Public hearing held at city commission meeting Tuesday

A public hearing was held at City Hall during the Sweetwater City Commission meeting on Tuesday morning, January 8, to consider a recommendation from the Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission regarding a request to rezone a 7.01 acre tract of land--known as 411 E. Bradford Lane--from a dwelling district (zone E-1) to an industrial district (zone K).The P&Z met on January 4, 2013 to discuss the matter and unanimously approved to make the change. One citizen offered input on the matter during Tuesday's meeting, a resident of Bradford Lane named Beverly Madden.Madden shared that the clearing out of the area--to be used by Devon Energy to construct a building for their business--has completely changed the lives of the residents on the street. Trees were cut down, in which Madden says the northern winds that blow can no longer be blocked.She also voiced a concern she heard that all the new traffic would be directed onto Bradford Lane, and already cracks are surfacing on the road. She inquired on whether the city would keep the road in optimal shape as the traffic increases.Madden stated that she understood that the city would be progressing with the incoming oil boom and that she could not change what is happening, but she wanted to voice her opinion. As a result, however, she said her dreams of living in the country have "gone out the window."After Madden's input, the public hearing was closed. Accepting the recommendation from the P&Z, the city commissioners approved the rezoning of the area.Also dealing with Bradford Lane was the opening and consideration of bids for the Lamar Street utility relocation. Only one bid was received from Roberts Construction, totaling around $786,500 with an alternate bid of $118,717.50.It was noted that the bid came in significantly higher than the initial estimates--almost double the cost, but following a review from the city engineer from Enprotec/Hibbs and Todd, John Voller, his recommendation was to award the base bid and alternate bid to the construction company. The city has worked with Roberts Construction in the past, and though the bid was high, Voller stressed that the project needed to be done. Eddie Brown, the city manager of Sweetwater, echoed that sentiment of the need to complete the project in that commercial developers and other developers are looking at establishing businesses on Bradford Lane. Thus, the city commission approved to accept both bids from Roberts Construction.