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Are you aware of the Branding Study?  Over $50,000 has been spent as of March 15th, the result was a new logo to replace our longtime and much loved one.  It’s a B with a leaf and it was very unpopular with most residents who spoke to Council.  For now Council has agreed to shelve this idea, but another iteration will probably be presented.  Recently Council adopted a font and verbal identity.  More information and documents on this study can be found under the Studies link.

What about the Pathways Plan?  If you thought this was just for sidewalks you’re in for a surprise.  The price tag on this study could be $8 million or more, add 8 foot walk/bike paths throughout the City, along Baldwin Avenue, for instance.  Plus the cost for sidewalks.  Council has postponed discussion on this plan until May.  The downloads and maps can be found under the Studies link.

And coming up for Council’s consideration on Monday, March 19th, is a presentation for the  Spruce and Fifth Street Design Considerations.  Spruce_St&Fifth_Considerations .  This presentation contends there will be no financial impact because the cost, I guess, is contained in the bond monies from the 2016 bond election.  Is this how you thought the bond money would be spent?

What’s not mentioned is the impact on the long-time business owners along the north side of the 5100 and 5200 blocks of Spruce and the small bakery on Fifth St.  How will the large delivery trucks to HEB navigate in this narrow space?

Also not mentioned is the estimated cost, which was revealed to be about $4.5 million. This presentation is a curious mix of several recent studies.  Apparently whoever laid out the map  on page 159 couldn’t afford a new one.  The 5100 block of Laurel is still shown, old swimming pool and all, and somehow a second Locust Street shows up running along the alley behind the Shipley’s and Sherwin Williams stores.

I’m concerned there may be some hidden agenda behind this, what do you think?  More on this later, along with the zoning changes that Council passed in 2013 for this area.