Mayor Bill Broderick’s message to about 70 residents during his annual “State of Fate” town hall meeting this week involved details of a “big vision” and his belief that within three years, they won’t know their town as they know it today.
Midway through his presentation, Broderick provided a summary of planned projects and developments.
“Main Street, 66, new city hall, new fire station, 551 interchange, new road into town, new road that will take you through that field. All of that is part of the big vision that we have right now,” Broderick said.
“Most of this is partially funded or all the way funded. Within the next three years, you’re not really going to recognize this community as we see it today.”
Broderick saved a political announcement for the end of the meeting that was held Tuesday night at The Lakes Church on Interstate 30.
He plans to seek re-election.
“In all this excitement and future plans, we have been faced with the reality that there are some things we cannot fix,” Broderick said leading up to his announcement.
“I believe most of you have heard that Vicki Mikel, our city manager, is facing the final stages of a terminal illness. The council and employees have been greatly saddened by this occurrence and it has been a difficult year for everyone involved.”
The mayor pointed out that the city council recently approved a contract with a firm that will assist in the recruitment of an “experienced replacement” for the city manager position. That process could take three to four months.
”The council and I agree that it would be very difficult for the employees and the city to have a new city manager and a new mayor, and potential (new) council members, at the same time,” Broderick said. “With that in mind, I’m announcing this evening that I’ve decided to seek re-election and I’m asking for your support.”
During the question-answer session that followed the mayor’s presentation, there was interest concerning the identity of businesses that are looking at Fate locations. Broderick said earlier that three business prospects are currently negotiating with Fate landowners for building sites.
“I had hoped to be able to break the news on one or two of those this evening, but they’re still negotiating,” Broderick said. “So, I have to let that ride.”
A member of the audience later asked for specific information about the business prospects. Others in the audience asked the mayor to provide some information like “categories” or “type of building.”
Broderick wouldn’t elaborate, saying the business prospects “have significant issues with word getting around. It has an effect on possibly the property they’re trying to buy.
“I’m keeping my fingers crossed that some of the deals actually go through. One of these deals, I will make the comment, is about 85 to 100,000 a year in sales tax revenue to the city. So, what can I do with 100,000 right now? Gee, let me count the ways. I don’t want to do anything or say anything that would get in the way of that.”
A considerable amount of discussion centered on the interchange at I-30 and Farm to Market 551. He said the $20 million project is fully funded. A contract is scheduled to be awarded in September and construction could begin in January.
He said the Fate interchange will be similar to the completed I-30 interchange at Texas 205 in Rockwall and the construction project that is under way at John King Boulevard. Broderick said I-30 will go “up and over” FM 551,
The interchange project will provide Fate with a new and improved highway leading to the downtown area. Also, he said, the project will lead to the construction of a new highway that will lead to the Woodcreek subdivision on Texas 66.
“The new Highway 551 as we’re calling it, when you come over the current bridge right now, there’s a field off to your left. The new 551 will be a four-lane road. It will go through that field, kind of make an ‘S’ turn through the field and it will come out directly in front of the Woodcreek subdivision. It probably will be the first traffic light that we will introduce in the City of Fate.”
Broderick said the Texas 66 realignment project will begin in Rockwall and move eastward through Fate, Royse City and into Hunt County.
“We’re excited about that,” Broderick said.
Broderick said the state is acquiring right of way for a six-lane highway. However, he said, current plans call for the construction of a four-lane highway.
The mayor said the project that comes through or near the downtown area qualifies for a Texas Department of Transportation program that would provide for a median, landscaping and curbs and gutters.
The Texas 66 project will tie in with plans for Main Street in downtown Fate.
Downtown plans, he said, will include the construction of a new city hall across the street from Fate’s new fire station. Construction funds will be provided by the developer of Williamsburg, a subdivision south of I-30. When the new city hall is built, Broderick said, the city plans to “redo” Main Street.
“When we redo Main Street, it too will have the same qualities, the sidewalks, the curbs and guttering, concrete, landscaping, the lighting. Everything will be there,” Broderick said. “So, 66 and Main Street will become seamless in that they will have the same general appearance.”
The mayor also had good news about housing and city finances.
He talked about Spring Meadows, Williamsburg, Woodcreek extensions and the new Creekside subdivision.
“In 60 to 90 days, we’ll be pushing dirt on another 1,000 houses,” Broderick said. “So, that can’t hurt us.”
With “much planning” and belt-tightening, Broderick said, the city has remained financially sound.
“Despite the economic downturn, Fate has managed to operate in a positive trend,” the mayor said.
“We currently have a BBB-plus bond rating. I mentioned this last year. To come out of the starting gate with a BBB bond rating was considered phenominal, so we’re looking at possibly getting that upgraded in the very near future.”