By Northlake Mayor Pete Dewing
The Good and Unpleasant:
Northlake’s policies, location, and regulations continue to attract new business. A lot of development is occurring down at SH 114: which includes, 1.2 million s.f. under construction for “Project Forge” (tenant to be announced in early December; 500k s.f. building under construction; Site Plans & Final Plats submitted for two 225k s.f. buildings; Dale Earnhardt Way extension from I-35W to SH 114 has begun; Chadwick Commons ground breaking was held last month that consists of a 249-unit apartment complex and retail center; New Holiday Inn Express is planning their opening in December; Current Holiday Inn Express is being rebranded to La Quinta; and we received site plan and re-plat for Tru by Hilton.
Chisholm Trail BBQ is now open on SH 114.
We received applications for two new buildings for Northlake Commons located in the Harvest Development.
As always, we are still in discussions with additional commercial and retail businesses to bring jobs and modern conveniences to the residents of Northlake. Having a comprehensive plan and following it, the current regulations, responsiveness, low municipal tax rate, exceptional schools, and housing options are major factors companies find favorable and have been attracting businesses to locate in Northlake.
Asa reminder: Please, review your utility bill to learn how to set up an account to pay bills online or call the Town and ask for finance for further assistance.
I attended a meeting with TxDOT concerning improving/expanding FM 407 and many surrounding municipal officials attended. TxDOT is planning to have the first of two public meeting during the first quarter of 2019. I encourage attending and providing your comments and ideas at the public meetings. Over 8,000 vehicles travel FM 407 between 35W and FM 156, and over 6,000 commuting from the Justin area. FM 407 is being impacted by developments outside of Northlake. The three principles TxDOT will consider are safety, expandability and cost-effectiveness.
If you cannot attend I would encourage submitting your thoughts or make comments to their website not on local Facebook pages. We have had a lot of incorrect information posted on Facebook about the FM407 bridge replacement that is currently underway. This project is federally funded to replace a functionally deficient bridge and included shoulders to improve safety (preventing further deaths on that part of the road) for all who use FM 407; the Town had zero input during the meetings, just individual property owners were involved.
Looks like we will be moving to the new Town Hall in December at “1500 Commons Circle, Suite 300, Northlake, TX 76226,” barring any additional weather delays. The current location will be staffed for a short period of time (about a month) to accept utility bill payments. Please check the website for updates and additional information.
Yes, I am going to continue to repeat this portion; I think it is important to emphasize: Are you concerned about school financing? Then you might find it interesting to learn that during the next State Legislative session, the current plan is to reduce school funding. The proposed plan is to shift approximately $3.8 billion to property owners (Texas Education Agency Estimates, TML.org, www.tml.org/legis_updates/texas-education-agency-estimates-state-share-of-school-funding-continues-to-plummet (last visited September 26, 2018). I have been told by state representatives/senators that fixing the State’s school finance system is a major issue and is being looked at: let the state legislators know their plan is not fixing school financing and they need to be a leader and pass legislation to fix the problem.
With all of the consternation and garbage in politics we hear about, I hope all residents of Northlake can agree to be civil with each other, obey the laws, agree to talk openly with each other and bring ideas to make Northlake better for all not just one’s own personal agenda.
If you have suggestions or comments on how to enrich and improve Northlake for all, please let me know. If you like the stability, services, and projects the Town is working on let the Staff and Council know. Additionally, I encourage everyone to take the time to attend at least one Council meeting in the next year to see how your Town Officials communicate and make decisions, all agendas and Council packets are posted on the Official website to ensure we remain transparent to you.
I encourage communications to be on public record. I believe in total transparency, and when statements are made by public officials via their official e-mail, they are available to the public without hiding behind social media. If you hear or see something on social media that interests you, contact the Town to voice your views. All voices should be heard and not only a few who hide on the internet. Your voice and opinions matter. Contact information for staff and council members is located at www.town.northlake.tx.us
I am excited that the Town has a bright future and will continue to welcome everyone for generations to come. If you have any comments or suggestions to improve your quality of life in Northlake, please let me know. If you have recommendations to improve public communications/information, please let me know. Thanks for your time.
Peter Dewing, JD., CWO3/USMC (ret), Mayor. 940-390-4303, PDewing@town.northlake.tx.us