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Highland Village Council continues budget discussions, approves gas station

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Rendering of the new gas station to be located in front of  Walmart in Highland Village.
Rendering of the new gas station to be located in front of Walmart in Highland Village.

At their July 28 meeting, the Highland Village City Council continued discussions of the FY 2015-2016 Budget focusing on Special Revenue Funds. These funds typically have dedicated or restricted revenue sources, such as the Park Development Fee, Public Safety Fund, Municipal Court Technology and Building Security Fund and the PEG Fee Fund, and can only be used for items related to the area the fund is collected. Assessed valuations came in at a 6.9 percent increase allowing the city to address identified personnel and supplemental items. The proposed base General Fund Budget expenditures total $15,287,980, a 5.3 percent increase from 2014-2015. A Supplemental Budget is also included, totaling $1,865,422.

Council also received an update and discussed recent public safety assessments, including the public safety radio system and dispatch center which is included in the proposed Supplemental Budget. The City will transition to a system provided by Denton County, also requiring transition to digital radios, prompting a phased replacement of the majority of the radios now utilized. Although requiring a substantial investment, the new radio system is expected to greatly enhance reception and will be designed to provide regional interoperability. Computer Aided Dispatch and Records Management System (CAD/RMS) was also addressed. A recent review of the current system resulted in a recommendation to utilize Integrated Computer Systems (ICS), which will allow integrated dispatch centers between Highland Village and Flower Mound with the potential to include Lewisville and Denton County.

Council also received a presentation on fire department response times throughout the city. The Highland Village Fire Department originally began as an all volunteer department and in 2008, with the construction of the new fire station at Highland Village Road and Brazos Boulevard, moved to a full-time department with five firefighter/paramedics on each of the three shifts. The city continues to see increased growth and traffic to the west with the development of two major retail centers and the FM 2499 corridor.

Council has directed staff to investigate funding options to house an ambulance and up to two additional firefighter/paramedics to each shift to provide emergency medical service to the western portion of Highland Village. Staff will provide an update to Council at the August 11 meeting.

Council approved the final read of a site plan for a Murphy Oil gas station in the Marketplace at Highland Village. A gas station was approved with the 2005 site plan for The Marketplace and in March 2015 a replat of the Wal-Mart property was approved separating the lot for a Murphy Oil gas station. Public hearings were held at Planning & Zoning and City Council when the applicant presented the site plan. The Murphy Oil gas station with be on the south side of the Wal-Mart parking area and will begin construction early 2016.

Also at this meeting Council approved an amendment to the development and use regulations for Lot 1 of Celebrations Village Center to include stucco finish to be applied to the brick on the exterior of the building. The owner is redeveloping what was known as Celebrations Event Center to include a chapel for weddings, wedding receptions and similar events.

The City Secretary’s office is accepting applications for boards and commissions to serve as advisory groups to Council and staff. The City Secretary’s Office accepts applications from interested citizens who would like to volunteer their time to the City. All volunteers must be residents of Highland Village and qualified voters. All applications are considered by City Council when they make their annual appointments in September. Applications are available on the City website and must be returned to the City Secretary by August 14, 2015.

The HVTV Update informed residents of the request for applicants to Boards and Commissions, the 28th Annual Lions Club Balloon Festival which will be held at Unity Park on August 14-16 and the Pet of the Week.

The City Council early work session and regular session is available on HVTV (Time Warner 16; Verizon 43) and via the website streaming by clicking HVTV. The meetings are also available for on-demand viewing on the city website.

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