoff,” she said. She said their desire was not to have a street honoring King “just for the Blacks to have” but to find a way to honor a man who sought to improve the lives of everyone. “We probably need to look at a street where there is integration,” she said, adding that Walker Street might be an alternative. She said they would restart the process and present the council with a new petition seeking to change the name of a different street. Another supporter of the name change, Johnnie Parker, told the council that he was upset that two or three people could halt the process. “This is a democracy and the majority is supposed to rule,” he said, adding that it would be almost impossible to get everyone to agree to a change,” he said. “You are setting a precedent with this. No other city has required that you get every resident to approve a change in the street name,:” he said. “This is about a great man who wanted to give people a voice – both poor Blacks and poor Whites – he spoke for them all,” Johnnie Parker added. Grant business During the city council meeting, Drake also reported that the city is set to receive just over $1 million in Phase I, Round II Hurricane Ike recovery funds. He asked that the council hold a special meeting to discuss projects in which the money could be spent. Among the possible uses of the federal funds is a renovation of the Trinity Community Center to add additional restroom as well as shower facilities. While the center already has been used as a storm shelter in the past, such a renovation will allow it to handle people over a longer period in the event of power failures. Also being considered is the purchase of additional equipment for the Trinity Volunteer Fire Department, upgrading the city’s police/fire radio system, and improvements to the city’s sewage treatment plant. Martha Drake of Grant Works, the city’s grant consultant, told the council that the Phase I, Round II funding does not include money for housing improvements but that future Ike recovery funds may have money earmarked for that purpose. In other grant business, the council authorized the city to apply for a $275,000 grant to make water and sewer improvements. The application will be submitted by Oct. 9 as part of the 2011-2012 Texas Community Development Block Grant program.


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