The Burton City Council has approved a reduction in the speed limit for the stretch of Highway 290 that runs through city limits.
The council at its meeting Tuesday voted unanimously in favor of an ordinance that designates the speed limit for the portion of Highway 290 inside city limits at 65 miles per hour.
Mayor David Zajicek said the previous 70 mile per hour speed limit was causing difficulty for travelers entering or exiting the city.
City Secretary Angela Harrington told KWHI that safety for residents was paramount in making this decision, and that possible extra revenue from speeding tickets was not a factor. She added the city tried to reduce the speed limit further to 60 miles per hour, but TxDOT would not allow it.
Councilmembers did not say when the speed change would become effective, or when new speed limit signs would go up.
Update @ 1:25 p.m.: In an email Wednesday, Harrington added the city does not know when the new signs will go up, or if there will be digital warning signs. She said the city has been told that there will be red rimmed signs warning of the speed change, but that ultimately "all is now in the hands of TxDOT".
Harrington said in the email that the new speed limit will be enforceable once the signs are up. The city does not currently have a police officer to enforce the speed limit, but Washington County Sheriff's Deputies or constables will be able to enforce it if they choose to do so.
The council also agreed to join BuyBoard, a local government purchasing cooperative that assists governmental bodies with purchasing various products and services. Harrington said there is no cost to be a member of the cooperative, and should save the city “a great deal of time and money”.
During his report to the council, Zajicek said the city will mail letters out to residents today (Wednesday) or tomorrow (Thursday). Harrington said those letters will include a simple socioeconomic survey, as required by the Texas Water Development Board. She said the city needs at least 35 percent of residents to return their surveys.
The council also:
- Tabled an ordinance encouraging lawn maintenance, the cutting of grass that becomes a nuisance, and providing for the enforcement of the ordinance. The item was tabled to further discuss the matter.
- Approved an updated Drought Contingency Plan, along with a Bio and Chem Monitoring Plan.
- Adopted a resolution authorizing submission of an application to the Texas Water Development Board for water system improvements. The city intends to submit a Project Information Form to the board for a backup water well.
- Accepted an order of election for May 2nd, approving an election services contract between the city and Washington County for the election, and approving an interlocal election contract and agreement between the city and Burton ISD.
- Approved the city’s 2020-21 general and water/sewer budgets, and set a budget hearing for March 10th at 5:30 p.m.
- Adopted an ordinance electing to discontinue the participation in the Texas Municipal Retirement System as to people employed or re-employed after February 1st.
- Approved the Washington County Appraisal District 2018-19 audit.