CITY MANAGER’S REPORT #4
The purpose of this and subsequent reports is to communicate to the citizens of Gunter the major activities that your city government is pursuing and give Gunter residents some background on issues confronting the community.
The City recently experienced a major water main break in an area that we could not isolate effectively from the rest of the water system. This meant that most of the community had a water service interruption for several hours. Furthermore, because the break and subsequent repair work introduced potential contaminants into the water system, we are legally required to issue a “boil water” notice.
I mention this to illustrate the importance of an emergency notice system that your city government uses to notify residents and businesses when these types of incidents occur. The Code Red system automatically calls your home/cell number or numbers when we have a weather emergency or other emergency condition (e.g., water system problem). This is the quickest and most reliable system available to provide this notification. The City pays for our participation and we encourage all residents and businesses to sign up.
How do you do this? Piece of cake. Google “Grayson County”. Click the “Emergency Management” link. You can then either create an account (that lets you actively manage your account) or go directly to the sign-up form. Instructions are simple, and you will receive phone and text messages whenever an emergency (like a major water break and boil water notice) is issued.
We also put this kind of message on the City website and on the City Facebook page but the quickest way you will get the message is through the Code Red system. As we enter our wonderful Texas Spring Storm Season in a couple of months this issue becomes even more important.
WATER SYSTEM UPGRADE
The recent major water line break also illustrates another issue that the City must address. That break at the corner of Preston Glen and North Preston Road should have affected only a small part of the community. However, because we are working with an old system that does not have adequate valving, we are unable to isolate areas within the system. I mention this because we intend to install additional valves over the next several months to at least mitigate this problem.
The downside of this process is that we will have cut off water in various parts of town as we install the new valves. We will do everything we can to notify the affected areas of town prior to conducting the work but it will still create inconveniences. It is something that has to be done, however, since we don’t want to adversely affect the entire community every time, we have a serious water line problem.
In a recent City Manager’s Report, I told you that there would be a public meeting to hear comment(s) on proposed routes for a new alignment of FM 121 from Block Road on the east to FM 121 west of the BNSF rail line. TXDOT re-scheduled that meeting and it will now be held on January 31 at 5:30 p.m. at the Gunter High School. This re-routing would eliminate the double curve on FM 121 east of town and create a new intersection of FM 121 and South Preston Road at the south edge of Gunter. While construction on this project is a couple of years away, it will have major implications for development to the immediate south of the city. Additional details of the public hearing will be posted on the city website as information is available.
Gunter 212 Project
The City is currently negotiating details on a development project immediately south of the Woodlands of Preston. The project involves 180 acres of residential development and 30 acres of commercial/retail/multifamily development. If approved, the project would include 650-725 residential lots, an elementary school site and about 10 acres of open space area, as well as retail/commercial and multifamily development on the North Preston Road frontage. The project is designed to provide housing for first and second time homebuyers in the $225,000 – $300,000 price range. The city currently has virtually no building lots for first time homebuyers. The residential side of the project, if approved, would develop over a 5-7-year time frame, depending on economic conditions.
Please note that our regular city council meeting has been changed to the third Thursday of each month. Agendas for council meetings are always posted on our website.
Following is the schedule of City board and commission meetings:
Economic Development Corporation First Thursday of month, 6:00 p.m. (ISD Admin Building)
Park Board First Thursday of month, 6:30 p.m. (City Hall)
Planning and Zoning Commission Second Thursday of month, 7:00 p.m. (City Hall)
City Council Third Thursday of month, 6:00 p.m. (City Hall)
City Hall hours are M-F, 8 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; closed 12 – 1 for lunch. The City staff observes the same hours as the Gunter ISD for inclement weather closings. If school is not in session the Mayor makes closing decisions on an as-needed basis. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about these or other issues.
January 2, 2019