Thus far, the 2016 winter is shaping up to be like 2015, with 1 to 3 inch rains in a 1 to 2 hour timeframe. It has resulted in more damage to our dirt streets as we wait for the FEMA paperwork to be processed on the city flood disaster recovery assistance going back to May of 2015. We are expecting the logjam at FEMA created by other disasters in the state to clear in February so the contractor can commence work. The actual work will likely take a couple of years since the city will be responsible for 25% of the cost.

Our Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) project to provide an all-weather surfaced street on the section of Durwood Dr. from Camelot South to Kings Forest Circle is getting closer to actual construction with each day that brings us to warmer (and hopefully) drier weather. That project will have to be completed and paperwork finished by October per CDBG guidelines.

Grant assistance from the US Dept. of Agriculture Rural Development program is being sought for the proposed City Hall/office complex at the Community Center. The application also includes a request for funds to acquire equipment for street work. A response from the USDA on the cities application is expected in early spring.

The city’s request to Texas Dept. of Transportation (TxDOT) for lowering the speed limit on Hwy 69/287 from 75 miles per hour to 60 miles per hour was approved by the Texas Transportation Commission in Austin. The approval of the request is likely due to the large amount of support from multiple state & local elected officials, school districts and others. The lowered speed limit includes the portion of Hwy 69/287 from the north edge of the city by the Kera and Las Brisas Ranch boundaries to the existing 60 MPH speed limit in Hillister on the South end. The Transportation Commission approved lowering the speed limit from 75 mile per hour to 65 miles per hour that stretch of Hwy69/287 from the north boundary of the city to the existing 60 MPH speed limit zone near Childress Monuments and the Deerwood Subdivision. The City of Ivanhoe was not involved in that portion of the TxDOT decision.

Having a lower speed limit around the sole entrance and exit for the City will provide some measure of safety for school buses and emergency service vehicles turning into & out of Ivanhoe. It will also give our elderly residents a longer “reaction-time frame” when turning across traffic from both directions. The lower speed limit is also a pre-requisite for development in the commercial zoned area bordering Hwy 69/287.

On that subject, Dollar General has expressed very high likelihood of building a store at the entrance when the speed limit is reduced, and dependent on negotiations with the property owner of the commercial property. Also, a permit application for Longhorn Liquor is expected within the next few weeks for construction beside the Timberlakes/Rawson/Ivanhoe Real Estate office at the entrance.

Our Supervisor of Dams continues monitoring the dams, and as part of the on-going repair process has been keeping the level of Lake Charmaine just below spillway level. Chance Construction completed the re-caulking of the spillway the second week of February and the lake is being allowed to fill completely. Further minor repairs are anticipated on the dam structure/substructure in the coming months; none of which are expected to impact the lake level. Lake Galahad was lowered for a brief period of time to allow re-caulking of an expansion joint, and sealing cracks at the ends of the spillway weir (berm). The work was completed in conjunction with the Lake Charmaine Dam work, and the lake is well on the way to being full again.

Spring is filled with activities in and around Ivanhoe. If you plan to burn leaves and limbs and/or other wood products which is allowed by city ordinance, please keep the piles small and avoid burning when there is a breeze. Household garbage, plastic and related items are not acceptable for outdoor burning in Ivanhoe. Have a safe and enjoyable start to spring.