Sunday, January 21, 2018
News Roundup

St. Leo to vote Monday on Pompanic Street controversy

SAN ANTONIO — When it comes to a solution about how to handle truck traffic going to Saint Leo University's future warehouse, the three entities involved appear to be no closer than when they began.

Pompanic Street, the two-lane road at the center of the controversy, is the proposed entrance road for the university's plant operations building, which it plans to build on land bought several years ago from the Benedictine nuns.

The street's center line splits the town of St. Leo and city of San Antonio. The proposal has also divided residents, some of whom have questioned the safety of using of the small road that runs in front of stately, old homes.

St. Leo commissioners are set to vote at 7 p.m. Monday on whether to accept the university's site plans. At an earlier workshop, commissioners tentatively agreed to a deal to pay a third of the cost of improving the road, with the university and San Antonio splitting the rest.

But San Antonio remains uncommitted.

Last week, the city's attorney, Brian Bolves, outlined in a letter terms of a possible compromise. Bolves suggested the university should apply for a driveway permit onto State Road 52, eliminating the need for access from Pompanic. Bolves further suggests that if the state denies the driveway permit onto SR 52 then San Antonio would consider improvements to Pompanic Street provided that additional property or public funds not be required to improve Pompanic in support of a "private project."

But university officials don't consider using SR 52 a viable option.

"Adding an entrance on (SR) 52 would be a dangerous proposition," said Denny Moller, vice president for advancement. He said cars typically drive fast along the highway, which turns right beside Pompanic Street.

"Traffic on Pompanic Street is so minimal it's not going to create a dangerous situation," he said.

But San Antonio officials also fear traffic will increase as the university grows. Bolves said it appears that the site is slated to become a "west campus." However, Moller said there are no plans on the table for that yet.

"Everybody thinks we have a secret plan," he said. "This is not like (President) Nixon and Vietnam."

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