Town Council approves construction of Frontier Parkway

By Aubrey Turner
For the Prosper Press
The Prosper Town Council held its Dec. 8 meeting in its chambers at Prosper Town Hall. [Kate Pezzulli / For the Prosper Press]

Payday loan businesses OK

The Prosper Town Council met Tuesday, December 8 for a regular bimonthly meeting.  The council approved minutes, regular items, and reviewed announcements.  The main portion of the meeting was spent hearing two presentations.  The first presentation was about the construction of Frontier Parkway; the second presentation was about future payday loan companies in Prosper.  

“I am so excited to be standing in front of you tonight and use the words ‘start construction,’” Hulan Webb, Director of Engineering Services said.  “I want to thank the council for their support on this project, and your patience.  This project has been going on for over 10 years now.  It is important to have an overpass over the railroad, and Harlan Jefferson and the council have been so supportive.” 

“Frontier Parkway is going to be six lanes total, going over the railroad,” Webb said.  “It will run from Preston Road to the Dallas North Tollway.  We will work with Collin County and Celina, we have each agreed to pay a share we have agreed upon for the project.”

According to the meeting agenda,  the Town of Prosper will be responsible for approximately $8.8 million, or 28% of the total cost.  There will be four construction phases, which will take between two and three years to complete.  “It is crucial that we communicate this well with our citizens, especially those who live in that area,” Mayor Ray Smith said.  “It will be valuable to put out information for each section of the phasing, especially the detour.”

“We will have a detour, including a new BNSF railroad crossing,” Webb said.  “We are doing the best we can to make this crossing built as quickly as possible.  We want things completed within our timeframe but things may take a little longer.  Our schedule is based on the bid that we accepted.” 

“There is a visualization that another city’s Department of Transportation has used to get some information out to the public,” Webb said.  “There is a 3D visualization technique to show the old road and then as it changes with the detours and the final project.  We are investigating using something like that to get additional information out to the citizens.  The more ways we can communicate this, the better.” 

The other item on the action agenda for the meeting was in regard to Credit Access Businesses, or Payday Loans or Vehicle Title Loans.  “This Consumer Access Business serves as a broker to a third-party, non-licensed lender: they are not a bank or a financial institution,” John Webb, Director of Development Services, said.  “The customer seeks a small loan, the customer receives the cash, and the business charges a fee.  This is significant because it is not interest for the loan, which is limited by state statute.  They charge the fee instead of interest.  A report that the customer will end up taking out about six to eight times, which includes substantial fees.”

“Fifty eight cities in Texas have enacted some type of regulation on these businesses, as they are often found to be a blighting influence on an area,” J. Webb said.  “I propose that we approach it from a zoning approach.  We can draft a zoning ordinance amendment that will limit the number of these businesses in Prosper.” 

John Webb is resigning from his position at the Director of Development Services for the Town of Prosper.  When the new employee is hired they will continue to work with the town’s lawyer and staff to develop a proposed ordinance in regard to the locational restriction of Credit Access Businesses.