Council OKs power price reduction
Fredericksburg City Council on Monday approved a renewal for its purchase of electric power and took advantage of lower market rates from provider AEP for a three-year contract extension.
The city has split its wholesale power purchases from both LCRA (65 percent) and AEP energy (35 percent). The new contract extension would include a nearly 20-percent cost reduction.
The city’s cost would be reduced from $48.40 per megawatt hour to $40.87.
Sign, sound ordinance
The council also OK’d a first reading of amendments to the city’s sign ordinance to make exceptions for temporary events on Marktplatz, such as use of banners.
The Marktplatz Redevelopment Commission, organized in 1990, makes recommendations to the council for any development or ordinance changes on the town square.
The council also permanently approved revisions to the city sound ordinance.
Since the revisions, the police department has investigated 131 noise-related incidents, 70 of which came from private residences.
Cord Switzer, owner of Fredericksburg Winery, commented on the exceptions to the sign ordinance, asking who would review the signs and what is or is not acceptable.
On the noise ordinance, Switzer cited the breakdown of the police calls. “Are these the same problem children that we’ve been having problems with?” he asked. “If we’re having problems with the same problem children, we need to address it.”
Switzer also commented on the upcoming May 31 relief route public meeting.
Police Chief Steve Wetz said he thought much progress had been made in the past 12 months on the repeat sound ordinance violators. “I think a lot of people are getting educated about the ordinances, especially with the venues downtown.”
The city accepted a donation from Allen Keller Company to help install new temporary soccer fields on city-owned land adjacent to Oak Crest Park.
The council entered into a two-year agreement with the Fredericksburg chapter of the American Youth Soccer Organization, which charges the organization with upkeep and maintenance.
Currently the city has one soccer field at Old Fair Park, there are 550 children participating in league play and seven select teams which play year-round.
The council also held the first of two public hearings on the annexation of 24.77 acres on Smokehouse Road for the Seipp Subdivision. Developer Nicole Bartel and mother Mimi Bartel would like to put affordable housing units on the land.
Resident Steven Harris said he and neighbors expressed concerns about traffic and any potential for rezoning other than low-density development.
“The neighbors and I had a meeting with the Bartels and our primary concerns are that a traffic study gets done,” Harris said. “The corner of Smokehouse and Live Oak is not the best intersection.”
Brian Jordan, director of development services, said he is looking into the development plans. “The development is for R-1A, which is smaller lot residential developments. The majority of our land in town falls into that category.” The Planning & Zoning Commission will consider the annexation on Wednesday.
Jordan said the city had seen a preliminary plat, but not the actual development plan. Smokehouse Road currently is in the city’s extra-territorial jurisdiction.
Councilman Jerry Luckenbach asked about the possibility of making Smokehouse Road a through street, but Jordan said no plan currently exists with the less dense development than had been proposed two years ago when the city considered extending the road.
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