Since I've been attending these 183 corridor meetings this meeting for me was just like putting an Abba greatest hits CD in the radio. Heard it all before. Same two songs over and over again. Having said that, for the first time after going to all these meetings, we didn't hear anything about roundabouts or apartments. Hooray for once!
I don't know if the attending crowd figured out that none of the pretty pictures they were showing are part of the 183 corridor. The 183 corridor improvements only involve 183 through River Oaks and includes TxDot right of way and city right of way only. That is the scope of the improvements. So all the sidewalks, bike trails and frontage road will have to fall between TxDot and city right of ways. Any business improvements will come from developers believing the corridor improvements would be a worthy investment for them.
Kessler stated the cost of this corridor re-do would be about 24.4 million dollars. This is strictly the blvd. A citizen asked how long would this project take. Kessler stated on the positive side, hopefully five years,but could be as long as 10 years.
Another citizen asked where the money is going to come from. Kessler stated there are some grants available for shovel ready projects. There are some grants for storm water improvements and also trying to get some of the money we send Washington from our gas taxes. For every 18 cents we are taxed on a gallon of gas only a penny comes back for road repairs. Kessler also stated that at least 10% of this project would have to come from city tax dollars.
Don Istook stood up with some suggestions and ideas. The sound system wasn't that great and his voice didn't carry very well so I didn't hear or understand everything is was trying to say. He was suggesting the city should should form a committee to help developers buy property and see the property owners get fair market value. Something that Fort Worth did on White Settlement Rd. In my opinion, a lot of the property owners on White Settlement Rd got way better than fair market value. And lets hope our citizens do too.
Kessler several times stated that the citizens need to come to a consensus on this project. We had three meetings on the corridor project where we voted on what we wanted and didn't want so I would think the consensus had already happened. I questioned Mr. Kessler on what are we not in consensus on? And I'm still not clear what he said in reply, but he never did answer my question.
The mayor then took the mic and asked the crowd if they are for this project. Everybody said yes with the exception of one attendee who early had complained about how slow progress was being made in River Oaks.
Council is suppose to have meetings to go over the final concept of this project so if you're interested in what is going on in River Oaks watch your council meetings or special called meetings of council in the future.
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