Joyce Gonsoulin, an instructor for the AARP Driver Safety Program appeared before the Pinehurst City Council with a request for the council to consider letting her use a meeting room at the city hall complex. Gonsoulin is the first instructor from Orange County for the AARP program. The driver safety program will be held at the new senior citizens center in Orange when that building is completed. Until then Gonsoulin needs a place to present her program. Councilman Dan Barclay expressed reservations about letting the group use the city hall since there is, at this time, no clear procedure for the use of the city hall by special interest groups such as AARP.

Mayor T.W. Permenter informed Gonsoulin that there are senior citizens meetings held monthly at the Salvation Army Center and that there may be a possibility of meeting there. The council took no action on Gonsoulin’s request.

Grady Johnson, a 65 year resident of Pinehurst and former mayor, in addition to holding other city offices appeared before the council, gave a presentation of his concepts of the past, present and future of Pinehurst.

“When I first came to Pinehurst there was no water system,” Johnson said. “We had water well with 12 people on it. When we had trouble with the well there were 12 families without water. Now we have a modern water system that is the finest in the area. We had sewers running in open ditches; the water was nice and green. We had one city marshal that could not write tickets because he could not catch the speeders. Our only fire truck was an old one the Edgar Brown gave the city. Look at what we have now. We have a very modern city.

“If you look at what is going on around 16th Street, MLK, and Highway 62, I think you will see that Pinehurst is going to be the hub of all that activity. Pinehurst is going to grow. I am proud to have lived in such a fine city for so long and am excited to see what will happen in the future. I have gone from the creation to Star Wars. I really appreciate what you all are doing for Pinehurst and I appreciate you letting me say what is on my heart.”

The council appointed Jean Long as election judge for the upcoming city election. They also appointed Virginia Tubbleville as alternate election judge. City Secretary Debbie Cormier reported that the election deadline is March 5. On March 6 at 10 a.m. the drawing for places on the ballot will be held at city hall. Any of the candidates are invited to attend.

Police Chief Fred Hanauer III gave the annual report on racial profiling. He has filed the required report to the State of Texas. The police department has had no complaints filed and is in compliance in all respects with the state policy on racial profiling.

City Administrator Joe Parkhurst reported that the effort to install lighting on MacArthur Drive is underway. The city has requested assistance from the state and national legislators who represent Orange County. This is the first step to get the project presented to TXDOT. There is also consideration being given to installing a traffic light at some point to make crossing traffic easier and safer for those wanting to access businesses on either side of MacArthur.

Parkhurst also reported that there are several businesses relocating to Pinehurst. Fuzzy’s Tacqueria will be opening in the old Crazy Jose’s location in the Market Place Shopping Center. There is a May 1 target date for the opening.

The new building in front of Craft Oil on Strickland has been leased and a convince store and package store will open there in the near future.

Work on the new Dixie Glass building on MacArthur is proceeding on schedule. The building should be completed and the business opened in early spring.

Chicken Express is considering Pinehurst as a location for another of their franchise operations. It would be similar to the recently opened Chicken Express in Bridge City.

There is a possibility of a lessee for the old city hall location. Interested parties have met with Parkhurst and toured the building. At this time it appears to meet their specifications. Parkhurst is expecting to meet with them again in the near future.