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Highland Village Mayor’s Message – April 2014

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How many of you have heard or asked when we are going to experience spring weather? It seems our winter weather has hung on a little longer than normal. Or it could be we’re all just ready to enjoy warmer temperatures, green foliage and spring flowers. Well, the wait is over. Spring is here. Much work has been completed or is nearing completion that will make your time outside a pleasant experience.

City staff installed new playground equipment at Turpin Park. I have heard from several families in the area how much they enjoy the new and improved play area at this neighborhood park. Work is nearing completion at Lions Club Park with several new amenities added. The pavilion is improved with a metal roof and stone columns. A new playground was installed and fibar was added to provide a safer and ADA compliant play area. There is now a sidewalk connecting the pavilion to the playground and an additional bench was added. Residents in the area can easily access the park using the Highland Village Road Trail. Still in the works is the paving of the parking lot.

We have a number of Highland Village kids participating in our youth flag football league at Brazos Park. By the time this article reaches your mailboxes, the parking lot at the park should be complete. The parking area will not only meet the parking needs of participants in the recreation leagues at Brazos Park, it will also be used for parking at the Municipal Complex. There are many occasions, like elections, municipal court days and city meetings, where our parking lot is filled to capacity. This additional lot will provide overflow parking on those days.

Pilot Knoll Park has long been our “hidden gem” and I encourage you to visit the park and take in the natural beauty. You can camp out overnight at the park, either in a tent or bring your camper or RV. Engage in some outdoor activities and rent a kayak, play volleyball in the sand volleyball court, or play a game of horseshoes.  Join us in May for our Movies in the Park series. Each Friday night we’ll feature a family-friendly movie and free admission to the park. Stop at a local Highland Village eatery, grab something to go and enjoy time with your family at the park.

We also have many projects currently in construction. An asphalt overlay construction project is underway on Highland Village Road. The project begins at Brazos Boulevard and ends near the eastern city limits at the I-35E frontage road. The goal of the project is to create an aesthetically pleasing road with no patches and a smoother ride quality. Construction crews are working from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday so please use caution in the area. The project is anticipated to be complete by the end of May this year.

The I-35E expansion and the construction of a new southbound bridge over Lake Lewisville is in process. You can find details on the project and sign up to receive notifications and news at www.35express.org. While the 35Express project is not actually within our city limits, it will impact us. The construction crews are beginning the nightly lane closures along the bridge as they re-stripe and adjust the lanes. The work will take place in two phases. The first phase reduces the existing lanes and shoulders from 12 to 11-foot lanes and a 5 to 6-foot shoulder on each side. The northbound lanes will shift to the east and the southbound lanes will shift to the west. Crews will then prepare the center pavement of the bridge for traffic. Once the center portion is prepared and striped, phase 2 begins with all lanes shifting to the east with a 1 to 1.5-foot shoulder in between the north and southbound lanes. North and southbound lanes will be barrier separated as well. This leaves a 5-foot protect work zone on the west side of the bridge for crews to access the construction of the new southbound bridge. Again, the best way to stay up to date on the project is to sign up for notifications at 35express.org.

Spring weather also signals the beginning of mosquito season and unfortunately we still have to protect ourselves from West Nile Virus. The City has a mosquito surveillance program targeted to capture and test the mosquito species that can transmit the West Nile Virus to humans.  Staff will be monitoring mosquito updates for the Denton County area.  It is very important for each of us to take responsibility to protect ourselves and our neighbors. Mosquitoes breed in stagnant standing water, so be sure to empty water from flower pots, dog bowls, bird baths, etc. Look for areas in your yard where water is collecting and fix the cause of the problem. When you go outside wear protective clothing, avoid being out at dusk and dawn and use mosquito repellant. While you’re out and about in Highland Village, if you see areas of standing water or potential mosquito breeding areas, report them using the Eye on Highland Village app. You can download it to your smart phone by searching GoRequest in the iPhone Store or Google Play.

Finally, I hope you’ll mark your calendar and join us as we “Celebrate Highland Village” on Saturday, June 7. City staff is planning a 1k/5k Walk/Run and the Family Fish Out at Unity Park in the morning. Later that evening we’ll be at Pilot Knoll Park with music by Prophets and Outlaws followed by Walt Wilkins and the Mystiqueros, food, drink, activities for the kids, and we’ll finish off the night with a spectacular fireworks extravaganza.

As always, I thank you for allowing me to serve the residents of Highland Village. I look forward to seeing you around Highland Village!

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