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The Friday Staff Report to City Council provides weekly updates between staff and Council. Solid Waste and Recycling will reinstate its usual 7 a.m. start time beginning September 11 and is rolling out the Commercial Diversion Article to help divert materials from the Denton Landfill. The Linda McNatt Animal Care and Adoption Center recently participated in the Clear the Shelter Adoption Drive, resulting in 315 animal adoptions, but will temporarily close on September 12 for staff development. Denton Municipal Electric discussed the ERCOT grid conditions and its proactive measures following Winter Storm Uri. Meanwhile, the Denton Public Library introduced new Tonies® Discovery Kits for children. There are concerns about bleach odors at the intersection of N. Elm St. and Orr St., and about dust emissions on Shady Oaks Dr. Council Member Byrd sought clarity on political signage regulations, and various infrastructure projects are planned around Denton High School. Upcoming community events include a Citizen Scientist overview, appearances by authors Tracy Lawson and Frieda Wiley, a Dementia Friendly Nature Walk, a Bilingual Story Time, a genealogy research presentation at the Denton Public Library, and various recreational and cultural activities, including the Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration and the National Dance Day Party.

General Information

Adjusted Start Time for Collections – Solid Waste and Recycling Solid Waste and Recycling previously shifted the start time for yard waste and brush collections to avoid peak heat times. However, with the onset of the Fall season, the usual 7 a.m. start time will be reinstated starting Monday, Sept.11.

Commercial Diversion Article Implementation – Solid Waste and Recycling SWR has begun the rollout of the Commercial Diversion Article (CDA). The CDA mandates all multifamily, business, government, and commercial units to develop a diversion plan for recycling or diverting materials from the Denton Landfill. Implementation is planned in five stages and will affect Denton’s 2,800 commercial clients. Information about diversion options will be sent to customers in each phase. Businesses must report their plans to SWR’s CDA reporting website. Phase one letters will be mailed on Sept. 8, 2023, with a 6-month compliance window. Full implementation is expected by June 2024.

Clear the Shelter Adoption Campaign In August, the Linda McNatt Animal Care and Adoption Center took part in the Clear the Shelter Adoption Drive, a nationwide pet adoption initiative. The event waived all animal adoption fees, resulting in 315 animals finding new homes from the center during the campaign.

Animal Shelter Temporary Closure The Linda McNatt Animal Care and Adoption Center will be temporarily closed to the public on Sept. 12, 2023, for staff training and development. Despite the closure, emergency animal call-outs will still be attended to. Notifications regarding the closure have been made available to the public.

ERCOT Grid Conditions and DME’s Response Denton Municipal Electric (DME) provided insights on the ERCOT grid conditions in the wake of high temperatures and elevated energy consumption. ERCOT issued multiple alerts, including a Conservation Appeal and an Energy Emergency Alert 2, urging Texans to limit electricity usage. DME consistently oversees grid situations and conveys information to the Denton community through various platforms. Since Winter Storm Uri, DME has strengthened the electrical system in the city, increasing the megawatts available for rotation. These improvements aim to ensure shorter outages if any occur.

Library Launches New Tonies® Discovery Kits Denton Public Library introduced the Tonies® Discovery Kits on Sept. 8. Tonies® offer a digital listening experience, playing various content from stories to songs using characters popular among children. The kits are designed to enhance imagination and play for kids aged three and up. These kits can be borrowed for 21 days with a Denton Public Library card.

Council Member Requests

Bleach Odors near N. Elm and Orr St.
Residents have reported noxious bleach odors around the intersection of N. Elm St. and Orr St. Although various city departments have conducted inspections and responded to these concerns, no violations regarding the odors have been found. The Fire Department’s Hazardous Materials Team also tested air quality and found no hazardous substances. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has been alerted, and they have the capacity to conduct an independent investigation.

Environmental Concerns on Shady Oaks
There were concerns about dust emissions due to granite cutting at a business located on Shady Oaks Dr. Recent inspections revealed that the business uses wet methods for granite cutting, which are within normal procedures. In September 2022, there was a report about slurry discharge to a storm drain channel from the same location. The site owner promptly addressed and resolved the issue.

CIAC Origins
The Capital Improvement Advisory Board (CIAC) was initiated in 2015 and extended in 2018. This board was established to advise on capital improvement projects. The Planning and Zoning Commission often serves in this capacity, which aligns with Texas state statute Chapter 395.058. One representative from the extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) area is included in the CIAC to address impact fees in that area.

Political Signage Regulations
Council Member Byrd inquired about regulations concerning the placement of political signs on City property during voting times. Both state election laws and City of Denton ordinances dictate these regulations. While Texas Election Code allows some electioneering outside of designated zones, the City of Denton’s Land Development Code provides specific guidelines for the placement of political signs during early voting and election periods. Any modifications to these rules would require either changes to the Land Development Code or state legislative action.

GoZone EMS/Fire Data
An inquiry was made regarding the number of trips Fire and EMS responders take for individuals who can’t find a ride from GoZone. Currently, patient care reports do not specifically track this data. Any information on this would be dependent on the caller or patient voluntarily providing it.

Other VOD Stories

Traffic Near Denton High
There are concerns about traffic congestion around Denton High School. To address this, three infrastructure projects are planned:

  1. The Westgate temporary connector project will enhance the road network around the school.
  2. The Westgate Roadway project will involve road widening and connectivity improvements.
  3. The Bonnie Brae Phase 6 will provide further road widening and pedestrian facilities. These projects are set to commence in 2024.

UNT Discovery Park Entrance Traffic Controls
A request was made to install a traffic signal at the intersection of US 77 (N. Elm Street) and Discovery Boulevard. This intersection improvement has been approved and is set to begin in the Fall/Winter of 2023.

Upcoming Community Events

Citizen Scientists: An Overview – Learn how to become a citizen scientist and help researchers gather data on a variety of projects. Dan Friedman from Sustainable Denton will share information about various citizen scientist platforms available for anyone who wants to join in scientific research. This event is for all ages, free to attend, and registration is not required. Saturday, Sept. 9, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. at North Branch Library (3020 N. Locust St.).

Author Tracy Lawson at South Branch Library – Author Tracy Lawson writes books for children, teens, and adults including historical novels, dystopian thrillers, non-fiction titles. Her latest book, Answering Liberty’s Call, is based on her own ancestor who rode to Valley Forge with an urgent warning for General Washington. Tracy Lawson will speak about her writing process, how she chooses what to write about, and how she discovers engaging characters and stories that connect to readers. Copies of her books will be available for purchase and signing at the South Branch Library (3228 Teasley Ln.) on Saturday, Sept. 9, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event is free to attend and registration is not required.

Author Frieda Wiley at South Branch Library – Author Frieda Wiley, PharmD, will talk about the unexpected physical and mental challenges of working remotely and offer solutions for successful, productive, and enjoyable telecommuting. Copies of her book, Telecommuting Psychosis: From Surviving to Thriving while Working Remotely, will be available for purchase and signing. This meet and greet event will be held Wednesday, Sept. 13, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at South Branch Library (3228 Teasley Ln.). The event is free to attend and registration is not required.

Dementia Friendly Nature Walk – Join Dementia Friendly Denton County with an Elm Fork Chapter Master Naturalist on a guided tour of the Civic Center Garden (321 E. McKinney St). Aimed at providing exercise, education, and sensory stimulation for people living with dementia and their caretakers. The next walk is on Sept. 13 at 10 a.m., meeting at the South Side of the Civic Center. The event is free. Registration is available at this link. Staff contact: Carin Zeman, Parks and Recreation.

Step Aerobics Retro Class – Dive into a nostalgic workout with Parks and Recreation aerobics instructors for a special Retro Step Aerobics Class. It’s open to everyone and is set for Wednesday, Sept. 13 at 9:45 a.m. at the North Lakes Recreation Center (2001 W. Windsor Dr.). Staff contact: Carin Zeman, Parks and Recreation.

Bilingual Story Time/Hora de Cuentos Bilingües – Join UNT-Dallas professor Victor Lozada for interactive classes that use stories, songs, and puppets in Spanish and English to prepare children to learn to read. This event will be held at the North Branch Library (3020 N. Locust St.) on Thursday, Sept. 14, from 10:30 to 11 a.m. The event is free to attend and registration is not required.

The Public Library: A Treasure Trove for Genealogy Research – The Denton County Genealogical Society’s (DCGS) September presentation is all about the best and most overlooked resources for genealogical research: the Public Library. Denton Public Library’s (DPL) Laura Douglas shares how and where to find unexpected treasures hidden in local history and genealogy collections, both in your own community and those where your ancestors lived. After the presentation, participants will hunt for their own genealogical treasures in the DPL Special Collections research area. Join us as DCGS kicks off the 2023-24 programming year on Thursday, Sept. 14, at the Emily Fowler Central Library (502 Oakland). Social time begins at 6:30 p.m., with the presentation following at 7 p.m. All are welcome and registration is not required.

Tea with “the Tea” – Wear your favorite colorful hat and join us to sip and spill “the Tea” on Friday, Sept. 15 at the American Legion Hall Senior Center (629 Lakey St.). We will discuss interesting topics such as recipes, decorating, books, and more from noon to 2:30 p.m. with adults ages 50+. The cost to attend is $10 per person, and registration is available at this link.

Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration – Celebrate Cultural Diversity in Denton at the MLK Jr., Recreation Center (1300 Wilson St.) on Saturday, Sept. 16 from 10 a.m. to noon. National Hispanic Heritage Month runs from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15. This event will celebrate the vibrant history of our Hispanic community, discuss its heritage, and the contributions made by Denton residents from Mexico, Spain, the Caribbean, and South and Central America. Featuring keynote speaker Dr. Rudy Rodriguez, trustee of Denton ISD since 2008, the event will also feature entertainment and activities for children. The event is free to attend. Additional information is available at this link.

National Dance Day Party – Celebrate National Dance Day on Sept. 16 at North Lakes Recreation Center (2001 W. Windsor Dr.). The festivities begin at 1 p.m. with BollyX, followed by Zumba at 1:40 p.m., Les Mills BODYJAM at 2:30 p.m., and a Freestyle Dance Party beginning at 3:15 p.m. This is the perfect opportunity to see how dance can feature in an active lifestyle. The event is free to attend. Registration and additional information is available at this link.

Kayaking, Ages 8+ – Join American Canoe Association assessed instructors and American Red Cross lifeguard certified staff on a kayak adventure that tours a beautiful local waterway. Our next kayaking event will explore Pecan Creek and takes place on Saturday, Sept. 16, and includes both Single and Tandem kayaking options. The excursion begins at 9:00 a.m. and ends at 3:00 p.m. Participants are asked to bring a sack lunch and a bottle of water and meet at the Denton Civic Center (321 E. McKinney St.) lobby in the morning to begin their adventure. The cost for a single kayak is $25 and the cost of a shared, tandem one is $50. Children ages 8-11 must share a kayak with an adult. Registration is available at this link.

Veterans Kayaking – Parks and Recreation is offering a kayaking program specifically oriented toward veterans. Join American Canoe Association assessed instructors and American Red Cross lifeguard staff for a kayaking trip in a local waterway. Make connections with other veterans and enjoy connecting with nature. The trip begins on Saturday, Sept. 19, at 10 a.m. at the Denton Senior Center (509 N. Bell). The cost is $25 per kayaker, and registration is available at this link.

Golf Scramble – Parks and Recreation will host its Monthly Golf Scramble at Wildhorse Golf Club in Robson Ranch (9400 Ed Robson Blvd) on Sept. 19, from 5 to 8 p.m. Tee off and enjoy the chance to win some great prizes. There is a $30 for a team and an additional $14 per person green fee paid to Wildhorse Golf Club. Registration is available online.

Joe Skiles Park Improvement Project Meeting – Parks and Recreation will host a virtual meeting on Thursday, Sept. 21 at 6:30 p.m. to provide residents with an update for the planned renovations to Joe Skiles Park. Planned improvements include the addition of a loop trail, landscaping, shade, and typical park amenities. Staff are asking for feedback on these elements and the plan in general. Staff will also provide residents with a proposed project implementation schedule. Residents interested in attending the virtual meeting must register with their name, contact number, and email address 24 hours before the meeting to receive a meeting link. Registration for the virtual meeting is available at this link.

Active Adult Hike – Discover beautiful fall colors at Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center with outdoor recreation staff on Sept. 22 from 10 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Meet old friends and make new ones on this leisurely 3-mile hike for adults 50+. Hiking boots, long pants, drinking water, sunscreen are all recommended. Registration for the hike is $5 per person and available at this link. Hikers should meet in the Denton Senior Center Lobby (509 N. Bell Ave.) at 10 a.m. to start the excursion.

Clear Creek Night Hike – Join Parks and Recreation’s outdoor recreation staff on a night hike at Clear Creak Natural Heritage Center (3310 Collins Rd.) on Sept. 22 from 6 to 8:00 p.m. Cost for the hike is $5 per person, and it is open to ages 5 and up. Children aged 12 may attend without a guardian if they provide a signed waiver. Registration is available at this link.

Mexican Independence Day, Ages 50+ – The ALH Senior Center (629 Lakey St.) will host a Hispanic Heritage Month event on Sept. 22 from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. There will be food, fun, and a presentation on the history of this day. This event is free to attend, but registration is encouraged and available online.

Adapted Rec Social Connections – Adapted Recreation Social Connections is headed to the Sky Theatre! The program is open to those 16 and up with developmental disabilities and offers the opportunity to meet new friends while trying new activities. This month’s event is on Friday, Sept. 22, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The cost is $5 per person and registration is available at this link.

Yappy Hour at North Lakes Park – Grab your four-legged companions and join Denton Parks and Recreation at North Lakes Park (808 W. Windsor Dr.) on Friday, Sept. 22, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. There will be an array of food and pet treat vendors who will be offering a variety of yummy goodies for sale. The event is free to attend and open to all ages.

Bike Safety Course – Learn the basics of bicycle safety with an expert-led class at Denia Recreation Center (1001 Parvin St.) on Saturday, Sept. 23 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The class will cover topics such as helmet fit and how to respect the rules of the road in your bicycle, and will also involve practicing in a safe place before venturing onto neighborhood roads for further practice. The class is taught by a Denton Police Department Bicycle Patrol Officer. The class is open to individuals ages 8 and up, and costs $40 for residents and $45 for non-residents. Participants are asked to wear appropriate clothing including close-toed shoes and to bring their bicycle, helmet, water, and something for lunch. Registration is available at this link.

Fall Block Party – Mark your calendars for an exciting, family-friendly event, the City Block Party, bringing the community together for a night of fun and engagement with City officials. This event combines the National Night Out Kick Off Party with State of the City in one central location where all can attend. Join us on Sept. 28, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Denton Civic Center and Quakertown Park (321 E. McKinney St.), where numerous departments will host booths, “touch-a-truck” exhibits, and various fun activities with free giveaways for attendees. Food trucks will also be in attendance with food for purchase. More information is available online.

Adult Tennis Social – Denton Parks and Recreation is hosting an adult tennis social at the Goldfield Tennis Center on Friday, Sept. 29 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. (2005 Windsor Dr.). Bring a friend or meet new ones at this low-stakes get together that will have tennis pros on hand to offer helpful tips. The event is free to attend, but registration is required and available at this link.

Teen Council Community Garage Sale – Join the Denton Teen Council on Saturday, Sept. 30 at Denia Rec Center (1001 Parvin St.) for a community garage sale. Become a vendor by registering online. Vendors must provide their own tables and chairs. The event will take place in the recreation center parking lot. Registration costs $20 and available online.

Adult Archery – Learn the fundamentals of international-style archery with a USA Archery and National Archery in Schools Program certified instructor. The class will take place on Saturday, Sept. 30 from 10 a.m. to noon at Denia Rec Center (1001 Parvin St.). The class costs $35 and registration is available at this link.

National Night Out – On Tuesday, Oct. 3, residents across Denton will host cookouts, block parties, and other community events in celebration of National Night Out (NNO). Each year on the first Tuesday of October, residents organize events to meet and build connections with their neighbors, as well as the first responders and City officials who serve them. Denton Police, Fire, and other City personnel will visit registered NNO parties throughout the evening to strengthen relationships with residents. If a party host would like Police, Fire, and/or other City staff to attend their gathering, they are encouraged to register online by Friday, Sept. 22. City Council will receive a list of NNO events following the registration deadline.

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