Butler Ave. is due for some upgrades thanks to a $100,000 boost in its road repairs budget, money that comes from Dungate Community Forest profits. (Angelique Houlihan photo)

Council locks in community forest profits spending

New community hall, road repairs to benefit

Council is sticking with an original plan to divide the District of Houston’s profits this year from the Dungate Community Forest into two portions — one to bolster the money needed to replace the community hall and the other to fix local roads.

It had first considered the prospect of adding $137,188 to the community hall replacement account and using the remaining $100,000 of profits for road repairs at its June 1 meeting but then asked staffers to come up with options regarding road repairs.

One prospect discussed was to use the $100,000 on roads used by the community forest to haul logs.

Staffers presented 10 road connections used by Dungate, six of which are paved, three are gravel and one is both paved and gravel. That list includes Frontier Ave and East Valley Road to Mud Lake Road, 11th Street and Avalon Ave. to Butler Ave. and Butler Ave. and Hwy16 to Riverbank Road.

Other options included two intersections slated for safety improvements — upgrading Butler Ave. and 11 St. to a four-way stop intersection with overhead crosswalk signage and 11 St. and Butler Ave. and 13th Street with overhead crosswalk signage.

After discussion council affirmed the decision to place $137,188 into the community hall replacement account and to direct the $100,000 specifically to Butler Ave. road projects.

Council does have a yearly road repair and maintenance budget each year but the amount available is not sufficient to support the amount of work needed.

The $137,188 toward a new community hall will add to the $1.2 million already in the account and follows the Dungate Community Forest’s preference that profits go toward something that would have a broad community use.

Last year Dungate profiits of $714,505 going toward a new community hall.

An original estimated new hall project cost of $4.9 million, however, has now grown to more than $7 million based on a recent updated estimate and preliminary design commissioned by the District.

That $7 million figure does include landscaping, paving, site servicing and a 50 per cent contingency allowance.