As our city manager Michael Leavitt sometimes says, most people don’t think about what their city provides until water doesn’t come out of the faucet or the toilets don’t flush properly. I know it wasn’t until I served on a city board and then city council that I really came to understand just what our city does for our residents. Highland Village is a progressive, well-managed city. Over the next couple months I’d like to share with you some of our accomplishments and current projects.
Our Geographical Information System (GIS) department recently conducted a project that has the potential for insurance cost savings for some of our residents. Highland Village participates in the National Flood Insurance Program which allows owners of property within the city to purchase Federal Flood Insurance when needed. As part of the program, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) prepares and publishes Flood Insurance Rate Maps which are referenced by lenders to determine if flood insurance must be purchased in association with a loan. Highland Village’s GIS department managed a technical study and submitted the information to FEMA which has resulted in the removal of many properties from the Special Flood Hazard Areas. The result is that a number of property owners may no longer be required to purchase flood insurance as a loan requirement.
The majority of the properties affected by this revision are located along a portion of two streams within the city within the eastern portion of Highland Shores south to the eastern portion of Highland Forest. Additionally, the information submitted to FEMA led to the establishment of base flood elevations in some areas of the city that were previously in areas where base flood elevations has not been established. This provides owners of property within those areas to see a more favorable flood insurance premium or potentially the removal of the requirement to purchase flood insurance. If your home is in this area, which can be found on a map on the city website, contact Highland Village GIS administrator Sunny Lindsey with questions or for more information.
We have beautiful parks, open spaces and trails in Highland Village. The Parks Department is responsible for our trails, parks and also the recreation programs. In 2013 the city purchased the property at the corner of Highland Village Road and Clearwater, known as the Clearwater Club. We filled in the swimming pool and added a much needed parking area. Parks Department personnel cleaned up the site, renovated the old restroom building, resurfaced the four tennis courts, added windscreens and court nets and painted and repaired the court lights. The city sought proposals for tennis management and contracted with a company which began offering programs in June 2013. Parks crews have also been working to make improvements at Pilot Knoll Park including installation of electrical service to be used for special events like Celebrate Highland Village in June, construction of a sand volleyball court and worked with Eagle Scouts to add a large group fire pit and a kiosk in the camping area. We have more opportunities to walk in our city with the construction of sidewalks on FM 2499 from Market Trail to City Trail, the Marauder Park Lake Trail and Highland Village Road from Lions Club Park to Doubletree Ranch Park.
The previous council and mayors have put a strong emphasis on economic development and retention of our current businesses. In 1996 the city established the Highland Village Business Association with a mission to promote business networking and customer connection. Our version of a Chamber of Commerce, the HVBA is a free organization open to home-based and brick and mortar businesses in Highland Village and the surrounding community. Run by city staff, the HVBA holds quarterly luncheons and a quarterly Community Coffee. The HVBA hosts an online business directory at www.thehvba.com, which is designed to raise awareness and patronage of our local businesses. Before you head out of Highland Village to shop, I encourage you to check out thehvba.com where you’ll likely find a local business offering just what you need. Last October the HVBA launched their first Restaurant Week in a partnership with the Highland Village Police Department’s Fallen Hero Bike Race to benefit the Texas Chiefs of Police Fallen Officer Fund. This was a successful event promoting Highland Village’s eateries to the region and raising money for this worthy fund. Stay tuned for this event again this fall.
These are just a few of the projects completed by our city. I’m proud of our city staff; they are customer service oriented, take pride in the work they do and are continually looking for ways to do their work better and more efficiently.