By AMANDA KIMBLE
STEPHENVILLE (November 3, 2016) – October was a busy month for the Stephenville City Council’s Public Health and Safety Committee. The group, which included Chairman Brady Pendleton and members Mark McClinton and Carla Trussell, forwarded several recommendations to the full city council for approval Tuesday.
A number of city streets near Tarleton State University were affected by the updates to the parking ordinance, including portions of Garfield Avenue, as well as stretches of Jones, Mulberry and Shirley Streets.
On Garfield Avenue, new restrictions will be enforced in the 1200 and 1300 blocks. The west side of the street has been designated a no parking zone – all the time. The east side of the street will be no parking between the weekday hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Stephenville Police Chief Jason King said police department personnel have made initial contact with residents along affected streets some time ago. He said in the immediate future, residents will be contacted again, informed of the new restrictions and availability of parking permits.
King said the permitting process was put into place in the 1990s and was created specifically for city residents living within close proximity to Tarleton State University. The restrictions restrict commuter parking while providing space for residents. Cars with city permits will be allowed to park in the spaces during restricted time periods.
Residents are allowed two parking permits per home. They can be obtained free of charge from water department clerks at Stephenville City Hall. Proof of residency is required to obtain the permits, which are valid for a year.
Updated parking restrictions on Jones Street include the 100 to 1400 blocks. No parking will be allowed on the north side of the street from 1200 to east property line at 1327, west of property line 1327 through the 1400 block or on the south side of the street west of 1140 through the 1400 block. Restrictions that will be enforced from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. include the north side of the 1100 to 1200 block, east property line 1327 to the 1327 west property line and south side 1100 to 1140.
Parking on the north side of the 1500 block of Mulberry Street is prohibited and 8 a.m. -4 p.m. restrictions will be enforced on the north side of the 1400 block and the south side of the 1400 and 1500 blocks.
On Shirley Street, both sides of the 1200 block through 1385 on the north side and 1380 on the south side will be restricted from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Also related to parking issues surrounding Tarleton State’s growing campus, the council supported an interlocal agreement with university police. The partnership will allow campus police to enforce municipal parking regulations on city streets adjacent to the university.
“It’s just another way for the city and university to cooperate together to alleviate issues that affect all of us,” King said.
Pendleton explained that the city doesn’t have the manpower needed to send police department personnel to write tickets around the growing campus.
In other items of business related to the Public Health and Safety Committee, the council approved the expenditure of forfeiture funds to meet a grant match requirement for additional body cameras for police officers and for the purchase of IR (infrared) illuminators for the multi-agency response team.
The team includes police departments and sheriff’s departments, including Stephenville and Erath County and the surrounding area.
Meanwhile, the council approved the use of municipal court technology funds for the purchase of electronic ticket writers, which will cut down on paper waste and make operations more efficient while wirelessly communicating citations directly to the office of Justice of the Peace Shawnee Bass.
Finally, the council approved a firefighter equipment purchase program. Pendleton said when a firefighter needs something like a $400 pair of boots, the city would fund the purchase and take regular installments from their paychecks to recoup the expense.
Each of the public safety issues received the full support of the council.