Los Fresnos News

City Paves the Way for McDonald’s

Portions of East Third Street and Pita Street to be reopened to facilitate traffic flow

mcdonaldsLos Fresnos City Commissioners approved reopening portions of East Third and Pita Street that will pave the way for customers to have easier access to local retail outlets and allow for the development of the new McDonald’s Restaurant on Highway 100 between Stripes and the First Community Bank. The action was taken at the regular meeting of the commission April 9.

Having worked hard for several years to encourage McDonald’s to Los Fresnos, City Manager Mark W. Milum explained that the city and the CDC would split the cost of reopening and paving a 40 foot L-shaped corridor to allow traffic to flow behind the Stripes and McDonalds from Arroyo Boulevard and turn right on Pita Street with access to either the First Community Bank or Highway 100 (Ocean Blvd.)

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Aerial View of downtown Los Fresnos showing locations of several businesses and the proposed McDonald’s site

“ We are please to have come to a final agreement with McDonald’s and these infrastructure improvements will not only will benefit our residents, but also Stripes and the First Community Bank customers,” commented Milum.

McDonald’s spokesman Jeff Schmatz told the Los Fresnos News that building would begin as soon as the city has completed the street improvements.

“We hope that by the first part of May we can begin work and we will be ready to go in 75 to 90 days”, said Schmatz. The Los Fresnos location is owned by Anna and Lonnie O’Quinn who have five stores in Brownsville. The Los Fresnos location will be the 56th in the Valley which are owned by five owner-operators.

City of Los Fresnos City Manager Mark W. Milum explains the new paving project that will help traffic flow in and around the Stripes, the pending McDonald’s and First Community Bank, all off of Highway 100

City of Los Fresnos City Manager Mark W. Milum explains the new paving project that will help traffic flow in and around the Stripes, the pending McDonald’s and First Community Bank, all off of Highway 100

The commission also approved the final reading for Ordinance 439 that makes changes and adjustments to fees charged by the city for new water meters and connection charges for water and sewer hook-ups. In order to be equitable to a variety of customers, a fee schedule was developed that differentiated between the city doing all the work, if the contractor completed all the work or if the site was already stubbed out with the utility available. Milum noted that most municipalities do not make these distinctions which could result in higher costs to the customer.

Commissioner Alan Atherton commented during the discussion about meter costs, “I want to make sure we are competitive in our pricing. We can’t give it away, but we want to encourage development and the city will gain in water usage, retail sales and more”.

Milum expressed to the council that he recommended any concessions or adjustments be made in the expansion and/or connection fees, not the meters since they were just breaking even on those costs. He noted that the rates and fees of surrounding entities were very comparable and most were more expensive including PUB, Laguna Madre, Olmito Water and East Rio Hondo Water.

The official zoning map was approved for the newly annexed properties in the city with the passage of Ordinance 438 by the commissioners.

The city is currently seeking a person qualified to fill a position on the Planning and Zoning Commission that has been held for many years by Henry Newman. If you are interested in this committee or other opportunities to serve your community, please contact the city office at 233-5768.

The City Manager’s report gave the status on these projects:

  • The USDA water project-The main reservoir water line project is under design and should be ready soon. The water sludge removal project and the south Nogal Street water line extension are still pending as the city is trying to locate property owners to put the water line on easements. These homes are located out of the city and some of these homes have no source of running water.
  • The last of the new maroon and white street signs have been ordered and will be installed upon arrival.
  • Construction will begin soon on FM 1575 and Whipple road by Pederson Construction. The drainage will be installed underground.
  • A fitering system at the water plant is in need of repair or replacement very soon. The 1952 filter will have to be replaced at a cost estimated around $450,000. Naismith Engineering is working on options for the city to consider.

In executive session, the commission agreed to provide water and sewer service down Whipple Road to a pending 206-unit apartment complex.

The next meeting of the commission is scheduled for May 14.

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