Commissioners struggle with river traffic

Commissioners struggle with river traffic

By Kathi Bliss

Editor/POST-REGISTER

 

The Caldwell County Commissioners continue to struggle with requests from some Martindale-area residents to install speed cushions on their street to help control traffic from patrons enjoying the river during the summer months.

Several residents of Meadow Lane and River Park Drive, near Martindale, who have been asking for the speed control for months, in preparation for the summer season at two river-based tubing businesses in their neighborhood. Talks stalled earlier this year, when Commissioners were informed that the two business owners were attempting to reach a compromise about the use of a private road to allow tubers to exit the property. However, those talks disintegrated and brought the issue back before the court.

The owner of one of the businesses has volunteered in the past to contribute up to $3,000 toward the purchase and installation of the speed controls. However, the Commissioners have been hesitant to move forward on the installation, pending a traffic study of the area, an assessment of the needs, and a true estimate of the cost.

Precinct Three Commissioner Neto Madrigal has been attempting to push the project forward, citing concerns about the safety of the neighborhood’s residents, but the other Commissioners, as well as County Administrator Ron Heggemeier, County Engineer Bill Gardner and the county’s legal advisors have been more hesitant. Their concerns, Heggemeier said, center around making sure that the County has proper jurisdiction over the property,  and that the devices are installed properly, in a manner that will be useful.

Part of the question stems from the fact that the property in question has been rumored to be in the extraterritorial jurisdiction of both San Marcos and Martindale, leading to questions about which entity should be responsible.

After some discussion in which both Madrigal and residents of the neighborhood attempted to push the Court to approve the purchase and installation of the speed cushions, against Gardner’s advice, the parties struck a compromise.

Madrigal agreed to spend the next week attempting to sort out the jurisdictional issues and scheduling a traffic study, while residents agreed to collect signatures from additional property owners in the area, in the event the cushions need to be installed not only on Meadow Lane, but on Spring River Drive, as well.

With those things complete, the Commissioners agreed to move forward in considering installation of the traffic control devices.

In other business, the Commissioners briefly discussed additional changes to the Caldwell County Development Ordinance, specifically focusing on the requirements necessary for a “property line adjustment,” wherein a property owner takes in only a portion of an adjoining property.

As discussions about the Development Ordinance often do, talk circled around concerns abut the ordinance and the pressures some believe it puts on private property owners. Commissioner Fred Buchholtz, who has been attempting to make revisions to the controversial document for nearly 18 months, said that the property line adjustment issue was one of many things that the proposed changes he intends to bring forward address.

The discussion was tabled until the Court’s next meeting on May 29, 2012, when Buchholtz said he will bring forward his proposed changes to that section of the document.

In brief news:

The Court approved an increase in the selling price of bulk motor oil. Under the County’s contract with Schmidt & Sons, Inc., the sale price of oil products is open for negotiation quarterly.

They approved payment of $196 for numbering and lettering for the swift water rescue boat recently acquired by Luling Water Rescue.

The Commissioners will soon consider their annual donations to local non-profit organizations, in preparation for the upcoming budget year.

The Caldwell County Commissioners Court routinely meets on the second, third and fourth Monday of each month at 9 a.m. in the Conference and Training Room of the LW Scott Annex at 1403 Blackjack St. (FM 20 East) in Lockhart. The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 29, to accommodate for the Memorial Day holiday.

kathibliss@post-register.com

 

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