Marble Falls City Council approves home move, budget amendment

GLYNIS CRAWFORD SMITH/THE HIGHLANDER
Built in 1904, the former and believed first parsonage for First Baptist Church of Marble Falls, is passing its final days at 911 7th Street. The city council on Tuesday, april 5, approved a variance of city rules against moving structures more than five years old to allow the new owner, Randy Rudman, to move the historic building to 604 Avenue F. It now will occupy the same street as the former parsonage of the late Rev. Max Copeland and his wife Glenna, 902 Avenue F.

Glynis Crawford Smith

The Highlander

The Marble Falls City Council on Tuesday, April 5, attended to a wide-ranging agenda that included the first reading of its annual budget amendment, a contract for a Comprehensive Park Plan and approval to move the historic first parsonage of First Baptist Church from the west side of US 281 to the east side.

The budget amendment included, as a matter of course, an adjustment in the cost of the work on the realignment of Avenue N, a project that saw the closing this week of through traffic from Broadway Street to Ranch to Market Road 1431.

Mayor John Packer presented three proclamations to recognize April as Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month, April 16 as Children’s Day April 16 and April 10-16 as Public Safety Telecommunicators Week. Volunteers and city staff were recognized for their contributions to each.

At the bottom line, adjustments to the 2015-2016 budget showed revenue $10,900 ahead of estimates, according to Finance Director Margie Cardenas. Part of that picture was $52,000 saved in debt service when the council voted in September to refund about $9.1 million of its outstanding bonds.

“This public hearing is a first reading of the amendments,” she said. “We want you to be able to study them before we come back to you for approval April 19.”

One project that exceeded its estimate this budget year was the realignment of Avenue N with Bluebonnet Drive at Ranch to Market Road 1431. The contract with Ross Construction for $662,516.53 However new expenses were incurred when an undetected geological problem was discovered. The city has spent $30,000 on engineering costs and $35,797 on change-orders on the construction for a new grand total of $727,510.

An adjustment of the cost by $197,510 reflected a budgeted amount, based on advance estimates, of $530,000, the additional expenses and a contribution of $131,713 by the developer of the property east of Avenue N. The developer contributed directly an additional $18,300 for geotechnical engineering.

However, a $66,000 expense was incurred when an undetected geological problem was discovered as excavation began.

The street was closed to through traffic from Broadway to Ranch to Market Road 1431/10th Street this week. The city installed a sign to let customers know a path still remained to Ford & Crew Home & Hardware at 1400 Ninth Street. That part of Avenue N will close soon and traffic there will join others detouring via Avenue Q to Ninth Street and RM 1431.

Historic Home

The council approved a variance of city ordinance that will allow the relocation of the first parsonage of Marble Falls First Baptist Church from what has become a mixed-use base district (MU-1) on the west side of US 281 to a single-family base district (R-1) on the east side of the highway, both within the original Marble Falls Township.

“The current ordinance reads that no structure more than five years of age may be moved in the city,” explained Caleb Kraenzel, director of development services. “Due to consistency with the Comprehensive Plan, the surrounding zoning compatibility and (compatibility) with surrounding properties and land uses, the staff recommends approval of the variance.”

He said also the variance would allow the lot to be cleared for development by current owner Dr. David Jones of Caliche Investments LTD.

Randy Rudman, who requested the variance, said the move of the two-story house from 911 7th Street, across a US highway, to its new home at 604 Avenue F, promises to be a six or seven hour event. It is one he is willing to tackle when everything is in place later this spring.

“This whole thing has been almost spiritual,” he said after the meeting. “We actually had planned to build a spec house on the lot.

“Literally on the last day of the year, we returned from a Christmas vacation and heard the historic house was slated to be demolished the next day,” he said. “I measured it and it fit within six inches the footprint of the house we had already planned.

“When we found out it had been the original First Baptist parsonage built in 1904, we said this is going to be our house. Moving the house, we couldn't qualify for a historical medallion and we couldn't afford the cost of the land (in an MU-1 zone) but we will be saving it. We are redesigning it with two master suites to live in ourselves.

“My wife (the former Lori Mayfield) actually has memories of it,” Rudman continued. “She grew up here and her friend lived there, so as a girl, she spent time in the home.”

By an interesting coincidence, Rudman said he had gone with a contractor to trace the route of the old parsonage to its new home. It will pass the Hoag-Faubion-Fuchs House at 902 Avenue F. That historic neighbor was built in 1910 and, for many years later on, was the home of a later pastor of First Baptist, the late Rev. Max Copeland.

Also approved at the meeting was a variance to allow rezoning for a home and the lots it occupies at 900 McDonald Drive as R-1. The area had been restricted to mobile home use, rendering noncompliant the single-family structure owned by Stephen Paul and Shiley Elaine Tomlinson.

Master Park Plan

A profesessional services agreement was approved by the council with Halff Associates, Inc. The consultants will provide an update of the Park, Recreation, and Open Space Master Plan Update for a lump sum cost of $75,000. Of that the Marble Falls Economic Development Corporation is to provide $28,000.

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