By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

GRAPELAND – During the Grapeland City Council meeting held on Oct. 10, Grapeland resident June Springfield voiced her concerns over the flashing light at the intersection of Market Street (Bus. Hwy. 287) and Chestnut Street. (FM 227).

Springfield said she had noticed drivers along Chestnut Street had a tendency to speed and it was endangering children who walked home from school.

“What I’m suggesting – or proposing – is that we make this light be able to turn and use the area as a cross walk by pushing a button. It doesn’t have to be a red, yellow and green stoplight. All we need is for it to turn red to stop traffic and let kids cross,” she said.

She said she first became aware of the issue when her granddaughter brought it to her attention and indicated it was difficult to see around the curve near First Christian Memorial, Inc.

“I think this is a really good thing, she continued. “I think this is something we should look into. If you need a volunteer to find out how many kids cross at this place, I’ll go out there and count them. I’ll even get their names if that’s what TX DOT wants. There are a lot more kids out there today than there was say 20 years ago and there are a lot more cars out there. Let’s try and make this happen before someone gets seriously hurt.”

The stoplight matter was presented during the public forum portion of the meeting – and as a result – the council took no action on the matter.

As the meeting continued, Mayor Balis Dailey reported the city had received the money used to help in the recently held citywide clean-up, but added it was about $1,600 short.

“(City Secretary) Donna (Deal) and I will go through that tomorrow to determine if the city can find that $1,600,” he said.

The mayor also praised the help and efforts put forward by the Grapeland Economic Development Corporation for their efforts in helping secure the Darling Ingredients project.

In other matters brought before the council:

  • Consent Agenda items were approved by the council.
  • The Municipal Court collected a total of $4,214.80 comprised of $1,882 in city revenue, $1,225 in state revenue and $253.67 in delinquent fees. There were 46 citations written, 17 total dispositions, and one magistration at the Houston County Jail during the month of September.
  • Grapeland Interim Police Chief Ronnie Howell reported his department was dispatched to a total of 73 calls, made one arrest and issued 51 citations as well as 36 warnings in September. He also provided the racial profiling report for the month.
  • Grapeland City Superintendent David Malone reported the city used 7,825,000 gallons of water from the municipality’s water wells. There were 6,058,000 gallons of water sold during the month of September and 2,780,000 gallons of wastewater were treated, for a daily average of 93,000 gallons.
  • Houston County Fire Marshal and Grapeland Fire Chief Roger Dickey said the fire department responded to a total of 13 fire alarms for the month of September which brought the year-to-date total to 103. He added there were 22 EMS calls for the month which brought the year-to-date total to 169.
  • A resolution designating Oct. 13 as the 72nd Peanut Queen Contestant Day was approved by the council.
  • The Grapeland Water Department was presented with a Letter of Commendation for their efforts.
  • An agenda item concerning an amendment to Ordinance 95-1 (public gatherings) was tabled for further discussion.
  • The 2017 National Electric Code was adopted by the council.
  • Nominations for nominees for the Houston County Appraisal District Board of Directors for 2018-2019 were approved by the council.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.