County closes Luling’s Powell Road
By LPR Staff
At the request of residents who are tired of traffic, the Caldwell County Commissioners Court voted on Monday to close one end of Powell Road, a popular route used by drivers to bypass traffic at Luling’s famed Buccee’s Truck Stop.
According to Commissioner Eddie Moses, traffic increases in the
area substantially over holiday weekends, when drivers attempt to avoid the traffic light at the intersection of Highway 183 and I-10.
County Judge Kenneth Schawe encouraged his colleagues to consider a different solution to the traffic problem, including speed bumps or additional traffic patrols in the area, but Caldwell County Sheriff’s Department representative David Brent said it was impossible to increase traffic patrols.
“They don’t have any kind of problem over there like we have on that river on the weekends,” Brent said. “And we can’t do any traffic control, because all the manpower we have is on the river.”
Still, Schawe said, the bypass route is instrumental for traffic direction when major accidents happen at the busy intersection, and closing the street could result in serious traffic bottlenecks in the event of a serious incident.
According to information Moses presented, neither the City of Luling, no the fire departments and EMS services in the area objected to closing the road and making it a cul de sac, provided the space was ample for emergency vehicles to turn around and get out of the neighborhood.
Of the residents on the road, eight signed a petition to create the cul de sac, two said they did not object, and two did not respond.
Though Powell noted he believes that in the future, the residents of the area will regret the decision, the Court voted unanimously to close the road to through traffic.
In other business, despite an agreement with the City of Lockhart to share the operational expenses for Lockhart-Caldwell County EMS, the Commissioners voted not to help to fund the purchase of a new ambulance this year, instead voting to fund the full purchase of an ambulance in the next budget year.
“We don’t want anyone to think we’re not on board with purchasing a new ambulance,” Commissioner Neto Madrigal said. “But we have postponed it because we want to make sure that we have enough money to buy it.”
The County has been struggling in recent months with unforeseen expenses that have depleted the County’s reserve funds. The sale of the two vacant properties on the Caldwell County Courthouse Square should ease that pressure, but until the properties sell, the County is operating on something of a shoestring budget.
EMS representatives noted that, in addition to the two ambulance purchases in the next two years proposed by Lockhart-Caldwell County EMS, Luling-Caldwell County EMS will likely come forward next year with a request for funding for a replacement ambulance.
In brief news:
The Commissioners opted to leave the outdoor burning ban off for the time being.
They approved bonds for a variety of county employees.
The County paid bills in the amount of $149,739.80.
The Caldwell County Commissioners Court routinely meets on the second and fourth Monday of each month at 9 a.m. in the second floor courtroom of the Caldwell County Courthouse. The meetings are open to the public and are webcast at www.co.caldwell.tx.us.