The summer season is here! Kids are out of school and we are gearing up for family fun, vacations and outdoor activities. We have had record rainfall this spring so our lake is full, your lawn and landscape has benefitted from nature’s watering, and our parks and greenbelts are a lush green. This also means that mowing and caring for your landscape has taken a lot of your time. With all the rain it is easy for the landscape to get out of control. Highland Village code enforcement is working proactively to spot these issues and address them with the homeowner. In fact, the code enforcement division has significantly improved their process with new technology and strategies to enhance efficiency. The new technology, a work order system, aids in proactive response to issues. We are seeing voluntary compliance and code violations quickly resolved. It is the goal of the division to protect the quality of life in our City and protect property values.
City crews are also working diligently to keep our parks manicured, clean, and safe for your enjoyment. Even after the storms we’ve had the parks crews have come in immediately to clean up so when the sun comes out they are ready for public use. While the City does its best to maintain all the public areas, we may miss something or you may see it before we can get it addressed. In that case you can help by reporting the issue on the Eye on Highland Village app. Just go to your app store and search Go Request. Download the app and when you see a downed tree limb, tall grass, excess debris, or standing water just snap a picture and submit with the app. You can remain anonymous or add your email to receive an update on the progress. Your request is automatically sent to the right department to address the issue. Together we can keep Highland Village beautiful!
If you haven’t explored all our parks and activities, I hope that you will take time this summer to check out the activities and events available in Highland Village. Our parks and recreation department hosts a great Kids Kamp for the kiddos. Pilot Knoll Park, just off FM 2499, is a fun place for a family reunion or a birthday party. You can take the weekend and camp at Pilot Knoll Park or spend the day and rent a kayak or take stand up paddle boarding lessons. Doubletree Ranch Park, on the east end of Highland Village Road, is a beautiful park and a great place to take the kids to enjoy the splash pad or walk the nearly one mile trail system. The City is adding 13 shade structures to the splash pad area, an inclusive playground area and teen/young adult swings providing play options for the whole family. As always, there is much to do with the family in Highland Village.
We are in the master planning process for Copperas Branch Park. The process is divided into stages and we are on the tail end of the idea-gathering stage. We have held two public meetings to receive input and have heard some great ideas. We also have the ability for you to add your ideas and view what others have suggested on the SpeakUpHV.com website. I encourage you to visit the site and scroll through the 360o photos and share your ideas for the park. While you are there, check out the ideas provided by others and comment on the ones you like. This site is meant to be a place where we can have conversations about how we develop Copperas Branch Park. The site is also where all the information about the master plan process can be found.
Street construction will begin this summer on Phase 1 of the street bond program. We just approved the contract for work to begin on Rosedale Street, Shasta Court, Snowdon Court, Sheldon Court, Sugarloaf Court, and Catesby Place. Some of these streets are in need of full reconstruction and others require an asphalt overlay to bring them back to 100% on the City’s Pavement Condition Index. These are part of the Street Improvements Project approved by voters in November 2017 providing funding for construction of 23 streets in Highland Village. The project is broken into four stages and City crews anticipate completing all phases by the summer of 2020. You can keep up to date on the project and see all the streets included on the City website under the Community tab.
The summer months become a busy time at City Hall as this marks the beginning of the budget process for the City. The City budget goes into effect on October 1, and because of required public hearing dates, the budget is nearly complete by mid-August. City staff, the city manager, council members and I meet in June to receive and review the proposed budget for each department. I have participated in this process before and find it extremely beneficial to understand what is needed to provide the level of service expected by our residents. Highland Village city staff looks for every way they can provide the best service at the lowest cost to our residents.
I encourage you to take an active role in our City. An excellent way to do that is to serve on a board or commission. We are currently taking applications from residents interested in volunteering their time to the City. In September, Council appoints interested residents to the Planning & Zoning Commission, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, the Community Development Board (which oversees the planning and budget of the 4B sales tax which is designated for trails and the soccer complex), the Zoning Board of Adjustments, and the Ethics Board. In order to be considered for appointment, you need to fill out an application. All the details and application are available on the City website under Boards and Commissions. I hope you will consider serving our City; I can tell you it is a rewarding experience!
If you have a summer vacation planned, remember to take advantage of the free HVPD Vacation Watch program so you can head out of town knowing our police will check on your house on a regular basis. Just go to the city website and fill out the online vacation watch form.
I know we’re all looking forward to summer in Highland Village! Check out all our parks, trails, restaurants and shopping opportunities. I hope to see you around the City!