By Karen Daniels
Stafford’s City Council and the Mayor are preparing for the placement of Union Pacific’s second track on Highway 90. As of December 20, 2012, the rail crossing at Present Street and Highway 90 was permanently closed. According to City Engineer, Charles Russell, the only vehicles using this entrance were 99% commercial trucks, creating a mobility problem for other vehicles at this spot.
At this time, the City is working with Vulcan Material and TXDOT about placing new landscaping in the area. Mayor Scarcella said that the noise reduction from the removal of the wayside horn at Present Street should be a “significant improvement” and “hopefully people are sleeping better at night.” Additionally, UP has not revised their construction time-frame plans for the placement of the second track, but their last plan indicated the letting process would begin in March. Add several months to that, and Phase 2, Gessner to Ulrich, is estimated to begin in June of 2013 and take approximately one year, whether permitting, to complete.
In other news
Tuesday, February 19, SNAP (Spay-Neuter Assistance Program) will hold their annual free service available to low income families in an effort to reduce over-population and strays. Held in the parking lot of Stafford City Hall between the police and fire departments, if you qualify for food stamps, free lunch program, Medicaid, Section 8 Housing, SSI/SSD, WIC, or TANF, or you are 65 years of age and older, you qualify to receive this free service.
Last year, due to inclement weather, only 10 surgeries were performed on the cats and dogs of local citizens. Please understand, SNAP travels in a large bus, the inside a miniature surgery center. Do not let cold or rainy whether deter you from such a great program. Their maximum number per event is 25 animals. Pets will be received at 7:00am and available for pick up between 4:00 and 5:00pm later that same day. If you have further questions, please call 713-522-2337.
Don’t forget Stafford’s Annual Town Meeting to be held on Wednesday, January 23, 7:00pm, at the Stafford Civic Center. All residents and community members are encouraged to attend.