Larry Varnes, Vice President, Robson Ranch HOA
It is only appropriate that we join the “Seniors in Focus” edition of The Cross Timbers Gazette. In many communities, the fall season brings life back to some form of normalcy. Kids go back to school, family vacations end and there is a refocus on work.
Robson Ranch is different. The majority of our 2227 homes have somebody over 65 (actually, our average age is 64). But we are an active-adult community where lifestyle helps keep us young. We have a terrific 18-hole golf course and are about to open 9 new holes to expand to a total 27 holes in mid-October. Our courses are open to the public so we hope you will come check them out as summer heat morphs into “perfect golf weather.”
As time marches on, the word “active” also evolves. No longer is it just tennis, golf and the 100+ clubs serving whatever hobby or activity you can think of.
Fall brings the start of our softball leagues played on one of the best community fields in North Dallas. We have six co-ed teams with 15 players each. There are three teams where every player is over 70 and three women-only teams with 11 players per team. Pickleball has grown exponentially. Over 400 residents now play regularly. Our reputation has grown to the point that we have regional tournaments looking for time at Robson Ranch.
The biggest change has come from both our younger and older residents playing on teams in organized leagues for Bocce Ball and Texas Toss. On any given Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday night you might find 150 people playing Bocce. The sport is growing to such a point that Robson Ranch is building four permanent courts. There are over 600 members in the Bocce club. But our biggest surprise is Friday nights, when 350+ Texas Tossers come together for a spirited evening of team play. The fact that the game is played outside the grill bar may just add to the frivolity.
Our community lives by the motto we are never too old to have fun. While not officially documented we also believe the active lifestyle adds to our longevity.
Denton City Council Update
By Jesse Davis, Denton City Council, District 3
On November 5th, Denton citizens will go to the polls to decide whether the City should issue bonds totaling $221.5 million. When a City issues bonds, we are taking on debt that we must later repay. I know that you take fiscal responsibility as seriously as I do. So the most important questions we citizens should ask ourselves are 1) Does the City have a legitimate need to take on the debt? and 2) Can the City afford to pay the debt back?
As a City official, I am prohibited from advocating for or against issuing bonds. However, I can give you some factual background that may help you answer these important questions for yourself.
First, Denton is in excellent financial health. Our budget is tight as a drum, and well managed. Our credit rating is one of the best that a city our size can earn. We have become very good at meeting our debt obligations and completing projects in a timely manner.
Before calling the bond election, your City Council convened a 19-member Special Citizens’ Bond Advisory Committee (SCBAC). The SCBAC held eight public, recorded meetings over the summer. They heard presentations about many needs, potential projects, and associated costs. And most importantly, they heard testimony from the public on a wide range of issues.
The SCBAC’s chief concerns seemed to be 1) improving our streets after years of deferred maintenance; 2) providing for public safety operations; 3) protecting open space; and 4) setting aside a small percentage of the total for public art. After weeks of deliberation, the SCBAC recommended that the City Council issue bonds that would pay for these initiatives.
Ultimately your City Council voted 6-1 to place four propositions on the November ballot, based on the SCBAC’s advice and corresponding to the four areas of concern they examined.
Proposition A proposes $154 million in bonds to pay for major street improvements and maintenance. Among the recommended projects are Bonnie Brae Street, Hickory Creek Road, Ryan Road, and neighborhood streets most in need of repair or reconstruction.
Proposition B proposes $61.9 million in bonds to pay for public safety projects, including construction of a police substation on Vintage Boulevard (5 miles from Robson Ranch), expansion of the main police station, and construction of an indoor police firing range.
Proposition C proposes $5 million in bonds to pay for the acquisition of park land and open space.
Finally, Proposition D proposes $619,000 in bonds to be used for public art projects in keeping with our existing Public Art Policy.
The City has created a website with even more information about the bond measures: www.cityofdenton.com/en-us/2019bond. You can also find out more about voter registration, voting locations, and polling place hours at this website: www.votedenton.com.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me on these issues and any others before the Denton City Council. You can reach me on my cell at (940) 208-7439, or by email at [email protected]. I look forward to hearing from you, and I’ll see you around town!