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March 13, 2014

Moving forward

Chandler council agrees with BMC, EDC

Athens — In less than 20 minutes, the Chandler City Council wrapped up months of prep work, and helped the city move forward for the next couple of years.

During Tuesday's regularly-scheduled meeting, council unanimously approved two allocations of Chandler Economic Development Corporation funds, and a separate agreement with the Brownsboro-Murchison-Chandler Youth Foundation.

A public hearing was held by the EDC prior to the council meeting on both allocations. No comments were made during the meeting.

The first allocation is for the work being done at Winchester Park.

“In the summer of 2013, the EDC Board approved $125,000 for one-half the cost of a 7,500 square-foot pavilion at Winchester Park. This project was awarded to the contractor in February.

“However, additional electrical work is required to bring power to the new building,” City Administrator John Taylor said. “In addition, the park board is proposing to host seven non-league tournaments at Winchester, which will bring economic development to the city. But it requires the completion of Field No. 5.”

The allocation of $18,500 will be used at the park for outside-electrical for the pavilion, concrete for field five, dugout covers for field five, dirt work on the field and scoring tables for it.

A second allocation was approved, as the EDC will use $31,400 for changes to the Sawmill Road project.

“In November 2013, the EDC Board approved $145,000 for the Brookshire’s expansion project. In January 2014, $50,451 of this was used to purchase land as part of an agreement with Brookshire’s to acquire ROW for Sawmill Road,”  Taylor said. “The remainder of this money, $94,549, is for the construction of the road.”

Taylor said required changes to the design have caused a need for the approval of additional funds in the amount of $56,690.

“Of this amount, the city utility funds will cover $25,290, and the EDC proposes to expend $31,400. These changes are due to a requirement of TxDOT for additional width of the intersection with State Highway 31 to 36 feet, and the requirement for a storm drain to be constructed to tie into the TxDOT storm drain in SH 31. Additionally, a sidewalk is required on the east side of Sawmill Road,” Taylor said.

An agreement was reached between the city and BMC for the upcoming season.

Taylor said the agreement was good for both sides. Mayor Ann Hall echoed those comments.

“We are hoping that this will be a great thing for everybody,” Hall said. “We want BMC to be very successful. We appreciate them. We like to see that ballpark full.”

“The agreement will go into effect for the 2014 spring/summer season only. The two sides will construct another agreement for fall 2014 and beyond.

“Primarily, the largest issue was due to adding the second concession stand as part of the pavilion,” Hall said. “We wanted to make sure we run the two stands without them competing against one another.  The park board will be the umbrella over the two concession stands. But for right now, BMC is going to run the one the way they have been until the other is built. Then, we will work with them to man both of them, and split profits 50-50. That was the biggest issue to work through.”

The pavilion is expected to be finished by September, but city officials are unsure when it will be operational.

Consideration for allowing the vending of beer/wine at Riverfest 2014 was removed from the agenda due to organizers deciding to go in another direction.

Rick Ford was named the presiding judge for the 2014 city election, while Nelda Horton was named alternate presiding judge.  They were approved to be paid $8.50 per hour.

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