Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Argyle – A rustic slice of real estate

Bob Weir, left, chats with new Argyle Town Manager Paul Frederiksen about the community as well as Frederiksen's extensive background in town government. (Photo by Netksy Rodriguez)
Bob Weir, left, chats with new Argyle Town Manager Paul Frederiksen about the community as well as Frederiksen’s extensive background in town government. (Photo by Netksy Rodriguez)

The Town of Argyle, a portion of which runs along Flower Mound’s western border, is populated by about 3500 people, or about 1100 families. At 11.4 square miles of area, Argyle is a rustic slice of real estate with the wide open spaces appeal that its neighboring towns and cities used to have before some of their landscapes became dotted with density.

Yet, every town and city has its own growth challenges and a timetable for same that will generally be determined by the predilections of its residents. In a typical Council/Manager form of government, elected Council members will set policy and Town Managers will carry out their wishes. Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting Paul Frederiksen, Town Manager of Argyle, who has been on the job for 7 weeks. “Argyle is a unique place to live and they (the residents) want to keep it that way,” he said.

A place of single family ranches and other large acre properties, Argyle’s major roads are I-35W running north and south along the town’s western border and FM407 traversing from east to west. In addition, Hwy 377 runs north and south through the middle of town. There are no multifamily units in the town.

Although, there’s very little commercial development in the little burg, Paul says the potential for such growth is along the I-35 corridor and some portions of 377. There are some local restaurants that are uniquely charming, like a little place called The Prime in Argyle, (aka “The Speakeasy”) on 377, just north of FM407. According to Paul, there is other retail growth on the way that people will find very appealing, including “a little restaurant called Earl’s 377.”

The new Town Manger says one of the factors inhibiting some commercial growth is the lack of infrastructure along 377, which he says will ultimately have to be dealt with.

“When you take a look at 377 and 407, we don’t have sewer capacity south of 407, which is a limiting factor for us when it comes to growth. As a town, we cannot afford to put in a sewer line if it never gets used, but, by the same token do you wait for the growth to come? And, if you do, how do you coordinate with all the property owners that are served on that line? That line by itself is estimated to cost over 2 million dollars to install.”

As for future growth, he explained: “We are in the middle of working on the comprehensive plan in which we anticipate where the growth will be and how we will handle it, from housing sizes and lot sizes and where commercial will be. There is land to be developed in Argyle. The question is; how it is to be developed? I think it is still our vision that Argyle maintains that rural character.”

A native Texan, Paul was born in Dallas and graduated from Lake Highlands High School before achieving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Southern Methodist University. A few years later, he earned 2 Masters Degrees, one in City and Regional Planning; the other in Public Administration.

“I started my career with the City of Dallas as Planning Tech with the Housing and Neighborhoods Services Department for a year, and then I had the opportunity to go to the City Manager’s office where I worked for 3 years. My final year in Dallas was working with the Capital Improvements Program and the 1998 bond program. I had 5 years with the City of Dallas and went on to become Administrator for the City of Shenandoah, which is near the Woodlands north of Houston.  I was City Administrator there for 6 years.  Shenandoah was in a growth path from Houston and we straddled I-45 so, all the growth coming towards the Woodlands, toward Conroy, we had to deal with infrastructure and growth issues coming up I-45. I came back to this area as Assistant City Manager for Colleyville, and then went to Los Colinas for 8 years as Vice President of Operations.”

Married for 22 years, he lives in Keller with his wife and 3 teenage sons. Paul has a 3 year contract with Argyle and says his job is to listen to the residents.

“As Town manager, I’m responsible for operations of the town government. My job is to supervise the department heads from Chief of Police, to Director of Public Works, and all the staff for the town.”

There are 22 staff members, including 8 police officers, who provide 24/7 coverage. Incidentally, Argyle enjoys a very low crime rate. Included in the Town Manager’s job is overseeing the budget, making budgetary recommendations to the Council, enforcing the ordinances and regulations of the town, and implementing policies as ordered by the Council.

The Argyle Independent School District serves the city of Argyle and neighboring areas. The district operates one elementary school, a middle school, an intermediate school and a high school. Current enrollment in all schools is about 1,500. The Argyle High School marching band has won 6 state marching band titles, and is ranked as one of the best high schools in Texas. Aside from being another thoroughly enjoyable interview of a mover and shaker in North Texas,

I found Paul Frederiksen to be a genuinely likeable character with a résumé that would be longer than this article. Argyle really found a gem in this guy!

Bob Weir
Bob Weir
Bob Weir is a former NYPD officer, long-time Flower Mound resident and former local newspaper editor.

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