Town Council approves Oncor substation, discusses improvements to Fishtrap Road

By Aubrey Turner
For the Prosper Press
Oncor crew on Feb. 17, 2021, in Dallas.

Prosper Town Council met March 9 for the first of the two regular council meetings in March.  All members were present, either in person or by Zoom.  The agenda for discussion was relatively short, although two presentations required discussion.  

The council reviewed the announcements for the town, including the Pecan Grove planning meeting on March 17th, the blood drive at the library on the 16th and 17th, and the Mayor’s Fitness Challenge which ends at the end of April.  There were no citizen comments during this meeting. 

One of the topics discussed was the Oncor substation, which will be built near Windsong Ranch subdivision.  Members of the council were concerned with the number of residents in Prosper that will be served by the substation. 

Seth Danson, a representative from Oncor said, “While there is no specific number of people who live in Prosper that will be served, as the town continues to grow and those numbers will continue to change.  However, we know that this substation will benefit the residents of the town of Prosper.  This will increase the reliability for both the residential and commercial growth.  Currently there is no substation in Prosper, so all of the power comes from long feeder lines.  Having a substation here will increase the reliability.". 

Additionally, Danson and Oncor staff requested that they be granted the ability to plant a living screen to mask most of the visible structures.  The landscaping requested would include trees and local shrubbery that would grow quickly.  “I want to make sure that this screening and the plants used look nice,” Council member Amy Bartley said.   

Mayor Ray Smith suggested that Dudley Raymond, Director of Parks and Recreation be included in conversations about the types of trees and shrubs planted along the substation boundary.  “We want trees that look as healthy as they can from the very beginning,” Smith said.  “We expect that Oncor will find the very best plants when they are choosing what to plant.”  

While the plan for the substation has already been approved by council, the council included a request for more mature trees to be planted, to better mask the appearance of the substation apparatus.  Council member Jason Dixon stated, “We ask that you purchase 4 inch diameter trees and to make this look appealing as soon as it is built.  Prosper residents would rather see trees than tall poles.” 

Council member Bartley added to the conversation,  “We would like for you to assure us that you will do your very best to provide landscaping.  We want this site to look as ‘Prosper nice’ as we can.” 

Council approved the request for a green barrier, with the addition of the requirement of taller trees spaced closer together.

The other major agenda item involved properties on Fishtrap Road, in preparation for the next phase of the Dallas North Tollway.  There are 13  properties along Fishtrap Road between Stuber Elementary and Dallas North Tollway that are required for either an easement or right-of-way construction.  According to the agenda, “it is not anticipated that all parcels will require the use of eminent domain to complete the acquisition process, however, staff is requesting advance authorization to pursue acquisition by eminent domain if standard negotiations are unsuccessful.”  Hulan Webb, Director of Engineering services, agreed that he anticipates that all property owners in this area will be willing to receive compensation for the easement or right-of-way. The town council pre approved the use of eminent domain if necessary, although all agreed it was not anticipated.  

Prosper Town Council meets twice monthly, on the second and fourth Tuesdays at 5:45 p.m.