February was a particularly busy month for our Town Council with many major projects progressing forward.
New Senior Center – During the February 17 Town Council meeting, we selected a contractor for the new Senior Center which allowed construction to begin. This project has been anticipated for more than 10 years, and I am pleased to be a part of the Council that will help break ground for the facility on March 3. With a continually growing senior population, the new Senior Center is needed more than ever and will be the perfect fit for the many educational programs and events hosted by the popular Flower Mound Seniors In Motion program.
Moviehouse & Eatery – Also in February, the Council approved a measure to welcome Moviehouse & Eatery, an eight-screen, 925 seat, dine-in theater to Flower Mound. Scheduled to open during May 2015, Moviehouse & Eatery will be a major entertainment attraction for the Lakeside DFW development at the northwest corner of Lakeside Parkway and FM 2499. In addition to being a great destination for movie buffs, this upscale theater is expected to provide a net benefit of $1.61 million in sales tax revenue over a 10-year period. By seeing a movie in Flower Mound, residents are able to keep their tax dollars local and directly allocated to the services and projects our community needs most. This is definitely a win-win situation for Flower Mound.
Canyon Falls – We’ve had excellent news about recent progress in Canyon Falls, a 1,200-acre master-planned community located within the Town’s Denton Creek District, between U.S. Highway 377 and I-35W, north of FM 1171. Seven home builders have announced plans to construct single-family homes in the development that spans three jurisdictions including Northlake, Argyle, and 626 acres in Flower Mound. So far, builders include Ashton Woods Homes, Coventry Homes, Highland Homes, K Hovnanian Homes, Toll Brothers, Drees Custom Homes, and Ryland Homes. The Canyon Falls master plan includes many amenities such as a community clubhouse, resort-style pool, sports fields, and playgrounds. Canyon Falls’ homeowners will also appreciate the 300 acres of natural open space, scenic bluffs and trails along Graham Branch Creek. Also as part of Canyon Falls, commercial and retail space will be available in addition to the new Flower Mound Fire Station # 6 and a Denton County administration building. For more information about the development, please visit http://www.flower-mound.com/index.aspx?nid=1164 or http://www.canyonfallstx.com/.
U.S. Highway 377 – Although road construction has affected drivers in the Canyon Falls area, along U.S. Highway 377, TxDOT expects to complete the asphalt overlay project this month. The U.S. Highway 377 overlay project incorporated patching the areas in need of repair and adding an additional layer of new asphalt. The southbound lanes were completed first, and work on the northbound lanes is near complete around the intersection of FM 1171. TxDOT crews will then continue overlay work north along 377 toward the FM 407 intersection.
Strategic Plan – This month, the Council will address a significant item, the Town’s strategic plan, during its March 20 work session. Strategic planning is a systematic approach to evaluate the Town’s vision and goals and serves as valuable communication tool between Town Council and staff. Through the development and prioritization of the Town’s strategic plan, the Town is able to take the first step toward implementing decisions. Priorities are determined by the Town Council once staff has been able to identify objectives and action items that further the Council’s stated goals. All projects align with the vision of the Town, which is “to preserve our unique country atmosphere, heritage, and quality of life while cultivating a dynamic economic development environment.” This vision statement is embraced by the Town Council, Town Manager, and Executive Team, and supports the Town’s strategic planning and daily operations. The Town’s strategic plan to achieve this vision is set by the Town Council during long-term planning sessions held annually. The Town has conducted strategic planning since 1997, when it adopted its current vision statement. Strategic planning for the Town is designed to achieve that vision. As with all Council meetings, work sessions are open to the public, and I encourage residents to attend to hear all the exciting things on the horizon for Flower Mound. If you cannot attend the work session, all Town Council meetings are broadcast live on FMTV (Grande Cable Channel 12, Time Warner Cable Channel 16, and Verizon FIOS Channel 42), as well as on the Town website, www.flower-mound.com/fmtv.
Fire Chief’s Retirement – Lastly, the Council was notified in February that our longtime Fire Chief, Eric Metzger, plans to retire by June 30. You may not be aware; Chief Metzger has been serving the Town for 28 years, 22 of them as Fire Chief. Many of us have not lived in Flower Mound that long, and have not witnessed how much our community has grown since 1986. To illustrate this, when Chief Metzger came onboard the Town had two fire stations, with one full-time employee at each station. Volunteers filled-in the responsibilities of our little community in those days. Now, we have five fire stations with almost 100 firefighters, paramedics, and administrative staff. Chief Metzger has been there through it all, ensuring our fire services were meeting our community’s needs with the proper personnel and equipment. While we are all saddened by his departure, we wish him nothing but success and happiness in the new chapter of his life as he and his wife move to East Texas and enjoy the country life.
Mike Walker serves on the Flower Mound Town Council in Place 1