New water main to service customers and cities in north Fort Worth

The city’s Water Department will meet with residents at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 6 at O.A. Peterson Elementary School, 2000 Winter Hawk Drive, to discuss installation of a new water main along Heritage Trace Parkway from Harmon Road to Wagley Robertson Road.

This new water main will serve customers in north Fort Worth and residents in Keller, Southlake and Trophy Club.

Construction is scheduled to begin September 2017 and wrap up by late May 2019.

To learn more, contact Project Manager Robert Sauceda at 817-392-2387.

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Check out the progress in Stop Six

Fort Worth is in the midst of a major investment in the Cavile Place/Stop Six community to improve public safety, promote economic revitalization and enhance community engagement.

The City Council set aside $2.56 million in funding to implement capital projects aimed specifically at improving neighborhoods. This funding will be designated for targeted neighborhoods on an annual basis.

View a new video that shows the positive impact this program is having on Stop Six.

The targeted area is bordered by Rosedale Street on the north, Ramey Avenue on the south, Stalcup Road on the east and just west of Edgewood Terrace on the west.

The revitalization has a dual purpose: increase public safety and improve the looks of the neighborhood. Depending on results, similar revitalization programs will be rolled out in a different neighborhood in the coming years.

To learn more, call 817-994-1368 or visit the Stop Six web page.

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School’s in. Look out for students, parents and drivers!

As kids all across the DFW metroplex kick of the start of the new year next week, MedStar highlights tips from the National Safety Council for kids and parents to help avoid preventable injuries and prepare for any medical emergencies that may arise at school.

Preparation:

Parents, do a ‘dry run’ with your kids – walking to school or to the bus stop, walking home, etc. Review the safety tips with them. If your child has medical issues, be sure the school is briefed on your child’s medical condition, emergency contacts and to which hospital you would like your child transported to in the event we are unable to reach you in an emergency.

Waiting for the bus:

  • Do not stray onto the street, alleys or private property
  • Line up away from the street or road as the bus approaches
  • Wait until the bus has stopped and the door opens before approaching the bus
  • Use the handrail when boarding

Walking to the bus stop or to the school:

Although drivers are required by law to stop for a school bus when it’s loading or unloading passengers, they often don’t. Children should not rely on them to do so.

  • Always walk on the sidewalk if one is available; if a child must walk on the street, he or she should face oncoming traffic
  • Look left, right, then left again before crossing the street
  • Never walk while texting or talking on the phone
  • If texting, move out of the way of others and stop on the sidewalk
  • Do not walk with headphones on
  • Be aware of the surroundings
  • Cross only at crosswalks
  • Never cross the street while using an electronic device

Tips for a safe bus ride:

  • If seat belts are available on the bus, buckle up
  • Don’t speak loudly or make loud noises that could distract the driver
  • Stay in your seat
  • Don’t put your head, arms or hands out the window
  • Keep aisles clear of books and bags
  • Get your belongings together before reaching your stop
  • Wait for the bus to stop completely before getting up from your seat

Getting off the bus:

  • Use the handrail when exiting
  • If you have to cross in front of the bus, first walk at least 10 feet ahead until you can see the driver
  • Make sure the driver can see you
  • Wait for a signal from the driver before crossing
  • When the driver signals, look left, right, then left again. Walk across the road and keep an eye out for sudden traffic changes
  • If your vision is blocked, move to an area where you can see other drivers and they can see you
  • Do not cross the center line of the road until the driver signals it is safe
  • Stay away from the rear wheels of the bus at all times

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Andrew ‘Doc’ Session claims $1,000 prize for summer fitness

The participants at Andrew “Doc” Session Community Center won first place in Mayor Betsy Price’s Summer Challenge.

Children enrolled in day camps at Fort Worth community centers joined with FitWorth to participate in the challenge this year. Price encouraged kids to practice healthy habits by tracking their daily physical activity minutes, servings of fruits and vegetables, servings of water and minutes spent reading.

Andrew “Doc” Session Community Center received a check for $1,000 to be used for new physical education equipment to promote an active community. And Price stopped by to celebrate and read the kids a story.

The mission of FitWorth is to empower children and families to make healthier choices through educating, connecting and moving together.

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Reserve your seat for Parade of Lights

Reserved seating along the XTO Energy Parade of Lights is now available for purchase.

The parade starts at 6 p.m. Nov. 19 — the Sunday before Thanksgiving — at the intersection of Weatherford and Houston streets. This is a new start location, and the route has changed. View a route map.

Seats are individually marked and reserved. Your seats, once purchased, will be held throughout the parade. Most seating sections are three rows deep and are in the street.

Discounts are available for seniors (60 and older) and children 12 and younger. Infants, as long as they can sit in a lap, do not need a reserved seat.

Of course, there is plenty of space along the route to watch the parade for free.

The lighting of the Sundance Square Christmas Tree will take place on Nov. 18. Learn more.

The Parade of Lights is produced by Downtown Fort Worth Inc.

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Make the most of yard waste by becoming a Master Composter

Learn to recycle food scraps and yard trimmings at your home, build healthy soils and reduce water use.

The Code Compliance Department is hosting a Master Composter course Sept. 21-23 at the Tarrant Area Food Bank’s Learning Garden, 6720 W. Elizabeth Lane.

Cost is $40 for Fort Worth residents, $55 for nonresidents. Scholarships are available to certified elementary, intermediate and high school teachers who are teaching Fort Worth students at an educational institution.

Deadline to register is Sept. 15. Space is limited.

Learn more by email or call 817-392-5543.

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Proposed 2018 water and sewer rates announced

In 2018, average Fort Worth residential customers would see their combined water and sewer bill increase by $3.31 per month, based on the proposed rates presented to the City Council. With the proposed changes, the average customer would pay about $2.09 a day for water and sewer service.

A report outlining the proposed 2018 rate changes and explaining the factors behind the changes is available for review in all Fort Worth libraries and the City of Fort Worth website.

Written comments regarding the report must be submitted to the interim water director by noon on Thursday, Sept. 7. They can be sent by email, or mailed to:

Ms. Kara Shuror, Interim Director
Fort Worth Water Department
200 Texas St.
Fort Worth, TX 76102

If approved by the City Council during the Sept. 12 meeting, the new rates take effect Jan. 1, 2018.

The proposed changes to water and wastewater rates affect both the fixed monthly charge, which is based on meter size, and the volume rates. There is actually a small decrease in volume rates for some classes or tiers within classes.

For residential customers, the proposed rates for the first tier remain the same as the current rate. There is a proposed increase in rates for the other three tiers. The proposed rates continue the multi-year plan to adjust the fixed/variable revenue ratio to improve revenue stability. This results in an increase in the water monthly service charge for all customers, and an increase in the sewer monthly service charge for all but those with the two smallest meter sizes. These smaller sizes are primarily on residential accounts.

The Water Department’s proposed, balanced FY2018 water and sewer budget is $19,349,105 or 4.5 percent more than the FY2017 budget. The categories with the largest increases are cash financing of capital projects and debt service, personnel and contractual costs, professional services, vehicle and equipment purchases, transfers to the General Fund, residential meters and chemical purchases. The city’s growth and maintenance of aging water and wastewater facilities are factors for proposed increases in several categories.

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Public artwork installation underway at Meacham International Airport

Artist Kipp Kobayashi is installing original artwork at Meacham International Airport.

Commissioned by the City of Fort Worth through the Fort Worth Public Art program, the artwork consists of 800 “paper airplanes” fabricated out of stainless steel and painted to look like folded paper.

Each airplane is individually suspended from the ceiling of the new three-story atrium at Meacham International Airport. Each airplane form is suspended on three fine stainless steel cables. The small airplanes soar whimsically through the atrium like a flock of birds.

There are five unique airplane designs, each representing a different style of aircraft. The reference to the movement of birds in flight is further reinforced as some of the forms appear almost birdlike.

The artist’s work conjures imagery of students folding up their school work to toss into the air on the last day of school. The presence of the artwork adds an element of playfulness and levity to the airport’s newly-renovated administration building.

Artwork installation is estimated to be completed by Aug. 22. A dedication of the artwork is planned for this fall.

Based in Los Angeles, Kobayashi has created projects and presented ideas for cities across the nation, for such organizations as the Getty Museum, the Bay Area Rapid Transit District and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority. He teaches in the Urban and Regional Planning Department at the Cal Poly Pomona School of Environmental Design.

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Work progressing on Panther Island bridges

Work is progressing on the Henderson Street and White Settlement Road bridges.

In mid-July, concrete was poured for the first full-scale V-pier for the White Settlement Bridge. The bridge contractor used 200 cubic yards of concrete. With crews placing the concrete on both legs of the V-pier simultaneously, the pour took several days to complete and cure.

About 15,000 gallons of liquid nitrogen were used to keep the concrete cool as surface temperatures of the truck drums dropped below 40 degrees. Additional pours are anticipated over the next year, with a new pour taking place about every three weeks.

Minimized delay for drivers

In the coming weeks, traffic will be rerouted from North Main Street to North Commerce Street between Northeast Seventh Street and Northeast 11th Street to build the new North Main Street Bridge. The detour will be in place next to the existing roadway to minimize traffic interruption.

The detour will have one lane northbound and one lane southbound. Access to local businesses on North Main Street will be maintained. The detour will be in place through the duration of the North Main Street Bridge construction.

The TRV/Panther Island Bridges project is a collaborative effort between the Trinity River Vision Authority, Texas Department of Transportation, the City of Fort Worth and the North Central Texas Council of Governments. This project will enhance the Trinity River by building three new V-pier bridges on Henderson Street, North Main Street and White Settlement Road.

Project information, including real-time camera feeds, information on the innovative bridge design and modern roundabouts and detour maps, is available.

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Safe Routes to School initiative receives $3.2 million to increase safety for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers

It is going to get easier and safer for children at several Fort Worth elementary schools to walk or ride their bikes to their neighborhood school.

The North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) has awarded more than $3.2 million through the Safe Routes to School project to the City of Fort Worth in partnership with Fort Worth Independent School District and Blue Zones Project, a community-led well-being improvement initiative. Funding will be used over the next three years to install infrastructure improvements in and around seven Fort Worth elementary schools, identified as some of the most in need of safety upgrades.

Awarded schools:

  • Bonnie Brae Elementary, 3504 Kimbo Rd.
  • C.C. Moss Elementary, 4108 Eastland St.
  • Daggett Elementary, 958 Page Ave.
  • Diamond Hill Elementary, 2000 Dewey St.
  • McRae Elementary, 3316 Avenue N
  • M.L. Phillips Elementary, 3020 Bigham Blvd.
  • W.J. Turner Elementary, 3000 N.W. 26th St.

Partners and other area stakeholders selected the schools based on factors such as lack of sidewalks, reported pedestrian and bicycle crashes, percentage of economically-disadvantaged students and unavailability of school bus service.

The City of Fort Worth will implement changes to traffic flow in the fall, and infrastructure improvements — such as sidewalk enhancements, crosswalks, flashing beacons, signage and bicycle-pedestrian trails — will be completed at all seven schools in one to three years.

“There is nothing more important than the safety of our children,” said Fort Worth ISD Superintendent Kent P. Scribner. “That’s why this initiative is so critical. In addition, safe routes to schools can help kids get active again. That’s critical to their education as research consistently links healthy behaviors with stronger academic performance.”

Fort Worth is one of 16 North Texas communities to receive funding from NCTCOG’s Regional Transportation Council for Safe Routes to Schools projects. The City of Fort Worth will match the grant funds, leading to a total investment of $6.4 million for infrastructure improvements in and around the neighborhoods of these selected schools.

“When we make it easier to walk or bike to school, we’re lessening traffic congestion and helping our young people stay safe and active,” said Mayor Betsy Price. “This is an outstanding example of organizations working together to achieve community goals.”

Encouraging children and families to move naturally is a key aspect of Blue Zones Project, which is working to make healthy choices easier across Fort Worth.

“Children who walk or bike to school arrive on campus alert and ready to learn,” said Matt Dufrene, vice president of Blue Zones Project, Fort Worth. “It is our job as a community to ensure they can get to school safely, and this initiative goes a long way toward accomplishing that.”

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