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Fate City Council unanimously approved a zoning application and concept plan for a Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods at Monday night’s regular meeting. 

The proposed 10,000 -square foot liquor store facility, which will be located on the east side of FM 551 and north of I-30, was brought to the council after the Planning & Zoning Commission recommended approval for both the zoning application and concept plan.

 About 10 Fate residents spoke during the public hearing portion, with a majority of them expressing their support for the liquor store. 

“We desperately need viable commercial development in Fate and I believe Spec’s would be a tremendous addition, bring in much needed tax revenue, and will start the ball rolling in attracting other types of quality businesses,” Fate resident Diane Daniels said. 

One of the residents who spoke against the liquor store in Fate was Stan Harris. He cited medical conditions stemming from alcohol consumption for his stance against the proposed store. 

“In my opinion, approval of any alcohol permit sends the message to our citizens that if a business wants to sell alcohol, and if those sales produce revenue, the alcohol related diseases and death and their impact on the public at large are acceptable,” Harris said. “For me, the message should be: Don’t drink at all.”

The council also approved a preliminary plat for a travel center that will consist of a gas station and Sonic Drive-In restaurant, and will be located at the corner of I-30 and William E. Crawford Ave. 

“After this they will be able to submit the final plat, which will simply go to P&Z. It will not come back to city council. Once they get those, they’ll be able [start]. As far as timing, I don’t know,” Will Rugeley, Fate director of planning & development services, in response to a question about when construction on the travel center would begin. 

Council members approved a special use permit and zoning change application from an agricultural district to an industrial district for about 12 acres located south of the Fate post office on Highway 66, next to the railroad construction company Trak-Time. Oncor Electric Delivery will build an electric substation facility on a portion of the 12 acres. 

“As we have grown, it is obvious to conclude that the electrical service demand has also seen a corresponding increase,” Rugeley said. “In order to meet even our current demand Oncor needs to locate a substation here within the city of Fate.” 

Representatives from the electric company told the council that the substation would help provide reliability to the city so that power outages might happen less frequently. During the public hearing portion, one of the co-owners of Trak-Time next to which the electric substation would be located, spoke against approving the location. 

“As you could imagine, we’re very unhappy about it,” Alvin Chandler, co-owner of Trak-Time said. “I don’t think anybody could tell us with a straight face that it’s not going to negatively impact our property value for someday in the future when we may want to resell it.” 

Chandler asked that if the city moved forward with allowing the substation, that the council work with Oncor to “lessen the impact” to the property. The P&Z Commission required the electric company meet with Trak-Time to address concerns about the location of the substation before last night’s meeting. However, Chandler said the plan following the meeting with Oncor was “insufficient” in addressing the impact on property value. 

“The plan that we were presented after that meeting showed that they were maybe going to add a few trees at the corner of the screening wall,” he said.

Following the public hearing on the substation, the council went into a discussion on it. Deputy Mayor Pro Tem and Council Member Place 3 Blake Buchanan expressed his own thoughts on the concerns voiced.

“Nobody wants to be the person next to the substation,” Buchanan said. “I certainly understand that grievance but we do need the redundancy, we need the reliability to the citizens, to the city on the north side… again I reiterate that the location is not perfect, it’s certainly not perfect for the people around it.”

A majority of the council also approved to set two public hearings for the tax year 2019 proposed tax rate of $0.328383 per $100 of valuation. The public hearings are set for Aug. 19 and Aug. 26 at 6 p.m. at the Fate City Hall, 1900 CD Boren Parkway. The approval of the resolution also placed the proposed tax rate on the council’s Sept. 3 meeting agenda for consideration. 

Similarly, the council approved a public hearing for the fiscal year 2019-2020 proposed budget and its placement on the council’s Sept. 3 meeting agenda. The public hearing for the budget will be Aug. 19 at 6 p.m. at Fate City Hall.