05 30 2015

Culvert Voted Down On 34 By Council, Taxes Possible

By Larry Briscoe
The Quinlan City Council voted against installing a culvert on State Highway 34 Monday night at its regular monthly meeting.
Council members Carole Petty and Carolyn Strickland voted for the culvert. Council members Brandon Frazier, Jacky Goleman and Tommy Underwood voted against.
Landowner Billy Jack Ladd spoke out last month and again Monday night against the city building a street at the location on his land.
City Consultant Billy Green placed the culvert on the agenda at both meetings to have it installed by the Texas Department of Transportation and said he had heard the state would stop installing the culverts in the future.
Council members told Ladd at both meetings the city was not building a street, only installing a culvert.
Ladd suggested the city wanted the culvert installed because Green owned land behind his. He presented a petition he said was signed by Quinlan residents calling for Green’s removal.
Mayor R.W. Oliver said the petition had no bearing on the plat that was filed in 1949 at the county courthouse when the Session Addition was annexed into the city.
“You want us to give you a city street just because Billy Green owns land behind it?” Ladd asked.
“We’re not building a road,” Oliver said. “We’re putting in a culvert.”
The plat, dated Feb. 20, 1949, and filed the following day with the county clerk, includes Ladd’s property and shows a 43-foot-wide continuation of Second Street from across the highway on the west side extending east adjacent to Ladd’s property.
Councilwoman Carolyn Strickland said a mistake was made when the tax appraisal district was formed. She said the tax district did not indicate the property was in the county or in the city — it just did not exist on the rolls.
Ladd said he did not pay city taxes.
Councilwoman Petty offered a motion to add his property to the tax roll on Jan 1, 2013.
Ladd asked if the city was going to provide water and sewer service.
Petty answered, “As soon as possible.”
Mayor Oliver said the motion to add the property to the tax roll would have to wait until the next meeting since it was not on the agenda for action.
After the meeting, Green denied when asked by The Quinlan-Tawakoni News if he wanted to build a street on the property for access to his own land.
Ladd had said at the meeting that Green had already unloaded dirt at the location to build the street.
Green said the dirt had been placed there to cover the culvert when it was installed.
Quinlan Oaks
A second question was presented for council action.
Quinlan businessman Phillip Mehta spoke to the council regarding his 40 lots in Quinlan Oaks subdivision and the lack of growth in Quinlan and the reasons for it.
Mehta said he had been in Quinlan for 18 years and wanted to develop the subdivision but the streets were still not paved.
He presented a court order from 1982 that included findings by the court. The second finding states, “The City of Quinlan previously voted and approved the paving of all three streets within the Quinlan Oaks Subdivision.”
He said there was still not any paved streets.
The order of the court from that lawsuit filed by Earnest and Gina Upchurch was for the city to issue building permits in the subdivision and to pay costs of the suit and attorneys fees in the amount of $2,000.
Councilwoman Strickland said, “I believe if you look back when the subdivision was brought in by Harry Myers, he agreed to pave the streets with crushed white rock.”
City Secretary Vickey Raduechel retrieved the minutes from the July 12, 1982, meeting of the council when the agreement was made.
The minutes state, “Mr. Harry Myers presented plans on the development of the 20 acres to the council. Estate taxes when developed, $14,500. Estimated water-sewer tap fee, $13,000, less rebate of $150 per water and sewer tap ($6,000) next to the city, $7,000. 1. Water main to be installed on dedicated easement. 2. Sewer main to be installed on dedicated easement. 3. Storm drains to be installed as necessary on dedicated easement. 4. Streets to be cut as shown and crush rock surfaced. All of the above improvements to be expended by the developer.”
Strickland told Mehta the city’s subdivision ordinance states the developer will pay for the payment of streets in their developments.
“How many developments have you seen anywhere where the city paved the streets,” she asked.
She said Mehta was talking about the city paying $110,000 to pave his streets. “That’s a lot of money. You are the developer. It is your responsibility, not ours. Other taxpayers in this city are not responsible for paving your street.”
Green was asked after the meeting by The Quinlan-Tawakoni News about the Quinlan Oaks subdivision paving.
Green said what had not been mentioned was that he also owned property in Quinlan Oaks as well as Mehta.
“Basically, Phillip owns one side of the street, and I own the other,” Green said. “He owns more than I do.”
He spoke candidly about his ownership of property in Quinlan. Green said his family had lived here for a long time, and he had accumulated a few things.
“I own property on every side of Quinlan,” he said. “If it (Quinlan) does well, I will do well, too. I only want what’s good for the town.”
Other business
• The council accepted the resignation of Richard Whitehead from the council and as mayor protem.
• Jacky Goleman was appointed to fill Whitehead’s unexpired term and was sworn into office by Mayor Oliver.
• The city’s budget was amended to include capital improvements expenses including the elevated water tower painting improvements project, Shady Oaks ground storage tank painting improvements and sewer improvements project with the total cost of $300,000.
• Councilman Brandon Frazier was appointed mayor protem.
• City Consultant Green reported the inside portion of the water tower painting had been completed, but the outside would have to be reblasted and repainted because of the previous system the contractor used.
He said the painting at the Shady Oaks location had been completed and was back in service, and the State Highway 34 sewer project was substantially complete.
Green said the fall cleanup went well with good participation.
• Donnie Brock, Linda Davis and Jean Pollard spoke during citizens comments.

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