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Sunday, February, 25

From the July 14th, “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, the General Information highlighted the reopening of the Loop 288 shelter’s emergency wing, changes to the City Council’s two-minute pitch process, the schedule for the upcoming Council retreat, and progress on the Downtown Ambassador Program Pilot, among other topics. In the Council Member Request section, there were specific requests and queries by Council Members Meltzer and McGee related to the status of a Parkside Drive property, pedestrian safety at Loop 288 and Audra Lane, and a construction timeline for West Oak Street. Upcoming Community Events included the much-anticipated Splish Splash Story Time by the Denton Public Library at Water Works Park and Adapted Rec Bingo for individuals with disabilities at the MLK Jr. Rec Center.

General Information

The Loop 288 shelter’s emergency wing, closed on July 5th due to a water leak in the sprinkler system, has now reopened thanks to remediation efforts by City staff and specialists. During the closure, alternative sleeping arrangements involving 75 emergency cots were provided by Our Daily Bread staff, ensuring no one in need was turned away.

At its annual retreat, the City Council decided to modify the two-minute pitch process, as per Section 2-30 of the Code of Ordinances, requiring a supermajority to allow any policy recommendation to proceed directly from a pitch to consideration of a resolution or ordinance. An ordinance making this change is included in the Consent Agenda of the July 18 Council meeting. Staff must receive two-minute pitch requests by the Wednesday of the week before a Council meeting to ensure sufficient time for inclusion in the agenda.

On August 5, the City Council will hold a retreat to discuss strategic priorities and the proposed FY 2023-24 budget. Chief Strategic Officer Aimee Kaslik will lead the first segment, focusing on current strategic priorities and future direction, with the City’s finance staff leading the remainder of the retreat on the proposed budget. The retreat, including a working lunch, is expected to conclude by 4 p.m.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, partitions were installed between Council member seats in 2020, but have been progressively removed following the end of the local state of disaster in March 2022. The final set of partitions, located on the Council Chamber dais, are scheduled for removal before the regular meeting on August 1, 2023. For any questions regarding this process, contact the City Manager’s Office.

On March 7, during a work session, the Council directed staff to request funds for a Downtown Ambassador Program Pilot in the FY 2023-24 budget and to issue a Request for Proposal for third-party management of the program. This pilot would employ non-police, trained contractors to provide safety, hospitality, and cleaning services in downtown Denton. An update, including estimated costs, will be presented at the July 18 work session, with staff seeking further Council direction.

On June 30, 2023, the City’s Procurement Department, along with the Denton Chamber of Commerce and the North Central Texas Small Business Development Center, hosted a Vendor Opportunity Fair to engage Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUB), Women/Minority Business Enterprises (WMBE), and local businesses. The event aimed to connect these businesses with city representatives and procurement professionals, provide procurement process insights, and offer resources for business transactions with the City. Over 40 business contacts were made with 26 vendors attending, and the department plans to make this an annual event, expanding support for HUB, WMBE, and local businesses.

The City of Denton received $23,290,438 in funding from the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) established by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), signed into law on March 11, 2021, for COVID-19 response efforts. The funding must be obligated by the end of 2024 and used on projects finished by 2026. The City has launched the ARPA Dashboard to ensure transparency and report progress on the use of these funds. The dashboard, which will be updated quarterly in line with Federal requirements, is accessible to the public via the City’s Strategic Plan Dashboard.

Council Member Requests

Council Member Meltzer requested clarification on July 5 about a Parkside Drive property’s status, as a constituent believed it was being set up as a group home. If the property is intended for disabled residents, Denton’s zoning rules categorize it as a “community home,” which is permitted in all residential zones. As per the Denton Development Code, a “community home” is a residential setting for up to six disabled individuals with two supervisory staff, in accordance with the Texas Human Resources Code, Chapter 123.001, et seq (Vernon 1990), as amended.

Council Member McGee requested a review of pedestrian safety at Loop 288 and Audra Lane on July 6. The City received funding through the DCTA TRIP Program to connect the sidewalk on Loop 288’s west side, from Audra Lane to past Our Daily Bread; these designs are under review at a 90% completion stage. Additionally, sidewalks from Audra Lane north to US380 are being designed in collaboration with TxDOT, funded by the Sidewalk Bond Fund. Construction of the sidewalks from Audra Lane to past Our Daily Bread is planned for Q3 2023, while construction of the sidewalks from Audra Lane to US380 depends on TxDOT approval. The 2022 Mobility Plan includes a future realignment of Audra Lane, not currently included in the CIP.

Council Member Meltzer requested a construction timeline for West Oak Street between Bradley and Thomas Street on July 7. Two projects are underway: gas line relocations as part of the 2019 bond program and installation of underground conduit mains for the Denton Municipal Electric (DME) Hickory Substation. The gas line relocation along Oak Street from Jagoe to Bonnie Brae is set for completion by August 11, with work hours between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The conduit installation, which includes hydro excavation contributing to noise levels, should operate within the approved work hours, with schedules varying depending on the season.

Upcoming Community Events

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 a.m. to 10: 45 a.m. every
Thursday from June 1 through July 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 Recreation Aquatics.

Other VOD Stories

Adapted Rec Bingo – join Adapted Rec at the MLK Jr. Rec Center ( 1300 Wilson St.) on Friday, July 21 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for some friendly Bingo fun! The event is for individuals 14 and older with disabilities and is free to attend. Registration is required and is available at this link. Staff contact: Mia Macy, Parks and Recreation.

Upcoming Street Closures

Street/IntersectionFromToClosure Start DateClosure End DateDescription
Inman St (201)McKinney StPeninsula Tri07/31/2308/18/23Concrete Panel Repair
Meadow StLoop 288Sea Cove Ln07/20/2308/03/23Sidewalk demo and new sidewalk
Centre Place DrMayhill RdMarina Dr07/24/2308/18/23Sidewalk Panel Replacement

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