Council discusses parks updates and approves contracts, alley-abandonments and code updates
City Council discussed parks-and-recreation updates and approved new city contracts, alley abandonments and code updates Monday at City Hall
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BURLESON – City Council discussed parks-and-recreation updates and approved new city contracts, alley abandonments and code updates Monday at City Hall.
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Burleson parks and recreation director Jen Basham’s parks-and-recreation capital-improvement-plan updates follow councilmember Larry Scott’s request to hold all parks and recreation projects for a year after he investigated parks and recreation complaints.
The proposed parks-and-recreation capital-improvement plan includes spending $3.66 million on parks projects, $5.45 million on Burleson Recreation Center (BRiCk) renovations, $86,750 on golf-course projects, $100,000 in administration costs and $464,917.50 in contingency and escalation plans in fiscal-year 2023-24.
Scott was pleased with the updates, he said at the meeting, but requested to escalate the Hidden Creek Sports Complex improvements and the new “Community Park” to 2025 instead of 2026.
“I think we’re going in the right direction with maintenance now,” Scott said. “I think we’re getting that taken care of, and I think it’s time to, in the future, start looking into some new parks like the community park.”
Councilmember Victoria Johnson supported escalating those projects to 2025 and thinks the council “owes it to the community” to find solutions to the Hidden Creek softball fields’ problems.
“There’s cracks out in Hidden Creek that you can basically see to the other side of the earth, and it’s an eye soar,” Johnson said. “It’s just not a service to the citizens to leave it in the state that it’s in.”
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Council also approved authorization of a five-year contract with Bureau Veritas for third-party inspections and plan-review services for the fire department, development services and environmental services at the meeting Monday.
Burleson city staff views this as a first step toward providing these inspections in-house, city manager Tommy Ludwig said at the meeting.
“It was trying to make everything simple to where it was [a] one-stop shop, one flow of information,” Burleson fire marshal Rob Moore said at the meeting. “Instead of getting eight different versions or eight different interpretations, times three per development, it was trying to keep everything focused and clean.”
After Mayor Pro Tem Dan McClendon wondered if developers would prefer to have multiple options for third-party inspections, Ludwig affirmed that the contract with Bureau Veritas is intended to transition the fire department away from dual-path inspection services.
McClendon was also concerned Bureau Veritas could be too busy handling all Burleson’s third-party inspections that services would be delayed. McClendon eventually moved to approve authorizing the contract.
“Let’s go ahead and go through with this, but if the development community does encounter a great deal of consternation trying to make this work for them, I’m going to keep our avenues open,” McClendon said of the Bureau Veritas contract.
Ludwig reiterated Burleson will make necessary changes if this plan doesn’t work for developers.
Council also approved authorizing a contract with Instant Inspections as a backup for Bureau Veritas for third-party inspection services.
McClendon expressed concerns over the responsibility of maintaining the Dobson Street alley before voting to approve the alley abandonment.
“I can see down the road when this alley is built and it caves in and it breaks and it holds water in the middle of it and it’s a problem to the residents, who are they going to call?” McClendon said.
The city won’t be responsible for maintenance of the alley if it abandons it, Burleson deputy public works director Errick Thompson said at the meeting.
Another topic of concern for McClendon Monday was Old Town Standard’s role in proposed Old Town developments as he requested to bring an item to council for it to consider and discuss expanding that role “with a particular eye on architectural conformance.”
McClendon’s request comes after council’s discussion on Old Texas Brewing Company’s request for an awning over its temporary patio area in Old Town.
Council also approved Burleson adopting the 2021 property maintenance code, the 2021 international building code and the 2021 international fire code at the meeting.
Updates to the property maintenance code include changing the definition of an emergency escape and rescue outing, reiterating that installing space heaters can’t be used to comply with Section 602 - Heating Facilities and providing an appeal process for code violations.
Staff’s proposed amendments to the code include deleting the definition of inoperable motor vehicles, keeping international-property-maintenance-code language relative to painting vehicles on residential property and deleting its section on swimming pools and spas.
Updates to the building code include requiring all residential dwellings to have an exterior electrical disconnect, requiring a surge protection device on all main service-supplying dwelling units, increasing attic insulation from resistance-factor 38 to resistance-factor 49.
Updates to the fire code include requiring providing fire watches for building demolition and construction.
Council also approved Burleson city-employee pay plan, benefits and handbook updates at the meeting.
Council approved authorizing a five-year contract with Independent Financial for depository services for Burleson, of which councilmember Adam Russell said the City Council Finance Committee approved of.
Mayor Chris Fletcher declared the week of September 17, 2023 through September 23, 2023 Constitution Week at the meeting.
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