HEATH, TX. (July 21, 2014) During 2013, the City Council and City Staff spent a significant amount of time developing, with citizen input, a Capital Improvements Plan (CIP) that included more than $20 million in projects to benefit the entire community. The CIP was adopted by Council in January 2014; and bonds were issued in April at very favorable interest rates due to our City’s improved S&P rating. A drive around the City of Heath makes it apparent that many of the CIP projects are now underway, and I thought this would be a good time for an update on the construction projects you are seeing in our City.
Trails & Parks
*The Buffalo Creek Trail along Horizon Road is repaired and open.
*The Safe Routes to School trails projects are underway. The section from the FM-740 (Laurence)/Smirl intersection to Rockwall-Heath High School is the first to be constructed. The next phase will be the trail section connecting that intersection to Amy Parks-Heath Elementary and across the front of the school. The last sections from Pullen Elementary to connect to Cobblestone Farms and the Hills of Buffalo Creek are scheduled to begin very soon. The Safe Routes trail segments, funded in part by a $1.2 million Safe Routes to School grant, should be completed this fall.
*The Terry Park wall repair project is underway. A portion of the park will remain closed until the project is completed in November.
Streets & Roadways
*The Amy Parks Driveway (Towne Center Park) was designed to improve traffic flow around Amy Parks-Heath Elementary School. This driveway is under construction and should be completed before school resumes. City Staff is working with the RISD to develop traffic patterns that will reduce congestion in this part of town and will also provide better access to the Towne Center Park.
*TxDOT reports that the paving for the FM 740 South widening project will begin in the fall with an anticipated 24-month construction schedule.This second phase of the FM 740 project spans from the FM 740/1140 (north) intersection to the FM 740/FM 1140/Hubbard Drive intersection. Utility relocations for this project have begun.
*Initial paving repairs toCountry Club Road are complete, and additional street repairs are ongoing at locations throughout the City.
*In Shepherds Glen, a new force main and gravity sewer are being installed and should be operational by September.
*The construction of a 24-inch diameter water line is underway from Wallace Road/Horizon to FM 549/Kings Pass. This water line will increase the water supply capacity to the City and encourage future commercial development in the area along Horizon Road. The project should be completed in December.
CIP Update Online
More detailed information regarding the CIP is available on the City’s website at www.heathtx.com under the Government tab in the menu. The page includes a Capital Improvement Plan mapping application that explains each project, CIP news and images. In addition to our CIP projects, commercial developments are underway that will help us attract high quality residential and commercial developments into our City. I look forward to sharing more news on this topic next month.
In the meantime, keep up with Heath at our website; read the newsletter that comes with your monthly utility bills; follow us on Facebook and Twitter; attend our council meetings when your schedule allows; and always feel free to call or email me, any of your City council members or the City Staff.
While construction can present some inconvenience over the short term, we are extremely excited about the long-term benefits these projects will bring as we improve Heath’s roads, parks, trails and water and sewer systems.
Submitted by Heath Mayor Lorne O. Liechty.
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