Nothing like some shiny new digs to get the new year started off right.
At Tuesday's meeting, the Willow Park City Council announced a move to a new city hall location in 2023. The city signed a 30-month lease on a new address at 120 El Chico Trail, just off Interstate 20.
The building is being vacated by T.G. Mercer Consulting Services
The lease is effective Jan. 1. City Manager Bryan Grimes said the plan is to be in the new location by February.
The space in the new building is about 8,700 square feet, almost triple the current 3,189 square feet city officials are currently working in, and have been for many years.
"I'm excited. People will have a door on their office so they can carry on private conversations. We'll have council chambers," Willow Park Mayor Doyle Moss said.
"I stopped by one day and saw a sign, looked at it (the building) and got Bryan and Bill (Funderburk, assistant city manager) to look at it," Moss continued. "This will be great for us."
Moss said that while the new location might not be permanent, it will give the city ample time to assess its future city hall plans.
The first phase for improving the city's drainage and streets was approved Tuesday night as the city council voted to accept a bid of $731,035 from Humphrey & Morton Construction Company, Inc. for Phase I.
The schedules for the work consists of improvements to the Pleasant Ridge culvert crossing near El Chico, regrading of an earthen channel from Sam Bass Road to Squaw Creek Road, and improvements in the channel along the eastern city limits flowing to El Chico.
"For years our residents have been struggling with drainage issues," Grimes said. "We're very pleased with the bid. It came in low."
Phase I is expected to take around six months to complete. Bids for the second of the two phases are planned to go out early next year.
Earlier this year, the council voted to approve the issuance of certificates of obligation in an amount not to exceed $4.25 million for this project. The payback will be two-fold, Grimes explained, with the drainage coming from fees the city has been collecting from residents since October of 2021 to fund storm drainage improvements and the street repairs coming from the city's interest and sinking fund (a savings account that, in most instances, requires monthly deposits to be set aside only for payment of debt service.
The drainage fee rates, reflected in the utility bills of residents, are $5.50 per month per 1,500 square feet of living area. For example, 2,000 square feet is $7.32 per month, 2,500 is $9.19 and 3,000 equals $11.
"This is the fruits of those fees," Grimes said.
Certificates of obligation are similar to general obligation bonds, except that they do not require voter approval before they are issued. Certificates of obligation are also guaranteed by the city's taxation power.
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