Royse City Herald-Banner

Local News

November 6, 2013

CDC close to making decision on downtown parking issue

Members of the Royse City Community Development Corporation’s Board of Directors could be close to making a decision about the city’s downtown parking dilemma.

After a lengthy discussion on downtown parking at the board’s Oct. 22 meeting, a board member suggested that the group plan to make a decision on the issue at its next meeting on Nov. 26.

“I will bring you as hard numbers as I can get at the next meeting on all the parking options,” Larry Lott, executive director of the CDC, told board members. “At some point in time, we need to decide which one we want to pursue first and when we want to start looking at doing an incentive if, in fact, that’s what we want to do.”

Downtown parking dominated a discussion led by board member Richard Pense. Lott said he asked Pense to lead the discussion involving incentive-type “options and opportunities” the board could be thinking about.

Lott said incentive funds are used primarily to enhance economic development in the city. He said that includes using the funds to bring in new businesses and to help existing businesses grow. Parking is an appropriate expense, he said, because downtown businesses are affected by a shortage of parking facilities.

Incentive funds come from sales tax revenue, not property taxes.

Downtown parking became the key issue after Pense opened with comments about the need to develop a plan and prioritize projects. Board members also discussed a “circulation road” that could be built behind Scott Elementary School and ease accessibility problems to Royse City Health and Rehabilitation Center and Royse City Medical Plaza.

The focus, however, was on downtown parking.

“Do we still consider downtown parking a pretty high priority?” Lott asked board members.

Lott then described two options that had been discussed in previous meetings.

One possible project involves the area behind the buildings on the south side of Main Street.

“We’re looking at and we think — we think. It’s not a final deal yet — but we think it’s a possibility that if we wanted to go in and repave that, put wheel stops in, that we wouldn’t add a lot of parking spaces, but we could make it a more organized parking lot,” Lott told board members during their Sept. 24 meeting.

Based on what traffic engineers have reported, Lott said, a one-way road could be paved and striped from Elm Street to Arch Street. There would be head-in parking.

A $75,000 bid does not include additional lighting for the area.

Another option, Lott said, is the former site of the Norton Building which is owned by the city. He said that space could accommodate 24 parking spots — the most of any option.

“Positives are the city owns it, they can do what they want with it and make it happen quickly,” he said during the board’s September meeting. “Negative, it’s on the far east of town.”

The site is just east of 305 E. Main St., former office of Ginger Stephens CPA and future home of Hazel and Olive Boutique.

Work at the site, Lott said, would include taking up the slab and resurfacing the area with concrete. The cost would be about $76,000, plus lighting expense.

The project would add spaces, Lott said, but he questioned whether people would use them because they’re not in the heart of downtown on Main Street between Elm and Arch streets.

Board member Charles Houk questioned whether the downtown parking spaces were filled only on Friday and Saturday nights.

“Almost every night,” answered Paula Morris, manager of the Royse City Main Street program.

“What’s the deal with these lots at night?” Houk asked, referring to the parking spaces on Arch Street across from City Hall. “Are they open?”

The parking spaces are a block from Main Street.

Board member Clay Ellis said some people use parking spaces in front of his insurance business on Arch Street. Morris added that “some people” use the spaces.

Houk suggested the possibility of signs that would direct Main Street patrons to parking off Main Street.

”We’ve talked about directional signage to get people downtown, but we haven’t talked at all about signage to show people where they can park,” he said.

Along with downtown parking, board members have also discussed the need to find an affordable solution to accessibility problems the one-way service roads have created for Royse City Health and Rehabilitation Center and Royse City Medical Plaza. Both are located off the south Interstate 30 service road between Erby Campbell Boulevard and Lesli Drive.

Royse City visitors can reach the facilities by traveling through the neighborhoods to Lesli Drive, which will take them to the service road. The motorists then must turn right onto the service road, which is one-way for eastbound traffic.

A longer alternative is for motorists to drive to Fate, cross over I-30 via FM 551, then head back to Royse City on the interstate or service road.

There is a solution — a $682,000 solution.

During the CDC board’s Sept. 24 meeting, Lott said a solution would involve building a 30-foot-wide, one-way, concrete road off Erby Campbell Boulevard, behind Scott Elementary School and the nursing home. Just west of the nursing home, the road would head toward the service road.

“So, where would that come from?” Lott asked board members after telling them of the estimated $682,000 cost.

“If it served the entire community, that’s one thing,” Lott said.

But it doesn’t, Lott pointed out. It would serve only the people who are traveling to those facilities.

During the Oct. 22 meeting, board members did not discuss the possibility of paying the entire $682,000 from CDC incentive funds. They discussed the possibility of paying only a portion of the expense. They also discussed the possibility of bonds that could be secured by future sales tax revenue and paid back over a 20-year period.

“If we got $182,000 in private funds, would we go out for a $500,000 bond that would be paid back over a 20-year period to finish that project?” Lott asked.

“How much should the developer and people buying the land be accountable?” Ellis asked. “Some of it falls on them, too. I don’t know if I’d be a fan of bonding for something like that or not. It’s just debt and like you said, we have always been able to manage without it. As we continue to grow, we may have more needs and we have to. I just hate to do it.”

“I knew this would be an issue that would require a lot of discussion and we’re going to discuss this issue time and again,” Lott responded.

Lott mentioned that Pense had earlier suggested that the board have a plan.

“As Richard said, we need to have planned out what we want to do and how we’re going to do it, and not just be knee-jerk on all these incentive things” Lott said.

“It’s obvious that we have way more need than we have money, so it’s going to be our job to determine how the priorities should be set and then we start shooting them one at a time as they come over the hill. It would be nice if we could fix all of this at one time, but we can’t.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • City council tables radio system letter

    The Royse City city council delayed action on approving the letter of intent for the proposed radio interoperability project during a regular meeting last week.

    April 20, 2014

  • Main Street car show returning for seventh year

    The 7th Annual Main Street Car show will come to downtown Royse City on May 10.
    The show will feature all manner of automobiles from the ’50s to more modern makes and models in the downtown area from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

    April 19, 2014

  • RGB_RCISD_meeting_4-15-14.jpg School board gets update on HB5

    The Royse City Independent School District Board heard positive feedback regarding House Bill 5 during a regular meeting on Monday night.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • RGB_RCISD_Tech_4-8-14.jpg DIGITAL LEADERSHIP: Scott principal brings 21st century learning to Royse City

    Digital learning and 21st century learning skills are key topics of conversation among today’s educators.
    They are also important conference topics, according to a Royse City Independent School District principal who covered both at a recent state conference and is scheduled to make a similar presentation to a national audience this summer.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • RGB_FM_552_expansion_meeting_4-15-14.jpg PAVING THE WAY: TxDOT provides first look at future expansion of FM 552

    Rockwall County may see perhaps its biggest road improvement project come to light in the next four years, with a proposed six-lane expansion to FM 552 stretching between Texas 205 and 66.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • RGB_Big_Sky_2_4-8-14.jpg Big Sky holds party at grand opening

    The vast, open land on both sides of County Road 2584 provides a very peaceful feel for those traveling it. From the large porch area at the new Big Sky Event Hall, all one can see is 250 acres of grass dotted by a few trees and a pond.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • New development planned off I-30

    Royse City will continue taking steps towards bringing in more retail with a groundbreaking scheduled this month for the 1.5-acre development at the corner of Interstate 30 and FM 2642.

    April 11, 2014

  • Pille tournament slated for this weekend

    The Royse City High School Interact Club invites residents to play for Austin Pille during its golf tournament fundraiser at Stone River Golf Club this coming Saturday.

    April 10, 2014

  • Bulldogs release 2014 football schedule

    A new district and new classification brings with it a totally revamped football schedule as the Royse City Bulldogs will see in the 2014 season. The Bulldogs – who move into District 12-5A – will see some familiar foes and a few they won’t be too familiar with at all.

    April 9, 2014

  • Fate council approves new city manager

    The Fate City Council has at last made a final decision on the hiring of a city manager.
    After another lengthy executive session to start  a regular meeting Monday night, the council unanimously voted to hire Michael Kovacs to fill the position.

    April 9, 2014

AP Video
Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Biden: Russia Must Stop Talking, Start Acting David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security
Featured Ads
Must Read
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Facebook