In its first meeting at the new city hall, the Willow Park City Council discussed another possible future home for the city’s police department.
At the request of Mayor Pro-Tem Lea Young, council voted to form a committee to look into the creation of a new police station should a new facility be required — depending on actions and decisions made by Parker County Emergency Services District 1 (ESD1). Currently, the city has no plans, design, or conceptional drawings for a standalone police station.
In November Willow Park residents voted to have their fire station annexed by ESD1. The process of that annexation is underway, but what does that mean for the police department?
The police department currently shares the Public Services Building with the fire department, but ESD1 may purchase the building and make it solely a fire station. If that happens, the PD will have to find a new home.
ESD1 was meeting at press time to discuss the possible purchase of the Public Safety Building.
“I feel like the committee should assess the needs of the police department,” Young said, referencing more than the current situation. “What is it the police department needs for the long term?”
Mayor Doyle Moss said of the committee, “I’d love to chair it.”
Also, Place 1 Council Member Eric Contreras asked to be considered as a member of the committee.
New digs don't come cheap, but there's little debating city officials needed a new home — which they now have. In fact, before Tuesday's meeting, an open house was held and residents had an opportunity to tour the facility at 120 El Chico, which is almost three times as large as previous location on Ranch House Road.
In response to a request from some members of the council, City Manager Bryan Grimes provided an update on the un-budgeted expenses connected to the move, which took place in mid-January.
“We didn’t foresee this when we put the budget together last summer,” Grimes said.
The total un-budgeted expenses connected with the move come to around $205,000.
To pay for this, Grimes recommended adjusting the budgeted sales tax projection for this fiscal year from $1.72 million to around $2 million. Currently, the city has raised almost $950,000 in sales tax, which projects to around $2.28 million, an increase of more than a half million dollars over the original projection.
Grimes noted that moving expenses will come to around $50,000.
Per the rental agreement that was authorized by council in November 2022, the city’s rental expenses are approximately $17,000 per month. Grimes added that it is important to note that the $17,000 per month includes base rent ($11,620), building expenses, utility expenses, and other associated costs such as water consumption. Therefore, some of the costs included in the $17,000 have been budgeted to a certain extent.
For example, electricity costs had been budgeted for the building on Ranch House Road. While there are still expenses at Ranch House, Grimes stressed it is anticipated that the impact will be nominal and should not have a significant impact on the budget.
Here is a breakdown summary of un-budgeted expenses:
The City of Willow Park continues to move toward the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant and pipeline and the subject of an agenda highlight Tuesday.
The wastewater plant plans and specs have been reviewed by the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). The TCEQ has approved the documents and the TWDB had some comments, which city officials have addressed and they will now resubmit the plans and specs.
Derek Turner, engineer with Jacob & Martin, said the expectation is to have final approval to bid the project within 45 days, though he added "We talked to the water board and they said they expect about a 30-day turnaround."
The project will bid for five weeks and a construction contract could be issued within 60 days of the bid opening, barring any unforeseen issues.
"If they hold to their time frame we'd be looking at early April," Turner said of when bids can start to be accepted. “The review is what’s been the holdup.”
Construction time is expected to be 365 days, which results in an anticipated completion date in mid-July 2024. The lease of the existing wastewater plant will expire in August 2024.
The proposed location of the new plant is north of Interstate 20 near Crown Point Boulevard, not far from the site where Willow Park Baptist Church just opened a new church. It’s only a few hundred yards from the current location on the north end of the new Crown Point Development.
The city and WPBC agreed to a land swap, with the church getting property where the current treatment plant sits for development.
Turner also delivered an update on the city's drainage project, with the first phase under contract and now scheduled to begin on April 1 due to delivery time of materials.
"Culverts, in particular, are significantly delayed," Turner said.
Some drainage improvements that were part of the overall project are already underway and being completed as part of the street reconstruction, most notably, the culvert for Squaw Creek under Sam Bass.
This phase includes:
Michelle Guelker of the city's public works department gave an update on the use of Fort Worth water.
Guelker reported the pump station building is almost complete, with only some electrical work (lighting and outlets) still needing to be installed.
The pumps for Willow Park have been set and aligned. Rotation testing will be done once Hudson Oaks pumps are also set and aligned.
The sewer line from the pump station is installed and officials said they expect it to reopen this week.
The ground storage tank build is complete and pressure testing of the tank has been completed. Bacteriological sampling of the tanks still needs to be completed.
Supervisory control and data acquisition controls have been installed and need to be activated once the plant is ready to go online.
The pipeline from the pump station to Hudson Oaks still needs to be pressure tested and bacteriological sampled before being put online.
Recently hired City Engineer Gretchen Vasquez gave an update on street projects, including an updated schedule.
Crown Road Phase 1 completion plans are for early April. The contractor has stated that they will work internally and push to meet the original completion dates for all phases. The date of completion of all work is Nov. 19.
Temporary mailboxes have been installed along Crown Road. As for traffic, additional signage (wrong way signs) have been northbound with police presence to enforce the signage.
AT&T relocated several of their utility boxes outside the edge of the proposed concrete pavement.
Trinity Court, Trinity Drive, and Sam Bass Court: The contractor will begin working on Trinity Court, Trinity Drive, and Sam Bass Court in the coming weeks.
The council voted to opt in and become part of the settlements reached by the Texas Attorney General with Allergan, CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart, authorizing Grimes to execute all documentation necessary to participate in the settlements.
The Office of the Texas Attorney General announced proposed settlements have been reached with Allergan, CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart with Allergan paying $135 million, CVS paying $304 million, Walgreens paying $340 million, and Walmart paying $170 million to Texas and its political subdivisions. Of the settlement amount, the vast majority is earmarked for use by Texas and its political subdivisions to remediate and abate the impacts of the opioid crisis. The actual amount that Texas and the political subdivisions will receive will depend upon the participation of cities, counties, and other political subdivisions of the state.
City Attorney Pat Chesser said such paperwork has been filled out a couple times before, noting “We haven’t gotten any money yet.”
Chesser added, “I think there’s a continued effort by the attorney general’s office to bring justice for opioid abuse.”
Chesser said he estimates that, should the city receive any money from the settlements, it would be a little more than $25,000. Perhaps more important, it would give them the opportunity to participate in grant programs in the region totaling more than $50 million.
The evening began with a proclamation for Pastor Jon Sherman, Trinity Bible Church, who is retiring from being lead pastor after having served the church since 1999. He will remain with the church as pastor emeritus. Moss read the proclamation to the crowd and council, which gave roaring applause.
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