Highland Village Update — October 2020

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Highland Village Mayor Charlotte Wilcox

I am excited to introduce you to Paul Stevens, our new city manager. Paul has 30 years experience in municipal government, including 10 in the role of city manager for the city of Waxahachie.

He officially began in Highland Village on October 1 but was able to spend some time with Michael Leavitt before he retired.

We haven’t had the opportunity yet to introduce Paul at many community events, but he is using this time to get acquainted with our city, the employees, and the community. Please stop by the Municipal Complex if you’d like to meet him. I know he is ready to be part of the community.

It was about a year ago I shared with you the design for the Kids Kastle playground because we had just finished our Design Day event. We were all so excited about the new playground and that we would design and build it once again as a community.

Like a lot of events and plans this year, COVID has derailed the community build aspect of this project. After having our community build dates cancelled twice, we are doing the famous COVID pivot and finishing the playground as a contractor build.

Paul Stevens, Highland Village City Manager

We have contracted with Play by Design, LLC for an additional $160,000 for construction supervision and to provide skilled labor as necessary. We continue to work with small community groups to install the stand-alone pieces which will continue through October.

If you have an interest in participating with your own small group or want to join with another group, please let us know at [email protected]. We anticipate completing Kids Kastle in early to mid-December.

Like the previous playground, the re-designed Kids Kastle will include personalized fence pickets purchased by the community to help raise funds for the construction of the playground. We have a limited number of fence pickets available. Each picket can be purchased for $250. If you’d like to purchase a fence picket personalized with your family or business name, please complete the form found at hvparks.com/KidsKastle and follow the instructions. Pickets will be sold on a first come, first serve basis.

We had the special privilege last month of dedicating the pedestrian bridge at Doubletree Ranch Park in memory and honor of Highland Village’s fallen soldier, PFC Aaron M. Hudson. I encourage you to go to Doubletree Ranch Park and walk the pedestrian bridge to learn about and honor Aaron who was killed in action on April 16, 2005 while serving his country in Iraq. A citizen committee of current and former Highland Village residents formed the Friends of PFC Aaron M. Hudson group and requested the City name an amenity after Hudson.

The committee members are former Mayor Dianne Costa, former Planning & Zoning Commission chairperson Deedee Ricketts, former HVPD Captain Chuck Bahr, and former Highland Village Women’s Club vice president Teresa Drown.

The Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, following the guidelines established in the resolution pertaining to naming City facilities, unanimously approved recommending the City Council name the newly constructed Doubletree Ranch Park pedestrian bridge the “PFC Aaron M. Hudson Memorial Bridge.”

A ceremony was held on Sept. 19 to dedicate the pedestrian bridge at Doubletree Ranch Park in Highland Village to fallen soldier PFC Aaron M. Hudson.

Council approved the naming at their meeting on October 22, 2019. The committee set up a GoFundMe account in October 2019 to raise funds for the memorial. The goal was to raise $10,000 to pay for elements throughout the length of the bridge; to date the committee has raised $10,359.52 which will pay for the memorial pieces and any surplus will be donated to the City to pay for maintenance of the memorial bridge.

This memorial will be in Highland Village for people to see for many years to come. All who walk, run, or bike on the bridge will be able to read about and honor Highland Village’s hero.

Typically in October I am sharing about the TXFallenPD Tribute Event which supports the Texas Police Chiefs Association’s Fallen Officer Fund. The event began in 2008 and over the years our community has raised over $280,000 for the Fallen Officer Fund.

We are not having the event this year, however our goal is to continue to raise funds for the Fallen Officer fund. The mission of the event has always been to honor and remember Texas offices who died in the line of duty and to raise funds for their families.

You can help us do that by purchasing a TXFallenPD Memorial T-Shirt. The shirt honors the 21 Texas officers who died in the line of duty in 2019. All proceeds from their sale go directly to the TPCA Fallen Officer Fund.

The Memorial T-Shirt back has the name, department and End of Watch for each of the 21 officers who died in the line of duty in 2019. You can help remember these heroes by purchasing and wearing a Memorial Shirt.

To purchase a Memorial Shirt, come by the Highland Village Police Department located at 1000 Highland Village Road. Short sleeve shirts are $20 and long sleeve shirts are $30.

Our Parks Department is working with The Shops at Highland Village to host a fun event for those of you eager to enjoy some live music.

The Concert in the Park(ing lot) series is taking place in October and November at The Shops. Attendees can park and sit outside of their vehicles in a vacant spot next to their car. Parking spaces will be marked to ensure social distancing can occur.

Tickets are $10 per vehicle, and all proceeds will go to the Kids Kastle rebuild here in Highland Village. Buy a ticket to be entered to win a $50 gift card to the Shops merchant of your choice. The winner will be announced at each show.

Parking is first-come, first-serve. Check-in will start at 5:30 p.m. Come early to park and order takeout from one of The Shops 13 great restaurants to enjoy during the show. Tickets are limited, so get yours soon!

If you’d like to stay up to date on all things happening in Highland Village you can sign up to receive the City Manager’s Report at highlandvillage.org/CMReport. We have also moved our newsletter, The Villager, to a monthly email newsletter and you can sign up to receive it at highlandvillage.org/TheVillager.

Our Highland Village businesses still need your support. Continue to shop and dine local to support the businesses who have chosen to make Highland Village their home.

I am thankful to serve as your Mayor and I appreciate your interest and support of Highland Village.

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