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Old middle school ready for the wrecking ball
by Kenda Nelson
Jun 15, 2012 | 1731 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
REFUGIO — Councilman Joey Heard predicted a bottleneck at the Commons Street-U.S. 77 traffic light when demolition begins in a few weeks on the former Refugio Middle School.

Gene Clancy, representing the Stripes Corporation, announced the store has two more weeks of abatement followed by four weeks of demolition.

“We will have a lot of truck traffic in and out so we want to find the best route for our contractors,” Clancy said. “Most of the debris will be going to Mr. James Kelley’s Ranch on Kelley Road.”

Police Chief Andy Lopez suggested that the tool for traffic control is to hire off-duty law enforcement officers to direct traffic.

“Traffic control is the only way you can move vehicles,” Lopez said.

The chief said Refugio PD does not have the personnel for traffic control but other officers in the area may be available.

Clancy proposed closing one block of Second Street where gates already exist. That section of the street would be used as a staging area for the contractors to load the dump trucks.

Councilman Joey Heard told the council that a traffic problem already exists at the intersection, especially when several large trucks are exiting the convenience store.

Heard said a large truck swung out into the other lane and held up an EMS ambulance recently.

“They slowed down the hospital’s response time,” Heard said.

While no action was taken regarding blocking off the street or hiring police officers to direct traffic, the council will revisit the issues during its next meeting.

Clancy also asked the council for help with expenses to shore up Depot Street and help concrete Commons back to Second Street. Having the trucks diesel fueling further back on the property should keep the large trucks from taking too much space pulling out of Stripes, according to Clancy.

“Mr. Clancy, right this minute we’re looking at a $3.6 million project going on with a new water well and sewer plant... we may have to borrow from you,” said Mayor Ray Jaso.

Councilman Lenny Anzaldua asked Clancy if they would “consider tax deferments or something like that?”

“We’ve done that at other locations,” Clancy said.

The representative said the facility will add additional parking at the back of the property as well as the additional diesel fueling stations.

Since the new Stripes was built, considerable damage has been done to Depot Street from traffic from the large trucks, Heard said.

“I never intended for the trucks to go out that way that much,” Clancy said.

In other matters, the council agreed to purchase dirt for Second Street resident James Bilger. The council will hire a contractor to level one side of his house as well.

Bilger told the council that water has been seeping into his yard for years which caused his house and yard to sink. Bilger obtained a backhoe to ascertain from where the water was coming.

The city water superintendent told the council he still wasn’t sure of the source of the water.

The council also approved a bid of $517,800 to refurbish the existing water tower on Swift Street. The money will come from the $3.5 million load for the water well and other water and sewer improvements.Old middle school ready for the wrecking ball
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