|Trinity Standard - Local News
Stories Added - May 2010
Copyright 2010 - Polk County Publishing Company
Grant sought for downtown sidewalk repairs
Trinity Standard -
TRINITY – An application for a $150,000 grant to repair additional downtown sidewalks moved forward last week when the Trinity City Council approved a resolution declaring the downtown sidewalks a “blighted area.” During their meeting on Thursday, May 13, Martha Drake of Grant Works asked the council to approve the resolution to help gain points for the grant application. Grant Works, an Austin-based consulting firm, handles the preparation and filing of grant applications for the city. Drake, the wife of interim City Manager Buddy Drake, told the council last week the designation of the area as “blighted” is not a reflection on the buildings in the area. She said that under the grant program, it would mean the sidewalks in question are dangerous to pedestrians and business employees in the area. The city is seeking the grant from the Texas Department of Agriculture’s Texas Capital Fund – Downtown Revitalization Program. It is the same program which funded sidewalk repairs a year ago along Robb Street between Main and Caroline. The $150,000 in grant money would be matched by $45,000 in local funds to cover the cost the sidewalk work. Although the area to be repaired is subject to change by the city council, Drake said they are recommending the city repair the area along the north side of Main street including the half black running west from Robb Street (Highway 19) to the alley which runs behind the Trinity Post Office. Also recommended is the half block on the north side of main which runs east from Robb Street to the alley that runs beside the Curves fitness center. She noted that the eastern section being recommended would include the completion of a wheel chair ramp that was begun under the previous Texas Capital Fund grant. When the council noted there are other areas that also need sidewalk repair, Drake said her firm also is preparing to submit a massive grant request with the Texas Department of Transportation that, if approved, will cover all the downtown area. Also as part of the sidewalk grant, the council approved a public access plan to be used when the sidewalks are being rebuilt. Buddy Drake told the council that the plan calls for pre-construction meetings involving the business owners to answer their questions and concerns. “We’ll be doing what we did last time and this was to demolish and replace the sidewalks in sections so business access wasn’t impeded for long periods of time,” he said. City moves forward on Westwood Shores trash During the meeting, the city council agreed to move forward on the collection of trash in the Westwood Shores subdivision off FM 356 near Trinity. The city had previously agreed to take over the collection of trash in the subdivision using five centrally located dumpsters. The city’s garbage trucks would empty the five dumpsters three times a week for a fee of $1,600 per month. A cost analysis presented last week by Councilman Clegg DeWalt indicted that at best the city could expect to make a profit of about $240 per month and that it would take about 22 months to recover the cost of the five dumpsters. He suggested a fee of $2,000 per month might be better for the city but the council, including DeWalt, voted to proceed under the original plan and to revisit the issue in 90 days. It was felt that by that time, the city would have firm figures on what it was costing to handle the Westwood Shores trash. Other business During the meeting, the council also: • Canvassed and approved the results of the May 8 city election and swore in Mayor Lyle Stubbs, Position 1 Councilman Clegg DeWalt, Position 2 Councilman Wayne Huffman and Position 3 Councilman Chris Dennis. • Stubbs reappointed and the council confirmed Huffman as the mayor pro tem and Howard Kinsel as the city judge. DeWalt also was reappointed as the city’s representative to the Deep East Texas Council of Government’s board. • Appointed Linda Walker and James Hollingsworth to the Blanche K. Werner Public Library Commission. • Awarded a contract to Weisinger Water Wells to clean a screen and repair a pump at the city water wells. Cost of the work is $4,900 and will be paid using money left over from a grant received for other work at the wells. • Voted to make the Trinity City Hall Complex a non-smoking building. The city hall area already was designating as non-smoking but the new measure will include the police station and jail. • Agreed to pay the Trinity Arms Apartments $795 to cover a plumbing bill submitted by John Parker of Trinity. The bill stemmed from a disagreement between the city and the apartment complex over the location of a water leak. Code Enforcement Officer Kenneth Newton had instructed to the apartment management to hire a plumber to find the leak and if it was on a city line, the city would reimburse them the cost. Although the leak was determined to be on a city water line, Huffman objected to paying the entire bill because Newton had instructed the apartment management to have a city worker on site while the plumber was looking for the leak. During the first five house of the eight hour process, the city employee was not present to verify the work.