Brenham City Councilmembers have moved forward with a road improvement project that will go hand in hand with a shopping center project.
Services to be provided by Lee Engineering will include preparation of design plans and submittals, specifications, project management, surveying, cost estimate data, and helping the city with various parts of the bidding process.
The proposed improvements include a traffic signal that controls traffic at the intersection of both the east and westbound feeder roads, as well as the widening of the existing pavement under the Highway 290 bridge to accommodate left-turn bays.
Assistant City Manager Lowell Ogle said this project will serve a much larger purpose than just the shopping center development project off Highway 290. He also said the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has identified these improvements in a traffic impact analysis report, and has been “agreeable” with them so far.
Ogle said the city will be responsible for engineering service costs, which will not exceed $82,000.
City Manager James Fisher said Lee Engineering was chosen because he has worked with the firm in the past, commenting on their good track record with TxDOT and “expertise” in traffic engineering.
The council approved the motion, contingent on Ogle and City Attorney Carey Bovey working on the final agreement. It has not been determined when construction on the project will start.
The council also addressed several items behind closed doors. Executive session discussion included the lease agreement between the city and Washington County for the 911 dispatch center at 301 North Baylor Street. The council agreed to extend the lease with the county for two more years. The county has been renting the facility ever since it took over dispatching duties from the city several years ago.
The council also approved the purchase of security devices for the Brenham Police Department using seized narcotics funds. As discussion on the item took place in executive session, no information was given as to what devices were purchased.
Items discussed in executive session, but not acted upon, included the civil lawsuit Robert Sontag v. Justin Schroeder and the City of Brenham, and matters concerning Brenham Municipal Court Judge Bill Kendall.
The council also:
- Approved the rezoning of 2.1 acres of land southeast of the intersection of Old Chappell Hill Road and FM 577, from manufactured home residential use to industrial use. Brenham Wholesale Grocery is planning to develop the property with a convenience store. Development Services Director Stephanie Doland noted that the site is expected to accommodate 18-wheelers. Councilmember Danny Goss asked if Old Chappell Hill Road will need to be improved to handle the additional traffic, but Fisher replied improvements there are already on the radar for the 2020 Fiscal Year.
- Renewed the city’s group health plan with the Texas Municipal League Health Benefits Pool and established rates for health insurance for the plan year, beginning October 1st through September 30, 2020. Human Resources Director Susan Nienstedt said employees and retirees will be able to keep their current network of doctors and the same monthly premiums.