As I write this we are experiencing the wonderful cool mornings of the fall season. My walk this morning was much more enjoyable; I saw many of you on the trails taking advantage of the cool temps too. If you were waiting for the cooler weather to take outdoor walks or bike rides, now is the time!
Here in Highland Village we have an amazing trail system that winds throughout the City, beautiful parks like Doubletree Ranch, Pilot Knoll, and Copperas Branch Park, and an extensive shoreline trail for walking or biking. I so enjoy seeing our community taking advantage of the beautiful amenities we have here. Of course as the weather gets cooler more of us will use the trails and parks so let’s remember safety procedures like bicyclists announcing their presence on the trails so walkers can move to the side.
October is the beginning of the City’s fiscal year and the start of the 2021-2022 budget. I would like to take the opportunity to provide you an overview of this year’s budget and the initiatives staff has planned. The primary source of revenue for the City is property tax, which makes up 65% of our revenue. This year the Certified Estimate from the Denton Central Appraisal District provided a 5.3% growth in estimated property values which will provide an additional $711,707 in property tax revenues. The tax rate of $.56302 remains unchanged from last year. General Fund expenditures total $20,599,521 with $842,535 of this amount identified for supplemental requests.
Key initiatives this year include proportional funding for a joint fire training facility in conjunction with Lewisville and Flower Mound which will provide ongoing training opportunities for our department. We have entered into a partnership with Enterprise Fleet Management to manage the bulk of the City’s service vehicles providing efficiency from optimized resale as well as operating with a significantly newer fleet and a stabilized expenditure level for vehicles.
We are also considering a bond issuance for FY 2022, which will not have an impact on the tax rate, to focus on numerous maintenance issues across all city parks, needed street reconstruction, and enhanced services at Pilot Knoll Park with the addition of rental cabins. Funding is included for a Comprehensive Plan Update; Parks, Recreation and Open Space Master Plan Update; Trail System Master Plan Update and a FM 407 Trail Corridor and Amenity Plan. These plans will work in concert in formulating a direction to improve economic development opportunities and the quality of life for our residents and visitors and will provide opportunities for input from our residents and business owners. Stay tuned to the City website, newsletter, social media and these columns for more details as these projects move forward.
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 Highland Village Police Sergeant Dennis Oliver who we lost due to complications from COVID on October 2, 2020.
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, October 16 and will include a 5K run, an Honor Bike Ride for civilians and first responders, a Kid Ride with a Cop, and a police bike obstacle course. There will be entertainment and live music, vendors, a kids zone, food, and drinks throughout the day. You can be part of this fundraising effort again this year by participating in the 5K or the Bike Honor Ride, providing a cash donation to the fund, or purchasing a Memorial T-Shirt. Registration for the 5K and honor bike rides is now open.
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 November 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 veterans’ 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. Please forward your sponsorship by October 22 to 1000 Highland Village Road, Highland Village, TX 75077, Att: Salute Our Veterans Lunch. 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. If you are a local veteran, we invite you and a guest to attend at no charge. The event is Wednesday, November 10 at the Hilton Garden Inn. Please RSVP with your name and branch of service to [email protected] or call 972-899-5105. If you are not a veteran, you can attend and help us honor those who have served our country. This is one of my favorite events as I remember my Dad and honor all the veterans in our community.
As you can see, once again our small community is doing some really great things. I hope you’ll join us at some of our events – I look forward to seeing you there!