Council to Meet on Super Block Plans

The West University Place City Council will meet at 5 p.m. today, to consider several actions related to the creation of a Super Block for municipal facilities.

The council will first meet in executive session for an evaluation of City Manager Michael Ross.

The council then will consider a proposal to perform a city-wide survey regarding the proposed long-range master plan for municipal facilities, which includes the creation of a Super Block to house future city buildings. The long-range master plan would create a campus of municipal buildings on the block bordered by University, College, Auden and Amherst.

The long-range master plan includes the future acquisition of four privately owned lots on University Blvd., as well as the possible acquisition of properties on Amherst now owned by West University Baptist Church.

The church is planning to build a new Youth Center in West U, to provide more services through its youth ministry for middle school and high school students.

The council also will consider whether to obtain a legal opinion from an attorney who specializes in federal and state protection of religious institutions in cities.

The council also will consider advertising a non-binding request for proposal regarding city real estate in the 3800 blocks of Amherst and Milton. That RFP involves a possible land swap between the city of West U and the West U Baptist Church, to allow the church to build its new Youth Center on Milton St., where the city’s solid waste operations facility is located.

That real estate transaction is part of the long-range plan for the municipal campus, and would involves moving the garbage trucks now housed on Milton to the city’s old Recycle Express property on Dincans St.

Many West U residents have expressed concerns about the long-range Master Plan for city facilities, and the council is considering the city-wide survey of residents and the legal opinion in response to those concerns.