STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
GRANITE SHOALS — In an effort to better communicate with residents regarding road improvements, the newly created Road Bond Education Committee will lead a town hall meeting about Granite Shoals’ road infrastructure project Saturday, July 29.
The event is 9-11 a.m. at the Granite Shoals Fire Hall, 8410 RR 1431 West.
During its July 11 regular meeting, the Granite Shoals City Council approved the creation of the new committee and named former councilman Eric Tanner as the chair.
Other members are Eric Carvajal, Tena Collier, former Mayor Dennis Maier, and Robin DeBerard.
City Manager Ken Nickel said council members want to make sure residents weren’t misled about the road project.
Staff members spent about a year examining the road needs of the city and anticipated receiving a $3.6 million matching grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to go along with a $3 million bond that Granite Shoals voters approved in November 2016. The funds would go to upgrades for Phillips Ranch Road, Valley View, and Prairie Creek.
But after the voters said yes, city officials learned from USDA officials in December that the department could only fund no more than $50,000, not $3.6 million.
As a result, the City Council in February decided to go back to voters in November 2017 to reconfirm they still want to spend $3 million on road improvements. Nickel said staff members, assuming voters will vote yes in November, have been using 2017 to reconfigure how best to use the funds. They still are looking for grant opportunities, he added.
City leaders know the $3 million in bonds won’t cover the work they wanted to accomplish on the three roadways when they believed the USDA would match with $3.6 million.
“The City Council felt it was real important our residents know what $3 million will get us,” Nickel said. “The council created a committee, recently appointed for the purpose of communication to our residents.”
In other business, Nickel shared with the council some residents’ desires to donate specifically to the Deer Management Program, which will begin its second year in November.
Last year, the program required hunters and the city spend $5,000-$6,000. When the committee hosted a town hall meeting in June about the program, several people in attendance asked how they could donate to it.
The council’s response was to ask staff members to accept donations and request donors make it clear the money is for the Deer Management Program. People can make contributions at City Hall during regular business hours. City Hall is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday and located at 2221 N. Phillips Ranch Road.
“We already have $2,000 in expenses, and we haven’t started the program,” Nickel said.
Nickel noted the city has spent $1,000 on targets for a training class led by certified instructors Jason Brady and Todd Holland. The class is 9-11 a.m. Saturday, July 22, at the Granite Shoals Fire Hall. The class costs $15, and spots are limited.
Perspective bow hunters must pass both written and field tests before they are allowed to participate in the Deer Management Program.
The city manager said three individuals who serve on the Wildlife Advisory Committee have reimbursed the city the money spent on the targets.
Sign up for the class by calling City Hall at (830) 598-2424.