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Highland Village update — July 2015

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Highland Village Mayor Charlotte Wilcox
Highland Village Mayor Charlotte Wilcox

Summer is in full swing, and we’ve got the heat and humidity to prove it. I don’t know about you, but the cool days of May seem a distant memory now!

But the rain that came with those cooler temperatures is definitely not a distant memory as we are still experiencing the side effects. There has been quite a lot happening in our city the last month and there is a lot more to do.

Highland Village Road and the I-35E frontage road were underwater for weeks making it difficult to enter and exit the city on the east side. We were able to open Highland Village Road the same day AGL Constructors opened the Garden Ridge exit only to have to close it temporarily when the water came over the roadway again.

That portion of Highland Village Road is currently considered part of AGL Constructor’s responsibility as they build the new I-35E bridge. This is good for us in that AGL will be re-constructing that portion of Highland Village Road, raising it so it meets the new frontage road and flooding in that area will no longer be an issue.

Also though, AGL must maintain and consider all safety aspects of the roads within their construction project. Since Highland Village Road is only two lanes with no shoulder and the lake levels are right at the road border, the safety of drivers travelling the road has to be addressed.

The city is working with AGL to allow us the opportunity to provide for safe travel. We are doing that by reducing the speed limit in that area to 20 mph, placing electronic message boards reminding travelersto slow down through the area and will use all our communication and enforcement tools to encourage travelers to slow down in the area.

One accident or mishap could cause the road to be closed indefinitely. Please encourage your neighbors and friends to use caution in this area. A little caution and slower travel through that area is worth it to keep the road open.

We still have a few roads underwater, many residents with the lake in their backyard and the lake has taken over Pilot Knoll Park and our newest, not yet opened, Lakeside Community Park. Once the water recedes then city staff can analyze the damage done and make the necessary repairs.

The lake water nearly came over Highland Village Road at the boat docks. Fortunately we were able to mobilize city staff and many of our Highland Village Police Auxiliary volunteers to place over 300 sandbags to keep the road open.

I would personally like to thank all the city staff and volunteers whopitched in on a Saturday to keep the roadway open. The teamwork and community spirit I see in Highland Village continues to amaze me. I’ve always known we are a community that cares for and helps each other; I was able to experience this firsthand duringthe rains and flooding in our area. If you’d like to formally commit to being part of the volunteer community in Highland Village now is the time to consider serving on a city board or commission.

That is how I started my service to the community; I volunteered to serve on the city’s planning & zoning commission. My experience as a Realtor was beneficial to this commission. But “experience” is not a requirement for appointment to a board or commission as we look for those with a desire to serve the city.

Each year in July the council requests applications from residents interested in serving on a city board. If you’ve ever wondered how you can give back to your city, I hope you’ll consider applying. Just contact our city secretary, Diane Callahan or search “volunteer opportunities” on the city website.

Our Highland Village Police Department is always looking for residents interested in serving as a police auxiliary member. Police auxiliary members are volunteers that assist the HVPD in various activities like special events, security patrols, critical incidents and even in our municipal court as a bailiff assistant. The HVPD provides training and mentoring on a monthly basis. If this type of volunteer service is of interest to you, visit the “How Do I Volunteer” on the city website for more information.

You’ve probably seen the mosquito spraying signs around the city. With all the rain the mosquito population has dramatically increased. City crews have begun fogging public trails, wooded areas, and greenbelts to combat the mosquito population. The fogging takes place during the overnight hours on Thursday and Friday of each week.

After the first week of fogging we saw a huge decrease in the numbers of mosquitoes caught in our testing traps. Fortunately we have not had any positive West Nile cases in Highland Village and we hope to keep it that way. You can do your part by remembering to protect yourself and your family when you are outside and drain standing water around your home.

If you see areas in the city that need addressing, you can let us know through the Eye on Highland Village app on your mobile device. This app is your personal way to tell city staff of areas in the city that need attention. All you have to do is open the app, choose the issue and add your comments.

If you want staff to respond to you, include your contact info or you can remain anonymous. We do have very attentive staff in our city but they can’t be everywhere at all times. I have found they are very appreciative of residents alerting them to areas that need attention. All you have to do to get the app is search “Go Request” in the app store on your phone and you’re good to go.

I hope you have a good summer planned for you and your family. If you’re going on vacation remember to fill out the vacation watch form so our PD can keep an eye on your home while you’re away. If you have kids that have already started in with the “I’m bored” comments, check out our Highland Village Kids Kamp for the younger ones and the community education classes we have for the kiddos too.

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