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What’s Happening in Copper Canyon – September 2017

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Copper Canyon Mayor Sue Tejml

Woodland Drive is completed this month! Chinn Chapel Road in December

Updates are on Town website www.coppercanyontx.org

Town is not raising its low .297505  Property Tax Rate

Preliminary 2017-2018 Budget is on Town website www.coppercanyontx.org

Guardrails on Streets are effective for safety – and mandated by TxDOT

Some Town residents weren’t pleased with the look of the new guardrails on Woodland Drive and Chinn Chapel Road, since they detract from the “natural environment” feel of Copper Canyon.  Guardrails are definitely shiny and metallic – but effective for safety – and required by TxDOT.

I was a little surprised during the rebuilding of Orchid Hill Lane to come home one afternoon and find a newly erected FIFTY FOOT LONG shiny metallic guardrail in front of my home!  It did NOT “blend in” with the tall tree canopy and lush landscape behind it.  However, also behind the guardrail was a twelve foot immediate drop off into a creek and a very steep sloped, though green grassed, drainage ditch.  Any vehicle hitting that strong metal railing mounted on stout posts concreted into the ground would have been spared rolling off into the creek or drainage ditch behind the guardrail.

A neighboring town tried painting their guardrails green to “blend in” with landscaping.  But, the paint peeled.  And to repair the peeling paint, the guardrails had to be removed, so that the new paint could be baked on again.  Meanwhile, temporary concrete barriers would have to be placed for safety where the metal railings had been removed for repainting.

Our Council decided (I believe very wisely) not to saddle the Town with the ongoing maintenance expense of removing and repainting required guardrails on Copper Canyon roads.  So, “shiny metallic” they shall remain – but hopefully keep Town residents, and those just passing through Copper Canyon, safe.

Town Hall’s Parking Lot: to Repave in Concrete and Add Spaces – or Not.

Occasionally, Town Hall is in need of more parking spaces:  (1) On once a month Municipal Court days; (2) For the few well attended Council Meetings in the year with a controversial topic on the Agenda; (3) For special once a year Town events such as the July 4th Parade and Kids Christmas Party; (4) For events hosted by private parties, such as HOA’s, garden clubs, Boy Scouts, family birthdays or anniversaries, etc.  However, the current asphalt surface is 40 years old, but still serviceable.

The Council considered adding 20 head-in parking spaces east of Town Hall on the south side of Woodland Drive.  But, drivers would have had to back out across two lanes of traffic, and that did not seem safe.  The Council then considered adding 20 similar spaces to the west of Town Hall – or just repaving the current parking pad in concrete.  The incentive was the cost saving of having the Woodland Drive Road contractor already mobilized on site.

But, the concrete pouring to pave streets is usually done with a very large piece of equipment that moves slowly over the lane as it automatically pours concrete and levels the surface.  This equipment is too large to use in the concrete surfacing of Town Hall’s relatively small parking lot.  Thus, the necessity of using the far more expensive technique of “hand pouring” the concrete surface at Town Hall.  The cost of “hand pouring” the concrete far exceeded any cost savings from an already mobilized road contractor.

The Council took no action to repave or expand Town Hall’s parking lot.  However, the issue may be considered again when Jernigan Road and East Jernigan Road are rebuilt in the near future.  At that time there will be again a road contractor already mobilized near Town Hall.

Thank You, CoServ Gas for excellent brochure on Pipeline Safety!

Most towns in Texas, large or small, have oil or natural gas lines running underground.  Pipelines are by far the safest ways to move these energy sources.  But, they are not fail-proof.  That is why most pipeline companies are diligent in keeping their lines under surveillance – whether by drones or planes in the air or walkers or vehicles moving alongside the pipelines.  (Tree canopy can obscure an aerial view.)

Leaks in the pipeline are the danger!  But, how do you detect leaks?

  • LOOK: Dead or yellowed vegetation in the area near the pipeline route, blowing dirt, or persistent bubbling in standing water.
  • LISTEN: Note any unusual noise like hissing or an outright “roaring” sound, which may signify a significant leak in the pipeline.
  • SMELL: Natural gas in its original state is odorless.  But an additive is injected into the gas supply that smells like rotten eggs.

What to do if you suspect a leak:

  • Immediately evacuate everyone from the area, moving upwind of leak. Warn others to stay away from the leak site.
  • Only after everyone is safely away, call 911 AND immediately notify CoServ Gas at (844) 330-0763.  Emergency calls answered 24/7!
  • Emergency personnel will let you know when it is safe to return.

VERY IMPORTANT:  What NOT to do when a pipeline leak occurs!

  • DO NOT touch, breathe or make contact with the leaking product.
  • DO NOT do anything that may create a spark: light a match, start an

 engine, use a telephone, operate a light switch.  Natural gas is lighter than air and very flammable.  An unseen vapor cloud of gas may form above the leak and a spark could cause an explosion.

  • DO NOT drive a vehicle near the area of release.
  • DO NOT attempt to extinguish any pipeline fire.
  • DO NOT operate any pipeline valves. Leave all valve operations to pipeline company personnel.

Pipeline Markers:  The 5’ tall yellow stakes play an important role in identifying

pipeline routes, but they are not used to give depth or exact location of the pipeline.  Call 811 for exact location BEFORE ever digging near a pipeline route.  For general 811 information and  Texas One Call Rules, visit www.call811.com. 811 calls are free, but mandatory before digging near a pipeline route.  Even a slight nick can cause steel lines to corrode or plastic lines to weaken, causing a pipeline emergency days, weeks or even years after what seems to be the slightest damage.

Copper Canyon’s very special thanks go to CoServ’s President and CEO Donnie Clary; Copper Canyon’s representative on the Board, Anne Vaden,  and our Area Manager Tracee Elrod!  Your Pipeline Safety brochure for your natural gas customers is very concise, but extremely well written for clarity!

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About The Author

Sue Tejml is mayor of Copper Canyon, TX.

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