It’s May and many will recall the last part of March and all of April as the longest six weeks they can remember.
Yes, activities and special events were missed yet there were also so many positive experiences – like neighbors getting to know each other better because they were spending more time outside, families reconnecting as they tackled school work together and shared in activities to keep everyone entertained, rooms were painted, yard work was done, new recipes were tried, and so much more. I believe how we have responded the last six weeks is a testament to the resiliency and compassion found in our community. This is yet another reason I love Highland Village and serving as your Mayor. We can, and should be proud of our community.
One of the events we missed, or at least didn’t think about as we normally would have, is the 2020 Census. You know the Census takes place every ten years and it is important because it determines so much in terms of our federal representation and the funding allocated to communities. This year April 1 was “Census Day” to kick off the process. I am pleased to say that since April 1, a little over 70% of our households have completed the 2020 Census. We need everyone to fill out the questionnaire. It is easy to do this time with online, phone and mail options. So if you haven’t yet completed the Census, please visit 2020census.gov. Let’s make sure all of Highland Village is counted.
As I write this message we are beginning Phase 1 of Governor Abbott’s phased approach to reopen Texas. Our businesses are evaluating and preparing to safely invite us back into their establishments. I know many of you are ready to dine out, shop and get back to work. Others of you plan to wait a bit. As we all consider Governor Abbott’s orders, it is important we each do what feels right for ourselves and our families.
Phase 1 of the plan allows for restaurants and retailers who were not open as an essential business to open at 25% of their permitted occupancy. Some of our restaurants and retailers are choosing to open while others will continue to offer delivery or curbside pickup and perhaps open as we move into the next phase. I encourage you to check out TheHVBA.com and follow Experience Highland Village on Facebook for what our local businesses are offering.
The State and County Stay at Home mandate expired on April 30. Here in Highland Village we cancelled or postponed some events and of course closed some of our facilities and amenities. We issued our own disaster declaration which expires on May 13. Our declaration prohibits community gatherings of 50 or more people at an indoor or outdoor event, recreational gatherings of 10 or more people at an indoor or outdoor event, and the issuance of peddler and solicitor permits. Here is the status of our opening and events as of May 1:
Open Now: Pilot Knoll and Copperas Branch Park boat ramps; Tennis Courts; K-9 Kastle Dog Park; Parks and Trails
Monday, May 18: Playgrounds and Restrooms; City Hall; Police Department; Municipal Court; Animal Services; The Robert & Lee DuVall Center
Monday, June 15: Senior All-Star Programming
Monday, July 6: Kids Kamp
Cancelled or Postponed:
- Highland Village Art Festival has been rescheduled for September 26
- Celebrate Highland Village has been cancelled
- Kids Kastle Community Build – postponed to a yet to be determined date
As you venture out to restaurants, retail establishments or to use our parks, please remember the six-foot social distancing. And we particularly need to consider those with compromised immune systems and those who are 65 and over. We are all eager to get on with life but it is important we take it slow. How well we do during each of these phases will determine how we proceed into the next phase. I have confidence in all of you to do what is right for you, your family, and those around you. I know I am ready to see all of you around town!