Pet adoption fees reduced to $17.76 through end of July

For the second time this summer, the Fort Worth Animal Shelter is over capacity with more pets arriving at the shelter every day.

The week surrounding the July Fourth holiday is traditionally the busiest period of the year for animal shelters; many pets get scared and run due to fireworks. Many end up in shelters.

The shelter is caring for about 610 dogs and 100 cats, all of whom are waiting to be adopted into their forever home. If there was ever a time to find the dog or cat of your dreams, now would be great since there are so many too choose from.

Fort Worth Animal Care and Control has reduced adoption fees through July 31 to $17.76. The fee includes an initial medical examination, rabies vaccination, city license, micro-chip and spay/neuter.

The main shelter campus at 4900 Martin St. in southeast Fort Worth is open seven days a week at noon. The city has satellite pet adoption centers at the PetSmart at I-35W at Heritage Trace Parkway in far north Fort Worth and at Southwest Loop 820 at Hulen Street in south Fort Worth.

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Construction resumes on Victory Forest Community Center

After an unexpected delay, Fort Worth’s newest community center is closer to opening its doors to an eager public.

Construction on Victory Forest Community Center, 3427 Hemphill St., resumed on July 3. The city reached an agreement with the bonding company to have the center substantially completed approximately 120 days from the start of construction.

About Victory Forest Community Center

Victory Forest is Fort Worth’s newest multipurpose fitness and activity center. Once completed, this premier facility in south Fort Worth will include:

  • A 2,000-square-foot fitness room complete with cardio, strength equipment and free weights.
  • A full-size gymnasium for basketball, volleyball and other sports.
  • A state-of-the-art teaching kitchen for cooking and nutrition classes.
  • An outdoor stage for community performances.
  • Multipurpose spaces and outdoor patios for special events.
  • A classroom/computer lab and youth play area.
  • Recreational programming that will be offered to all ages — from art to Zumba, and everything in between.

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Weatherford and Belknap bridge improvements start July 17

Street improvements are scheduled soon for two popular east-west thoroughfares through downtown Fort Worth.

Beginning July 17, bridge panels and concrete will be replaced on Weatherford and Belknap streets.

Traffic will be reduced to one lane each direction during construction. Please follow all posted notices and expect delays during construction. Improvements are expected to be complete by the end of August.

To learn more, contact Project Manager Tariqul Islam 817-392-2486.

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Open house to discuss land-use strategies for military installations

The North Central Texas Council of Governments is collaborating with military and community leaders for Joining Forces, a regional joint land-use study that will identify and recommend land-use strategies that support continued military capabilities.

During a joint land-use study, the cities and counties surrounding the military installation work with the installation to plan and carry out specific actions that will promote compatible community and economic growth.

The public is invited to an open house from 6-8 p.m. July 10 at Westworth Village City Hall, 311 Burton Hill Road in Westworth Village. A brief presentation on Joining Forces begins at 6:15 p.m.

In addition to Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, the Joining Forces study will examine Redmond Taylor Army Heliport, Fort Wolters Training Center, Col. Stone Army Reserve Center, Camp Maxey Training Center, Eagle Mountain Lake Training Site and the Brownwood and Brady Military Operating Areas.

Joining Forces seeks to promote compatible growth and to insulate regional military installations from encroachments that could threaten the installations’ ability to conduct their missions.

The results of the study will include recommended actions for the communities to adopt, including:

  • Zoning overlays.
  • Obstruction ordinances.
  • Comprehensive plan language.
  • Communication strategies.

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Fort Worth partnering with businesses for greener practices, greater water efficiency

The Fort Worth Water Department is offering free, comprehensive water efficiency assessments for industrial, commercial and institutional customers.

The facility-wide assessments will evaluate all water use, including irrigation, cooling towers, metering, process water, bathrooms, showers, laundries, kitchen/cafeteria, outdoor fountains and more.

How it works

Before the site visit, a consultant will request information to help in the preliminary assessment of your water use. After the visit, a comprehensive report of the site assessment will be provided, typically within 30-45 days. This report will make it easy to see and consider best management practices. It will include recommendations of estimated savings in both water and money, with projected costs for implementation.

Although implementation of the recommendations is not mandatory, those options with three years or less return on investment are encouraged for consideration.

Smartwater Partner awards

These awards are open to businesses that implement any of the recommended strategies in the final report. Winners will be recognized for their leadership in water conservation at an annual awards ceremony in the fall.

To learn more, call 817-392-8740.

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Water use is up this year

Many Fort Worth water customers are probably seeing higher bills, and the reason is simple: they’re using more water.

Fort Worth reports an 11 percent increase in usage for its system, which includes 30 surrounding communities. The other entities comprise 30-35 percent of overall system water use each year.

From January through June, system water use totals just over 3 billion gallons more than during the same period in 2016. The highest daily usage so far this year was 243.5 million gallons on June 21. That is well below the all-time record of 368 million gallons on Aug. 3, 2011.

“Weather plays a significant role in water use, especially in summer,” said Interim Water Director Kara Shuror. “Water use rises with the temperature, but all it takes is overcast skies for usage to drop. When it does rain, water use really plummets.”

Even though Fort Worth’s water supply lakes are almost full, Shuror reminded customers that each location has assigned watering days. The City Council adopted the year-round, twice-per-week schedule in 2014.

Reduce your consumption

There are steps customers can take to lower water use:

  • Experts say deep and infrequent watering is the key to having a healthy lawn. All it takes is one inch of water every week.
  • Customers in homes built before 1994 can apply to receive up to two free, ultra-low-flow toilets that use less than half the amount of water per flush.
  • Only washing full loads of laundry or dishes, turning the water off while brushing your teeth or shaving and taking shorter showers all add up to lower water use.

Visit the Save Fort Worth Water website to learn about the Smart Irrigation and Smart Flush programs and other water-saving tips.

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Traffic-calming devices to be installed at River Trails Elementary School

Students returning to River Trails Elementary this fall will have a safer walk to school.

City of Fort Worth Transportation & Public Works crews are finalizing plans to install eight dynamic signs, which will help slow traffic while flashing the speed of vehicles as they approach.

“Children have been struck by motorists who failed to obey the required speed limit in the school zone,” Councilmember Gyna Bivens said. “Thanks to Bob Horton, we were made aware that there had was a need for traffic calming at this HEB ISD school for years.”

Horton, immediate past president of the Randol Mill Valley Alliance, recently urged city council members act on the need for traffic calming around the school.

Sam Werschky, assistant director of Transportation & Public Works, has directed city crews to have the new devices in place before the school year begins. “Installing these dynamic signs will dramatically improve safety conditions as the children walk from their homes to the school, as well as those being dropped off,” Werschky said. “There is nothing more important than focusing on the safety of our children.”

The location will have standard school zone flashing beacons, along with driver speed feedback signs on the same pole. The flashing beacons will operate on school days during school arrival and departure times, while the driver speed feedback signs will operate 24 hours a day, every day.

The school, at 8850 Elbe Trail, is in Council District 5.

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Grant will help veterans with housing, utility needs

Fort Worth will receive a $300,000 grant from the Texas Veterans Commission to implement the Forward Home veteran assistance program. Fort Worth’s Community Action Partners program, part of the Neighborhood Services Department, will administer the program.

The Forward Home grant will help Tarrant County veterans and their families by providing them with one-time rental/mortgage and utility payments, and up to five months of payment in arrears, to prevent homelessness. Veterans will be screened to determine their eligibility for other programs administered by Community Action Partners.

“We are elated to be able to administer the Forward Home veteran assistance program,” said Sonia Singleton, assistant director of Neighborhood Services. “The program is unique, because at the time we completed the grant, there were no other programs in the area that provided financial assistance to all veterans and their families regardless of era, branch of service, duty status and specific character of discharge.”

Learn more about the Forward Home program by contacting Singleton at 817-392-5774.

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Keep kids safe from the dangers of hot cars

Triple-digit temperatures have arrived in North Texas and, tragically, so has one of the hazards of summer — kids in hot cars. So far this year, seven children have died in hot cars in Texas.

Consider these statistics:

  • On average, 37 children die across the U.S. from heat-related deaths after being trapped inside vehicles.
  • 87 percent of these deaths are children under 3.
  • 55 percent of these children were left in the car unknowingly; 28 percent got into an unlocked car.
  • Even with windows cracked, the interior temperature in a car can get to 125 degrees F in minutes.
  • Even the best parents or caregivers can unknowingly leave a sleeping baby in a car. The end result can be injury or death.

Here are some tips to help keep kids safe:

  • Create a reminder to check the back seat.
  • Put something you’ll need, like your cell phone, handbag, employee ID or brief case, in the back seat so that you have to open the back door to retrieve that item every time you park.
  • Keep a large stuffed animal in the child’s car seat. When the child is placed in the car seat, put the stuffed animal in the front passenger seat. It’s a visual reminder that the child is in the back seat.
  • Keep car keys and remote openers out of reach of children.
  • Use technology. Apps like WAZE have child reminders when you arrive at your destination.

If you see a child alone in a vehicle, get involved. Call 9-1-1 immediately. If the child seems hot or sick, get them out of the vehicle as quickly as possible.

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City Council releases meeting schedule for summer

City Council has set its summer calendar, announcing that work sessions and city council meetings will be canceled for several weeks.

The summer calendar:

  • June 27: Work session and City Council meeting canceled.
  • July 4: City offices closed for Independence Day holiday. Work session and City Council meeting canceled.
  • July 11: Work session and City Council meeting canceled.
  • July 18: Work session and City Council meeting canceled.
  • July 25: Work session and City Council meeting canceled.
  • Aug. 1: Work session, 3 p.m. (city manager’s presentation of capital budget); City Council, 7 p.m.
  • Aug. 8: Work session and City Council meeting canceled.
  • Aug. 15: Work session, 3 p.m. (city manager’s presentation of operating budget); City Council, 7 p.m.
  • Aug. 17: Budget work session (time to be announced).
  • Aug. 18: Budget work session (time to be announced).
  • Aug. 22: Work session and City Council meeting canceled.
  • Aug. 29: Work session, 3 p.m., City Council, 7 p.m.
  • Sept. 4.: City offices closed for Labor Day holiday.
  • Sept. 5: Work session and City Council meeting canceled.

While a number of work sessions and city council meetings will be canceled, all city services will be available, and all meetings for boards, commissions and committees will be held as scheduled, unless otherwise noted.

For any other updates, check the calendar on the city’s website.

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