By Caleb Slinkard
The Commerce Journal
Some major Commerce streets will soon be clear of cars, thanks to two ordinances amended by the City Council, should the changes pass on their subsequent readings.
The council passed the first reading of two ordinance ammendments placing no parking signs along portions of Pecan Street, Ash Street and Sycamore Street, as well as portions of Stonewall Street and Bois d’Arc Street. According to Captain Terry Miller of the Commerce Police Department, emergency vehicles have had problems getting out of the first area, and Texas A&M University-Commerce students were parking along Stonewall and Bois d’Arc to avoid purchasing a parking pass.
“It’s routinely a problem,” he said.
The first reading of both ordinance ammendments passed unanimously. The ammendments were supported by CPD Chief Kerry Crews, according to Miller.
The council also agreed to lower the speed limit on Bonham Street from 30 to 25 miles per hour, a decision supported by Bonham Street resident and Mayor Dr. John Balloti, who said that there are no stop signs on the road and students often decide to use it instead of Live Oak to get downtown.
“We’ve had multiple complaints of people speeding down Bonham,” Miller said.
Sherry Johnson, president of the Bonham Street Association, also supported the speed change. According to Miller, CPD will enforce the new speed limit at first with warnings and by placing a decoy police vehicle in the area to educate Commerce residents on the change.
City Manager Marc Clayton announced a special meeting of the city council on Nov. 28 at noon to accept a bid for water/wastewater work on the road construction project. Clayton also announced a fundraiser for the Commerce Little Angels Tree in the Brookshire’s parking lot on Dec. 1 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Safe Routes to School project is back on track for Spring of 2013 after the city complied with updated regulations from the Texas Department of Transportation. Clayton also said that construction on three new houses will begin next week. Funds for the new homes was provided through a housing grant.
Councilman John Sands applauded the accomplishments of the Commerce High School football team and the girls’ volleyball team. Both teams earned bi-district titles this year.
Following executive session, the council appointed Sands and councilperson Sue Davis to a subcommitee to interact with the city’s attorney regarding the City of Commerce and State of Texas v. Fountainbleau, et al. lawsuit, which is ongoing.