Plans call for building a new Cleburne H-E-B Grocery behind the current location, John Rose, a representative of the company, said during Tuesday’s Cleburne City Council meeting.
Council members approved the company’s request to close portions of several surrounding streets to make way for the new store. That includes a portion of Shaw Street from Wardville Street to West Willingham Street and the portion of West Wardville Street from Granbury Street to Shaw Street.
The new store, which will still front West Henderson Street, will be larger and modernized, Rose said. The current store will remain open until construction of the new store completes, at which time the current store will be demolished, he said.
The project will also improve the parking situation in the current store’s lot, he said.
Details on the construction timetable remain to be determined although Mayor Scott Cain said he expects the project to get under way fairly quickly.
“This is a huge deal for Cleburne,” Cain said. “It’s been years since we’ve had a new grocery store in Cleburne.”
Given the delicacy of land purchase negotiations, Cain said the majority of city officials and council members only learned of H-E-B’s plans several days ago.
Cain called H-E-B a long time valuable member of the Cleburne community and said he hopes to see them remain so through the coming decades.
Rose said the company, which is more than 100 years old and boasts 340 Texas stores, isn’t going anywhere anytime soon and intends to remain an important part of Cleburne.
The news about H-E-B spurred city officials to once again call on residents to shop locally whenever possible. The trend of continued city sales tax revenue declines also marks cause for concern.
“When you shop outside of Cleburne it has consequences,” Finance Director Kim Galvin said. “You have to realize those sale taxes [going to other cities] affects our levels of service. It affects our police and fire protection, Hulen Park, the 4B projects, Splash Station and the ball parks. When you spend money in Cleburne it impacts your life directly.”
Cain agreed, but also said a robust tax base also fosters growth and business development.
“If we want the Chik-fil-A’s, want the Targets then we need to shop at home,” Cain said.
Sign moratorium continues
Council members narrowed the parameters in voting to extend the moratorium on the issuance of sign permits another 90 days. The extension applies only to LED signs. Several committees are reviewing and will soon propose additions and changes to city ordinances including those governing signage. Council members imposed the moratorium to allow time to ponder and act upon the committee’s proposals before issuing new permits.
The ordinance reviews constitute one piece in a larger puzzle of projects undertaken to both revitalize Cleburne and prepare it for next year’s scheduled completion of Texas 121, a toll road linking Fort Worth and Cleburne.
Order in the court
Council members approved Police Chief Robert Severance’s request to amend city ordinance to establish the Cleburne Municipal Court as a court of record.
Doing so, Severance said, improves the court’s efficiency and transparency and allows officers to spend more time out of court and on the streets among other advantages.
It also eliminates the “leap frog process” whereby defendants could jump from municipal court directly to the county court at law, a process which increased the time officers had to spend in court, thereby keeping them out of the field, and increased city overtime costs.
Council members also voted to accept to grants from the Office of the Governor both of which benefit the police department. The first grant, $79,840.02 will fund portable and police vehicle radios. The second, $49,612, will purchase 53 personal video recorders. Neither grant requires a match on the city’s part.
In other news, the council:
zx Approved Infinity Contractor’s $34,904.38 bid to replace tile and perform other repairs to Splash Station’s competition pool.
zx Reappointed William Ward to a second term on the Cleburne Planning and Zoning Commission.
zx Appointed Diana Leonard to the Cleburne Library Advisory Board and reappointed Lora Dooley and Martin Griffith to the same.
zx Cleburne downtown business owner Bill Miller said the south side of downtown suffers from a lack of parking and urged officials to chalk vehicle tires and enforce the two-hour parking limit.
zx Cain proclaimed March as American Red Cross and March for Meals Awareness months.