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Government - Local

Churchill Farms subdivision project may be completed soon

Council also votes to restrict parking on West Charles Street

A resolution approving a partial release or cancellation of funds being held by the city for public improvements to the Churchill Farms subdivision in Plano was approved recently by Plano City Council members.

The subdivision is a single-family residential project south of Faxon Road and west of Needham Road on the east side of the city.

City Attorney Tom Grant told council members that the developer has completed, with three exceptions, all the required subdivision improvements, repairs and maintenance. The exceptions are the installation of sidewalks on 13 lots, repairs to an existing section of a drain at a stormwater retention area in the project and the planting of trees on these lots.

Grant reported the attorney for the developer has said these items will be done this year and over the winter.

“If not done this next spring, we’ll take some further action,” he said.

According to the resolution, the city has accepted all installed subdivision improvements and assumes all future costs of maintenance and repairs.

Grant said in the resolution that the $275,956 letters of credit deposited by the developers to insure completion of the improvements have been canceled and released, except for $74,844. He said this balance is being held to insure completion of the 13 sidewalks and repairs to the stormwater retention drain.

He added that the developers of the remaining vacant lots will be responsible for installing sidewalks and planting parkway trees in accordance with existing city ordinances at that time.

Grant noted that his office has been working on this bond reduction project for nearly two years, and added that he is happy it has finally been resolved.

In other business, the council approved an ordinance prohibiting parking in specific areas as a result of a study done by the city for safety reasons.

According to the ordinance, parking will not be allowed on the south side of West Charles Street from 701 W. Charles St. to 805 W. Charles St. and the cul-de-sac at the west end of West Charles Street abutting 811, 815, 819, 820, 816, and 812 W. Charles St.

The ordinance says the superintendent of streets will install signs stating that no parking will be allowed along these areas at any time. The Plano Police Department will ticket illegally parked cars. A ticket will cost violators $55, according to the ordinance.

A proposal to hire a part-time employee for the city Building, Planning and Zoning Department was sent by the council to a committee for further study. Tom Karpus, director of building, planning and zoning, asked the council to approve hiring Frank Valenti on a permanent part-time basis to work as property maintenance and residential building inspector. The salary suggested by Karpus was $23 hour, and he asked that Valenti start work on Oct. 30.

But before a motion to approve the hiring was made, Alderman Bob Jones moved to table the request and refer it to the appropriate committee for further discussion including options, proposals, schedules, compensation and shared services.

Mayor Bob Hausler said it would be referred to the Personnel Committee for review and recommendation to the council. No date was set for the issue to be discussed.

Council members also denied a request to waive public bids for a water main project. John McGinnis, retired Plano Public Works director, submitted a proposal to do the job as a private consultant.

The proposed work consists of installing 740 feet of new water mains on Prairie Street from the west side of Hale Street to the east side of Lew Street. McGinnis estimated it would take 10 eight-hour days to do the work. He said the city would provide all items needed for the project including the dump trucks, backhoe and at least one driver to do the work. McGinnis said in his proposal that he would operate the city-owned backhoe and be covered by his own insurance.

His proposal was for the city to waive competitive bidding on the project and hire him as John P. McGinnis Consulting Services Inc., at a cost not to exceed $6,080. And this would include the city hiring Niles Excavating to furnish the machinery to do the excavation work at cost not to exceed $12,400.

When the issue came before the council, a motion to approve the proposal died for want of a second. Hausler said this meant the project would be put out for public bid. There was no date set for advertising or opening bids.

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