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WU Council to Consider 2015 Master Plan

May 16, 2015 By:Anne Marie Kilday

Local News

The West University Place City Council will meet Monday at 6:30 p.m. to canvass the official results of the recent May 9 municipal election, and to consider the city’s 2015 long-range Master Plan for municipal facilities.

Mayor Susan Sample and the four newly elected council members, Burt Ballanfant, Bob Kelly, Brennan Reilly and Mardi Turner, will take office at a swearing-in ceremony on June 1.

The council-elect members campaigned in opposition to the implementation of a long-range Facilities Master Plan that included real estate negotiations with the West University Baptist Church. The church, which plans to build a new Youth Center, terminated the real estate talks last week.

On Monday night, the council will consider paying for more than $125,000 that the city has spent in pursuing the real estate deal with the church.

The council’s agenda also includes consideration of the 2015 Long-Range Master Plan for City Facilities. A copy of that plan is available for review on the city’s website.

In a memo to the council, City Manager Michael Ross wrote: “ One key component of the update is a long range opportunity for property exchanges between the City and the West University Baptist Church. These exchanges will allow for both parties to consolidate their property holdings contiguous to existing property ownership and it will allow for more efficient city services.”

Recommendations in the plan include several controversial ideas that were discussed when the current West U council approved a long-range Facilities Master Plan last year. The recommendations in the plan are:

■ Relocation of Public Works Maintenance Facility out of City Center

■ Consolidation of City owned property in City Center

■ Expansion of parking in City Center

■ Relocation or rebuilding the Animal Control Facility

■ Development of replacement strategy, location and timing for the Public Works Administration Building

■ Development of replacement strategy, location and timing for the Library

■ Development of replacement strategy, location and timing for the Community Building/Senior Center

■ Development of replacement strategy, location and timing for the Administration Division

■ Development of replacement strategy, location and timing for the Parks Maintenance Division

The plans states: “Even though the replacement of the Public Works Administration

Building, Library and Community Building/Senior Center is in the future and likely outside the

planning window of this plan, the City should develop a long-term strategy for these facilities to allow for a timely and cost effective transition. This will include location decisions.”

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