San Angelo city council meeting highly productive

News

San Angelo city council met Tuesday to discuss a wide variety of topics ranging from improvements in cellular service to easing heavy commercial traffic. The meeting started off though with a special recognition for San Angelo’s first all female scout BSA troop.

One scout, had a strong argument for their inclusion saying, “people ask me, why did you join boy scouts when girl scouts have the same badges. I reply with that they do have the same badges but you don’t earn them. Girl scouts you have to clean a car, boy scouts you get to repair one.”

Standard business followed with various zoning motions and budget amendments. One such zoning motion included a request to move a billboard on Knickerbocker being struck down after repeated comments from homeowners who were worried about it’s impact ton their property values; this despite that fact that two streets, an apartment complex, and several businesses stand between the residential neighborhood and the proposed site.

A key topic later in the meeting was the approval for city staff to enter the design phase for the Hickory Aquifer Expansion Project. When this project was questioned by members of the public, councilman Harry Thomas cited his campaign promise of looking out for the city’s water reserves.

“I want to make sure that we’re 50 years out,” said Thomas. “I think with the expansion of the Hickory well field, with these five proposed new wells, and the consideration of taking the additional [radium] out of that by expansion of that particular area – I think we’re there.”

In the same vein of resource planning, the proposal to conduct a housing study, which the mayor was initially hesitant to approve. “It’s sort of like water,” explained Mayor Brenda Gunter. “If you don’t analyze it today to look for the future, you won’t be prepared for future growth. So what we need to understand is do we need more low market or lower income housing; do we need market rate housing, as it relate to apartments, do we need more townhouses or maybe duplexes.”

A recurring topic at city council meetings lately, food trucks, and the rules that govern them. While many on the council agreed to stipulations on neighborhood areas and parking hours, councilman Lane Carter expressed concern that blocking off certain parts of downtown was going to harm these local business.

“So I think the food truck ordinance actually opened up the amount of areas that they can operate in town,” said Carter. “But, it also put some restrictions on them like the 25 to 100 foot distance away from an establishment and hours of operation that they can be in a single spot. That, just did not sit well with me. It always comes down to compromise. You can’t always get less restrictive or the most restrictive, you have to kinds of find the middle ground.”

It is the hope of city government that these infrastructure and regulatory decisions will benefit San Angelo as a whole.



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