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Willow Park

Willow Park City Council votes to expand driveways in the Crown Road area


The Willow Park City Council voted to increase driveway approaches in the Crown Road area at its meeting on June 25.

Driveways have been a source of contention in that area lately. Following the recent work to improve the road and the drainage issues, a number of residents have complained their driveways aren’t as wide as they used to be and have been showing up at council meetings to publicly speak to city leaders about the matter.

The city leaders heard, and following evaluation by city staff, it was recommended that, to ensure safety and access, the minimum standard dimensions for driveways on streets with overall width of 30 feet or more be 14 feet wide at the property line and have an approach radius of 8 feet. 

In all, more than 20 driveways will be adjusted, City Manager Bryan Grimes said. The cost to the city is estimated to be between $1,700 and $2,100 per driveway.

“If it was my house, I wouldn’t want to turn into some of those driveways as well,” Place 5 Council Member Nathan Crummel said, adding that he appreciates the work and thought city staff put into the project.

Mayor Pro Tem Lea Young echoed those sentiments, saying, “I’d like to thank staff for looking into this.”

Wastewater agreement with Hudson Oaks

The City of Hudson Oaks approached Willow Park city staff months ago about the possibility of Willow Park treating wastewater from Hudson Oaks once the new wastewater treatment plant goes online. At Tuesday’s meeting, the Willow Park Council approved the agreement.

Hudson Oaks currently sends their wastewater to the City of Weatherford for treatment, but with both cities continuing to grow, another option is needed. Since Hudson Oaks and Willow Park already share water usage, officials from both cities decided sharing wastewater treatment also makes sense.

“This is another great step we’re taking,” Hudson Oaks City Manager Sterling Naron told the council and those in attendance, adding that he hopes other cities will look around and take advantage of partner opportunities with neighboring cities.

Hudson Oaks is proposing to build a transmission line from their current lift station to the new plant location. The line will be the sole responsibility of Hudson Oaks.

The Hudson Oaks City Council was meeting at press time to also vote on the partnership. If approved, Hudson Oaks agrees to pay 20% of the construction cost of the new plant ($3,678,000 of the $18,390,000 contracted amount), and for the next 20 years will pay 20% of the operational costs.

For this they will be allowed to send up to 150,000 gallons of wastewater to the plant daily. The plant is currently being built to treat 750,000 gallons. However, the issued permit from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality allows up to 990,000 gallons of wastewater to be treated.

“That would allow us, with a partner, to expand,” Young said.

Willow Park officials originally considered building the plant to treat a million gallons of water.

Should the plant need to be expanded in the future, Hudson Oaks reserves the right to purchase additional treatment capabilities.

“I think it (sharing water) has been mutually beneficial, and I expect the wastewater will work as well,” Grimes said.

Award from NTCOG

Concerning the water sharing agreement with Hudson Oaks, Mayor Doyle Moss held up an award both cities received from the North Texas Council of Governments. The award was presented to the public works departments for their working together.

Eminent domain proceedings for King’s Gate Bridge

The council voted to move ahead with approval for eminent domain proceedings for the King’s Gate Road Bridge Replacement Project, should negotiations fall apart.

The City of Willow Park owns a bridge located at King’s Gate Road over Clear Fork Trinity River, and this bridge is included in the currently approved off-state system federal-aid Highway Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Program. City officials and the Texas Department of Transportation have deemed it necessary to replace the current King’s Gate Road bridge. The project will require some additional property adjacent to the bridge.

The city has notified the property owners of its intent to acquire the property, two narrow strips of land, for right-of-way purposes. The city provided a written final offer, made 30-plus days after delivery of the initial offer, based on a written appraisal from a certified appraiser.

Final offer letters were mailed on May 3. Property owners were given at least 14 days to respond to the final offer.

Council noted in discussion the two pieces of property are valued at a little more than $50,000 combined, and that no counter offers have been made by the property owners.

City officials noted that negotiations to purchase the properties have not been successful to date and final offers were not accepted within the given time frame. Therefore, offers are considered as having been rejected. 

The city has until February of 2025 to acquire the property.

“It’s not a taking,” Grimes stressed. “We’re still negotiating — and they’ll be paid for the property.”

Union with Aledo ISD

Aledo sporting events are popular, because they win in pretty much every event across the board. So if a city wanted to promote itself, it makes sense to associate themselves with such a program.

Which is exactly what the Willow Park City Council voted to do Tuesday. They approved the city entering into an agreement with Aledo ISD thru various advertisements, including at Aledo ISD sporting events.

The school district board voted to install a new scoreboard at Tim Buchanan Stadium. To offset the cost, they are selling ad space on the scoreboard.

The city entered into a five-year agreement to be a part of that advertising. Starting Aug. 1 and running through July 31, 2029, Willow Park will pay $10,000 annually to have an ad on the scoreboard, with funding coming out of the hotel occupancy tax funds.

“One of the things we’ve been wanting to do is promote Willow Park and the community within the Aledo ISD,” Grimes said. “It’s not going to be a specific business, but it’ll be something like, ‘If you’re coming in for homecoming, come stay in Willow Park.’”

Parking lot/City Hall beautifiction

Following up on a decision by council this past December, on Tuesday they approved moving forward with the contract with Westwood Professional Services, Inc. for the design portion of civil engineering and architectural services to beautify the frontage of Willow Park City Hall. This will include landscaping and increasing the parking area.

The cost estimate for the overall work is about $1,054,700, which includes demolition and site preparation, street pavement, layout design, lighting and electrical, and planting and irrigation.

City Planning and Development Director Toni Fisher noted the work will increase the parking lot width from 31 feet to 76 feet, the box for payments to the city will be relocated so people don’t have to drive around the building, and signage with individual highlighted letters will spell out Willow Park on a raised flower bed.

Fisher added that a corner of the project will be reserved for possible park space in the future.

Saylor new financial director

Grimes announced at the meeting that Andrea Saylor has been named the city’s new financial director. She replaces Candy Scott, who recently retired after a long career with the city.

Saylor was formerly the front desk receptionist for the city.

“I told her she was the best front desk receptionist we’ve ever had,” Grimes said. “She picked up a lot on the financials we’ve been doing. She took over utilities in a matter of weeks. She has initiative and drive, and everyone on staff is confident with her taking over the role of a 25-year veteran.”

Next meeting

The next scheduled Willow Park City Council meeting is July 9 at City Hall, 120 El Chico Tr., Suite A. Starting time is 6 p.m.


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