Residents on Nancy Drive in Glen Rose may be thinking “better late than never” after Monday’s City Council vote awarding a bid for the paving and drainage improvements that were first discussed almost 20 years ago.

During a special meeting, the council voted unanimously (5-0) to approve the low bid of approximately $829,800 from Gosdin’s Dozer Service for the project.

Flooding problems in that neighborhood, just southeast of Interbank between Mary Lynn Drive and Jefferson Avenue, were cited as the reason the project has been needed.

Council member and Mayor Pro-Tem Sandra Ramsay stated that the project has been “talked about” and “kicked around” for years. Fellow council member Dennis Moore, a former Glen Rose mayor, stated that he wanted to go on the record to “apologize to the citizens of Glen Rose that it took so long.”

Prior to the vote, City Manager Chester Nolen told the council that the project, if approved, probably could get underway within 60 days.

After the meeting, Nolen said the project can now be accomplished after “a lot of consternation” over the years.

He said the project will make Nancy Drive and inverted street to handle the runoff of excess rainfall. One of the earlier possible fixes that had been considered would have featured the installation of a holding pond north of U.S. Highway 67 to contain drainage.

“This will not have that. This will direct the flow (of runoff),” Nolen said. “Nancy Drive will be inverted. The street will direct water out to the river instead of flooding.”

Nolen said there are approximately 20 homes in that neighborhood, although he was only aware of three or four that had suffered significant flood damage during his stint as city manager.

“It’s been talked about for 18 years,” Glen Rose Mayor Sue Oldenburg said after the meeting concerning the vote to approve the project bid. “It’s a wonderful thing. It’s been in the making for years and years. Finally, we’re getting something done.”

The council voted down one agenda item that has been discussed several times in recent months, involving the question of building a new perimeter fence at Oakdale Park.

A low bid of $39,950 was submitted by Somervell County contractor Chip Harrison to replace the existing chain-link fence with a 5-foot-tall steel fence along the south (entrance) side of the park.

Harrison came to the podium and told the council that he thinks it would be a two- or three-week project.

The fence project had been suggested to the council by Oakdale Park Manager Michael Leamons. His request for the new fence came after it was learned that planned repairs and improvements at the park’s swimming pool (known as the Oakdale Plunge) could not be completed this year in time to avoid delaying the pool’s official opening day (which is set for Saturday, May 12, from 1-6 p.m.).

During Monday’s special meeting, Moore cautioned that he thought that the proponents of the fence project were “rushing it.”

“I say that the entrance and the sign are far more important than this,” Moore said in the meeting. “I think we need to wait, since the money was not budgeted. It’s going to have to come out of pool repair fund (if it’s done this year).”

Council members Robert Marquez and Linda James joined Moore in casting “no” votes on the fence project. Outgoing council members Doug Mitchell and Sandra Ramsay voted yes.

After the meeting, Moore said of the fence, “I want to wait until budget time. It was not budgeted this year. It’s budgeted for pool repairs, and it’s going to take all of that for the pool repairs. It’s (the fence) not critical.”

Another special session of the City Council is scheduled for 3:45 p.m. today (Friday, May 11). The agenda on the city’s website states that the meeting will be in executive session — closed to the public — regarding “personnel — review of City Administrator and Employment Agreement.”

The City Council’s regular meeting for May is set for 5:30 p.m. on Monday, May 14.