By Annie Dockery, Correspondent
Belton City Council met on Tuesday evening for their regular council meeting to discuss the Chisholm Trail Hike and Bike Trail, assistance agreements for the Belton Fire Department and an award presentation to the Lena Armstrong Library.
Grants and Special Projects Coordinator, Aaron Harris and City Engineer, Angellia Points made a presentation before the council concerning the Chisholm Trail Hike and Bike Trail Phase II.
“This is our fourth leg of our hike and bike trail system. I know we have project named as Phase two but keep in mind that this is the fourth leg of it. We are keeping this going. Each leg has had a significant engineering process that goes along with it,” Harris said.
“This project extends the 10 foot hike and bike trail and the major challenge here is connecting the networks, North and South,” Harris said. “The railroad provided a big challenge for us, getting pedestrians safely across it.”
The southern portion of the Hike and Bike currently stops on University and North of the railroad; there are existing sidewalks and bike lanes.
“Basically the project is linking the two,” Points said. “The unfortunate part is the railroad is in between.”
The plan is to go under the railroad tracks and go by the BISD bus barn, cross Industrial and go to Commerce to connect to the existing hike and bike trail. The exact place of the railroad crossing will be determined at the time of designing.The railroad crossing portion of the Chisholm Trail Hike and Bike Trail is expected to begin in January of 2019 and to be completed in 2020.The motion was approved for the City Manager, Sam Listi, to enter into a professional services agreement with Kasberg, Patrick & Associates in regards to the Chisholm Trail Hike and Bike Trail.
Sam Listi presented the 2016 Achievement of Library Excellence award by the Texas Municipal Library Directors Association to the City of Belton’s Lena Armstrong Public Library. Kim Kroll, Director of the Lena Armstrong Library, was in attendance to accept the award.
“It always amazes me when Kim puts in for this award that how few Texas libraries receive the award. It is just amazing. Of the 548 public library systems in the state, only 43 have received this award,” Listi said.
Fire Chief Bruce Pritchard stood before the council and requested to be able to enter into automatic assistance response agreements with Salado Fire & Rescue and Central Bell County Fire Department (CBCFD) similar to what was done with Temple Fire & Rescue, last year.
“The first one is Salado and we have had an agreement with Salado since 2005. That was the last time it was updated. Tonight, we are just asking to update it,” Pritchard said. “It really helps us out with two things. One with manpower and two, is water supply,” Pritchard said. “Salado has fairly large water tanker and they have some good engines.”
The agreement with CBCFD would mean that CBCFD would help Belton Fire Department along the Hwy 190.
“Central Bell is one of the more prominent Volunteer Departments around us,” Pritchard said. “They have a lot of personnel and they are very well equipped. The automatic assistance agreement is when the tones drop for a specific structure fire, that department is dispatched at the same time as the Belton Fire Department. The motion was passed to continue the interlocal agreements with Central Bell County Fire Department and the Salado Volunteer Fire Department for automatic assistance response.
Motions were made and passed for the City Manager to execute a contract for the piece property immediately adjacent and south of the splash pad. The property at 310 Alexander Street is currently a vacant lot. The property will be used as additional space for the recreation area, Harris Community Park.