Tyler City Council is pictured here during a meeting on Aug. 14, 2019, at City Hall. (Sarah A. Miller/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

The city of Tyler is moving forward with changes to traffic flow for the Rose Plaza improvement project, but made clear the project’s developer will need to pay for extra expenses.

The Tyler City Council received an update on the project during its Wednesday meeting. During the update, the council was told the project is expected to cost more than $100,000 more than the developer initially estimated.

The new estimate would drive the city’s cost up by about $68,000 for a total of $218,000.

Mayor Martin Heines suggested amending the contract to cap the city’s input at $200,000.

The project would see the city adjust exits to the parking lot of the shopping center that once housed Hastings Entertainment and is set to be the new home of health food grocer Sprout.

Shelly Drive will become a right turn only exit onto South Broadway Avenue and a traffic light will be installed.

The City Council also voted to go with a different vendor for additional work at the Golden Road Water Treatment plant, because Graycon, the company performing work at the site, returned a bid $170,000 higher than Heritage Construction. The move passed on a split vote, with council members Linda Sellers and Shirley McKellar voting no because city staff had recommended going with Graycon.

Councilman Don Warren took issue with weighted recommendation process used to recommend Graycon. He said the process wasn’t taking the full scope of Heritage’s experience and scope of projects into account.

Heines said it came down to the fact that Graycon was already performing work on site, and they should have bid more competitively if they hoped to secure the new work.

Other Business

Recycling customers will see a small increase on their bills, from $5.35 to $5.98 due to the cost of cardboard bails plummeting from $120 per ton to $30 per ton since China issued a ban on imported recycled material.

The council also voted to extend the hours of public trails to 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Park hours will remain sunrise to sunset.

Cory is a multimedia journalist and member of the Education Writers Association, Criminal Justice Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors. He has appeared on The Murder Tapes, Crime Watch Daily and Grave Mysteries on Investigation Discovery.

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