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Section A: General News


La Vernia growth includes housing, veterans memorial


La Vernia growth includes housing, veterans memorial
La Vernia Mayor Robert Gregory (l-r) and councilmen John Richter and Eloi Cormier enter a discussion about speeding in Silverado Hills Feb. 13, during the regular city council meeting.


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Wilson County News
February 19, 2014
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LA VERNIA -- Growth and development continue in La Vernia, with a veterans memorial and housing development in the planning stages.

Both were the subject of presentations Feb. 13 during a regular La Vernia City Council meeting.

Bridgeland Development LLC sent Robbye Meyer to outline a proposed multi-family housing project on F.M. 775, on a 5-acre tract adjacent to Country Care Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation.

The affordable housing development includes 48 garden-style units, as well as amenities. These could include laundry facilities, a playground, high-speed Internet, walking trails, or a pool, among other items. Support services, such as health classes, notary services, exercise classes, tax preparation, and more, may also be offered to residents, Meyer said.

The housing will be managed by Alpha Barnes Real Estate Services, with a full screening process for prospective residents. The housing would be affordable, Meyer said, but stressed it is not “Section 8” housing, which is subsidized by the government. Tax credits are sought at the development stage, to help make the finished units affordable to a range of income levels.

The project will bring construction jobs to La Vernia, Meyer said, along with two to three new jobs when the units are complete. Another benefit to the city is the investment of $4 million to $5 million, she said.

Council action was not required at this time, but a resolution of support may be sought prior to the developer’s submission of paperwork to the state at the end of the month.

Another project in the works for several years now is the La Vernia Historical Association’s veterans memorial, planned for a site in the La Vernia City Park.

Kip Workman with the association presented architectural drawings of the proposed memorial, drafted by La Vernia architectural student Dusty Buckley.

The star-shaped memorial, approximately 40 feet in diameter, will include benches and space for memorial plaques, Workman said. The materials have yet to be determined, but suggestions are concrete, stone, or other durable materials, to make the memorial low-maintenance while remaining attractive. Lighting is planned and grants are being sought to assist with this cost.

The historical association has been raising funds for five years for the project, and has more than $30,000 at this point, Workman said.

In other business, the council:

•Held a workshop prior to the council meeting, to discuss a proposed oil and gas permitting process, and approved an ordinance to regulate subsurface petroleum and natural gas drilling within the territorial limits of the city and prohibiting drill sites on city-owned property and parks, with the resolution going to the city attorney for review.

•Approved calling for a May 10 election for reauthorization of the city’s streets-maintenance tax of one-quarter of 1 percent, and an election for the mayor and two councilmen

•Approved a resolution to finance the purchase of a police vehicle and related equipment

•Heard a presentation from the Silverado Hills Homeowners Association regarding concerns about speeding on Jessica Street, which is being used as a pass-through, according to residents.

No action was taken on contracting with Bureau Veritas for building inspections for the city. A proposal to allow the La Vernia Independent School District to defer some costs for food license permits to its next budget cycle died for lack of a motion.

In attendance: Mayor Robert W. Gregory; councilmen Marie Gerlich, Randy Leonard, John Richter, Eloi Cormier, and Jennifer Moczygemba; City Secretary-Treasurer Angela Cantu, La Vernia Police Chief Bruce Ritchey, City Attorney Charles Zech.
 

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