Happy New Year, Argyle! We have a lot to cover this month, but before I get to important topics in the life or our town I want to make sure that you are aware of the serious threat to the citizens of Argyle and our Extraterritorial Jurisdiction neighbors posed by a major transmission line construction project. If you are reading this column and you live or do business in Argyle or our ETJ, I appeal to you to make the time to act on this crucial issue immediately.
Oncor Transmission Project – Urgent Citizen and Property Owner Action Needed
Oncor Electric Delivery is building a 345 KV transmission line to connect two switch stations, “Ramhorn Hill” near Rhome and “Dunham” just southeast of the intersection of Hwy 377 and FM 1171. A study now underway includes several possible routes for the line connecting the two switches. Unfortunately, the map includes routes that travel up 377 and then turn west passing through Argyle and our ETJ. A transmission line following the potential paths through our community would have devastating impacts on homeowners, our natural environment and on public health and safety. The residents of The Settlement in Argyle, the Tuscany Hill and Liberty Crossing neighborhoods in the ETJ, Liberty Christian School, Cross Timbers Church and many other locations to the west as a line passes into Northlake would all be badly hurt by the project. The potential routing would also interfere with or significantly degrade commercial development opportunities along FM 407, such as the Harvest Town Center retail site. It is difficult to imagine, but the Oncor study proposes routes that would install high-voltage towers approximately 140 feet tall through residential neighborhoods.
Oncor’s study allows for public comment, but the time is short for you to help. Please go to the Town of Argyle’s website at www.argyletx.com, where you can find information about the project and a comment form that you can submit to Oncor. For more information on Argyle’s efforts to work with our neighbors in Northlake and our county, state and federal elected representatives to keep the transmission project routing out of our neighborhoods and sensitive environmental areas, follow this link: crosstimbersgazette.com/?s=oncor
A southern alternative route that we are proposing would avoid Argyle entirely, along with neighborhoods in Northlake and Flower Mound. Your comments are needed as soon as possible this month. If you have specific questions on this issue or need help with submitting comments you can reach me at [email protected].
2023 – A Very Busy Year Ahead
2023 brings new opportunities and challenges for our town. Eighty-two people move into Denton County every day, as our region continues to be the leading destination for migration within the United States. Later this year, the county will top 1 million people. The arrival of the new year is a good time to take stock and consider the impacts of inevitable growth.
Increasing population drives traffic, student enrollment and demand for other services funded by your taxes, including the first responders who ensure public safety. Argyle is a small town that has a limited ability to solve these challenges, surrounded as we are by larger cities that are growing rapidly and have more options to manage growth. Overlapping and neighboring jurisdictions, like Denton County and the Argyle Independent School District, operate independently of the town.
Comprehensive Plan Review and Update
The most important things that Argyle’s town leaders are responsible for planning and funding are roads (not including FM 407 and Hwy 377), a wastewater system, and the Argyle Police Department. This year, the town will complete a Comprehensive Plan review, which is our tool for looking into the future and establishing policy to guide the development of the town, with a focus on land use and its impact on the town’s primary funding source, property taxes. Public involvement in the review is essential and our staff is looking for volunteers to participate on the committee that will play a major part in the review. Please go to argyletx.com/350/Comprehensive-Plan for more information.
Ongoing Road Projects
Speaking of road improvements, as I write we are completing the reconstruction of Stonecrest Road, which replaces an asphalt road that was beyond repair with a concrete roadway that is planned to deliver a long service life and links the Canyon Falls area and Argyle High School with the western neighborhoods of the town. The project is being completed on time and within budget. Town staff worked hard to minimize disruption and address safety concerns through monitoring of the project by Director of Public Works Robert White and daily patrolling of the work area by Officer Steven Wallace of the APD. The town thanks the affected citizens on Stonecrest, in the Settlement and in the Shenandoah neighborhood for their patience and support during the project.
In 2023, the town will complete two additional road projects funded by the current Capital Improvements Program. Like Stonecrest, C. Taylor Road will be reconstructed as a two-lane concrete road. The western leg of Hickory Hill will also be rebuilt, again as a concrete road, once C. Taylor is completed.
New Operating Schedule
The Town of Argyle is making changes to its operations for 2023. Operating hours at Argyle Town Hall, the Public Works Administration, and the records department of the Argyle Police Department will change on a trial basis beginning the week of Jan. 2 as the town tests out a compressed work schedule for employees. Town Administrator Erika McComis’ goal is to allow for extended hours to residents and patrons of Town Hall and improve town staff’s work/life balance. The new hours will allow for later hours in the evening for residents and other customers of the town. In April, we will review the changes and the Town Council will decide on making the new hours permanent.
Monday through Thursday, operating hours will be 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and the hours for Friday will be 8 a.m. to noon.
The Argyle Town Council is also adjusting its meeting schedule in 2023. Regular meetings will change from a twice per month frequency to once per month, every third Monday at 6 p.m.