QUESTION: Earlier this year several bond issues were voted on. One, which was approved, was the widening and addition of sidewalks on Fairmont Street in front of Pine Tree High School. When will this work begin?
ANSWER: Longview voters in November approved the three propositions in a total $104.2 million bond package, which included $27.09 million for street improvements. The approximately $5.6 million Fairmont Street project is part of that, with plans calling for the road to be reconstructed from Avenue B to H.G. Mosley Parkway.
City Spokesman Shawn Hara told me the bond package and construction projects are proceeding in three phases. The Fairmont Street project is in the second funding phase, with work expected to start in about 2021.
“However, preliminary work is taking place for right-of-way acquisition and design prior to that,” he said.
Hara sent me a nice infographic showing the general timeline for the entire bond package, which you should see attached to today’s column.
QUESTION: Is there anyone in the Longview/Kilgore area that accepts plastics or newspapers for recycling?
ANSWER: Rivers Recycling is located between Longview and Kilgore and will accept your plastics and newspapers. The exact address is 298 FM 1252 West, which is off Texas 42 just north of Interstate 20.
The company will accept the following items between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday:
■ Sorted Office Paper
■ Mixed Paper
■ Clean Plastics (Nos. 1 to 7. Usually indicated somewhere on the container.)
■ Water bottles
■ Milk containers
■ Soda bottles
■ Laundry and bleach bottles
■ Aluminum Cans
■ Steel Cans
Q: Out on Estes Parkway where Eastman Road joins Estes, there’s a black man that’s been there for months and months. He obviously has some sort of mental problem. He just walks back and forth and he’s beaten down a path of grass. He has some stuff in a a bag. He waves at people when they go by. He obviously needs help. If you could direct somebody to help him, it would be appreciated.
A: Your tears on my voicemail made me cry. I know there are many people who share your concern for this man, whose name is Timothy Mitchell. For a long time he did the same thing you described in front of the McDonald’s on Marshall Avenue.
I do know there have been attempts to help Mitchell, who is from Longview. (I watched a Facebook feed some time ago in which some of his classmates from his years in Longview ISD tried to raise enough money to keep him in a hotel on Marshall Avenue for a while. They eventually ran out of money and he was back on the street.)
Officer Ron Duncan is a part of the two-man Police Outreach Services Team created by the Longview Police Department as part of the city’s efforts to address issues related to homelessness. He told me that when Mitchell started getting into trouble for trespassing at the McDonald’s, he moved over to the location on Estes Parkway. Duncan said he and his fellow POST officer, Allan Whitlock, have tried to help Mitchell and he refuses to accept any services.
I saw in jail records he has recently been arrested on charges of camping in the city and criminal trespass.
Clearly, we haven’t come up with a good answer for helping someone like Mitchell.