Lewisville moves forward with Gateway Project

Published 12:09 am Thursday, December 15, 2022

Longtime town attorney Bo Houff to retire at end of the year

On a night where the Town of Lewisville officially announced plans to move ahead with the long-awaited Gateway Project, which will enhance the entrance into town, it was also a time to bid farewell to longtime attorney Bo Houff, who will retire at the end of the month.
In last Thursday night’s town council meeting, the mayor and board members paid tribute to Houff, who has served as the town attorney for nearly 30 years.
“You’re a great friend, a great friend to the town, and we’re going to miss you a lot,” said Mayor Mike Horn, who presented Houff with a plaque of appreciation from the council for his years of service from 1994 to 2002, “for wise counsel, extraordinary community support, profound friendship and many contributions he has made to help distinguish Lewisville as one of the most outstanding towns in North Carolina.”
The council also presented Houff with words of praise in a special journal with the heading — “Retired Lawyer: Not My Problem Anymore.”
Houff and his wife Beth moved to Lewisville in 1988 when he accepted a position with law firm Blanco Tackabery & Matamoros P.A. They put down roots in the town and raised their family while getting involved in many facets of the community.
“I love this town,” said Houff, who will officially retire on Dec. 31. “I can say without hesitation that Lewisville is my favorite beloved client.”
During the meeting, the town also announced a new contract to retain Blanco Tackabery & Matamoros P.A. in respect to the town’s general legal needs with Elliot Fus to serve as the new town attorney, effective Jan. 1, 2023.
“He and I have worked together since 2009,” Houff said of Fus, who also serves as the town attorney in Clemmons. “He is very experienced and a very good person. I know you will enjoy working with Elliot.”
Fus said he looked forward “to carrying on Bo’s work here.”
At the end of the meeting, there was cake and punch to celebrate Houff’s lengthy tenure.
“I know you’re not going to be a stranger,” Horn said to Houff. “You’re going to come by. We can just look down the road. We know where you live, and you know our doors are always going to be open to you.”
Meanwhile, James Ayers, who was named town manager and started his new job on Nov. 1, recapped the approvals regarding the Gateway Project from the Briefing and Action meeting on Dec. 1.
That included:
• Amending the Gateway Project Capital Project Ordinance — $2,364,080
• Amending the Budget Ordinance — Transfer to Gateway Project Capital Projects Fund — $3,300,000
• Resolution for Gateway Project construction contract with Branch Civil Inc. — $2,848,572
• Resolution authorizing construction, engineering and inspection services contract for Gateway Project with Kimley-Horn — $448,514
• Resolution for preliminary design contract amendment for Gateway Project with Kimley-Horn — $21,828
The Gateway Project has been in the works for a couple of years but was delayed during the pandemic after no bids were received. However, that changed in August when bids came in well over budget for a project that was originally projected to be in the $1.5 million range. Filling the gap on the shortfall was essential to finally moving forward with the project.
“With the infusion of supplemental funding from NCDOT, the Gateway Project is ready to start construction,” Ayers said of the upgraded entry into the Town of Lewisville from U.S. 421 along Williams Road to the Shallowford Road roundabout, with improvements coming for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. “Lovely landscaping and entry signage welcoming people to Lewisville will be installed as well. When the project is completed next fall, it will realize the vision of town council and the Lewisville community for a beautiful gateway corridor.”
In other administrative reports in last Thursday night’s meeting, Ayers provided information on a letter of support for the town for CMAQ (Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality) grant funding request for an extension of Shallowford Road sidewalks with a total value of $1,314,667.
In new business, a resolution to set a public hearing for a site plan amendment and amendment of uses — 771 Williams Road from HB-C (Highway Business — Conditional) to HB-C (Highway Business — Conditional) requested by Stephen Long c/o Williams Rd HQ LLC on 3.57 acres. Uses include Professional Office; Restaurant (without drive-through service); Micro-Brewery or Micro-Distillery; General Merchandise Store & School, Vocational or Professional.
Also in last Thursday night’s meeting, Tricia McManus, superintendent for Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, provided an update regarding strategic plan and academic goals, and other initiatives including a vision for literacy, and improving culture and climate.