Bastrop News

CITY COUNCIL: ‘North Main’ area seeks city improvements

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A minister from the north side of town has reached out to the Bastrop City Council, saying he would like that part of town to receive more attention when it comes to infrastructure and other needs.

Roland A. Nava, who is an evangelistic minister and who recently started Bastrop’s Open Door Soup Kitchen, spoke to the Council during their regular meeting on Tuesday at the Bastrop City Hall council chambers. Nava spoke about needing better lighting in the North Main area and possibly a covered bus stop for school youth and the elderly. Nava also reached out saying he would like to hold regular community get-togethers and invited council members to be a part of that. Nava said some community members from that part of town had asked him to speak for them before the Council.

“There’s a great need for brighter (street) lights, especially around North Main and Mesquite,” Nava said, adding there “are cars parked around there and (people) doing things they shouldn’t be doing.” Nava said there are abandoned houses, and in one, he spotted evidence of occupant(s): “There was a mattress, towels and blankets in a back room,” Nava said.

Nava said with all the beautification and improvement projects in the downtown part of Bastrop, he and residents would like to see some of that attention focused in the North Main St. area. Mayor Ken Kesselus agreed the area needs more attention. “We have neglected your section of town and it’s time for the City Council to do something,” Kesselus said. “Some of the issues raised here are ‘our’ issues, too – I need for you to ‘stay after us’ and don’t hold back,” Kesselus added in a compassionate tone.

“I won’t,” Nava declared in an animated but friendly tone which elicited laughter from the audience.

City Manager Mike Talbot told the council he has already been looking into the matter of more street lights. He said he had learned from an LCRA map there are 729 street lights within the city, adding, “Cleary, they are not evenly distributed” and that he was analyzing the situation now. City Council member Kay McAnally said having more street lights is “a safety issue” and “quality of life issue.”

But Nava said he wasn’t there just with a laundry list of things he and those he represented would like the city get done soon. He invited the Council to an April 11 picnic in the area. “We would like the police force and City Council members to come,” Nava said.

Kesselus turned towards Council member Dock Jackson and said, “You and I can come and cook burgers” for the occasion. Nava seemed quite pleased.

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