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Crockett Moves Forward with Downtown Plans

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CPD Chief Clayton Smith

The Messenger Named as Official Newspaper for City

By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

CROCKETT – The City of Crockett took another step forward in its efforts to revitalize the downtown area during a city council meeting held on Monday evening, June 7.

Crockett City Administrator John Angerstein opened the discussion and said he had invited Mark Priestner with Planning Concepts to attend the meeting.

“They stepped in when we were deliberating and trying to come up with a downtown master plan. The major points and hot topics for discussion for the downtown area are more of a push for residential living, developed from a master plan standpoint. What all do want to allow? How do we control it and how do we make it for the betterment of the downtown area?” Angerstein said. 

Two other areas of focus would be traffic patterns and parking in the downtown area, the city administrator explained.

“If we really want to address those issues, since they intersect in so many ways, we really need to bring in a planner who has done this for other cities and know what best practices are and to really look at our downtown area to phase in over the years,” he said.

The planning option presented by Priestner included:

  1. An analysis of existing conditions, review of current ordinances, ownership of properties, available parking spaces and creation of a base map.
  2. Analysis of existing traffic patterns, pedestrian access, parking demand and identification of limiting factors.
  3. Conceptual plan including options for parking coordination, traffic reconfiguration, pedestrian routes, etc.
  4. Colored rendering of conceptual plan for use by the city of Crockett.
  5. Identify target properties for acquisition which would be beneficial to the long-range plan for downtown.
  6. Recommendations for zoning, overlay corridors, development incentives, etc.
  7. Meetings

A motion to approve the proposal from Planning Concepts for the downtown plan – with funding to come from the city’s contingency fund – was approved.  

After the Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Planning Calendar was approved by the council, a discussion on the designation of the official newspaper for the city of Crockett was held.

Stressing he had nothing against the city’s current official newspaper, Mayor Pro-Tem Mike Marsh said, “I would like to change it up a little bit. I’ll make a motion for The Messenger.”

Councilman Gene Caldwell seconded the motion.

Crockett Mayor Dr. Ianthia Fisher questioned if the name would affect readership in Crockett. It was explained while the newspaper was formerly known as the Grapeland Messenger, the name had been formally changed to The Messenger nearly 20 years ago.

Following several minutes of discussion, a vote was taken which showed The Messenger being chosen as the city of Crockett’s official newspaper by a margin of 2-1. Marsh and Caldwell voted in favor of the motion, while Councilman Darrell Jones voted against the measure. Council members Marquita Beasley and Ernest Jackson were not present at the meeting.  

Prior to the revitalization discussion, Police Chief Clayton Smith spoke to the council about the new Animal Control Officer in his department.

“In the few weeks he (Perry Shaw) has been active, he has already picked up a total of 18 animals. Those were animals we identified as strays. There were multiple others he picked up and went out and found an owner. To date, he has issued 23 warning citations for various city ordinances,” the police chief said.

Chief Smith went on to explain the adoption centers, vets, etc. are at capacity once again and his department currently has no place to take the animals.  

“We do have some negotiations underway the Houston SPCA for when they open their new shelter and they have agreed to take up to 30 animals from us per month,” he said.

As the meeting continued, a lengthy discussion was held on Crockett Civic Center Rental and Use Agreement. Areas that were addressed included removing charges for tables and chairs, upgrading the venue’s sound system and training an individual or individuals on the usage of the system. Also discussed was an increase in the pay for security.  

In other matters brought before the council:

  • Minutes from the April 19, April 23 and May 4 meetings were approved.
  • Crockett Police Chief Clayton Smith reported the police department received 396 calls for service during the month of April which resulted in 39 arrests. There were 134 traffic warnings and citations issued while 81 police reports were filed.
  • Crockett Fire Chief Jason Frizzell was on an emergency call so City Administrator John Angerstein reported the fire department responded to 32 total calls during the month of April. Of the 32 calls, Angerstein reported 23 were in the city of Crockett while 9 were in the county. He added there was one structure fire in the city and one in the county.
  • The council approved installing speed limit signs of 15 mph for motor vehicles in the Crockett Housing Authority Sites on Sallas Street, Dodson Drive, Lewis Circle, George Briggs Drive, Rose Street and Barnhill Drive. 
  • Former Councilman Butch Calvert was recognized for his years of service to the City of Crockett as Mayor Pro-Tem Mike Marsh presented Calvert with a plaque commemorating his time on the city council.
  • Two ordinances pertaining to the issuance and sale of revenue bonds were amended.  
  • Spencer Burke, Chris Jones, Lindsey Rice, Larry Robbins and David Tyer were reappointed to the Parks and Recreation Board. Alternates Jo Denman and Kimberly Mars were also reappointed.
  • Pipp Gillette, Karen Clark, Cynthia Neel, Mike Maiden, Roberta Mason, Jacque Fleming and Linda Bullock were appointed/reappointed to the Library Advisory Board.
  • Bill Holcomb, Michael Brenner, Jo Denman, David Tyer and Samantha Wiley were appointed/reappointed to Board of Adjustments. Alternates Lois Ball and Karla Popoca were also reappointed.

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

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