The Denison City Council held a nearly two-hour regular meeting on Monday evening to discuss the fate of a proposed apartment complex near U.S. Highway 75 and Crawford Street.

The Denison City Council held a nearly two-hour regular meeting on Monday evening to discuss the fate of a proposed apartment complex near U.S. Highway 75 and Crawford Street.

The Council spent the majority of the meeting hearing and discussing the concerns of citizens, business owners and developers on two motions before the Council.

The first motion was a request from a real estate developer, LDG Development LLC, for the Council’s permission and blessing to being work on an apartment complex near 75 and Crawford Street.

Four Denison citizens living in the vicinity of the proposed complex attended the meeting and each implored the Council not to allow the project to go forward.

Citizens cited concerns about the development’s appearance, increased traffic in their neighborhood, loss of property value and privacy concerns.

After nearly an hour of presentation from the developers, citizen testimony and councilor questioning, the Council moved to table the motion. The mayor cited a need for more research, and he confirmed with the developer that tabling the motion until next month’s meeting would not impact their decision whether or not to move forward with the project.

The Council also deliberated at length with citizens, a local business owner and Denison Police Chief Jay Burch about whether or not to extend a temporary exception to a city ordinance granted to The Office Sports Bar.

The police chief said the exception is a standard one granted to most bars in the city, exempting the business owners from noise prohibitions until 11 p.m.

Burch reported to the Council that since last year’s exception was enacted for The Office, the police department has been obligated to address an abnormal amount of calls dispatching officers to the bar.

Burch recommended that the Council allow the exception to expire. The Office’s owner and operator came before the Council’s dais to plead his case that improvements made to the bar’s atmosphere would lower the amount of police incidents and noise complaints.

Two residents of the area near the bar spoke to the Council to argue that the noise from the bar was unbearable and kept them awake at night.

Mayor Jared Johnson said repeatedly that this issue was important to the city and not a clear-cut decision. Every witness that came before the Council was called back to testify multiple times.

Ultimately, the Council voted unanimously to let the exception expire, reverting The Office’s legal obligations to the earlier curfew for loud music.

The Council also approved an increase in court fees and an obligatory increase in traffic ticket minimums required by the state of Texas. The minimum fine for illegally passing a stopped school bus was officially increased to $500.

The Council also welcomed guests, Reps. Larry Phillips and Ralph Hall, two of the Denison area’s representatives from the Texas Legislature and U.S. Congress, respectively.

Phillips attended to give moral support to Hall, who received recognition from the City Council commemorating his work on the city’s economic development.

"Congressman Hall was an integral part of economic development in Denison," Johnson said. "The biggest project ever, the Schuler project that is now ready to see dirt turning, wouldn’t have happened without legislation from the federal level.

There were times along the way that the project just kind of hit the stall button, but our congressman was there, from the beginning, to gently push this and get it back on track."

Johnson told Hall, "Every citizen in Denison thanks you for that effort, and it’s a privilege for us to recognize you this evening for your work in economic development."

Johnson then invited Hall to stand with him as he read a proclamation that officially named Dec. 16 as "Ralph Hall Day" in the city of Denison.

Hall accepted the proclamation with characteristic humor: "Thank you very much. I didn’t know I had done all that.

"I’m honored here. Denison is a great place to work; you’re easy to represent. I had full cooperation and full support from the mayor, the county, everybody here was going in one direction. It’s easy to help people like that."

Johnson also presented a proclamation of honor to the Denison High School Robotics Team, saying: "The Denison High School Robotics Team participated in the Boosting Engineering, Science, and Technology competition, better known as the BEST competition, and members of this team spent over 120 hours each of their personal time towards this year’s project.

"Out of 220 teams, 60 teams from Texas and New Mexico were chosen to advance, and this team represented the city of Denison and Denison High School exceptionally well, and, for the second year in a row, reached the regional competition, placing 24th."

The mayor gave the team a plaque to commemorate the honor. He said the city wished to "recognize these young adults for their achievement and encourage all citizens to congratulate them on this accomplishment."