HOUSTON • The Houston Board of Aldermen decided what to do about the culvert on Oak Lane Circle that has been coming up every month for a couple of months.

James Clark came before the board a few months ago and asked that the city remove the culvert that the church had added on Oak Lane Circle to prevent traffic from Franklin from crossing and exiting on Oak Lane.

At first, the board took no action and the aldermen were to go look at it and gauge the situation.

The next month, it was decided to remove the culvert.

However, the pastor of the church, Frankie Martin, came before the board to plead his case last week.

“Our intentions for the culvert are to make a drive in, because we have handicapped people that are coming to our church and we’re putting an awning on the side of the building for them to get in the building without getting in the weather, and making it easier for those handicapped people,” said Martin. “We are trying to enhance the property as we go along. We are not to the point that we want to be, but that’s just part of it. We did fill out an application with the city for the culvert and it was approved and somebody has disputed that I suppose, and here we are again. I don’t know what else to say except we need the culvert to put in the driveway for the handicapped and how can you refuse the handicapped folks access to the church building?”

Clark refuted the claim that they needed the driveway.

“There’s plenty of room for the handicapped to circle around under the awning and go back out onto the street,” said Clark. “We property owners and tax payers on that street, and I’ve talked to several property owners and tax payers on that street, and they don’t want people coming through there from Franklin, and they’ve been coming through there before and we don’t need that. That culvert is right in front of a lady’s house that’s got kids, and if you’ve got people flying through there from 6th Avenue there, and they are liable to run right into that lady’s front yard and liable to kill the kids. We’ve got kids all up and down that street.”

Martin said that he was going to install a gate there that would be closed except for during church hours and keep it blocked to through traffic otherwise. He said that there is a backhoe sitting there now blocking access to the drive.

The board ultimately decided to let the culvert stay because the church went through all the proper channels and had everything in order, as well as trying to improve the property and the access to the church for their congregation.

Aldermen also:

– Approved the minutes for July 6 and 19.

– Tabled amending the minutes for Jan. 5 to reflect the raises being retroactive.

– Approved going with Belinda Stuart for Architectural services on the theater building.

– Approved hiring Jimmy Patterson for Public Works at $11.50 per hour and a 90 day probationary period, after which the pay moves to $12.00 per hour.

– Approved allowing a mobile home to be placed on Daniel Boone Street, replacing an old mobile home, by a vote of 3-1, with Ward 1 Alderlady Kellie Atkinson voting no.

– Took no action on allowing a mobile home to be placed on Crawford Drive until Ward 4 Alderlady Willie McKinney could be present for discussion since it was in her ward.

– Heard the department reports.

– Approved paying the claims by a vote of 3-2, with Atkinson and Ward 3 Alderman Matt Callahan voting no. Callahan said it was because he had not yet had time to study them.

– Adjourned.

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