Council to vote on Old Town lighting, agreements at Monday meeting

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Lewisville may take over the outdoor lighting in Old Town at this week’s City Council meeting Aug. 6, along with the approval of several economic agreements, including one with the North Central Texas Council of Governments concerning the Valley Ridge extension.

City staff has recommended that council will approve a deal that would see the city take over responsibility for outdoor lighting in Old Town. The deal stems from a 2016 proposal by the Main & Mill Business Association that the city take over maintenance for lights in the area. The city wanted to install a more sustainable lighting system in the process of doing this. Staff has been negotiating with individual owners to approve the plan, and now have enough of them on board that they’re comfortable moving forward. If the item is approved, the city will begin installing a new lighting system that the City of Lewisville will be the sole owners and operators of.

The city is expected to approve an agreement accepting $1.3 million from the North Central Texas Council of Governments to reimburse the extension of Valley Ridge Boulevard from Mill Street to College Street. The city will then transfer the same amount of money in bonds back to the Northwest Old Town project.

The Valley Ridge extension was initially approved 15 years ago in the 2003 city bond package for roughly $10 million, and the county agreed to reimburse the city for $5 million of that in October 2009. However, by the time a contract was awarded for construction in December 2014, costs had risen, and they rose again when crews encountered unexpected trash and debris between Prairie Creek and College Street. The extension ended up costing almost $20 million.

To account for this, Lewisville moved money out of the Northwest Old Town project in 2017 and requested an additional $3 million from the Council of Governments in Regional Tollway Revenue funding. The COG had already given $4.7 million in RTR funds in 2014, which allowed Lewisville to move bond money meant for Valley Ridge over to projects on smaller streets — RTR funding can only be used on streets four lanes wide or more, meaning that when Lewisville asked for money, it could only ask for money that would go to Valley Ridge.

The city requested $3 million more in RTR funds so it could move money back into the Northwest Old Town project, but the COG has only offered $1.3 million. Council is expected to accept that deal at the meeting.

Alongside these items on the consent agenda are several economic agreements and ordinance variances. The economic development agreements include waiving fees for two residential projects on Edna and College streets and a grant equal to 50 percent of the property taxes on improvements made to the vacant lot just east of the Coyote Drive-In on Midway Road for the next five years.

Also on the consent agenda, the city is expected to set Sept. 17 as the public hearing date to evaluate impact fees, a review of which is required every five years by the state.

During public hearings, the city is expected to approve its annual action plan for delivery to the federal department of housing and urban development. A plan must be submitted every year to receive Community Development Block Grant funding, which will be $699,808 for fiscal year 2019. The funds will be allocated to various area public service projects.

At a 6:30 p.m. workshop, City Council will discuss a proposed 12-inch gas main line from Atmos energy and its traffic signal network. Council will meet several hours earlier at 3 p.m. for a scheduled iLegislate voting training session.

Lewisville City Council meetings are held at 7 p.m. on the first and third Mondays of the month at City Hall, 151 W. Church St. in Lewisville, usually with a workshop session around 6:30 p.m. at which much discussion takes place. These meetings are open to the public.

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