By Jodi LehmanIn response to the request of Horseshoe Bay residents earlier this month to save a 200 year old tree from becoming a casualty of the street improvement project, the HSB City Council tasked city staff with coming up with a solution that could preserve the tree while also alleviating valid public safety concerns caused by the tree’s location in the middle of the road at the intersection of Hi Stirrup and Out Yonder.

HSB City Manager Stan Farmer presented a solution at Tuesday’s HSB City Council meeting that would cost no additional money. Farmer proposed making Out Yonder a cul de sac on its western edge so it no longer intersects with Hi Stirrup. Traffic would travel east on Out Yonder to its intersection with Clayton Nolen, with no direct access to Hi Stirrup from Out Yonder. Lyn Jenkins, one of the area residents who has been active in the effort to save the tree, said routing traffic from Out Yonder to Clayton Nolen is actually more efficient as Clayton Nolen is a more direct route to FM 2147 for drivers than using Hi Stirrup.

Mayor Steve Jordan complimented Farmer for his creative, practical solution, but suggested that the proposal should be widely disseminated throughout the city to give residents a full opportunity to review the plan and give feedback to the council before the council officially adopted the plan. Council Member Phil Lee said Farmer’s proposal is “a great solution to the problem” and the city should implement it right away. Lee moved to adopt Farmer’s plan, and Council Member David Pope seconded the motion.

Council Member Tom Schmersahl agreed the plan is the best solution, but like Jordan, he preferred more notice to the public before taking official action unless the street project would suffer by waiting until next month for a vote. Farmer told the council the decision did not have to be made right away even though construction crews are currently working on the streets adjoining Hi Stirrup