Kenney, Nathan Drive residents have a bumpy ride
Fri, 2015-04-17 05:00 News Staff
By LYNETTE SOWELL
Frustrated is only one word to describe the feelings of residents of Kenney and Nathan Drives in Sunset Estates, north of Lutheran Church Road. When Coryell County officials voted to create Road District 1 in December 2013 in an effort to help address the deteriorating streets in Sunset Estates, the residents thought it was a step toward getting their streets repaired. Those repairs are no closer to happening than when Road District 1 was formed nearly 18 months ago, due to delays on the part of the engineer the county selected to perform a hydrology study to take a look at the drainage issues that caused the road problems in the first place. Even though homeowners in that area were assessed and paid a special property tax of 20 cents per $100 valuation in order to raise funds to pay for that road work, and a little more than $13,000 has come in, nothing concrete has come of it. As of September 2014, engineer Otto Wiederhold with Walker Partners was to being a hydrology study on those streets. As of April 2015, that study still is not completed. Commissioner Jack Wall, who’s been the one keeping in contact with Wiederhold, had no firm explanation for why the studies haven’t been completed by now. So far, Wall believes the survey has been completed of the area along with possibly some topographic studies. On Monday, the Road District 1 board—consisting of all four county commissioners and overseen by county judge John Firth—decided to not go forward with any further work by this particular engineer. The road district board released a revised proposal dated March 24, 2015 from Wiederhold, in a total sum of $31,600. Originally, the road district was given a beginning figure of approximately $14,000, which the district was prepared to pay, for a topographic survey, engineering design, grade staking for construction, and preparation of easement for drainage and construction. The contract also included a phase 2, additional survey, design and grade staking work to “cover proper driveway culvert sizing as well as Kenney Drive offsite drainage and the existing culvert crossing Kenney Drive.” Commissioner Jack Wall, who is the precinct commissioner for those neighborhoods, said the time was to either fish or cut bait with that particular engineering company, and any completed studies to this point could be provided to another engineer. “The the real question then becomes, what is the real output for this study?” county Judge John Firth asked at Monday’s meting. “We need to know what we can at least, from a liability standpoint, hang our hat on.” Firth said the district could possibly turn to the county’s road and bridge department for assistance with assessing the areas that aren’t as tough to deal with as one particular section of the roads, and give input about the size of the culverts needed. Or, Firth told those assembled for the hearing, “We can accept and approve his proposed contract offer, which of course is significantly more in money. I’m sure that you’re not very happy about that, and we’re not very happy about that.” One resident said every time it rains, his yard floods. Another resident, Orville Maaninga, who’s hosted several meetings and hearings at his home, echoed the frustration by the others. “We’ve been waiting, bouncing and bouncing down that road for years,” he said. Due to the delays on the survey work, and based on input from the residents, the road district board decided to come to an agreement with Wiederhold on what work has already been done, then essentially go back to the drawing board by having the county road and bridge department take a look at the streets, then try to find another engineer to finish the work. Only after that, can the district go forward with planning the street drainage and resurfacing project. More recently, the residents in those neighborhoods have, yet again, pooled some of their resources to fill some of the numerous pot holes which only reappear again after a rain.