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STOCKDALE -- Concerned parishioners of St. Mary’s Catholic Church raised questions during a special called meeting April 29 of the Stockdale City Council. The council addressed only two items, both related to business growth and development.
The Rev. Dennis Jarzombek, pastor of St. Mary’s, aired concerns about an increase in truck traffic by the church, which is almost surrounded by the industrial park. Construction at the intersection of St. Mary’s and Guerra streets could push truck traffic onto St. Mary’s Street, instead of Guerra Street, to access U.S. 87.
Other concerns addressed the adjoining boundary with the church cemetery and how it will be finished off. Jarzombek reminded the council that the industrial park adjoins the church property on three sides. He stated that not much communication has occurred between the church and the city or the Stockdale Economic Development Corp. (SEDC) since former City Manager Harry Grove left office.
City Manager Banks Akin said the SEDC has retained a 15-foot easement on the eastern boundary along the cemetery for use as a green space.
Regarding the intersection of Guerra and St. Mary’s streets, contractors were to pour the concrete on May 1, weather permitting. Guerra Street is to be the main road for heavy traffic such as trucks, since St. Mary’s is not built for such traffic.
“The intent is to keep the trucks off St. Mary’s [street],” Mayor Johnny Stahl said, “because St. Mary’s is not designed to carry trucks.”
He reminded those present the intent is to direct all truck traffic toward S.H. 123, using the extension of Wheeler Street, once construction is complete, and not U.S. 87.
Akin added that a turning lane will be constructed along West Wheeler Street to help with the anticipated increase in truck traffic.
Discussion turned to the increased traffic for those not utilizing Guerra or West Wheeler streets.
Councilman Roger Armstrong suggested the placement of “no thru truck traffic” signs, for which the city would need to approve an ordinance to allow for the placement of these signs and enforcement by law officials.
The council then approved a change order for the intersection construction at Guerra Street and Business Park Avenue in the amount of $86,000.
The council also met in executive session to discuss the sale and development of an 0.85-acre tract off S.H. 123, known as the Birdsong Property, under the “Deliberation Regarding Economic Development Negotiations.”
According to City Secretary Thania Santos after the meeting, the council agreed to sell the property for $28,400 with all utility hookups, except for electrical, for development as a truck wash associated with the Eagle Ford shale exploration.
“The city negotiated an economic development agreement with Mr. [Gary] West under Chapter 380, Texas Local Government Code,” Santos said.
In attendance: Mayor Johnny Stahl, councilmen Sherry D. Lambeck, Scott Soden, Saul Bosquez, and Roger Armstrong, City Manager Banks Akin, Public Works Director David Tillery, the Rev. Dennis Jarzombek, pastor of St. Mary’s Catholic Church; and Gary West.