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Presentation outlines possible infrastructure projects

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Architect SpeaksArchitect Ben Miller made a presentation before the Woodville City Council on a series of proposed pedestrian infrastructure projects. CHRIS EDWARDS | TCB

By Chris Edwards

WOODVILLE – The Woodville City Council, at its regular monthly meeting on Monday evening, received a presentation on some possible future projects.

Ben Miller, who works as a landscape architect with Goodwin-Lasiter-Strong, spoke about a series of three proposed pedestrian traffic improvement projects for the city. The funding for the projects, if awarded, will come through the Texas Department of Transportation from federal funding earmarked for building any kind of non-vehicular transportation infrastructure. 

“Luckily this year, in this particular call for projects, towns of under 5,000 have a special pot of money set aside for them, so I think you are all well-suited to get these funds,” Miller said.

The three projects Miller outlined in his presentation include improvements along North Beech Street and two projects involving segments of US 69.

The North Beech project will provide continuous, six-foot sidewalks along the west side of the street from US 190 to Bluebonnet Street and will continue along the south side of Bluebonnet up to existing sidewalk near Woodville High School.

The second project, labelled “US 69 Segment A Pedestrian Improvements,” will provide continuous sidewalks along both sides of US 69 from 190 south to an existing, signalized crossing at Barclay Street. The third project, labelled “Segment B” of the US 69 Pedestrian Improvements, will provide sidewalks along the west side of 69, from 190 north to Dogwood Street, and end at existing sidewalk on the north side of Dogwood.

Miller said he has been in communication with City Administrator Mandy Risinger since March to discuss the funding possibility and needed projects. He said they looked at six possible projects, which were narrowed down to three, which they deemed the ones having the best chance at funding. TxDOT caps funding allocation for the projects at three per entity.

If funded, the projects would possibly have no local match from the city, as it has applied for funding to pay the matches out of funds taken from the profits from toll road usage. The estimated costs for each project, according to Miller, are $1 million for the North Beech Street project; $900K for Segment A and $300K for Segement B. The council passed three resolutions in support of the projects. “Some of these projects will lead us into future projects,” Risinger said.

Willis Motel update given

Right before the council’s short meeting was adjourned, the city’s health inspector Colin Bishop gave an update on the ongoing work at the Willis Motel.

The structure had been affected by fire in 2019 and had since fallen into disrepair, and the city has held hearings to get its owners to bring it up to code. Bishop said the motel’s owners have completed the health portion of the cleanup work on schedule. 

The city is still awaiting building reports, and reports from a fire inspector. Bishop said the building is “a very old structure in very rough shape,” and said that all of the problematic materials that were in the rooms have been removed. The motel is not open for business while the owners move through the city-mandated process of cleanup.

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