By Robert Nathan

Killeen Daily Herald

HARKER HEIGHTS – The City Council on Tuesday turned down an ordinance to add stop signs for east and westbound traffic lanes at Pioneer and Caribou drives.

Council members addressed the issue and found that slowing traffic was unnecessary because speeding is not a widespread problem at the intersection.

Councilman Pete Laessig said the ordinance would impede the progress of hundreds of drivers for the sake of stopping a few people who don't drive responsibly.

"Is there anything else gained from adding two stop signs?" Laessig asked.

The police department's traffic management unit completed a one-day survey of the traffic at the intersection and counted 1,329 vehicles entering the intersection. Just five minor vehicle accidents were reported at the intersection in 2005.

"This is one that obviously the police department can see going either way and we say this simply because the data is right on the decision point," Police Chief Mike Gentry said.

The council rejected the ordinance by a 3-0 vote. Mayor Ed Mullen and Councilman Mike Miller were absent from the meeting.

In other business, the council approved an ordinance amending parking space requirements for various uses. The number of required parking spaces for hotels and motels will be reduced from 1 spaces per room to 1.2 spaces. One parking space will be required for every three seats in places of assembly, theaters, and ballparks. One parking space will be required for every 250 square feet of personal service shops and retail stores. One parking space for banks will be required for every 300 square feet.

The council also approved a resolution supporting the effort to transfer an Army tank from Fort Hood to Harker Heights. III Corps will donate the tank to the city and it will be displayed between the recreation center and City Hall. Jerry Bark, director of parks and recreation, said the vehicle will serve as a symbol of the outstanding partnership between III Corps, the community and the U.S. Army.

The council also approved:

n A zoning change designation from R-1 (single-family dwelling district) to B-4 (secondary/highway business district) on 1.274 acres of land at 1306 Indian Trail.

n An ordinance authorizing City Manager Steve Carpenter to enter into a development agreement between the city and developers for the oversizing of certain storm drainage system improvements in the Raceway Addition Phase 3-Cox addition subdivisions to provide increased storm drainage capacity to protect downstream property owners. The developers agreed to pay $20,000 of the cost and the city will pay $49,640.

n Resolutions awarding specific engineering firms to handle the 2005-06 street improvement program, Cedar Knob Pump Station water main project and the 2004 annexation area water main project.

n A resolution denying Atmos Energy Corp., Mid-Tex division's statement of intent to increase the gas utility rates in the city.

n An ordinance amending the existing franchise ordinance between the city and TXU to provide a different payment schedule.

Contact Robert Nathan at

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