North Texas Daily

Local government not shut down, discusses driving laws

Local government not shut down, discusses driving laws

Local government not shut down, discusses driving laws
October 01
21:15 2013

Joshua Knopp / Staff Writer

The Denton City Council met at 6:30 p.m. today to discuss reports and pass a variety of consent agenda items.

A proposed law that would make it illegal to have a wireless device in hand while driving was pushed back after the council decided to seek public input. Mayor Mark Burroughs said the item would go back to work session after the council had a better idea of what citizens thought.

Burroughs said any law would need to be state-wide to be effective because the roads that need this law the most are highways and interstates, which are primarily designed for people going from one city to another.

“To do it carte blanche, I just have a real problem with that,” he said. “It doesn’t seem like a fair or easily enforceable law.”

One traffic change that did pass was an approval for a small increase in the number of traffic cameras. Burroughs said these cameras rotate from intersection to intersection, but have a lasting effect.

Council member Jim Engelbrecht announced an open house about re-working gas wells at the Bonnie Brae and Vintage intersection. It will be tomorrow from 6 to 7 p.m. in Fire Station No. 7.

Engelbrecht said the wells are being changed from vertical drills into horizontal drills.

“Some people were asking why they’re so close to the houses,” he said. “One of the big things I think is the word from the production company on how long it’s going to be.”

A representative from Eagle Ridge Oil and Gas, who owns the wells, will be on hand to answer questions.

The board passed several other ordinances as well, including authorizations to execute purchases of milling and asphalt paving machines for the Streets Department totaling $548,610.30. An extra $290,000 will be allowed for upgrading the Lake Lewisville Water Treatment Plant.

The council also authorized Mayor Burroughs to give a 65 percent tax abatement to Tetra Pak Materials, a global food packing company that is relocating its headquarters from Chicago to Denton.

Director of Economic Development Aimee Bissett said the company plans to create 30 long-term jobs and invest $13 million in economic development. The abatement plan would exempt them from $191,000 in taxes over four years. Bissett said this was the main factor attracting Tetra Pak to Denton.

Woman drives while talking on her cellphone and applying make-up. The City of Denton is proposing a new law that would make it illegal to use a wireless device while driving. Feature photo courtesy of cellphonesafety.org  

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