New Services Available to Southwest Denton County
The new Denton County Southwest Courthouse is now open and serving the public! The Southwest Courthouse is located at the northwest corner of Hwy 377 and Canyon Falls Drive in Flower Mound, just north of FM 1171.
This 32,000-square-foot building houses the County Clerk, the Tax Office, the Precinct 4 Constable, the Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace, the Department of Community Supervision and Corrections, Denton County Juvenile Probation, the Precinct 4 County Commissioner, and flexible office space for Health Services, Veterans Services, and AgriLife to use as needed. We also have space allocated for a Department of Public Safety Driver’s License office.
Services provided by departments in this building are: obtaining birth certificates, property records, dba’s, passports, license plate renewals, payment of property taxes, weddings and filing small claims cases. In addition, the building features a community room for meetings and other civic gatherings.
We are proud to offer even more accessibility of services to the residents of Denton County.
Passport Offices to Open at Two New Locations
We are proud of the fact that the County Clerk’s office is able to offer a walk-in service for passport application processing. This is not common, as many Passport Acceptance Facilities see customers by appointment only. As a convenience to Denton County passport customers, all passport applications processed at any of our offices are sent to the United States Passport Agency via USPS Overnight delivery – a service provided at no additional cost to our customers. In addition, the County Clerk’s office is also able to offer onsite passport photo services at all locations.
Thus far in 2017, the County Clerk’s office has processed 20,476 passport applications throughout its four current acceptance facilities. Those facilities are located in Denton, Carrollton, Cross Roads and Lewisville.
Denton County has received preliminary approval from the United States Passport Agency to add two new acceptance facility locations – the new Southwest Courthouse in Flower Mound and the Precinct 1 Government Building in Frisco. Both offices recently passed an onsite compliance inspection conducted by the United States Passport Agency, and we are looking forward to final approval in the very near future.
We are especially excited about these new additions. It is expected that the Flower Mound location will alleviate some of the volume at the Denton office, which has served more than 6,000 applicants to date, and the Frisco location will help balance out the volume of customers at our Carrollton office, which has issued more than 8,100 passports this year already.
Bond Debt Refinancing Results in Savings for Denton County
At its June 25 meeting, the Commissioners Court approved the issuance of up to $85,000,000 in Permanent Improvement Refunding Bonds in order to refinance $82,755,000 of previously issued county bonds. Because of favorable conditions in the government bond market, the county could realize total savings of up to $9.7 million, or 12% of the future debt service costs on these bonds.
The court established parameters on the maximum amount of refunding bonds to be issued, the maximum interest rate on the new bonds, and the minimum amount of savings for the bond issue. By replacing those outstanding bonds with new ones bearing lower true interest costs, the county would be able to realize significant savings on future debt service costs.
The county’s financial advisors, Hilltop Securities, conducted the refunding bond sale. Both Standard & Poors and Moody’s reaffirmed the county’s AAA bond ratings on this transaction. This was a negotiated sale with an underwriting team consisting of CitiBank, Raymond James & Associates, and RBC Capital Markets.
Even with a slight downturn in the bond market during the week of the sales, due to the county’s high bond rating, excellent credit reports from the ratings agencies, and strong financial position, the bids came in much as expected. The bonds were sold at a true interest of 2.8403%, compared to the average interest rates on the refunded bonds of 4.9703%.
The sale replaced the higher interest bonds with the new bonds bearing lower interest rates. This equates to a savings of 9.38% of the refunded debt.
These annual debt service savings will be recognized annually over the duration of the new bonds. The first year debt service savings will total $466,921, and the annual savings will average $660,000 over the 14-year life of the bonds.
Historic Denton County Day Trips
Are you a Denton history buff looking to expand your horizons? Or maybe you just want to get out of town for a day? Denton County historical hot spots can be found in just about any direction. Go visit one of the many local Historical Markers or drop by a museum. Here are a few options for historic Denton County day trips:
Roanoke: If you are a fan of visiting the Courthouse-on-the-Square Museum and exploring the Downtown Denton Square, Roanoke is a great day trip for you. Their downtown strip along Oak Street is reminiscent of the heart of Lil’ D because it’s as unique as it is historic.
Start your trip at the Roanoke Visitor Center and Museum, located in a restored building from 1886. Once the Silver Spur Saloon, the building served as a dance hall, brothel, and bar. It received both a Texas Historical Recorded Landmark designation and an award for Best Renovation by the Texas Downtown Association and Preservation Texas in 2009.
Within the museum, you can find local and regional artifacts and dive in to Roanoke’s rich history. Afterwards, you can explore their downtown and try out one of their incredible restaurants (it is the Unique Dining Capital of Texas, after all).
Aubrey: The Aubrey Area Museum is a fairly new local museum. Opened in 2016, the museum came about by locals making an effort to preserve the town’s history. The Aubrey Historical Society gathered many local artifacts from household appliances to newspaper clippings, much of it donated by local residents. Visiting provides a unique look at the history of a small Denton County farming town.
Though the museum is only open on Saturdays, appointments can be made to visit at other times of the week. Afterwards, you can walk through downtown and admire some of the unique historic buildings that line the streets. Finish the day with some old-fashioned cooking at the World Famous Mom’s Restaurant.
Pilot Point: The Downtown Square of Pilot Point, though sleepy, is beautifully lined with historic buildings. There are historical markers to see along the town square and along Main Street as well. In the heart of downtown, there is a striking mural along the side of one of the historic buildings – this is where you can find the Clifton & Nadene Irick Museum.
Also opened in 2016, this museum is a fairly new addition to the area. It was named in honor of Pilot Point’s chief historian, Clifton Irick, who passed before its opening. The 2,500 sq. foot museum features photographs of the town’s early days and has a historic tractor in the very center.
Afterwards, spend the rest of your day lounging in the water and sun by visiting the nearby lake.
Did You Know?
The Oliver Creek Bridge, near the City of Justin, is now open to traffic! It has been a long process getting the bridge rebuilt after the damage incurred by the floods of 2015, which washed away the roadway around the bridge, as well as partial deck and guardrail.
This bridge replacement qualified for the disaster relief funds from FEMA. After working with FEMA and our engineering and purchasing departments, we were able to design, bid and award the project and get it to completion.
Thank you to all our residents affected by this bridge closure. We appreciate your patience through the process.
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If you have any questions or comments, please let me hear from you. My email is [email protected], and my office number is 940-349-2801.