Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

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February 13, 2014

Council approves parking ordinance

JACKSONVILLE — The Jacksonville City Council passed an ordinance Tuesday night to restrict parking along streets in the vicinity of Jacksonville High School.

Ordinance No. 1461, tabled during the January council meeting, prohibits parking along Mason Drive and Henderson, Palestine, Tyler and Deaton streets.

Council members present voted unanimously to approve the ordinance.

During the city council meeting, Dr. Joe Wardell, JISD superintendent, and Marvin Acker, the district's chief of police, addressed the issue.

Wardell and Acker implemented an earlier time to open the main gate at the high school, to help alleviate the parking concerns.

Instead of opening the gate at the high school's main entrance at 3:30 p.m., district officials are now opening it at 3:15 p.m.

City Manager Mo Raissi said this action is already helping with some of the parking issues.

"The no parking (ordinance) will eliminate the problem for good, we hope," Raissi said, adding city officials will work with residents who live along the streets with prohibited parking who have multiple vehicles.

"Our number one goal is safety on Mason Drive. If problems (arise), that is where ambulances, fire and police vehicles will be parking," Raissi said.

He said the ordinance will ensure there are proper places for emergency officials to park vehicles, if a situation occurs.

Also, approved Tuesday, after an executive session before the regular meeting, the council passed JEDCO affordable housing project.

Plans are in the preliminary stages for construction of new townhomes off Highway 174. The project is estimated to cost approximately $8 million, Raissi said.

"They will be for people who make a certain income level. Jacksonville was selected based on our median income and other ratings," Raissi said.

In conjunction with the agenda item, a resolution was passed to upgrade Southwood Apartments, Heritage Drive South Apartments and South Bolton Villa Apartments.

Also approved, the final inspection of an ongoing street drainage improvement project on Cherry Street.

"You can go out there and see (how it is draining now). There are new gutters and open drainage. It was just an open ditch, and it flooded," Raissi said.

The final pay request was $27,716.28. The warranty period on the project is in effect until Jan. 6, 2015.

A city employee's longtime service was also recognized during the meeting. Donna Perry, of the utility billings department, was awarded a 20-year-service pin.

Perry started her career with city of Jacksonville in Feb. 1994 as utility billing cashier in 2013 she was promoted to utility billing Manager.

Three members of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board also were re-appointed during the meeting. Royce Whitaker (District 1), Paul Travis (District 3) and Brandon Cumbie (Mayor Kenneth Melvin's appointee) will again represent the advisory board.

Other items approved at the meeting included:

• A  zoning request change from commercial to wholesale, warehouse and manufacturing district for property on East Rusk Street;

• An ordinance to vacate Milam Street and portions of surrounding alleyways;

• An ordinance amending sections of sanitation ordinances;

• A resolution calling for the General Election of the City of Jacksonville and joint election agreement between the city and JISD.

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