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Prairie Lea Traffic Study to be redone

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By Kyle Mooty

LPR Editor

Disagreements regarding whether a stop sign in Prairie Lea that was recently removed was done so with proper analysis has the Caldwell County Commissioners Court proposing another Prairie Lea Traffic Study.

Following speakers for and against the stop sign’s removal, commissioners voted unanimously to ask the company that did the original study to perform it again during peak tourist season.

Caldwell County Judge Hoppy Haden asked if the study, performed on Oct. 14, 2021, during a flood in the area and while school was in session, was an appropriate time to get realistic statistics. A motion to have Structure Point re-do its study was approved by the court.

R.W. Grantham said there was “hardly no traffic whatsoever” during the study’s date.

“It’s understandable if there wasn’t enough for stop signs at that time,” Grantham said. “But if you are there in the summertime when school is out and everybody is coming out, the occupancy in one park is 3,400. That’s not counting the other park. So, there’s a lot of traffic on that road. Last year, they had four wrecks out there. On top of that, a little kid got hit. We just don’t need to take ‘em down. If anything, we need more.”

A letter was sent to people living on River and St. Joseph streets.

Two residents spoke against putting the sign up again.

Andrew McClish of Prairie Lea said while he has no children, he does have pets, his stepfather has grandchildren and friends that visit have children.

“I find this comment disturbing and offensive,” McClish said regarding the letter he received saying people without children should have no say on the matter. “I had absolutely no influence on the decision to have the stop signs removed. Structure Point did the study.”

McClish’s stepfather, James Samson of Prairie Lea, added, “You guys did a safety study. It said we don’t need the stop signs. They’re a hinderance. Most of the locals were running them anyway. They’re not a deterrent, they’re a hinderance.”

The cost of the study was about $17,000, but Haden said he believed the study should be redone at Structure Point’s expense because its purpose was to figure peak traffic flow in the area.

“We know what it is in October when the resort is not open, but we need to know what it is in July when the resort is open,” Haden said.

Commissioner B.J. Westmoreland agreed, noting “A sample size in October could possibly be very insufficient. I would be inclined to get more accurate data to make the best-informed decision we can.”

In other business:

An Evacuation Center is in the planning stage for Luling, and the court approved paying Doucet & Associates Inc. 30 percent of its completion costs — $454,250.

Hector Rangel, Caldwell County Chief of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, asked and received another two additional weeks for having no burn ban.

Ashley Guerrero, Director of the Martindale Community Library, addressed the court regarding having a Library District for Precinct 3 in Martindale.

“There are many benefits that becoming a Library District would provide,” Guerrero said. “It would expand tax base. We will be coming back to request it be placed on the ballot.”

Caldwell County Sheriff Mike Lane wants to hire two civilian animal control officers as well as a corporal position over civil and victims’ services.

“We are about to grow… a lot,” Lane said. “This is just the preparation for it.”

The requests included tabling the matter until the next Commissioners Court.

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