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Highland Village approves funding for dog park

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Newly elected Council members Barbara Fleming, Michelle Schwolert, John McGee and Mayor Charlotte Wilcox.
Newly elected council members Barbara Fleming, Michelle Schwolert, John McGee and Mayor Charlotte Wilcox.

The Highland Village Council at their May 24th meeting awarded the contract and approved additional funding for the construction of a dog park at Unity Park.

The contract was awarded to North Rock Construction in the amount of $254,520. The funding for the park comes from the Park Development Fee and Service Area IV and the remaining from the General Fund.

City Council requested staff provide Dog Park options after LISD closed a fenced retention area behind McAuliffe Elementary School that had been used as an “unofficial” off leash dog park for several years.

The new dog park, expected to open late summer, will be located on the northeast portion of Unity Park.

Council also approved a resolution renewing the At Your Door Service with Waste Management and a subsequent rate increase.

The City contract for the At Your Door Service began in 2012 at a monthly cost to residents of 56 cents. The rate has remained the same and Highland Village has had one of the highest participation rates at 10.5% to 12.0 % annually.

The new rate will increase by 52 cents for a total $1.08 monthly fee per household.

City staff worked with Waste Management to add services to the contract which include the availability for battery drop off for residents. The new rate will go into effect June 1, 2016.

Also at the meeting, Council approved a resolution setting guidelines and procedures relating to the naming and renaming of park lands and facilities and streets and City facilities. The City previously had an ordinance addressing the naming of park lands and facilities but not streets or other City facilities. Council repealed that portion of the ordinance and approved the updated policy and procedures.

Council directed City Staff to initiate a public education program to bring awareness to the dangers of texting and driving. Council considered an ordinance prohibiting the use of handheld communication devices while operating a vehicle on a public street within the City, except in hands free mode. After discussion of the ability to enforce the ordinance, exceptions and implementation, the ordinance died due to a lack of motion.

The ceremonial swearing in of newly elected Council members took place at this meeting. Mayor Charlotte Wilcox and Council members Michelle Schwolert, Barbara Fleming and John McGee were sworn in at this meeting. Michelle Schwolert was elected Mayor Pro Tem and Bill Meek was elected Deputy Mayor Pro Tem.

During the Mayor’s Comments, Mayor Wilcox recognized Lawyer Wroblewski as Mayor for the Day. Mr. Wroblewski, a student at Heritage Elementary, assisted Mayor Wilcox throughout the Council meeting.

The HVTV Update informed residents of the Celebrate Highland Village event scheduled for Saturday, June 4 with a 5K run in the morning and a family fishout at Unity Park followed by music, food and fireworks at Pilot Knoll Park. Information on Kids Kamp, the Eye on Water app and Memorial Day weekend lake safety were also included in the Update.

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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