I think we can all agree – it is hot. It appears we are in store for an extremely hot and dry summer. Already we have seen record high temperatures and along with that a significant increase in water usage.
Here in Highland Village, our water is provided by Upper Trinity Regional Water District and in the summer months the City uses our five water wells to supplement the higher usage as we all water our lawns.
With the potential for record heat and drought, we all may be tempted to water our landscape more than normal, however the best thing we can do is continue with our normal watering habits. The City has a water conservation plan in place to ensure we have enough water not only for drinking purposes, but also to ensure we have enough in the event of a fire or some other water emergency. Phase 1 of the plan begins in May and runs through September 30.
There are five regulations included in Phase 1 with the main one prohibiting watering between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. I encourage all our residents to follow this regulation. The UTRWD also suggests following the Texas Two-Step and only water twice a week. We know that watering slightly more and less frequently will build a stronger root system and a stronger lawn that will be able to withstand high heat and drought conditions. If we all do our part to conserve our water now we will not have to move to the more stringent phases of our water conservation plan.
So with the extreme heat this summer Highland Village has many ways you can enjoy time with your family and friends and stay cool too. If you want to stay inside, many of our local businesses offer fun indoor adventures like Escape Room 5280, Board and Brush, Be Legend Gaming, Color Me Mine, Buff City Soap, and of course the cool AMC IMAX Theater. Grab your family and friends to do something fun and support our local businesses. You can learn about our local businesses at thehvba.com.
If the outdoors is your thing, I’m happy to share the Doubletree Ranch Park splash pad is open this season. We had originally announced the splash pad would be closed for the whole season as the surface needs to be replaced and the vendor was unable to provide a delivery date for the surfacing product. City staff was able to find a product to patch the surface so it can be open for the community to enjoy this hot summer. The Parks and Recreation crews are diligently monitoring the splash pad and making repairs to the surface as needed with the goal of only closing portions of the splash pad so our community can still enjoy this popular amenity. The splash pad at Doubletree Ranch Park is open from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. every day except Tuesdays. There may be occasions where portions or all of the splash pad may need to be closed for repairs so please monitor the Parks and Recreations social media pages as well as mine for updates on the facility’s status. There are shade structures along the grassy area, tables and benches, a playground, and the treed area south of the splash pad for hammocking or just hanging out on the rock benches. Also over at Pilot Knoll Park BLUET SUP offers stand up paddleboarding and kayak rentals.
We are making progress on a couple of projects. We are moving to the next phase of the Our Village, Our Vision comprehensive planning project. You will recall the City contracted with McAdams, a civil engineering, planning and design firm, to update five of the City’s planning documents. In late February and through mid-April community engagement opportunities were provided both in-person and through online surveys. The City and McAdams are just finishing meetings with business owners and property owners to learn about their long-term goals and vision for their properties. All of this information, along with market analysis, will be used to create the City’s master planning documents which will serve as a guide for the City, the Council, and potential developers moving forward. The plans being updated are the Parks, Recreation and Open Space Master Plan, the Trail System Master Plan, the Village Connection: FM 407 Corridor Plan, the Opportunity Areas Plan, and the Thoroughfare Master Plan. I encourage you to register at SpeakUpHV.com to stay up to date on this process and learn about future opportunities for public input.
The other project that is moving along nicely is the Highland Village Road sidewalk. The construction of this sidewalk will provide a much-needed safe walking path for our residents. The new sidewalk, the last project in the 2018 Bond Project, connects at the Municipal Complex and continues to Sellmeyer Lane.
If you are interested in playing a role in the City, I encourage you to apply to serve on a City Board or Commission. We are currently accepting applications for appointment to our boards and commissions. In September Council appoints interested residents to the Planning & Zoning Commission, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, the Community Development Board (which oversees the planning and budget of the 4B sales tax which is designated for trails and the soccer complex), the Zoning Board of Adjustments, and the Ethics Board. In order to be considered for appointment, you need to fill out an application. All the details and application are available on the City website under Boards and Commissions. I can tell you serving our wonderful City is a very rewarding experience.
There are other areas where you can volunteer your time as well. The Police Department has a great Police Auxiliary program which is an opportunity for you to assist in special events, youth activities, bailiff assistance and other activities. The program provides orientation and training. Just complete the application at hvpd.com to get started.
Another great way for you to be involved in the City is to simply stay up to date on what is happening here and be an advocate or ambassador for our wonderful community. The City provides many ways for you to stay informed and aware of projects, initiatives and events. You can sign up for the monthly email newsletter, The Villager, and the bi-weekly City Manager’s Report. You can follow the City, Parks, Police, Fire, and Experience Highland Village on Facebook and Instagram. The City streams public meetings on the website and on its YouTube channel, just go to www.youtube.com/highlandvillagetx and subscribe to receive notifications when a video is live. At the Notify Me link on the City website you can sign up to receive notifications of events, news, public meetings, and emergency alerts. Be in the know about what is happening in our City and, most importantly, ask me, other Council members, or City staff if you have a question about something or want more information. We welcome the opportunity to share information.
As I close out this month’s message, I want to take a moment to remember the men and women in our community and around the country who choose to stand up for our freedom, for our protection, and for our wonderful Republic. Here in Highland Village we have some of the finest police and fire employees serving and protecting us.
Stay cool, and I hope to see you and your family out enjoying all Highland Village has to offer.