Robson Ranch Rambler — March 2021

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Larry Varnes, Vice-President, Robson Ranch HOA

There has to be a thousand stories. We all will remember the winter of 2021. Snow, ice and bitter cold. No heat, no electricity, no gas, broken pipes. We huddled, cuddled and found inventive ways to stay warm. But now, as I write this article, it’s a balmy 81 degrees without a cloud in the sky. Change is constantly with us. But sometimes change can be transformative.

Robson’s Food and Beverage operations has hired a new executive chef that will transform the Wildhorse Grill menu for both the restaurant and for banquet services. Chef Patrick McElroy was the former Executive Chef of the Warwick Melrose hotel. He has been immersed in the culinary scene for many years working to perfect his craft. Scratch made authentic Italian, Classical French and Seafood Americana Cuisine. All speak to Chef McElroy’s versatility.

Chef McElroy began making his mark on the Dallas/Fort Worth area in 2008 and has since taken a very dedicated approach to his cuisine. He prides himself on not only enjoying a flair for the exquisite local offerings here in the Metroplex, but truly embracing the culture and regional cuisines that only such premier local delicacies can command. Merging his expert knowledge of global preparation and presentation and locally inspired offerings has led to a very passionate and honest approach to what Texan cuisine is and can be.

Robson Ranch eagerly invites all The Cross Timbers Gazette readers to come down Robson Rach Road and experience some of our new cuisine. We are open to the public for all food and golf operations.

On a personal note, this will be my last issue contributing stories about Robson Ranch to The Cross Timbers Gazette. While I believed I would spend the rest of my days living and playing at Robson Ranch in Denton, I met and fell in love with a wonderful woman who lived in Nebraska. After 2½ years driving back and forth between the two communities our two-year old grandson brought reason to our lives and called for us to settle in the land of the Sand Hill Crane, Wild Turkeys and Canadian Geese migrations.

Denton City Councilman Jesse Davis

Warm Hearts in Freezing Weather

By Jesse Davis
City of Denton Mayor Pro Tem

For nearly four days in mid-February, Texas was literally frozen. It was the perfect storm. The first time in memory that all 254 Texas counties were under freeze warnings. Boats frozen at their moorings in Galveston. Minus 3 degrees recorded in Denton—a tie with our record low. And perhaps worst of all, when we needed it most, an electrical grid that was unprepared to meet the winter onslaught and heavy demand.

We saw an amazing community spirit in Denton that frigid week and beyond. The City of Denton opened facilities for warming centers and showers and coordinated massive bottled water distribution efforts. Hundreds of citizens opened their hearts to others. Many did so through their faith communities and familiar non-profits like Rotary, Lovepacs, First Refuge, Mission Moms, Friends with Benefits, and Operation Airdrop.

Even more folks helped through neighbor-to-neighbor efforts like the Denton Grassroots Water Crew, a spontaneous group of friends and local business owners who mobilized 300 volunteers. This group alone distributed more than 6,000 gallons of water and helped more than 1,000 families with food, diapers, toiletries, and other necessities. I couldn’t begin to count the number of neighbors who helped each other fix broken pipes or get a hot shower.

More than board games and snowmen, I hope my children remember this sense of community most.

However, we can’t ignore the electricity issues. In Denton we citizens own our utilities, including Denton Municipal Electric (DME). DME generates power for our local use, we sell power into the statewide system, and when necessary we buy power off of the statewide grid. Other power companies across Texas failed to winterize equipment or prepare financially. But in Denton we were ready. Day-to-day, we meet most of our power needs with our wind and solar generation farms. When we buy power off of the statewide grid, we offset those purchases by selling power from the Denton Energy Center (DEC), our natural gas-fired plant, which keeps your power rates low.

So from both a financial and facilities perspective, we were prepared to provide more than enough electricity for our people. Then came two unavoidable challenges. First, the statewide order for rolling blackouts. But secondly, our natural gas supplier to the DEC turned off the tap. We still cannot say exactly why. But without gas the DEC couldn’t run. And without the DEC running we had no power to sell into the grid and offset the record high market electricity prices.

Because your City Council is also the DME board of directors, we don’t charge variable rates. So, your DME bills were not astronomical like those Texans who on variable rate plans. But in coming days DME and other utility providers stuck with high power costs through no fault of our own will need to hold the responsible parties accountable.

Feel free to contact me on these issues and any others before the Denton City Council at [email protected]. I look forward to hearing from you, and I’ll see you around town!

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