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Speed limit on Ovilla Road reduced

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MIKE SACKETT
Ellis County Press
RED OAK - Police Chief Doug McHam presented council members and staff with a triffic study prepared by the Texas Department of Transportation. At the city's request, a study was made to see if the speed limit on Ovilla Road within the city limits of Red Oak could be reduced. McHam followed the recommendation of the study asking council members to reduce the speed limit by 10 miles-per-hour from 55 to 45.

The speed limit reduction change would affect traffic inside to city limits of the road extending between at the heliport on the east and Bluevalley to the west. The only exception would be a lowed speed limit in the school zone in front of Eastridge Elementary during school traffic times. 

According to McHam, TXDOT will pay for the installation of new signs and changing current signs. Council members unanimously approved the request.

A petition for annexation by the developers of Cobblestone Estates was presented at last Monday's city council meeting. Following the Planning and Zoning Boards recommendation, members of the council unanimously approved both the petition for annexation and their preliminary plat.

The proposed development is located south of FM 664 and west of Cole Road. The 14.842 acres is located south of Eastridge Elementary. The development as presented to council members will have 37single family dwelling lots.

Developers of the subdivision said the area will be connected to the city's water and sewer system. There will also be paved streets with sidewalks, curbs and guttering.

Several issues were discussed between council members, developer representatives and staff regarding the subdivision. A proposal was brought to the council whether the area should have individual brick or group clustered mail boxes. Citing the merits of both, Mayor Todd Little said the decision would best be made by the postal service.

Also discussed between council members, city staff and representatives of the development were deed restrictions and the formation of a homeowners association. Following the advice of City Attorney Betsy Elam, City Manager Ken Pfeifer said the city cannot enforce deed restrictions unless they affect a city code. 

At the request of City Manager Ken Pfeifer, council members rejected bids for construction of a ground storage tank and pumping station expansion adjacent to Well #5 on Methodist Road. Tim Lackey of NRS Consulting, overseeing the water expansion project, said the bids were over budget with the lowest being $504,675. The project is budgeted for $320,000.

Lackey told council members his firm has worked with the bidders to find the extra cost and bring the bid within budget. 'Part of the cost increase is there are some items not in the original budget' Lackey said.

A recommendation was made to the council to reject the contractor bids for the entire project. Lackey said he felt the project could be completed closer to engineering estimates if the project was put out in a cafeteria style with single bids for single items.

Lackey's recommendation was followed with council members voting unanimously to reject all bids submitted and sent out for re-bids.

In other action council members agreed to reimburse the city mayor for expenses associated with the recruitment of business and industrial prospects. Mayor Todd Little said, 'In the interest of our city, I feel it is in the best interest of our city for the mayor to be involved in the marketing of Red Oak. While I'm not paid for this job, I would like to be repaid for expenses.'

Newly seated council member Weyland McAnally asked Pfeifer if there would be any kind of limit or action. Pfeifer responded saying 'This will be an item we will be looking at next year, but if Mayor Todd looks like he is eating too much, we will have to put him on a diet.'

The request was unanimously passed.

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