Council approves Dairy Queen site plan, agreements for splash pad design

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By SHELLY WILKISON

The Liberty Hill City Council on Monday approved a site plan for a Dairy Queen, which is expected to open in spring 2018.

The restaurant, which will have a drive-thru window, will be located at 13266 State Highway 29 West — next to Chicken Express.

The franchise owner of the proposed Dairy Queen development is Scott Lay of Lay Construction of Tyler. The restaurant is proposed to be 3,205 square feet, and will include a drive-thru window.

Also this week, the Council voted 4-1 to approve a professional services agreement with Water Technology, Inc., for the equipment design of a splash pad at Wetzel Park. The City will pay up to $45,000 for the pad design.

In a related vote, the Council approved a professional services agreement with Ascension Architecture for engineering services related to the splash pad design. The Council authorized up to $25,000 for that service.

With design and engineering, construction and equipment, the splash pad could have an end price of $480,000. The project is being paid for with tax notes.

“I want it. It will be a cool feature, but it just boggles my mind that we’re going to spend this much money on engineering,” said Council Member Jon Branigan, who cast the lone vote in opposition against the agreement with WTI.

Council Member Wendell McLeod joined him in voting no on the agreement with Ascension.

City Administrator Greg Boatright said once complete, the City will outsource its maintenance for a few years until a Parks & Recreation Department is added.

The City is working toward getting the splash pad open by the time school is out in May.

In other business, the Council voted 4-1, with McLeod opposed, to award a bid to Austin Engineering Company, Inc., in the amount of $130,625 for construction of wastewater improvements along Jonathan Drive.

“When we annexed Jonathan Drive in 2015, we are required to provide wastewater if we get a request,” said Boatright.

He said a business on Jonathan Drive is contributing $40,000 toward the overall cost of $130,000 to install the line, and three or four users want to connect within a few months of its installation.

“We’re making the investment for installation of the line and connection fees will offset our costs,” he said. “But regardless, we are obligated to do this.”

He added that tax notes will also be used to pay for installation costs.

Also Monday, the Council:
– Approved by a 4-0 vote with McLeod abstaining, a 5 percent pay increase for certain employees. McLeod abstained because his wife, Mary Ann McLeod, was on the list to receive the pay increase.
– Adopted an amendment to an agreement with Larkspur Community Development, Inc., regarding Consent to the Creation and Operation of Municipal Utility Districts Numbers 31, 32 and 33.
– Adopted a resolution accepting a petition for the creation of the Summerlyn West Public Improvement District (PID) within the city. The resolution calls for a public hearing on Jan. 8, 2018.
– Approved a final plat for Morningstar Subdivision Phase 2, Section 1A.
– Adopted a resolution accepting the voluntary annexation of a narrow strip of land in the Santa Rita development.
All Council members were present Monday. The Council does not meet again until Jan. 8, 2018, due to the Christmas holiday.

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