With North Wharton Street improvements moving forward, El Campo City Council will be asked to seek a $3 million loan to pay for utility line relocations in the area.

As a state road, North Wharton, aka FM 653, is set for transformation from two lanes with open ditches for drainage to three lanes. The third lane would be a continuous turn lane.

“If approved, we expect to be complete with utility relocation and improvements in 2022,” City Manager Courtney Sladek said, adding the city effort would include “upsizing the lines for potential development on the north side of town.

The Texas Department of Transportation plan covers widening the road, curb and gutters, sidewalks and storm water drainage. The project is set for bid in November 2022.

“The city’s existing water and sewer lines are located in the existing ditches along the road and will be in conflict with improvements,” Sladek said.

The $3 million loan would be sought through the State Infrastructure Bank which offers zero interest for three years and low interest after that.

“Our current loan with the SIB is at 2.08 percent for the work performed along Highway 59. This debt will be structured in such a way as to not adversely affect the utility rate payers who will support the loan repayment,” Sladek said.

The El Campo City Council meets at 6:30 p.m. 

Monday in chambers, 315 E. Jackson. The meeting is open to the public with time specifically designated for citizen comments.

Only 26 people will be allowed in council chambers because of social distancing requirements. Those attending must wear a mask.

Those unable to attend can submit their comments to council@cityofelcampo.org by 2 p.m. Monday to become part of the permanent record.

Other items before Council include:

 

ELECTION UPDATE: Council will receive a brief report on the recently discovered November ballot snafu where El Campo voters by mail were given three copies of at-large election choices.

“These issues are either resolved or being resolved,” Sladek said. “Early voting begins Tuesday and ballots are accurate and ready for Tuesday.”

 

PLAN ON PERMIT IF YOU WANT A PARADE: Following a city council discussion and vote last session, a parade ordinance will be added to the fee schedule.

For a parade that requires city assistance, holding other traffic or closing streets, a $50 permit will be required as well as proof of insurance.

Not included in the requirement are funeral processions or informal parades that do not require police to stop traffic, like a recent effort to lift spirits at a local nursing home.

 

PUTTING FY20 BUDGET TO BED: In a routine matter, final adjustments to last year’s budget will be made to account for COVID expenses, the installation of an air-conditioner at City Hall, the purchase of a building for public works use and more.

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