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Highland Village Update – February 2018

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Highland Village Mayor Charlotte Wilcox

We have some great news to start 2018 – Highland Village received a AAA bond rating! What does that actually mean? It means the City’s credit rating (think credit score) is the highest it can possibly be. We are issuing bonds to fund the projects our voters approved in November so are rating is reviewed to help determine the interest we will pay, etc. It’s very similar to when you apply for a loan for a house or a car, your credit rating determines the interest rate you’ll receive for that loan. It measures the City’s ability to repay debt, considers the performance of the local economy, various debt ratio measurements, and the strength of the City’s financial and administrative management. The AAA rating is a testament to the City’s consistent conservative and fiscally responsible financial policies and procedures. This is a big deal for us. Congratulations to our City staff and those who have served on Council over the years for ensuring Highland Village operates in a conservative and fiscally sustainable manner, your hard work has paid off.

The bond issuance has been approved and staff is beginning the work on the street and parks and recreation projects approved in the November election. City staff evaluated the 126 asphalt pavement streets located within the City and 23 streets were identified as failing. These streets will be broken into four construction projects with construction beginning this summer. Weather permitting; the goal is to have the reconstruction of all 23 streets completed by summer of 2020.

In the parks department, Unity Park will see an area redeveloped to add an additional softball field, Kids Kastle will be replaced with a new but similarly-styled play area and the ponds will be dredged to remove accumulated silt and address drainage issues. The engineering and design services for the new softball field are currently under staff review. City staff is currently gathering design firm information from municipalities that have had Kids Kastle type of play structures replaced or installed. Once a design firm is selected, City staff will begin the process of community input and involvement for the design and construction of Kids Kastle.

The construction of the sidewalk along Highland Village Road from the Municipal Complex to Sellmeyer Lane will begin late in the summer this year. This sidewalk will increase pedestrian safety and connect residents to amenities along Highland Village Road. The addition to the Brazos Park parking lot will likely take place this summer and be complete by the fall this year. Staff is also working on receiving approval from ONCOR for the replacement of the walking track at Victoria Park.

The Idlewild Court elevated storage tank will soon be repainted. The TCEQ requires steel tanks be repainted periodically to facilitate maintenance and prolong their useful life. The Idlewild tank was last repainted approximately 15 years ago.

The Ladera development, a 102 unit 55+ gated community located on the west wide of the city between Chapel Hills and the KSC Railroad Crossing, is moving forward. Paving will begin soon which will include setting up a temporary concrete batch plant on the site. The plant has been approved by the TCEQ and City staff will approve the placement of the facility; the City will take into consideration noise, lighting and construction dust.

Good news for our residents on the west side is a quiet zone railroad crossing has been installed on Chinn Chapel Road. This project was funded through Denton County and is located inside the Town of Copper Canyon however it will benefit our residents once KCS activates the quiet zone crossing.

Since the 35Express project completed many of us are using the Garden Ridge intersection to enter and leave Highland Village. We received comments from our residents that the stop signs at the intersection were hard to see causing many motorists to drive right through the intersection nearly causing accidents or in some cases an accident did occur. We contacted TxDOT and learned that stoplights were installed in anticipation of meeting warrant. However, after the warrant study was conducted, this intersection did not meet the criteria for a traffic signal. We put in a call to Commissioner Mitchell and asked her help in getting the signal lights to flash red in all directions to hopefully provide a safer travelling experience for all. Commissioner Mitchell informed us TxDOT approved setting the lights to flashing red. You can see the flashing red lights from a distance, it is still a good idea to use caution at this intersection. Thank you to Commissioner Mitchell for helping us improve the safety of our residents.

We’ve also just learned signage will be placed on southbound I-35E designating the Highland Village exit. TxDOT has told us “Highland Village Exit 454A” will be added to an existing sign just north of Lewisville Lake. There is already a sign south of FM 407 for the northbound travelers.

Spring and the beginning of our special event season are right around the corner. The parks and recreation department has just begun a volunteer program. There are many opportunities available if you’d like to help. You can lend a hand at any of our events, help maintain a flower bed, notify us of areas that need our attention, adopt a park or a trail or even donate a tree or bench in honor of a loved one. To get started, just go to hvparks.com and select Volunteer to learn about all the available opportunities.

The Highland Village Art Festival will take place again the first Saturday in May at The Shops at Highland Village. If you are an artist and would like to have a booth at the event, now is the time to submit your application. We partner with The Shops at Highland Village for this event and benefit the Children’s Advocacy Center of Denton County. We have some amazing artists in our area and you can see and purchase their work at this great event.

As you can see, we are going to be busy this year. You can keep up to date on all the projects by following the City on Facebook or signing up to receive the weekly City Manager’s Report by selecting “Stay Notified” on the city website.

I hope to see you around the City!

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