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City Council approves incentives for West Side Development

By Joshua Baethge
For the Anna-Melissa Tribune

The Anna City Council voted Oct. 27 to approve a set of incentives intended to spur development on the site of the soon to open Surgery Center of North Texas on the west side of US 75. The next phase of the project is a 30,000 square-foot medical building that will house medical specialists, staff and general practitioners.  Following that, retail and restaurant sites are expected to be built. The site may also eventually include a micro-hospital.

The Surgery Center of North Texas is the first in a series of projects proposed for the west side of US 75 north of West White Street.

According to Economic Development Director Joey Grisham, the site is expected to create approximately 250 jobs over the next 10 years, with an anticipated economic benefit to the city of around $3.7 million. 

Political Sign Vote Tabled

Also during the Oct. 27 meeting, the Council briefly considered an ordinance amending the city’s laws regarding the placement of political signs. According to City Manager Jim Proce, the item was added to the agenda after city staff received complaints from some current political candidates.

Among other stipulations, the amendment would have mandated that all signs on public property would need to be removed within 24 hours after the voting period.  Additionally, candidates wanting to place signs on private land would first be required to submit written permission from the landowner to the city secretary. 

Councilman John Beazley took issue with this provision, voicing concern over how the city would enforce such a regulation.

Earlier during the public comments portion of the meeting, city council candidate Danny Ussery questioned the fairness of potentially changing the rules during the middle of an election season.

Mayor Nate Pike weighed in, saying that he felt many people did not fully understand what the proposed amendment was attempting to do. He said that his lone concern was to make sure signs were not obstructing public rights-of-way, something already covered under the law.

After discussing various details for several minutes, Pike admitted that the city’s ordinances needed to be cleaned up. However, he felt the council had more important issues to address than to delve into an item brought about by political candidates complaining mere days before the election. He recommended the issue be re-examined in January.

Residents Honored for Helping Police

Interim Public Safety Director Ray Isom recognized former councilman Chris Reeves and his neighbor Josh Hahn for their role in apprehending a car burglary suspect. 

During the incident, Anna Police received a call about a prowler in an area neighborhood. When officers arrived, they found Reeves, who is a Prosper ISD Police Sargent, and his neighbor Hann with a suspect in custody.  That suspect later confessed to a string of car burglaries after police discovered stolen property in his possession

“The assistance and dedication to the City of Anna demonstrated by Sgt. Reeves and Mr. Hahn is to be highly commended, and is very much appreciated by all of us,” Isom said.