Waxahachie council: Proposed monument project would be a bad signdfwnewsa | September 20, 2022 | 0 | Midlothian , Waxahachie News
Chris Roark, firstname.lastname@example.org
Members of the Waxahachie City Council said a proposed monument sign near the new viaduct would be a nice visual as motorists enter and leave the southern end of the city.
But not at this price.
Monday the council voted unanimously to deny a request by the city staff to authorize funding from the Waxahachie Community Development Corporation (WCDC) in the amount of $625,000 for the Gateway Monument Project. The project was proposed to be located north of the Union Pacific Railroad, at the split of US 77 into Monroe and Elm streets near the viaduct, which, according to TxDOT, is supposed to be complete by the end of September.
The WCDC recommended the funding authorization at its Sept. 13 meeting.
Gumaro Martinez, the city’s executive director of parks and leisure services, said the funding would not be for construction of the project but to begin the design and engineering for the project.
A conceptual plan shows the project to include a monument sign that incorporates Corten steel signage with pin metal lettering, as well as boulders, native plants, irrigation and landscape lighting.
Council members were quick to question the large estimate. Martinez said the estimate came from the landscape architect, taking into account the market cost of current construction projects in the city. The estimate also accounts for 20 percent contingency.
“To me, who is someone who just bought an entire house for less than $200,000, there is no way I can justify three crape myrtles, some bushes and a piece of metal in the middle of a street that if you’re on you already know you’re in Waxahachie,” Councilman Travis Smith said.
Martinez the council’s authorization would have allowed the next phase to begin, which includes the bidding process for the actual construction.
“That would be the goal for staff to entertain bids that are actually lower for what we have funded,” Martinez said. “That’s always our goal to be good stewards of our money. In this case this is just getting the ball rolling so we can get the design and engineering. And after that we would have a better, more granular view as to the details, and it may be significantly lower.”
City Manager Michael Scott said it’s also possible the lowest bidder comes up with alternative plans to reduce the estimate even more.
Councilman Patrick Souter said he didn’t see the bids coming in low enough to support it.
“I don’t want to open up the barn door on something that comes back and we get a bid that’s $500,000,” Souter said. “I’ve got a hard time paying $500,000 … I’m sure there’s other things that the (money) WCDC has allocated for this that would be better off.
“There are folks out there that say we’ve not been good stewards of the money,” Souter said. “And I think this would be a posterchild for that.”
Martinez said Tuesday the proposal will likely not be presented again.
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