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Tuesday, April, 23

From the May 26th, “Friday Staff Reports to City Council”

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The Friday Staff Report to City Council provides weekly updates between staff and Council. This week’s report shines a spotlight on the City of Denton’s AA+ rating from Fitch Ratings, indicating strong financial standing. Council Member Meltzer’s requests for pedestrian safety and infrastructure services were addressed, including matters regarding the Green Tree Estates and Oak and Welch Streets. In the Events section, a slew of community activities are lined up, from Clear Creek Night Hike to Juneteenth Senior Picnic and Outdoor Adventure Camps. Meanwhile, collaborations with educational institutions were emphasized, such as the visit by the Japanese School of Dallas to the Solid Waste and Water Utilities Departments and the innovative art installations by local students. The report also highlighted ongoing city projects such as the 311/Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software project and the introduction of a new Read Along Collection by the Denton Public Library.

General Information

Fitch Ratings has awarded the City of Denton an AA+ rating on May 19, indicating its robust financial resilience and operating reserve capacity. The rating is attributed to Denton’s promising revenue growth potential, significant revenue-raising capabilities, and efficient expenditure management.

On May 17, the Solid Waste and Water Utilities Departments of Dallas hosted faculty and students from the Japanese School of Dallas (JSD), which serves over 600 students from preschool to 12th grade. The purpose of the visit was to engage in social studies curriculum talks and tour city utility facilities. The intent was to compare these operations with those in Japan.

The City initiated a 311/Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software project in January 2022 to improve service call handling across all major city utilities and services. The implementation will be rolled out in phases to ensure success, with Phase I beginning in November 2023, and Phase II, III, and IV rolling out in March 2024, May 2024, and February 2025 respectively, each covering different aspects of city services. While all new services will be integrated by Phase III, Phase IV will primarily focus on internal process improvements and enhancement of self-service functionality, migrating some existing Customer Service activities into the CRM system.

The Denton Public Library introduced a new Read Along Collection on May 19, which comprises audio-enabled picture books and easy readers aimed at enhancing young readers’ interaction with literature. This service, which supports language and reading skill development, allows library card holders to check out books for 21 days. Users can view and select titles from this collection by applying the “read along” and “book plus audio” filters in the library catalog.

At the Mobility Committee meeting on May 24, Innovative Transportation Solutions (ITS) delivered a monthly report covering numerous significant regional projects of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).

The Original Denton District has started installing artistic vinyl wraps on traffic boxes, featuring work by students from four local schools. These installations add vibrant color to the cityscape. The plan includes extending this initiative to display art from Texas Woman’s University, University of North Texas students, and other community partners on additional traffic boxes.

Council Member Requests

Council Member Meltzer requested a review of pedestrian safety at the Oak and Welch Streets intersection on May 17, including considering a signalized crosswalk. However, due to the streets’ “T” configuration and insufficient safe spacing, it’s not recommended. Instead, an existing crosswalk 620 feet west provides safer crossing, while a pedestrian beacon/crosswalk is planned for installation at Oak and Thomas Streets, closer to student apartments, under the TxDOT Highway Safety Improvement Program.

Council Member Meltzer inquired about roads and trash services at Green Tree Estates on May 19. Residents receive garbage and recycling services at Swisher Road as the interior roads, which are private, do not meet the standards for safe access by the City of Denton Solid Waste collection truck. Any roadway improvements must be undertaken by the roadway owners, though the City made minor road enhancements in 2019 under a disaster declaration for temporary potable water delivery.

On March 21, Council Member Byrd reported a hanging cable on Oak Street via Engage Denton. Despite an initial commitment to fix the issue, Frontier had not resolved the problem by May 23. Following further communication with Frontier, they scheduled the repair for June 9, and the City staff will monitor the progress and keep the City Manager’s Office updated.

Mayor Pro Tem Beck inquired about the process of setting up a voter registration table at Water Works Park’s opening day on May 22. A single-day permit is required for any business or sales activity on park property during a festival, event, or rental, with relevant application and cost details accessible on the Special Events Permit Applications page.

Mayor Pro Tem Beck requested staff to address a resident’s complaints about supposed repair and code violations at a multi-family housing unit on McKinney Street on May 22. The staff provided the complainant with guidance on filing a fair housing complaint with HUD and the Denton Housing Authority regarding their housing voucher. Past complaints from other tenants were promptly dealt with by the Community Improvement Services’ maintenance staff.

Other VOD Stories

Mayor Hudspeth and Mayor Pro Tem Beck relayed a resident’s concerns on May 23 about construction on Crescent Street, highlighting a deteriorating driveway and a sloping yard that impedes mowing. The construction, part of the Denton Street Rehabilitation project, is in its final stages and includes clean-up, sod installation, and sprinkler repair, with expected completion in early June 2023, weather permitting. The resident was informed of the timeline and given contact information for further inquiries.

Council Member Byrd sought an update on May 23 concerning vegetation management at the northeast corner of Audra Lane due to overgrown brush, grass, and weeds. Upon inspection, a CIS Officer found high grass and weed violations. The property owner committed to mowing the area within a week, and the staff will conduct a follow-up inspection to verify resolution of the violation.

On May 24, Mayor Hudspeth relayed a business owner’s request for increased parking spaces on Russell St. City staff will assess current parking and seek an ADA-compliant solution. Additionally, a parking study is underway to evaluate the overall parking needs for the downtown area.

Upcoming Community Events

Clear Creek Night Hike – Join Parks and Recreation staff on an organized evening hike providing community members, regardless of hiking experience, an opportunity to experience the Clear Creek Natural Heritage Area (3310 Collins Rd.) and its trails. This event is extra special because it will showcase the natural environment at sunset. The next hike will be held Friday, June 2 from 6 to 8 p.m. Registration is available online.

Yappy Hour at North Lakes Dog Park – Grab your four-legged companions and join Denton Parks and Recreation at the North Lakes Dog Park (808 W. Windsor Dr.) on June 2 from 6 to 9 p.m. A wide array of food vendors will be selling delicious treats for two-and four-legged foodies. The event is free to attend.

Library Summer Reading Challenge Far-Out Kickoff – It’s time to start the Summer Reading Challenge! Drop in at any of the three library branches for coffee, lemonade, and donuts. Get into the 1960s vibe and sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge. All together now! All library branches are celebrating the Summer Reading Challenge Far-Out Kickoff from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on Friday, June 2. Summer reading is groovy for all ages.

Teen Advisory Board-South Branch Library – Teens, ages 11-17, are there changes you would love to see at the library? Join the Teen Advisory Board on Friday, June 2, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the South Branch Library to help plan teen events, share what titles you would like to see in the collection, and meet new people, all while earning volunteer hours.

Bring-a-Blanket StoryTime on The Square – Join Denton Public Library from 10 to 10:30 a.m. on Monday, June 5 for a StoryTime at the Denton County Courthouse-on-the-Square! Bring a blanket to spread out on the lawn as we read, sing, have fun, and learn together. In the case of inclement weather, we will meet inside the courthouse. For ages 1-5 and their caregiver.

Retro Rewind Experience at North Branch Library – Enjoy the nostalgic taste of movie-ready snacks and experience a night at the video store on Wednesday, June 7, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at North Branch Library. Stay after the library closes to browse our retro rewind video store to find something to watch this weekend, just like the good old days. As an added benefit, these movie “rentals” are free and do not need to be returned. They are yours to keep! This event is for all ages.

Food n’ Fun Friday – Want to practice your swing while enjoying savory snacks from local food truck vendors? Come to the North Texas Driving Range (2009 W. Windsor Dr.) on June 9 from 5 to 9 p.m. Twenty dollars ($20) gets you unlimited balls at the driving range.

Dive in Movies at Water Works Park – Water Works Park is proud to present a night of fun for the whole family, featuring a screening of Minions: The Rise of Gru (PG, 2022) on Friday, June 9. Gates will open at 7:30 p.m. for guests to enjoy the kiddie splash area and wave pool. The movie will begin at sundown or at approximately 9 p.m. While the movie is playing, our wave pool will be available for a floating seat and snacks will be available for purchase at the Tidal Wave Cafe. The kiddie area will close at the start of the film. Ticket prices are $10 per person for general admission and $5 per person for Season Pass holders.

Family Camp Out – Join Parks and Recreation in celebrating National Camping Month with an overnight stay at South Lakes Park beginning June 10 at 3 p.m. Set up your tent in the designated camping area and enjoy eating dinner, having fun, playing games, going on a scavenger hunt, eating s’mores, night hiking, star gazing, and more! Then wake up with sunrise yoga and breakfast. Registration is required (using this link) and costs $70 per tent. Campers will need to bring their own camping equipment to set up themselves, but the cost of registration includes s’mores, dinner, and breakfast. Pets and personal campfires are not allowed. The campground does not have electricity or shower facilities.

Juneteenth Senior Picnic – Celebrate Juneteenth at the ALH Senior Center on June 16 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. This picnic, for active adults ages 50+ will include games, socializing, and classic BBQ from Kendrick’s Barbeque, including chips, and ice cream for dessert! Sit on the ALH patio and enjoy watching other Juneteenth events happening in Fred Moore Park. The cost to attend is $10 per resident and $15 for nonresidents with registration available using this link.

Outdoor Adventure Camps – Due to increased demand, the Outdoor Adventure Camp is adding an additional week from July 24 to July 28! Outdoor Adventure Camp is an all-day camp for children ages 8-15. Camp activities include rock climbing, archery, nature education, kayaking, mountain biking, and more! Registration is open to 12 participants per week (using this link), the cost of the camp is $150, and participants should bring a sack lunch, water bottle, sunscreen, and swim gear, and should be dressed in appropriate outdoor clothing including closed-toe shoes.

Splish Splash Story Time – Everyone’s favorite story time by the pool is back this summer! Join Denton Public Library for a special Story Time in the children’s play pool at Water Works Park. Splish Splash Story Time events are from 10 to 10:45 a.m. Thursdays 6/1, 6/8, 6/15, 6/22, 6/29, 7/6, 7/13, and 7/20 at Water Works Park. Park admission is waived, but participants must stay at the Children’s Play Pool and exit the park by 10:45 a.m. For ages 1-5 and their caregiver. This program is co-sponsored by Denton Parks and Rec Aquatics.

Upcoming Street Closures

Street/IntersectionFromToClosure Start DateClosure End DateDescription
Oak StThomas StBonnie Brae St.06/08/2306/16/23Work on the DME substation
Oak StMounts AveFulton St06/30/2307/28/23Wastewater Collections will be installing a new sewer main lines and services.

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