Navasota City Manager Brad Stafford has an opportunity to discuss two hot topics Navasota Citizens love to discuss – Walmart Super Center and the city budget.
Stafford discusses those topics and more with Navasota Examiner Publisher Ana Cosino and Willy 98.7 FM Radio Personality Kenny Graves.
Highlights from Grilling
Stafford – episode 60
What do you anticipate the 2021-2022 budget will be when presented to City Council for final approval? “Balanced. Probably somewhere around $20 million. Pretty close to where we always are. We’ve been in that range for a while. We do have a lot of new equipment we have to purchase – if anybody was listening Monday night [city council meeting], so it may be up a little. We are also up on our revenues, because we have more people who live here now. Our sales tax is up and we’re projecting it to stay up.”
What is the hardest area of the budget for you, personally, to make cuts in? “I don’t ever like to cut anything with staffi ng because we’re really shorthanded. We have staff that work really hard and deserve to get paid a good salary. It’s always tough when it comes to that piece of it. We don’t like to cut anything if you don’t have to but there are only so many dollars to go around.”
Walmart has four tracts of land totaling 20.48 acres tied up. Has there been any communication between the city and Walmart about this land they purchased five years ago for a Super Walmart? “We try to communicate with them on a daily basis. It’s very difficult to communicate with them. We make phone calls, send emails and have consultants that help us communicate, but we don’t get many answers when it comes to are you going to build, when are you going to build, or will you sell? For more than five years we’ve tried to have conversations with Walmart.”
Brad, I know that SH 90 in front high school and junior high is a TxDot highway but is there any way you could suggest to them? During school season that highway is insanely congest ed. Is there any way we could add a turning arrow in the center lane westbound in front of Citizens State Bank? “Well, we’ve talked to TxDot a lot about traffi c signals in that area, we have a lot of conversation. Sometimes when people build things, they don’t really think about what the impact is in the future. Who knows how growth is going to be, but TxDot, so far, has not said we can get a turn signal. I tried to work with them and the school district many years ago to try and make some changes in traffic, but it never worked out. Maybe as development comes it will eventually change and there will be needs for traffic signals. If Walmart does build, there will be a traffic signal installed at the high school entrance. There was an agreement made and it won’t be an expense to us.”
With the development of loft apartments above some of the Railroad Street businesses, parking created with shoppers in mind is now being used by the loft dwellers. Would the city ever consider design standards which requires parking be factored into remodels of this type? “Well, that’s a hard answer because it’s me guessing what city council might do, but we may have to think about it in the future. The problem with your central business district is you have zero lot lines, so everybody can build up to the property line. And parking lots are actually a special use in our central business district, so you need permission to even build a parking lot in that area. There is talk of more parking lots. When we built city hall we added over 100 new parking spaces, then we added over 30 spaces on Railroad Street by Circle P. There are a lot of parking spaces, but fortunately for us there are a lot of new businesses and a lot of new residents. A lot of visitors don’t mind parking and walking, there is still parking places you just have to walk a little way to get somewhere.” To view the full video of
To view the full video of Grilling Stafford – Episode 60, or to watch archived episodes, visit The Examiner website, www.navasotaexaminer.com. If you would like to submit a question for Grilling Stafford, email firstname.lastname@example.org. New episodes of Grilling Stafford are released every Thursday.