By GRACE GADDY
PALESTINE — Palestine City Council members voted to reverse a decision of the Palestine Historic Landmarks Commission Monday denying an applicant's request to install a standing seam metal roof on a commercial building downtown.
Alan Herrington appealed the decision to the city council after the commission denied his request based on the type of roof he proposed for the Herrington insurance building, located at 101 Avenue A.
Councilmen had varying opinions on the issue, but ultimately decided to reverse the commission's decision.
Councilman Vernon Denmon pointed out that past denials regarding alteration of structures under historical standards were based on residential buildings, not commercial.
“I appreciate all the work that the historical commission brought to us in our education, but I think that sometimes we have to color outside the lines for growth and for our city,” Denmon said, a point that Councilman Steve Presley also underscored.
“In my mind, it simply boiled down to the look of one type of metal roof verses a different type of metal roof... so that is personal preference, that is how you feel about something, that that committee was using.”
Councilman Will Brule disagreed, stating that he held concern with what he called “short-circuiting the process.”
“If we have rules in place that don’t fit our community, then I think prior to circumventing those we should change the rules,” he said.
Presley, however, considered it a minor issue when viewed in larger context.
“I don't think it sets a bad precedent for us as a city, because we're only very narrowly overruling a tiny little thing of what they've said.”
In other business, the council:
• APPROVED an expenditure by Palestine Economic Development Corporation of $32,230 for materials to make improvements to the water system at the Palestine Municipal Airport.
• APPROVED a contract with Traylor & Associates, Inc. for grant management services for the Texas Capital Grant for street improvements, and approved a contract with Gary Burton, P.E. for engineering services.
• APPROVED a preliminary and final plat for Lots 1 and 2, Block A, for construction of a road, a water line and other facilities on the Sanderson Farms addition, situated on 177.170 acres in the Joseph Jordan Survey-Abstract Number 33 and in the Dickerson Parker Survey-Abstract Number 53. The property is generally located on the north and south side of the terminus of Sanderson Farms Parkway (formerly known as Private Road 6078).
• APPROVED an expenditure of more than $10,000 to Henry & Peters, P.C. to perform Pool Cash Bank Reconciliations and Audit Preparation.
• APPROVED a three-month postponement of Texas State Railroad principle payments on an existing loan — making the initial payment due in April instead of January.