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Downtown Lockhart likely to see change in routes

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By Kyle Mooty

LPR Editor

TRC Engineers and Rialto Studio Landscape Architecture presented its project goals and overview following the Downtown Revitalization open houses and surveys in Lockhart.

An Option 1 has become Option 1-A, and at least one man hopes there will be a third option before the City Council makes its choice.

City Engineer Will Wachel of TRC said the goal was to first update the aging water and sewer infrastructure (which are between 50 and 70 years old), modernize the streetscape and drainage systems, and provide a pedestrian friendly area around a 9- to 12-block area of the Lockhart Square.

The idea was to improve traffic flow through downtown while providing safety for all, and to preserve as many parking spaces as possible.

Wachel said 58 people attended the second Downtown Revitalization Open House and 190 responded to an online survey question regarding truck traffic on Highway 142 (San Antonio Street through downtown).

Of the 190 answering the survey, Wachel said 182 wanted to reroute the truck traffic, with 53 percent preferring Option 1 that would retain the existing trees around the courthouse.

Wachel noted that 68 percent of those answering the survey approved of all-way stops around the courthouse.

Rialto Studios’ Kylie Mycock said the 4-way stops at each intersection would help slow traffic “and solve some of the visibility issues that currently exist.”

Mycock added Option 1 would not allow enough room for angled parking on both sides of the street, noting parallel parking would be needed on one side, the median trees would need to be removed, and about 12 parking spaces would be lost.

Option 1-A would preserve the median trees and lose about 15 parking spaces.

Bobby Eicholz of Rialto said enough light would be provided to have people feeling “safe navigating downtown.”

Two people provided public comment to the council, including Fredrick Wiegand, who said he had lived in Lockhart for 76 years.

“Option 2 is wrong and that’s why I’ll give you an Option 3,” Wiegand said. “I’ll ask the city for three things: handicapped parking spaces for the library, repave most of Cunningham Drive because of the heavy trucks that go out to the dump and all of the people that go out to the shooting range, and to revise the plan for an Option 3 to reroute the heavy truck traffic that runs up and down San Antonio Street. Build an extension to Martin Luther King Industrial Boulevard across my land. I’m the only one that going to donate the land for the city’s extension. Build an extension across MLK and put it through a Southwest Loop.”

Ronda Reagan, owner of The PEARL on Main Street, said she wanted the trees preserved and did not want parallel parking in front of her business.

“I had a problem with the survey because I didn’t want to check either option, 1 or 2,” said Ronda Reagan, owner of The PEARL on Main Street in Lockhart. “This crew is coming up with some crazy ideas in my opinion. Not one of the goals were what businesses want. Not one person came and talked to me. I want Main to be one-way northbound. I don’t want parallel parking. When I bought those buildings, I never dreamed that one day it’d be parallel parking.”

Lockhart Mayor Lew White said he hoped the entire council would be at the May 3 meeting so it could be discussed further, adding, “But I don’t think this thing needs to drag out. I’m going to recommend that we take one more meeting and take a vote on it.”

In other business:

Mill Scale LLC, which makes custom smokers from 94 gallons to 1,000 gallons, was approved for its development inside the Lockhart City limits.

City Economic Development Director Mike Kamerlander said the smokers are the “best you can buy on the market.”

The move from just north of the city limits would provide sales tax for the city while providing much needed space for a fast-growing company.

“The most exciting thing is it’s almost all Lockhart-involved,” said Matt Johnson of Mille Scale. “It will be on 1.3 acres and we are hoping we can have something up by November to show people what we’re up to.”

Johnson said the new facility should provide 10 to 15 jobs over the next three years. (See related article on Page 4A.

Revival Cycles Inc., an Austin-based custom motorcycle manufacturing company retailer of motorcycle apparel, accessories, and art, was approved of its plans to purchase the Masur Building on the northeast corner of San Antonio and Church streets.

Revival Cycles has been in Austin for 15 years and has worked with some of the top motorcycle manufacturers in the world such as Harley Davidson and Ducati.

The company, Kamerlander said, is planning on moving its entire operation from Austin to Lockhart. The company would occupy the entire building as its company headquarters and upgrade the building, which has quite a bit of repair needed. Revival Cycles would create up to 50 jobs in Lockhart in addition to adding value to the property.

White added, “This is an internationally known business and we’re very excited about them coming to Lockhart.”

Contingent upon the State of Texas approving an Enterprise Fund for Ziegenfelder Company, the Wheeling, W.V.-based outfit will purchase 6.788 acres in 1330 Industrial Park III.

Ziegenfelder produces frozen ice treats, with its signature item Twin Pops. The company has existing plants in West Virginia, California and Colorado.

Ziegenfelder has grown from 60 to 300 employees with 12 production lines in 15 years. Potentially, the Lockhart facility could be a $30 million investment and up employing 100 people in its 42,000-square foot facility.

“If everything goes to plan, the company goes to construction this year and gets up and running as soon as possible,” Kamerlander said.

Central Texas Refuse will be altering its route for solid waste collection in June. Alfonso Sifuentes, director of Public Sector Services & Community Relations at Integrated Waste Solutions Group, said 1,873 residents would have their routes’ dates affected, but the move was necessary to prepare for the city’s growth. The affected residents will be notified in advance of the change.

The Splash Pad at Lockhart City Park will be open beginning April 30 at 11 a.m.

Discussions for the city’s redistricting plans will be on the agenda at the May 3 meeting of the City Council.

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