School is back in session and for some that means summer is over and life just got busier; for others it means life is now back to normal.
For the City, this is the time of year we finalize the new fiscal year budget and the initiatives for the coming year. Staff has spent the summer months preparing and presenting the budget to Council. In September we will hold public hearings and vote on the proposed budget. The City’s ad valorem tax rate and rates charged for utility services will remain the same. We have some exciting initiatives coming this fiscal year that will involve your input – mainly updating several of the City’s planning documents. Stay tuned to the City’s website, social media, and newsletter for details.
Speaking of ways to stay up to date on City initiatives and activities, there are several ways you can interact with the City. The City, Fire, Police, and Parks are all on Facebook. If social media is not your thing, you can sign up to receive emails from the City. Just visit www.highlandvillage.org/TheVillager to sign up for the weekly City Manager’s Report or the monthly newsletter. In the City’s Manager’s Report you will learn about the initiatives, accomplishments, and tasks each department completed for the week. This is an excellent way to stay informed with what is taking place in the City on these projects, as well as others, and how your tax dollars are being spent.
In November 2017 Highland Village voters approved bond proposals for street improvement and parks projects. We are nearing the completion of those items. For the street improvement projects, twenty-three streets were identified as failing; another 25+ were identified as deteriorating rapidly to the end of their life cycle. The City issued bonds in the amount of $2.8 million to fund street improvements. The streets were grouped into four construction projects. Phases 1-3 are complete and the contract was just awarded for the completion of the streets included in Phase 4. The streets included in Phase 4 are Rockland Drive, Hickory Ridge Drive, S. Clearwater Drive, N. Clearwater Drive, Scenic Drive, Springway Drive, and Pecan Street. Construction should begin in mid-September.
The items left in the parks proposals are the sidewalk improvements which includes the construction of the Highland Village Road sidewalk from the Municipal Complex to Sellmeyer Lane, the Victoria Park walking path, and the completion of the sidewalk from Brazos Park to Medina Drive. The contractor has begun working on the Victoria Park walking path and the completion of the sidewalk from Brazos Park to Medina Drive. When those are complete they will begin the Highland Village Road sidewalk. The anticipated completion date is late summer 2022. City staff and consultants are working on submitting a request for a permit and approval from the Kansas City Southern Railroad to build the Chapel Hill Trail connection.
Our Parks Department has begun the Concert in the Park series again. Last month we enjoyed listening to King George at Doubletree Ranch Park. On Saturday, Sept. 18 we will have one of our most popular bands back on the stage, Infinite Journey. The concert begins at 7, there are food trucks (I understand the fried PB&J sandwich is delicious!), and the splash pad is open until 9 p.m.
The October concert will take place on Saturday, Oct. 2 and will also include the National Night Out event at Doubletree Ranch Park. It will be a fun time for the community to get together with our officers, play games, and listen to the featured band. This event also marks the one-year anniversary of the passing of Sgt. Dennis Oliver. You’ll remember Sgt. Oliver died from complications related to COVID. We all miss him terribly and at this event wish to honor him, the department, his family, and all the lives he touched. I hope you’ll join us at Doubletree Ranch Park on Oct. 2.
Our police department and the City are once again hosting the TXFallenPD Tribute Event to raise funds for the Texas Police Chiefs Association’s Fallen Officer Fund, this year in honor of Sgt. Oliver. Since 2008 the department has held a bike race and 5k run fundraiser for the families of police officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty and, with the help of the community, has contributed over $280,000 to the fund. The event, held the third Saturday in October, will continue again this year with some enhancements.
The TXFallenPD Tribute Event will be held at The Shops at Highland Village on Saturday, Oct. 16 and will include a 5K run, an Honor Bike Ride for civilians and first responders, a Kid Ride with an Officer, and a police bike obstacle course. There will be entertainment and live music, vendors, a touch-a-truck, a kids zone, food, and drinks throughout the day.
You can be part of this fundraising effort again this year by sponsoring the event, providing a cash donation to the fund, donating an item for the silent auction, participate in the run or bike race or attend the event.
Registration for the 5K and Honor Bike Ride is now open. You can also purchase a Memorial T-Shirt, which has a new design. This year’s Memorial Shirt has the names of every Texas officer that died in the line of duty in 2020, and unfortunately there are more this year than any previous year. You can remember these heroes by purchasing a shirt for $20 at the Highland Village Police Department located at 1000 Highland Village Road. All proceeds from the sale go directly to the Fallen Officer Fund to assist families of fallen officers in Texas. More details about the event can be found at www.TXFallenPD.com. I hope you’ll consider helping us support the families of fallen Texas police officers.
The Highland Village Business Association is also seeking sponsorships for the annual Salute Our Veterans luncheon, which will take place on Nov. 10. This is a luncheon designed to provide an opportunity to honor our local Veterans and give them a time for fellowship and shared camaraderie. Veterans and one guest are able to attend at no charge as we seek sponsorships from the community to pay for the Veterans attendance and meal. Sponsorships begin at $40, which covers the cost of two veteran’s lunches. If you choose to sponsor additional veterans, the lunches are sold in increments of $20, allowing you to choose the amount of your donation, $80 for four veterans, $120 for six veterans, etc.
We were unable to have this event in 2020, but at the 2019 luncheon over 250 veterans, representing all branches of service, from Highland Village, Lewisville, Flower Mound, and surrounding areas had their lunch paid through sponsorship funds. I hope you’ll consider becoming a sponsor. Please forward your sponsorship by Oct. 22 to 1000 Highland Village Road, Highland Village, TX 75077, Attention: Salute Our Veterans Lunch.
We are always excited to share about new businesses and restaurants coming to Highland Village. I Heart Mac and Cheese and Handel’s Ice Cream are in process at Highland Village Town Center, and Hugo’s Lost Colony restaurant is going in on FM 407 in the old Fresco’s building. We recently held a ribbon cutting for Hidden Gems Boutiques and Gifts in The Shops at Highland Village and Kendra Scott is moving to a bigger store in The Shops. There are so many great places to shop and dine in Highland Village. Check out Experience Highland Village on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date on all we have to offer here. I truly do believe Highland Village has it all, and that includes the best residents in the area.
Thank you for your support of our City and for making Highland Village a place that Has it All!