By Gilda Morales
The Van Horn City Council met in regular session last Tuesday night and heard from the two top CCAISD administrators on their vision and “wish list” for the second phase of the new school improvement plan. Council first heard from principal Charles Gonzalez about the bottlenecks in traffic that are occurring on 7th Street when parents drop off and pick up their children, and when there are sports activities at the gym. Mr. Gonzalez presented Council with a drawing of a proposal to make 7th Street a one-way street to avoid congestion and make pedestrian traffic safer around the school. He told Council that the plan would also provide for a crosswalk on 7th Street from Highway 54, requested a 4-way crosswalk on Houston and 7th Street, and a 2-way crosswalk on Crockett and 7th Street. The plan would also provide extensive sidewalks along the crosswalks to further improve student and pedestrian safety. Mr. Gonzalez also informed Council that he had already ordered signs that warn drivers that they are entering a school zone and that no texting is allowed.
Following Mr. Gonzalez’ presentation, council had a spirited discussion on the pros and cons of making Fannin a one-way permanently or only during school hours and not during the summer. Councilman Corrales commented that he has been around the school when students are being dropped off and picked up and that “it is a mess!” Mayor Young added that not making the street a one-way would be confusing as residents tried to figure out when the street was a one or two way. Councilmen Lyndon McDonald and Rudy Hinojos were opposed to a permanent one-way designation at the location with the other four council members voted for the motion.
Superintendent Baugh then presented Council with several scenarios to increase parking and student safety, including closing Fannin Street to all through-traffic to make it part of a continuous parking lot spanning from the current elementary parking lot to the gymnasium. Council offered various alternatives to Mr. Baugh, who assured Council that the plans are in the preliminary phase and subject to more extensive planning and engineering expertise.
In other action, Council voted to:
Approve payment to Tritex in the amount of $40, 947.39 for half of the engineering fees for gas line relocation at the rest area project, to be reimbursed by TxDot
Approved to renew a proposal from RSB for TCEQ Wastewater Permit renewal
Approved a request from Municipal Judge Grace Dickenson to approve and sign interlocal cooperation contract for “failure to appear” by not allowing license renewals for those owing traffic tickets.