City Council Wrestling With Sign Ordinance – Zoning Issues and Old Service Lines

Lampasas City Council met at 5:30pmMonday in a closed session. When they came out, there was a call into an open session where they voted to authorize the City Manager to negotiate with an un-named wholesale electric power for their product. Lampasas has always purchased its power from the LCRA, but it is free, like all electric systems, to purchase its power from any provider. Because of the highly competitive nature of wholesale power, the name of the company was not revealed. 

The Council went back to workshop session where the issue of the sign ordinance came up again. It appears the Council is together in its opinion that digital LED signs are too bright and flashy.  It has been openly discussed that the signs at the Sonic Drive In and the Rustler's Junction stores were not favored by the Council, but at this meeting Councilman Chris Harrison brought up the issue of a digital LED sign that has now been installed at the 1st Texas Bank ATM on Key Avenue.

He questioned that the City had allowed the sign to be installed, since he believes that it is not in keeping with the current rules.

The Council discussed the issue back and forth, but no exact direction of future action was ever decided on, other than to study the matter further in another meeting.

In the regular session, shortly after 7pm, six short public hearings were held with all of them having to do with zoning matters. Five of the six issues were later approved by Council vote, with the sixth one tabled. Two of the issues had to do with installing rooftop solar systems in Lampasas, with the general outcome being Council approval, and even a move to remove the need for a “Specific Use” zoning approval.

Other issues included a request by the Chamber of Commerce for reimbursement of expenses for $7,499, which was approved. There was a request for the purchase of a part for a backhoe that was to cost $4,355 and a new pickup purchase for $27,587 which were approved. There was also a request for $10,000 to pay Eckermann Engineering for service in designing a water and wastewat extension in the east part of town. The resulting installation of water and wastewater lines will likely cost the City 70 to 100 thousand dollars. The painful part of the issue seemed to be that, for right now, the lines would only service two older homes in the area. It was explained that the old line that served the two was giving problems, and it had been originally been built by cutting across some elese's property.

Unfortunately, the City can't repair or replace it on the private property, so they will have to build new lines. We did learn that there is an expectation of residential development in the area which would seem to justify the expense.