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Granite Shoals tables agenda items while city manager recovers from COVID

Granite Shoals supermarket

Granite Shoals Supermarket is still in the works at the former Ryder's Bar & Grill location on RR 1431. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

The Granite Shoals City Council tabled two agenda items at its Jan. 12 meeting because City Manager Jeff Looney was not in attendance to present them.

Looney is suffering from COVID-19. He did not know how he contracted the virus that causes it but is keeping in touch with staff.

“They are keeping me informed every day,” he said. “I’m still in the loop of everything that’s going on. (Last night), I just felt so bad.”

The two tabled items were a request for flashing emergency lights in front of the Granite Shoals Fire Department, 8410 RR 1431 West, and an update on a planned grocery store, also on 1431.

Fire Chief Austin Stanphill said the flashing lights would alert drivers on that stretch of highway to when crews are leaving the station for an emergency. He pointed out that vehicles are often traveling 60 mph past the station.

He recalled an accident two years ago when a vehicle struck an ambulance leaving the station on an emergency call. 

“There was no way to stop,” he said. 

The cost for the lights would be either $15,400 if installed by a private company or $10,000 if done by the state. 

Once installed, firefighters will have control of when the lights flash. 

Stanphill doesn’t want constant flashing lights because drivers might become used to it.

“We push the buttons, and it activates lights for a set time,” he said. “Traffic will stop (on both sides of 1431). It gives us a clear road. Once we pass those lights, they’ll turn off.”

As for the grocery store planned for a vacant building in the 7900 block of RR 1431, Looney said his understanding is it’s still happening.

“Progress is being made,” he said. “They still plan on putting it in here.”

In other business, the council:

  • approved Langford and Associates as the grant administrator for the Texas Community Development Block Grant for the 2021-22 funding cycle; 
  • approved an “Adopt A Park” project to let volunteers help improve city parks;  
  • and learned that the Quarry Park multi-sports complex is closed so workers can install nets and flooring. 

jfierro@thepicayune.com

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