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The Friday Staff Report to City Council provides weekly updates between staff and Council. This week’s highlights include the Council’s discussion on partnering with Texas Woman’s University and Bezos Academy for a no-cost Montessori-style preschool, and new accessibility measures for City Council meetings. Council Member requests featured updates on the Quakertown Memorial construction, property maintenance inquiries, and concerns about pedestrian safety on Scripture Street. Upcoming community events include the Quakertown Historical Discussion, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month celebration, Denton Parks and Recreation Hiring Fair, Denton Redbud Festival, Spring Kayaking, and a Night Hike at Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center.

General Information

The City Council discussed partnering with Texas Woman’s University (TWU) and Bezos Academy to open a no-cost Montessori-style preschool for 80 income-eligible 3- to 5-year-olds. The City planned to provide $1.5 million to fund an additional 40 student seats for Denton residents over ten years. However, it’s unclear if the additional seats can be restricted to Denton residents, with further data and discussions expected in future City Council meetings.

The City Council is implementing new processes, including live Spanish interpretation and Tele-Town Hall phone comments, to improve accessibility during meetings. Staff will share data on the usage of these features quarterly.

The Robson Ranch Happy Tails Dog Club organized a pet food drive in April, benefiting the Denton Animal Support Foundation (DASF). The drive has collected over $3,000 in pet food, which will stock the emergency pantry at the animal shelter and be distributed to partner agencies like Our Daily Bread, SP AN Senior Paws, and Denton County Veterans Services.

Council Member Requests

Council Member McGee requested an update on Texas Woman’s University’s Quakertown Memorial efforts. The first phase of construction is underway, with foundations and concrete forms poured. If there are no weather delays, this phase is expected to be completed by late June 2023, and etchings for the memorial are being finalized.

Mayor Hudspeth expressed concerns about the former Goodwill site’s appearance at 2436 S Interstate 35 E. After a verbal seven-day abatement notice and a written ten-day notice, significant cleanup progress was observed on April 19. If the property owner doesn’t correct the violations within the given timeframe, the City will post a 24-hour notice and correct the violations themselves. The next inspection is scheduled for May 1.

Council Member Davis shared concerns about a possibly out-of-service telecommunications cabinet at 601 W. Oak St. Staff investigated and confirmed with Frontier that the cabinet is still in service, primarily serving residences with landlines. Frontier dispatched a technician to secure the cabinet and assess its usage.

Council Member McGee raised concerns about pedestrian/cyclist safety and the absence of pedestrian facilities on Scripture Street. The 2012/2014 Bond Program, which covered the street’s reconstruction, didn’t include sidewalks or pedestrian facilities. Staff determined that adding such facilities would be cost-prohibitive due to right-of-way acquisition requirements, roadway width, utility pole locations, and the lack of city right of way.

Council Members Watts and Davis raised concerns about an internet disruption at a residence on Brookhollow Drive due to a damaged Frontier line during roadway construction. A new service line was installed for the residence on April 20.

Council Member Byrd inquired about property maintenance and Community Improvement Services’ (CIS) efforts on and near Joshua Street. CIS proactively identifies and addresses violations in the neighborhood and is reviewing patrol frequency to ensure timely identification and correction. While properties may appear non-compliant, CIS often issues ten-day notices and works with parties to achieve compliance. Residents can report concerns through Engage Denton, email, and by phone at 940-349-8743 and have the option to remain anonymous.

Council Member Byrd requested information about the increase in food trucks/trailers in the city. Mobile food units are regulated by Chapter 13-Food and Food Establishments, which outlines requirements and operational limitations. Food trucks cannot be set up in parks or public properties without temporary event permits and must meet cleanliness and safe food handling standards. Permits are renewed yearly, and field inspections occur every six months. Temporary Event Permits allow food trucks to operate in City parks for specific events, and these operators are inspected to ensure proper food handling and facility conditions.

Upcoming Community Events and Meetings

Quakertown Historical Discussion – On Friday, April 21, local historians Chelsea Stalling and Jessica Rummel will provide a historical discussion on Quakertown, connecting the history of this neighborhood to the wider context of Southern history after the Civil War. The City of Denton, as part of its Quakertown Centennial Memorial Program, is hosting this free event at the MLK Jr. Recreation Center (1300 Wilson St.) from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. No registration is needed. For more information, visit the Quakertown events page.

Other VOD Stories

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month – Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreation Center (1300 Wilson St.) will celebrate the cultural contributions of Asian and Asian Pacific Americans on April 22 from 1 to 3 p.m. The event appreciates the history and heritage of individuals who came to America from continental Asia as well as the Pacific Island regions of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia. This free event features guest speaker Dr. Michael Raisinghani, Professor of Business and Economics at Texas Woman’s University’s College of Business and Executive MBA program.

Parks and Recreation Hiring Fair – The Denton Parks and Recreation Department is hiring!To learn more and apply/interview on-site, visit the Denton Civic Center (321 E. McKinney St.) on April 25 from 4 to 7 p.m. The department is looking to fill permanent and seasonal positions, many of which offer work schedule flexibility. Parks and Recreation salaries start at $15 an hour. For more information on City of Denton jobs, visit www.dentonjobs.com.

Denton Redbud Festival – Join staff on Saturday, April 29 to celebrate the Denton Redbud Festival at Quakertown Park (321 E. McKinney St.), beginning at 10 a.m. The free festival features vendors offering trees, plants, gardening supplies, household items, and local/handmade products. Attendees can enjoy browsing vendors’ booths while also enjoying family-friendly activities, food trucks, ceremonial tree plantings, and live, local music. For a schedule of events, visit the Denton Redbud Festival page.

Spring Kayaking – Kayak trips have returned! Kayaking trips are scheduled for Saturday, April 29 (ages 5+), Friday, May 5 (50+), and Saturday, May 27 (ages 5+). Children between the ages of 5 and eleven must share a kayak with an adult, while those 12 and up can use a single kayak. The cost of the program is $25 for a single kayak and $50 for a tandem kayak. Registration is available online.

Night Hike at Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center – Join staff on an organized evening hike that provides community members, regardless of hiking experience, an opportunity to experience Clear Creek Natural Heritage Area’s (3310 Collins Rd.) trails showcasing the natural environment at sunset. The next hike will be held Friday, May 19 from 6 to 8 p.m. Registration is available online.

Upcoming Street Closures

Street/IntersectionFromToClosure StartClosure EndDescription
Bonnie Brae St NRiney RdUniversity Dr (HW 380)04/24/2305/31/23(2) 8×16 TSV & 8″ WL Installation
2 Clubhouse DrTuscan Hills CirPaint Dr05/29/2306/02/23Street Panel and Sidewalk Repair
Oak StMounts AveFulton St05/08/2306/20/23Wastewater Collections will be installing a new
4 Ottawa DrGreat Bear LnWind River Ln05/15/2306/23/23Street Panel and Sidewalk Repair
5 Riesling DrRhone DrMerlot Dr05/15/2306/23/23Concrete Panel and Sidewalk Repair

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