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City delays decision on architect for EMS station

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Paris city council met Monday night to talk about the new EMS station, various zoning changes, and Kimberly Clark.

Cleonne Drake, who represents District 6, asked to pull the EMS station from the consent agenda for discussion.

Drake asked why City Manager John Godwin recommended Ron Hobbs Architects of Garland over the two local firms– Denney Architects of Paris and W.C. Ferrell Architects of Commerce.

“(Hobbs has) built over 200 public safety facilities,” Godwin said.

Having worked with him before, Godwin said that he’s good to work with and has done extra work when something unexpected came up without charging an additional service fee.

Both of the other candidates had experience with public safety projects, Godwin said.

Godwin said Denney was “extremely competent,” but cited a lack of information on W.C. Ferrell.

“Ultimately, (I went with) the firm that had the most total experience related to public safety facilities,” Godwin said, recommending Ron Hobbs Architects.

Once an architect is chosen, the designs are expected to be completed in the next several months, and construction should begin in 2017.

The $100,000 reserved for a new EMS station in the 2016-17 budget represents about half or one-third of the total construction costs, Godwin said, and the rest will come out of the 2017-18 budget.

Designs are expected to account for $30,000 of that total.

The new station would have two bays for ambulances, two bedrooms, a kitchen, a living room, a utility room, and two bathrooms. It would be located just outside of Loop 286 on Northwest 19th St. and would replace the current station located at Paris Regional Medical Center.

Most of the council seemed to be favorable of the city manager’s recommendation. Drake wanted to think more about it.

Mayor A.J. Hashmi wanted to see the council decide between Hobbs and Denney as soon as possible, and asked Paul Denney of Denney Architects if he could finish the designs in the same time frame.

“We could jump right on it,” Denney responded, saying business was slow at the moment.

Dr. Steven Clifford, who represents District 4, asked Paul Denney if he had designed any similar buildings in the past.

“It’s not the most complicated building to ever be designed,” Paul Denney said, saying that his company could, “more than handle it.”

Denney said that if there was any weakness in his experience, he would be more than willing to look at other facilities and ask what was liked and what didn’t work.

“Because of the small to medium size of it, I feel like we can do it satisfactorily,” Denney told the council.

Mayor Hashmi motioned to table the item to bring back it back at a later date. Drake seconded, and the item was unanimously tabled.

The council went into executive session to discuss a financial agreement with Kimberly Clark.

Upon reconvening into open session, Mayor Hashmi announced that the council found them to be in compliance with a previous financial agreement and that no action would be taken.

Other items discussed at the meeting:

  • The consent agenda was passed without the item authorizing City Manager John Godwin to execute a contract with Ron Hobbs Architects
    (Clifford motioned, Drake seconded. All were in favor.)
  • After deliberation, the council denied a petition for a specific use zoning permit to allow a mobile home in the 1400 block of West Walker St. The Planning and Zoning Commission and it’s staff also recommended denial of the petition. No one from the neighborhood spoke out against the petition at City Council nor at the Planning and Zoning meetings. A letter from Timothy Waugaman and Vera Wright stated that the property only has one neighbor who says they’re okay with putting a mobile home on the lot. The pair said they are both disabled, and would greatly improve the property. Some on the council, including Mayor Hashmi, initially seemed receptive of the petition to the point of at least directly asking those in the neighborhood for their opinions on the issue, but once Godwin stated deciding in favor of this petition could set a precedent against current city ordinances concerning mobile homes, the council unanimously swayed towards denial.
    (Hashmi motioned to deny, Lancaster seconded. All were in favor.)
  • The council heard from Lesa Coder of Crest Water Properties– the new owners of the Pavilion Apartments and the storage units at 425 NE Loop 286– concerning the company’s petition for a special use zoning permit to allow the existing storage facility to be in compliance with the commercial district zone in which they’re located.
    (Clifford motioned to approve, Drake seconded. All were in favor.)
  • The council opened a public hearing for a specific use zoning permit for auto fuel sales at 2735 S. Church St. No one from the public spoke at the meeting, and the public hearing was left open until a later date.
  • Downtown parking restrictions will be loosened, after the council agreed to lift the time-limits on overnight and Sunday parking.
    (Hashmi motioned to approve, Clifford seconded. All were in favor.)
  • A second reading of and a vote a franchise agreement with Oncor Electric Delivery Company to use of the city’s public right of way. A third and final reading will take place at the next meeting on Oct. 24 at 5:30 p.m.
    (Hashmi motioned to approve, Drake seconded. All were in favor.)

Colton is the founder of Paris Free Press. He was born and raised in Paris, Texas, graduated from North Lamar ISD and Paris Junior College with an Associate Degree. He lives in Lamar County with his loving girlfriend and their three dogs and two cats. He has once been uncredited in The Paris News.

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