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The Friday Staff Report to City Council provides weekly updates between staff and Council. This week’s report covers various topics, including general information about the closure of the Home Chemical Collections building for roof replacement and the reopening of the natatorium after a ventilation system failure. It also highlights Council Member requests, such as the examination of expanding the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone boundary and addressing concerns about unpermitted structures and code enforcement issues. Additionally, the report mentions upcoming community events like the Golf Scramble, Bilingual Story Time, and the World’s Largest Swim Lesson.

General Information

The Home Chemical Collections (HCC) building, which includes the Reuse Store, will be closed for roof replacement from June 26 to July 21, depending on weather conditions. This closure will be announced through social media, website updates, and physical postings, for safety purposes. However, all other HCC services will continue as normal, with drop-off and processing operations temporarily relocated to a nearby tent building.

The natatorium was closed from June 12 due to a ventilation system failure, with replacement fans delayed due to limited availability. Repairs are expected to be completed, and the natatorium is anticipated to reopen the week of June 19. In response to the closure, activities like swimming classes, physical therapy, and aquatic camps have been relocated, while the front desk remains open for customer service.

The city received a letter dated June 5, from State Senator Drew Springer discussing Proposition B.

On June 24, 2022, the City Council underwent safety training and discussed enhancing security measures at council meetings. On June 27, 2023, they will consider a resolution prohibiting the carrying of handguns, concealed or openly, into public meetings, with exceptions for licensed peace officers on duty. Additional safety measures to be implemented from July 18, 2023, include staffing two police officers per meeting and using handheld or walkthrough metal detectors.

The City of Denton’s one-time Capacity Building Grant for nonprofits, funded by the American Rescue Plan, aims to enhance local economic recovery services. The grant prioritizes applications from organizations serving BIPOC and low-income households, with a maximum of five awards ranging from $100,000 to $245,000. The grant application process received 25 applications totaling $4,722,974, significantly exceeding the available funding of $1,151,111, and funding recommendations were made by the Community Services Advisory Committee after review and applicant presentations.

The Capacity Building Grant application process, open from April 28 to May 28, received 25 submissions requesting more than three times the available funding of $1,151,111. All applicants attended virtual training, presented to the Community Services Advisory Committee (CSAC), and were scored for completeness and planning, not project quality. CSAC’s final recommendations, made during the June 9 meeting, considered the potential benefit of capacity-building funds for lower-scoring applicants.

The Marketing & Communications and Parks & Recreation Departments of the City of Denton were recognized at the annual TAMI Awards, winning first place in Innovation for the Triple Play Collaboration, and second place in the E-Newsletter and Special Publication categories for their Senior Center E-Newsletter and Post-COVID Denton Senior Recreation magazine, respectively. This event was part of the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers conference in Arlington, Texas.

The Denton Public Library has installed a new StoryWalk® at Fred Moore Park, featuring the book “All Different Now: Juneteenth, The First Day of Freedom” by Angela Johnson. The StoryWalk® is a unique outdoor activity that combines reading and walking by displaying laminated pages of a picture book along a path. This project is funded by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, with the City of Denton Parks and Recreation Department handling installation.

The Texas Municipal Power Agency (TMPA), serving the Member Cities including Denton, received a Reclamation Award from the Railroad Commission of Texas for successful cleanup of waste piles at the Gibbons Creek Lignite Mine’s Pond SP-50 Islands Project. The associated Gibbons Creek Steam Electric Station, a coal-fired plant, was in operation for 35 years and sold in 2021. The awarded cleanup project involved converting waste piles into islands with wetland wildlife enhancement features, improving soil quality, and establishing vegetation.

The Internal Audit Department has issued a report on the vehicle inventory and vehicle replacement best practices for the City’s fleet, based on procedures agreed with the Fleet Services Division. This report, intended solely for the City Council, City Auditor, City management, and Fleet Services Division, is primarily the responsibility of Fleet Services management. Details can be found in the Audit of Fleet Services Operations: Vehicle Management Independent Agreed-Upon Procedures Engagement.

The Parks and Recreation staff is seeking public input on how to utilize various elements from the Chairy Orchard installation, including a large chair, a chair archway, a love lock display, and other chairs. Feedback can be provided at the July Jubilee event on July 3, a public meeting on July 13, or on the Discuss Denton Chairy Orchard Project webpage.

Other VOD Stories

Parks and Recreation has announced the forthcoming installation of Christine Sanders’ sculpture “Serve” at the Denton Tennis Center. The sculpture will be installed on a concrete plinth at the facility’s entrance and is scheduled for installation this month, in collaboration with the artist and 23 Design Co.

Denton Municipal Electric (DME) is assisting Greenville, Texas, with power restoration after severe thunderstorms caused widespread outages on June 15. Under a Mutual Aid Agreement, DME dispatched nine linemen to Greenville on June 16, with all expenses to be reimbursed by Greenville. DME’s support reaffirms its commitment to aid during crises.

Council Member Requests

In response to an inquiry by Council Member Byrd regarding a business owner whose property is outside of the City’s Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ), city staff is examining the possibility of expanding the TIRZ boundary. The business owner is currently ineligible for a program that utilizes TIRZ funding for infrastructure improvements due to their property’s location. The issue of TIRZ boundary expansion was previously discussed in a work session, where it was decided to revisit it after the completion of the Downtown Master Plan and the identification of specific projects. Unless given other directions, staff plan to bring the item back to the Council for consideration in the Fall of 2024.

A resident reported an unpermitted structure on Wisteria Street, prompting Council staff to inspect, notify the homeowners about permit requirements, and issue a stop work order. The staff is currently guiding the homeowner through the permitting process and will ensure the stop work order is adhered to via re-inspection.

An Oxford House on Kayewood Drive, subject of a reasonable accommodation request under the Federal Fair Housing Act, has raised concerns. Development Services staff are reviewing code amendments related to such accommodations, with public hearings pending Committee on Persons with Disabilities feedback. The specific case for the Oxford House will be discussed in the July 18 City Council meeting where residents can voice their concerns.

Construction on Elm/Locust Streets, affecting businesses, is part of joint utility and roadway improvements by the City of Denton and Denton County, with work scheduled to start in Summer 2024. TxDOT and the City are negotiating for the City to assume control of the road post-construction. Updates will be provided to the council and community as more information becomes available.

Council Member Meltzer inquired about options for enhancing pedestrian safety at the intersection of Oak and Welch Streets. Currently, Oak Street has a 25 mph speed limit, and Welch Street, identified as a University Campus Street, has a 20 mph limit. In response, staff will install a traffic camera to monitor pedestrian movements during the fall semester and explore other potential safety improvements.

A resident reported tall grass/weeds on a walking path on Nicosia Street to the City Manager and Mayor Pro Tem Beck on June 9. Staff responded on June 12, informing the resident that the University of North Texas (UNT) would arrange for the area, which UNT owns, to be mowed by their contractor.

Council Member Byrd questioned the status of paving on Bradshaw Street and Prairie Street in Southeast Denton on June 10, ahead of the Juneteenth activities scheduled for June 16. Capital Projects staff coordinated with various parties to ensure the job site is ready and available for parking, although Prairie Street from Bradshaw to Lakey will remain closed. An inspection will be conducted on June 16 to confirm the suitability of the area for the event.

The Engage Denton app is currently unavailable for download in the Android store, as reported by Council Member Meltzer on June 9. The Technology Services Department is working on updating the multifactor authentication settings on the account, after which the app will be available for download again. In the meantime, users can enter requests via the Engage Denton website or by calling the City’s Customer Service Department.

Council Member Meltzer reported a resident’s concerns about traffic signal confusion at the intersection of Locust Street and Hickory Street. The Engineering and Traffic Operations staff reviewed the situation and decided to resequence the signals to clarify right of way between eastbound and westbound traffic. The adjustments, including sign replacements, will be done by June 23, weather permitting.

Council Member Meltzer raised concerns about the brightness of a streetlight near Stonegate and Southridge Drive on June 11. Staff examined the light and found it was set to 60% brightness, the standard for roadways with speeds of 30 mph or less. The brightness was adjusted to 100% and will be fine-tuned based on feedback. Additionally, a non-functioning streetlight in the area was repaired by staff.

Council Member Meltzer requested an evaluation for potential traffic signal installations at the intersections of Teasley Lane/Pennsylvania Drive and Teasley Lane/Longridge Drive on June 11. As Teasley Lane is owned by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), any changes or improvements must be made by TxDOT. Previous signal warrant analysis for a pedestrian hybrid beacon at Teasley Lane/Longridge Drive did not meet TxDOT requirements, but staff is in communication with TxDOT for further evaluation and has requested a new pedestrian signal warrant analysis. Traffic signal warrants will be conducted for both intersections, and coordination with TxDOT will occur for the necessary studies.

Council Member Meltzer expressed concerns about speeding along Southridge Drive, Longridge Drive, and Lynhurst Lane on June 11 and requested potential traffic calming solutions. Staff previously conducted speed data collection on Southridge Drive in September 2021, which did not indicate a significant speeding issue. However, to reassess the situation, staff will schedule new speed data collection on Southridge Drive, Longridge Drive, and Lynhurst Lane before exploring appropriate traffic calming measures.

Several residents on Brooklake Street experienced ongoing internet outages due to construction, as conveyed by Mayor Hudspeth and Council Member Meltzer on June 11. A construction contractor accidentally damaged a fiber optic line during road reconstruction at the intersection of Thunderbird Drive and Carriage Hill on June 2. The damaged line was repaired on June 12, restoring internet service to the affected residents, while ongoing monitoring will be conducted to verify the integrity of other lines.

Council Member Meltzer requested an assessment of road conditions on Hollyhill Lane between Southridge Drive and Tennyson Trail, as well as Skylark Drive, on June 11. The overall condition index (OCI) and staff evaluations indicate that both segments require reconstruction. Skylark Drive is already scheduled for reconstruction under the 2019 bond package. For Hollyhill Drive, staff is coordinating with internal and external utilities to determine if subsurface utility work is necessary before submitting the project for consideration in a future capital improvement plan (CIP). In the meantime, temporary pothole patching has been performed to improve the driving surface.

A resident raised safety and code enforcement concerns about a single-family residence on Anysa Lane, prompting action from Community Improvement Services (CIS) and the Denton Police Department (DPD). CIS opened two cases in May 2023 to address stagnant water and trash/debris, with the stagnant water issue resolved by June 14 and substantial progress made on clearing the trash and debris. DPD responded to multiple calls for service since August 2022, and temporary occupants have vacated the property. Staff is collaborating with the property owner to address utility connection issues and ensure compliance with building codes. The resident who submitted the initial request was provided with an update and contact information for future needs.

Council Member Meltzer brought attention to the issue of 18-wheelers parking on the access road to Buccee’s on June 11. Staff forwarded the concern to TxDOT and received information that this section of the roadway will serve as the service road during the upcoming I-35 expansion project.

Council Member Meltzer inquired about various aspects of Joe Skiles Park on June 11. A community meeting was held to discuss the park’s renovation and improvement plans, which include the addition of a loop trail, pavilion, tennis court renovations, trees, irrigation, and new grass. The installation of irrigation and seed/sod aims to address the long-standing issue of stickers in the park. Design work is underway, and construction is expected to start in late summer or early fall. For more details, residents can visit the Discuss Denton page dedicated to the Joe Skiles Park project.

Mayor Pro Tern Beck requested grant application and award statistics from the City on June 13. The attached summary provides the requested information, and further details can be found in the Fiscal Year 22-23 Adopted Annual Program of Services.

Council Member Meltzer inquired about expanded hours at summer cooling stations on June 13, specifically regarding availability after 5 p.m. on Sundays. Staff provided a link to the City’s Ready Denton – Extreme Temperatures webpage, which includes locations with extended hours for cooling. The possibility of providing transportation from cooling facilities to shelters after closing hours was also raised by Council Member Meltzer and Mayor Pro Tern Beck. While staff cannot offer courtesy transports after regular business hours, resources such as the DCTA GoZone and Connect Bus, particularly Route 3, are available for transportation needs. Staff will continue exploring potential options for transportation assistance within the community.

Council Member McGee received a resident’s inquiry on June 13 regarding individuals experiencing homelessness, trash, and overgrown grass near the intersection of North I-35 E and University Drive. The Police Department’s Homeless Outreach Team (H.O.T.) and Community Improvement Services (CIS) conducted an inspection and found trash and debris, but no further issues were identified. CIS and Community Services staff will collaborate with the Texas Department of Transportation to address the trash and overgrown grass in the area.

Upcoming Community Events

Free Fan Giveaway – Free fans are still available! Denton Municipal Electric (DME) and the Sustainability Office, through the GreenSense Energy Efficiency Program, are providing more than 1,000 20″ air circulator floor fans, free to DME customers. Fans will be available for pickup Saturday, June 17 from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center ( 1300 Wilson St.) A pre-registration form is available using this link. Fans may also be picked up at the City of Denton Sustainability Office (1001 S. Mayhill Rd), Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. DME customers are asked to provide their billing account number, or id with name and service address to verify customer accounts.

Golf Scramble – Parks and Recreation will host its monthly golf scramble at Wildhorse Golf Club in Robson Ranch (9400 Ed Robson Blvd) Tuesday, June 20 from 5 to 8 p.m. Tee off with staff and enjoy the chance to win some great prizes. A golf scramble is one of the most common formats for a golf tournament. The game is played by a team of two players and each member hits their ball throughout the match. The team chooses the best shot from the first stroke and uses the same spot for each player. After completing one round, the team engages in another stroke where they select one location and play the balls from there. The process continues until all holes are completed. There is a $30 for a team and an additional $14 per person green fee paid to Wildhorse Golf Club. Registration is available at this link.

Bilingual Story Time at North Branch Library/ Hora de Cuentos Bilingues – Join us with teachers from TWU for interactive classes that use stories, songs and puppets in English and Spanish to prepare children to learn to read! For children ages 1-5 and their caregivers. jAcompafianos con maestros de TWU para clases interactivas donde se usan cuentos, canciones, y marionetas en ingles y espafiol para apoyar a los nifios a aprender a leer! Para nifios entre las edades de 1 a 5 y sus cuidadores. Tuesday, June 20, from 11 a.m. to 11 :30 a.m. at the North Branch Library.

Internet & Email Basics at South Branch Library – Specialists from Goodwill’s Digital Career Accelerator program will be at the library to help you sharpen your computer skills and advance your career! Limited tickets will be given out at the reference desk 30 minutes before. Ages 18+ Wednesday, June 21, from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the South Branch Library.

Fun with Recycling at Emily Fowler Central Library – Do we trash it, reuse it, or recycle these materials in Denton? Kids will learn all about recycling in a fun and interactive way that encourages personal accountability. We’ll even play some recycling games with a giant parachute. This program is in partnership with Sustainable Denton. Ages 5-10. Thursday, June 22 from 4 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. at the Emily Fowler Library.

Awesome Afternoon: High School Musical Dance Party at South Branch Library – We’re All In This Together! All together now, we will learn choreography to High School Musical’s “We’re All in This Together”. We will also design our own jerseys or cheerleading uniforms. Let’s get groovy and have an awesome time jamming out. Ages 6-10. Thursday, June 22, from 4 to 5 p.m. at the South Branch Library.

World’s Largest Swim Lesson – Join Denton Parks and Recreation’s Aquatics division at the Civic Center Pool in Quakertown Park on June 22 from 10 to 10:45 a.m. to participate in the World’s Largest Swim Lesson (WLSL) – a global drowning prevention event launched by the World Waterpark Association in 2010. The event will offer life-saving swimming instruction for children ages 7 and older. The event is free to attend but registration is required, using this link.

Adapted Rec Social Connections – Join Adapted Rec at Andy B’s (2600 Panhandle St) on Friday, June 23 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for some friendly bowling fun! The event is for individuals 14 and older with disabilities. The event is $10 to attend and registration is available at this link.

Family Fishing Day -Join Pond Hopper Nation and 4 To 4 Ever, Inc. as they host a family-friendly fishing event at South Lakes Park (556 Hobson Ln.) on Saturday, June 24 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. This event is free for members of the Denton community and surrounding areas. The first 50 children who register on the Pond Hopper Nation website with an “Early Registration Ticket” and attend the event between 9:00 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. will receive a free fishing rod and reel. After 9:30 a.m. rods will be distributed on a first come, first served basis. Pond Hopper Nation volunteers will be on hand for anyone needing a little help fishing. Please check the event schedule at the Pond Hopper Nation website to see all the fun fishing activities for children, and to get your tickets. The website also has sponsorship, volunteer, and host information for future events.

Emily Fowler Central Library Presents the IfCM Collective: Invitation to Jazz and Creative Music – The Institute for Creative Music Collective will perform music from their three albums of jazz arrangements of contemporary artists like Prince, Bjork, and St. Vincent as well as original compositions, blues, and freely improvised music. The IfCM Collective invites the audience in on the creative process-be ready to experience jazz as an insider! http://www.ifcmusic.org/ Saturday, June 24, from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Emily Fowler Library.

National Bingo Day– Join active adults ages 50 and up at the Denton Senior Center (509 N. Bell Ave.) to celebrate National Bingo Day on June 27 from 11 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Meet friends or make new ones while enjoying several games of Bingo. The event is free to attend, and registration is not required.

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 StartClosure EndDescription
Cordell St (1229)Fulton StCrescent St06/26/2307/14/23Curb and Road repair
Green Oaks St (2300)Dunes StCooper Branch07/05/2307/21/23Valley Gutter Repair
Industrial StBell StMulberry St07/05/2308/29/23Utility installation
Oak StMounts AveFulton St06/30/2307/28/23Wastewater Collections installation
Stallion StLakeview BlvdOak Creek Ln07/03/2308/11/23Street Concrete Panel Repair

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