September rolled out smoothly with the approval of Argyle’s FY 2021 budget. Fiscal responsibility is integral to effectively serving our citizens, so this process was not taken lightly.
Town Council started the budgeting process earlier this year and used the additional time to implement a zero-based budgeting approach. This method allowed us to analyze the budget in detail, allocating funds only for needs that were truly justified.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the increased senior tax exemption that went into effect during Fiscal Year 2020, we were able to add almost $500,000 to the Town’s fund balance thanks to these judicious spending and cost-cutting measures.
I am also excited to announce that the proposed property tax rate passed, an approximate five percent decrease from last year. This is the first time that the tax rate has been lowered since 2010, and it will save the average Argyle homeowner $86 if property values stay the same versus last year.
With November just around the corner, election season is in full swing. The 2020 general election will take place on November 3 with early voting starting as early as October 13. Argyle’s local election will include Places 1, 3, and 5 on Town Council, as well as a special election for the creation of a Municipal Development District (MDD).
An MDD is a district created for the purpose of generating economic development and growth opportunities within its boundaries. The proposed MDD’s boundaries would include Argyle’s town limits and Extra-Territorial Jurisdiction (ETJ), allowing the MDD to collect a one-fourth of one percent (0.25%) sales tax in both town limits and the ETJ.
Currently, anyone making a purchase of taxable items within town limits is subject to a 0.25% sales tax that funds Argyle’s Type B Economic Development Corporation (EDC). The MDD will allow this to be extended to include taxable purchases made in the ETJ.
MDD’s can perform the same types of projects as the Type B EDC using the funds, plus civic centers and similar facilities. Anyone shopping or eating in Argyle’s ETJ will contribute to the fund, increasing the Town’s economic development revenue without directly impacting current Argyle residents. I encourage you to learn more about the proposed MDD at: argyletx.com/287. For more information on upcoming elections, visit votedenton.com.
In September, the Town purchased property from the Argyle Independent School District (AISD) at John Paine Road and Crawford Road. This purchase effectively removes the last remaining impediment for the Town to move forward with the reconstruction of Crawford Road. The planned improvements have a value of $87,000, which will directly benefit AISD families by improving safety along the thoroughfare and easing traffic congestion. Bidding is now open, and we are looking to start work in November on this much anticipated and needed project.
Another Town project intended to improve safety along Crawford is the new wrought-iron fencing at Unity Park. This ten-foot fencing was installed on the north and east sides of the volleyball and basketball courts to prevent balls from rolling into the road. Between this new fencing and the upcoming reconstruction project, we hope to make Crawford a safer road for Argyle residents.
With the widening of US 377 on the horizon, the Town took the opportunity to open a discussion with TxDOT regarding the creation of a Quiet Zone through Argyle. This project would restrict the sounding of train horns at the Crawford Road, Old Justin Road, Harpole Road, FM 407, and Frenchtown Road railroad crossings. The work would be completed once the US 377 widening project is near completion. So far, the Town’s project consultant, LAN, has completed a feasibility study and will soon enter the Notice of Intent phase. The Town would be responsible for funding any construction required for the creation of the Quiet Zone, which is estimated to cost less than $50,000.
National Night Out will look a little different this year, but there are ways to show your support for our Argyle Police Department while maintaining social distance. Some ideas from the PD include switching your front porch light to a blue bulb and turning it on at sundown, decorating your front yard to show support, or holding a family/household driveway picnic as a block while keeping a safe distance. National Night Out is on Tuesday, October 6. If you organize a way to show your support in your neighborhood, contact Argyle PD so that they can stop by with their lights on to thank you.
This year, the town will host our second annual Argyle Arbor Day event on Saturday, November 7. Argyle residents will be able to sign up for free trees in sizes from one to three gallons! The event will allow for social distancing through a staggered, drive-thru format. To secure your spot and choose your tree, keep an eye out for the signup form on the Town’s website and social media channels.
Argyle Seniors Update
The Argyle Seniors met at Stella McDaniel’s house for a picnic on Friday, Sept. 18. It was a great time for everyone. Everyone had their temperature taken and also wore a mask as well. We want to thank our Chef Jon Donahue for cooking the delicious hamburgers!
We were very excited to see longtime friends Margit & Jerry Watson. We voted to have our annual wiener roast at Stella’s place on Saturday, Oct. 24.
Karen Kiel will be in charge of playing bingo and everyone is asked to bring two new wrapped $5 dollar gifts.
Jon & Valerie Donahue have volunteered to furnish the meat. Frank & Gale Schautteet will furnish the beans and Gale is also making a dessert to bring. Feel free to bring a dish to share if you choose. We’ll have a costume contest & prizes for the winner.
I will need help on setting up on Friday, Oct. 23 if you are available. Please let me know if you can help. Stay well and hope to see everyone on Oct. 24.
Please RSVP Yes or No by Oct. 19 to Stella at 940-391-6686.
-Submitted by Stella McDaniel