Granite Shoals interviews top candidates for city manager

STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO

Granite Shoals City HallGRANITE SHOALS — The Granite Shoals City Council took its first step toward hiring a permanent city manager July 5 by interviewing three of the top four candidates during an executive session.

Interim City Manager Marvin Townsend said city staff received 18 applications for the position left open when Ken Nickel resigned Feb. 27.

The fourth candidate will interview July 17.

“The first group was well-qualified,” Townsend said. “They had good city management experience and Texas (government) experience. We’ve done checking, internet searches, and talking to people who know them.”

Townsend speculated council members will not interview more than eight applicants. He sat in executive session during the interviews but didn’t offer candidate names, citing a desire to protect their privacy, or speculate on how the interviews went.

“Generally, I think the candidates were well-received,” he said, adding that council members will talk about the candidates during the next meeting.

Council members also received an update on the construction on Phillips Ranch Road, Prairie Creek Road, and Valley View Lane.

Assistant City Manager Peggy Smith said the council was told city staff will make a recommendation for contract for phase 2 of the project during its regular meeting July 10. That meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the council chambers at City Hall, 2221 N. Phillips Ranch Road.

The council approved awarding the phase 1 contract to Pro Dirt Services of Austin. Staff sent the contract to the company right before the Fourth of July holiday, so Smith anticipates receiving a signed copy in the next few days.

Phase 1 is reconstruction of Phillips Ranch Road, which is thought of as the city’s main street. It includes tearing up the road to add 10 inches of base course designed to take the impact of heavy loading and use and 2 inches of asphalt overlay.

“There’s not a lot of good base left on that road,” Smith said. “This reconstruction is to better handle the traffic.”

City Hall is currently accepting bids for phase 1 of the multipurpose sports facility to be located next to Roddick Tennis Center located at Quarry Parks. Smith said the city needs a company to check the integrity of the support beams, roof, and other portions of the building, which is all in phase 1.

“We have youth involved,” she said. “The structure’s integrity is primary.”

On March 23, 2017, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department awarded the city a $500,000 matching grant to help create two soccer fields for 14-and-under players, two volleyball courts, two basketball courts, three batting cages, one shuffleboard court, and one pickleball court. The courts will be located in the middle building between Roddick Tennis Center and the smaller tennis courts near City Hall.

While the city has three years to build the multipurpose sports facility, Smith said she doesn’t want to wait any longer to get the process started.

Bids are due by 3 p.m. Thursday, July 12.

The area also needs a restroom, Townsend said, noting the one that’s there can’t be updated because of the age of the septic tank.

Townsend also said he has been in contact with the Roddick family regarding the addition of future tennis courts at the center.

“The Roddicks have been very helpful for the work that’s been done,” he said. “They’ve given a lot of support.

Because of the land lease agreement between the city and the Roddicks, the foundation has first option on adding courts. Those courts, Townsend said, would be in the area between the covered regulation tennis courts and the two covered quick-start courts on the opposite side.

According to the Roddick Youth Tennis website, 16 regulation courts are planned.

jfierro@thepicayune.com

One Response to “Granite Shoals interviews top candidates for city manager”

  1. Dennis McCoy says:

    The “Roddick Tennis Courts” are Roddick only in name. They backed out and turned it over to a associated group known as “Outreach”. There has been absolutely no progress in construction of more courts and time lines for certain milestones have not been facilitated. N addition to this poor performance without consequences, none of the TP&W $500,000 grant funds will go toward youth and sports facilities in the local neighborhoods more directly accessing the families with youth. Poor planning resulted in no restrooms nor water access facilities for any of the sports related facilities and items in either the “Roddick” portion nor the TP&W grant portion of the specific areas. These matters will add many thousands of dollars in costs and maintenance to these poorly planned projects from tax-payer pockets and must be added to the already growing budget for now and for future years. This small town hase raised it’s property taxes 3 times in the last year and more in the previous years due to poor planning. Locating these projects in the already existing neighborhood parks would have substantially lowered costs and greatly improved planning outcomes.

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