Phase 2 of Granite Shoals street project under budget, leading to other improvements

STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO

GRANITE SHOALS — Unexpected extra money could mean better roads feeding onto the three main arteries in the city of Granite Shoals.

City staff told the Granite Shoals City Council during its regular meeting July 24 that bids for Phase 2 of the street improvement project for Phillips Ranch Road, Valley View, and Prairie Creek came under budget, so they are examining every intersection leading to those three roads for possible improvements to be paid for with the extra $300,000. City Council approved spending $1.5 million on Phase 2.

Under consideration is the addition of 10-20 feet of pavement on dirt streets that feed into Phillips Ranch Road, Prairie Creek, and Valley View.

“You’ll come up onto some pavement and pull out onto the main roads,” Assistant City Manager Peggy Smith said. “When cars pull up to stop signs, (the pavement) allows dirt and rocks to fall off. That stuff isn’t dumped on the main roads.”

The extra money is also going toward improving the first curve on Phillips Ranch Road from RR 1431 and relocating the water line from New Castle to in front of Whittlesey Landscape Supplies and Recycling.

The curve is on the list due to the death of a motorist years ago who hit a granite boulder, Smith said.

Also, the search for a new city manager continues, according to Interim City Manager Marvin Townsend. He said the council has had several meetings and continues to interview candidates.

“They’re making progress,” he said.

Twenty people have applied for the position, and nine interviews have been conducted. Some are second interviews, though Townsend didn’t release candidates’ names due to privacy concerns.

In other city news, Granite Shoals leaders are getting $3,000 from the Burnet County Safety Fund to help offset costs of the Child Nutrition Program. The fund’s code specifies money can be used for child nutrition.

More Granite Shoals children are taking advantage of the Child Nutrition Program as they can receive free meals at Grace United Methodist Church and First Baptist Church of Granite Shoals. Each facility averages about 25 students per day.

The council also:

• awarded the Phase 1 contract of the new multipurpose sports facility to H.D. Irvin Steel Construction at $135,000. This includes structural integrity and repairs to the building next to the Roddick Tennis Center. The facility is located next to City Hall at 2221 Phillips Ranch Road. When finished, the sports facility will have covered volleyball, pickleball, basketball, and shuffleboard courts, batting cages, and soccer fields for players ages 14 and younger.

• approved a five-year contract with Burnet County Emergency Services District No. 3. The contract specifies the city will provide fire services on a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week basis for unincorporated areas as well as the city of Highland Haven.

• renewed a contract with the Marble Falls Area Emergency Medical Service Inc. at $74,852.18 for three years. The contract runs from Oct. 1 of this year to Sept. 30, 2021, but the EMS can request additional funding at any time. A voluntary emergency service fee of $1 a month will be added to utility bills.

jfierro@thepicayune.com

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