Safe Infrastructure for Transportation Is Key
About 1,000 people move to the Lone Star state each day with many arriving in Denton County. The county’s population growth puts a strain on our roadways as all of us scurry daily to get to work, school and our many life events.
A safe infrastructure for transportation is one of the major responsibilities of Denton County as it relates to the maintenance and repair of county roads.
While we do not maintain streets at the community, state or federal levels, we often collaborate with cities and the Texas Department of Transportation to facilitate road and bridge projects on non-county roads.
Some examples of this include FM 2499, Crawford Road and FM 407, among others.
For example, the upcoming reconstruction of Crawford Road will be a joint effort with Denton County, the City of Denton and the Town of Argyle. Your county has committed $2 million for this project.
Your Road and Bridge West crews also spend significant time repairing existing county roads.
Precinct 4 Commissions County Road Assessment
To ensure that we are spending county resources efficiently and effectively, I have commissioned a Precinct 3 and Precinct 4 county road assessment. We include Precinct 3 because it only has a few miles of county roads and the Road and Bridge West Department is responsible for them as well. The engineering firm began its assessment on March 17 and will provide their report in mid-April as a critical part of determining the road maintenance schedule for the next few years. A current internal estimate for bringing all Denton County Precinct 4 county roads to high standards is up to $302 million including preparatory drainage work, which keeps water from causing roads to fail.
I realize that is a huge amount of money. It is especially challenging when one considers that our precinct’s annual road operating budget is about $5 million to $7 million dollars. When the assessment is complete, we will create a plan setting a regular, long-term maintenance schedule that should help prevent higher costs in the future.
However, any schedule is always subject to safety emergencies such as the under-the-road cave we recently repaired on Ripy Road north of U.S. Highway 380. I am pleased to report your road and bridge crew responded immediately before any serious accidents occurred.
Paving materials are temperature sensitive, so our normal paving season runs from mid-April until October. Budget and available workers limit the amount of paving we accomplish during that timeframe. We typically run three crews to correct drainage, trim trees and pave. Additionally, crews mow, attend to non-project drainage issues and fill potholes.
Our crew is also working with the Denton’s office of History and Culture to remove asphalt in part of the parking lot adjacent to the Denton County Historical Park off Carroll Boulevard. Grass will be installed. When finished, the area will be the location for the Denton Community Market, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.
Working With State, Federal Representatives Is Important
I recently spent time at the 86th Legislative Session in Austin with my colleagues. As part of Denton County Days, the Denton County Commissioners Court individually met with our local Legislators about issues of concern and interest in our region. We were also recognized on both the House and Senate floors, which was an incredible moment of pride for Denton County.
As your Commissioner, I feel it is important that we work with our representatives at the state and federal levels to ensure legislation reflects your wants and needs.
Denton County Museum Celebrates 40th Anniversary
Last month, Denton County’s Courthouse-on-the-Square Museum celebrated its 40th anniversary.
In 1979, the Denton County Courthouse-on-the-Square Museum opened on the second floor in the former 16th District Courtroom. Over the years, the museum has acquired an impressive collection of Denton County history. From apple corers to zithers, the museum’s artifacts offer vignettes into the stories of our community.
To celebrate the milestone, this month’s exhibit features 40 items from the museum collection.
Among these historical pieces is a telephone first used in the town of Justin. In 1903, the hand-cranked phone was first installed in a local drug store. Everyone who wanted to make a call had to visit the Justin store to do so. The area used hand-cranked phones until dial service arrived in 1955.
Also included is a bakery sign from Meadows Store. In 1919, B.W. Meadows bought a building that housed a drug store, hardware store, grocery store and garage. For 65 years, life in Argyle centered around the Meadows General Store. The garage closed in 1934 and the building at the corner of Denton Street shifted to face Highway 377. The Mrs. Baird’s sign in the museum pointed customers to the bakery department in the store.
Descendants of the Meadows family operated the general store from the time it opened until it closed in 1984. Granddaughter Yvonne Allen Jenkins, longtime mayor of Argyle, became the final operator of the store. She reopened part of it in 2007 to house a small museum dedicated to the town’s history, called the Argyle-Argyll Room. Jenkins was also passionate about the county’s history and was long involved with the historical commission. Her daughter, Kay Tear, donated the sign and other items to the museum.
Sign up to Receive Precinct 4 Newsletter
Further updates will be sent out soon in an email newsletter that will include more details about ongoing projects. To receive the Precinct 4 newsletter, please email Dianne.Edmondson@dentoncounty.com and to be added to the list. You also are welcome to attend the Commissioners Court meeting at 9 a.m. each Tuesday at the Courthouse on the Square, or to watch the proceedings via Facebook Live on the Denton County Facebook page.
Contact Precinct 4 Commissioner Dianne Edmondson at (972) 434-3960. Her office is located in the Southwest Courthouse, 6200 Canyon Falls Drive, Suite 900, in Flower Mound.