By Chad Engbrock
New office condos and additional self storage facilities will occupy opposite sides of FM 544, east of Brand Rd. in the near future.
During the May 5, 2015 Murphy city council meeting Murphy Office Condos and Jenkins Self Storage were both approved. The proposed office condos will be located at the southeast corner of FM 544 and Brand.
The self storage facility will be located on what was once Classic Gardens Nursery at 305 W. FM 544.
The condos will consist of four buildings of approximately 16,000 sq. ft in total. Half of the space will be used for medical office suites and the remaining 8,000 sq. ft. will be for professional offices.
The property owner is McBirney 544 Joint Venture and the applicant for the proposal is Honey Goel. The development was approved on April 27 by Planning and Zoning 6-0. Council unanimously approved the application.
The storage facility will be include office space at the front, or southern side, of the structure and gates to storage units on both the east and west side of the structure. Plans call for two buildings, separated by,a fire wall of 52,250 sq. ft. and 47,200 sq. ft. respectively. Sliding gates on either side of the building will allow access to storage units.
The property is owned by Deborah R. Tafelski.
The proposed site and buildings were unanimously approved by council.
At the beginning of the council meeting several presentations and proclamaations were addressed.
Mayor Eric Barna proclaimed the month of May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, urging residents “to do their part to increase safety and awareness in our community.”
Public Service Recognition Week, May 4-10, was also proclaimed by Barna. The week recognizes public servants, including police, fire, parks and recreation, public works, customer service and other public personnel.
May 17-23 was named Emergency Medical Services Week in Murphy. The proclamation recognizes first responders, emergency medical personnel, paramedics, educators, administration and emergency nurses and physicians.
National Police Week, May 10-16, was recognized and the proclamation was read my councilmember Ben St. Clair, a lieutenant in the Garland Police Dept.
Chief Mark Moeller with the Rockwall Police Department also recognized the Murphy Police Department on achieving the Texas Police Chiefs Association’s Best Practices Certificate.
In other business, a bid to Tiseo Paving Company of Dallas, in the amount of $2,970,831.80 was approved for paving and drainage improvements to Betsy Lane.
Council also extended the city’s curfew policy another three years. The current ordinance which established the curfew was adopted May 12, 2012.
The ordinance applies to persons under the age of seventeen and covers the hours of 11 p.m. until 6 a.m. on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. On Saturday or Sunday the curfew is in effect from 12:01 a.m. until 6 a.m.
Exceptions to the curfew are if an individual is with a parent or guardian, they are on an errand directed by a parent or guardian, it is an emergency, they are involved in a recreational or social activity supervised by adults or a school or religious related function.
Council is required to review the curfew every three years as prescribed by state law.
Police body cameras were addressed by council as well. A policy that outlines how images are captured processed and transmitted by police to document their activities was reviewed. According to officials, the city owns almost two dozen body worn cameras for its officers. Patrol officers and School Resource officers are required to wear a camera during their shift.
Additional cameras are kept in the department’s briefing room as well. The city’s policy addresses upkeep and maintence responsibility of the cameras. Body cameras are activated manually by the officer when they enter a crime scene. The Murphy Police Dept. requires that all images and videos be kept by the department for 90 days.
A presentation was given by City Manager James Fisher regarding the city’s social media platform. Councilmembers and Fisher discussed to what extent city officials would review and censure comments made on the city’s social media site as well as acceptable use by citizens and city staff.
The city has been promoting Engage Murphy, a multi-platform, interactive part of the city’s website. Engage Murphy includes a place to share ideas and receive feedback from city officials. It is designed to allow the public access to documents and promote transperancy within city government.
It includes a community calendar and allows citizens to subscribe to city news and a way to request documents under open records.
Council also received and update on North Murphy Rd. construction by Fisher. The city manager stated that he had visited with both the city’s state senator and state representative to express concerns over the current condition of the road and adjoining property.
During the city manager and staff reports, the Timbers Nature Preserve, South Maxwell Creek sewer line and a 2015 planning session were discussed.
The next regular council meeting is 6 p.m. May 19.