City of Southlake Adopts Health and Wellness Master Plan

City Council adopted Southlake’s first ever Health and Wellness Master Plan at the June 18 City Council meeting.

The proposed plan is an element of the Southlake 2035 Comprehensive Plan and is designed to address key components of wellness in the community.

It includes 36 recommendations across four topic areas: Built and Natural Environment, Mental and Physical Health, Age-Friendly Communities and Community Resiliency.

The plan identifies opportunities for the city to advocate for the well-being of all residents, visitors and corporate citizens as well as serve as a guide to encourage community wellness.

The road to accomplishing such a plan was a collaborative effort. The Health and Wellness Committee worked with City staff members representing each department and conducted six meetings to formulate the plan. In addition to working with City staff, the Health and Wellness Committee also received input from other City organizations such as the Southlake Kids Interested in Leadership (SKIL), the Southlake Youth Action Commission (SYAC) and the Southlake Senior Advisory Commission (SAC). Additionally, City staff met with the Carroll ISD School Health Advisory Council (SHAC).

An important component of the plan was to identify all the existing health and wellness policies, programs and partnerships in the City of Southlake, and make sure that these programs are promoted to the citizens. The City wants to provide information to the citizens on the many non-profit agencies in the area that offer these health and wellness related services.

“The City currently has partnerships and relationships with many non-profit agencies in Tarrant County that provide health and wellness related services and a recommendation of this plan is to make sure the public is aware of these organizations and the services they provide,” stated Senior Director of Planning and Development Services Ken Baker.

A draft version of the Health and Wellness Master plan is available on the City’s website at CityofSouthlake.com/HealthandWellness.

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Birthplace of Carroll Schools and the City of Southlake Turns 100

To celebrate the centennial of Carroll Hill School, the first school in our award-winning school district and the place where the City of Southlake was born, the Southlake Historical Society is presenting an exhibit July 12-September 6 in the lobby of Town Hall, 1400 Main St. A free ice cream social and reception open to all will be 5-6:30 p.m. on July 28.

For years, the school was the centerpiece of the community; in 1917, Tarrant County consolidated one-room schools in now-Southlake into District No.99. Farmers and others in this poor, rural district (property values totaled $207,000) voted to raise their taxes to build a brick schoolhouse. In 1919, after World War I had ended, it was built. The district was named B. Carroll, Tarrant County Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Carroll Hill, the school built on a hill, was not fancy like schools in Grapevine and Bedford. It had three classrooms that held nine grades. “The original Carroll building … is as plain, sturdy and practical as the farmers who built it,” Mary Ann King, Carroll’s granddaughter, told Carroll ISD trustees in 2009 when it was feared the building would be torn down. “In this throwaway society, it is important to have an anchor to the past. It takes tangible things, something to touch, to remind us all of the history that has gone before.”

The school still stands, at 1055 N. Carroll Ave., north of Texas 114 and next to the former Carroll Intermediate School (now Southlake Baptist Church). There is a Texas historical marker out front.

The exhibit will display the history of the school and pictures of students from 1919 into the 1960s, plus a special picture of 2019 Carroll graduates in front of the school. Drawings made with the input of women and men who attended Carroll Hill in the 1930s and ’40s will give a look at the school’s classrooms, stage and removable chalkboards. Visitors will also see pictures and history of the early days of Southlake, established in 1956.

Because of racial segregation, black and biracial students could not attend Carroll Hill. In 1920, local rancher Bob Jones had Walnut Grove School built for his grandchildren and

neighbors’ children. The school closed in 1951 because most of its seven or so students were ready to enter junior high, for which they had to go to Fort Worth.

This being a school exhibit, there will be lots to learn. Learn which city was aiming to annex our area when local citizens voted at Carroll Hill School to incorporate into the town of Southlake. Learn lots of Carroll “firsts,” including which activity earned the district its first state championship (no, it wasn’t football — or any sport).

Also learn about Denton’s Annie Webb Blanton, who in 1918 was the first woman elected to statewide office (state Superintendent of Public Instruction) and whether Clyde Barrow attended Carroll Hill School.

The future of the old school is not yet known.

Graphic design for the exhibit was done by Courtney Fray-Dingemanse of Grapevine, owner of the boutique marketing agency Fray Design Firm. She is a Grapevine Heritage Foundation board member.

Drawings were done by artist Karen Davidenko of Grapevine, who also teaches special education at Cannon Elementary School in Grapevine.

The exhibit will be open 10 a.m.-8 pm. Monday-Thursday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday and Saturday. No RSVP is required for the ice cream social and reception from 5-6:30 p.m. on July

28. The exhibit and reception are free.

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OBA: Single Lane Traffic on W. Continental

Carroll ISD’s contractors will be reducing a small section of W. Continental adjacent to Carroll Elementary School to a single lane starting Monday, June 24 to access and tap the City’s 12” water main which is located under the westbound lane.

This closure will be between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. daily until the proposed improvements to the water line are complete and the road is repaired.

The contractor has an approved traffic control plan which requires flagmen at all time to facilitate traffic. Though delays will certainly be expected, two-way traffic will be maintained at all times during this partial closure.

Construction is expected to be complete by July 2, weather permitting.

We appreciate your cooperation during this time. Please contact Public Works Operations at (817) 748-8082 with any questions and follow the Southlake Mobility Facebook page for the most up-to-date mobility news.

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Upcoming Work in Town Square

Starting Monday, June 17, parking spaces and sidewalks in Town Square will be closed.

Crews will be onsite to repaint window frames. Work will take place along Main Street, State Street, Grand Avenue and Fountain Place at various times over the next four to five weeks, weather permitting.

Detours will be accessible to accommodate pedestrians.

One travel lane may be closed on Fountain Place near the parking lots west of State Street and east of Grand Avenue.

In order to minimize impacts for Fourth of July festivities, painting will not take place on July 3 -4.

We appreciate your cooperation during this time. Please contact Public Works Operations at (817) 748-8082 with any questions and follow the Southlake Mobility Facebook page for the most up-to-date mobility news.

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Office of Emergency Management Tries New Methods For Mosquito Reduction

Last summer, Southlake had issues with reoccurring WNV on the west/central side of the City.  Of our tests, the Myers Meadow trap tested positive the most times in 2018.  In efforts to mitigate the mosquito population, the Office of Emergency Management has teamed up with Tarrant County Public Health Department and the sub-division of Myers Meadow to run a test/pilot program with Gambusia fish, commonly known as mosquito fish.

“Gambusia are native to Texas and will not disrupt the normal ecosystem,” Vector Control Specialist Joe Carr said.  However, the benefit of having these fish in a fresh water pond is that they can assist in controlling the mosquito population due to their love of feeding on mosquito larva.

What are the reasons for trying this method?  Anything we can do to control the mosquito population after this wet season is beneficial.  We also ask citizens to do their part of draining water and picking up around their property to assist in controlling the mosquito issues.  Also, by trying this method we are looking at natural, creative solutions to control the mosquito population.

If you live in this area, please let us know if this method shows an impact in mosquito reduction.  If so, we may be utilizing more fish next season in a pond near you!

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Record Rainfall in Southlake Over the Weekend

Did anyone else have the words to the popular nursery rhyme “Rain, Rain, Go Away” stuck in their head Sunday? It came fast and it came furious. The City of Southlake had a total of 5.64 inches of rain on Sunday afternoon. The majority of that, 5.5 inches to be exact, fell within just 30 minutes.

The heavy rainfall caused several headaches around town. From flooded roadways, overflowing drainage systems to fallen tree limbs, the storm served as a tangible reminder to always be weather aware.

“Severe weather can happen very fast,” notes Southlake Emergency Management Coordinator Amanda Meneses. “When it does happen, don’t try to brave the storm, normally it passes quickly and if you see something that impacts public safety, report it.”

This has been a record-setting year for rainfall. According to the National Weather Service, as of May, the DFW area has seen more than 19 inches of rain this year. Last May, we saw almost two inches of rain in May, this year we had more than eight inches in May. This means the ground has been very saturated, that doesn’t leave much room for the additional water any new rainfall brings. But the water has to go somewhere, right?

The City has an extensive drainage system that is designed to channel rainwater. City engineers are always considering how water will impact public lands. When they see an issue, they work with the City Council to invest public dollars into proper drainage. If you have more questions about drainage in Southlake, visit our Stormwater and Drainage page on the City website.

Also, remember with heavy rainfall there can be debris left over and Republic Services, the City’s solid waste contractor, can help with that. Republic Services provides curbside collection of bulky waste during the regular residential collection at the rate of up to two cubic yards for no additional charge. The brush should be bundled in length of no more than four feet and no more than 50 pounds. If you have additional questions about trash collection, click here for more information.

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City of Southlake Wins PRSA Silver Anvil Award

The City of Southlake is the recipient of the Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) Silver Anvil Award for the Most Effective Campaign $5,000 Or Less, Government.

“I am so proud of Southlake DPS and the City for their amazing efforts,” said Southlake Mayor Laura Hill.  “They have taken a humorous yet effective approach to ensure the safety and security of the people who live, work, and drive in Southlake. I love how they went about it.”

In early 2018, the Police Department set a goal to “Humanize the Badge” and to eliminate the “cop talk” that often tended to be formal and uninviting.

What replaced it?  A fun, pop culture driven social media strategy that would help cement the public’s trust with a nationally accredited Police Department that protects, is compassionate, and engages with the people they serve.

“The innovative and unconventional approach took a leap of faith,” said City Manager Shana Yelverton. “But we felt the risk was worth it to get important messages to the public in a form they could digest and enjoy.”

“We had a good following on the Southlake DPS Facebook accounts,” said Police Chief James Brandon.  “But with our change in strategy, we saw a 285% increase in Facebook followers, which was important to achieving a crowdsourcing approach to ensuring safety and security.”

As the following grew, the posts focused on three main areas: sound police management practices and protocols, the officers’ professional training, and their relationship-building activities.  But make no mistake, the approach was anything but ordinary.

People started noticing after a Facebook and Twitter post called “GURL CALL ME.”

The post was a “letter” written to a woman suspected of identity theft. The letter was much more than the usual, “we are looking for this criminal” narrative, as it used emojis and “teen girl talk” to give facts about the case and also signed off with the now infamous phrase GURL CALL ME. With this post, the Southlake DPS Facebook page saw its following double in less than 24 hours, reaching more than 3.1 million people and 1.7 million engagements.

The person behind the video, memes, and fun writing is Officer Brad Uptmore. His Baylor University film degree along with 12 and half years of police experience, was put to work to make the strategy come alive. Since that first viral post, Uptmore has created more than several dozens of videos including the popular Pumpkin Spice Citations video and the Use Your JAR JAR BLINKER when driving on Star Wars Day video.  He’s also created dozens of memes including the long-standing joke/reminder to drive 30mph on Randol Mill since it’s a road construction zone.  But despite the light-hearted demeanor, Officer Uptmore is all business when it comes to safety and security.

“It is such a privilege to do this job,” said Officer Uptmore. “Chief Brandon’s willingness to let me try different ideas to help people be safe and make safe choices as well as get to know our officers? It’s a win-win!”

Since 1944, PRSA has awarded Silver Anvil Awards annually to organizations around the world for outstanding strategic public relations programs. According to the PRSA website, judges look for programs or campaigns “that incorporate sound insights and analysis, planning, execution, and evaluation. They must meet the highest standards of performance in the profession.”

The Silver Anvil Award for the Most Effective Campaign $5,000 Or Less, Government is the City of Southlake’s first PRSA Silver Anvil Award.

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Southlake Tennis Center is the Coolest Spot in Town

The Southlake Tennis Center is on its way to becoming the new cool spot in town soon. The facility underwent some major construction transforming two tennis courts to indoor courts giving players the option to play outside or inside.

The state of the art facility will include features such as high volume fans and HVAC climate control. The two indoor courts are separated by partition netting and provide additional netting around the courts to catch loose tennis balls. The lighting within the facility gives players the option to light the entire space or just their individual court.

These enhancements are a part of the Southlake 2030 Parks, Recreation and Open Space/ Community Facilities Master Plan which is divided into in three phases. The newly enclosed facility is part of the Bicentennial Park Phase 3 project. The facility is scheduled to be completed in July 2019.

To date, a vast majority of the interior work has been completed. Resurfacing of the courts and irrigation installation is scheduled next.

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Major Traffic Switch Coming with N. White Chapel Widening Project

Thanks to heavy spring rain, the timeline for the N. White Chapel widening project may have shifted, but progress has remained steady. The next major milestone for this project is to shift the Highland road closure to the west side of the intersection.

Crews are anticipating closing W. Highland at N. White Chapel, weather permitting, Monday, June 24 to complete the west side of the roundabout. This traffic switch will happen after the morning rush. As the completion of the east side of the roundabout is wrapped up this week, crews will be shifting attention to the other half. The closure includes the west side of the Highland and N. White Chapel intersection and about 500 feet of Highland leading up to the intersection.

In addition to the change in closures, this move will also result in the removal of the traffic signal at Highland and N. White Chapel. The signal will no longer be needed and will be disabled prior to this next phase. This means north and southbound traffic will flow freely through the intersection. There will be no east and westbound traffic through the intersection until the roundabout opens. Vehicles will not be able to turn west onto Highland from N. White Chapel.

Before the west side of the intersection is closed, the east side of the intersection will be partially reopened. Remember, the traffic flow from E. Highland will be different in preparation for the new roundabout traffic flow; E. Highland traffic will only be able to turn northbound onto N. White Chapel. That traffic will have a stop sign before entering N. White Chapel. North and southbound cross traffic will not stop, so drivers will need to heed extra caution before getting on N. White Chapel.

The work is expected to be completed before the start of the school year.

“This milestone puts us one step closer to a completed roundabout,” notes City Engineer and Deputy Director of Public Works Kyle Hogue. “I’d like to reiterate the importance of drivers proceeding with caution and traveling at or below the posted speed limit as they drive through the intersection. With the signal no longer being needed and disabled, that’s one more reason for drivers to pay extra close attention in this area. Also, remember as crews work toward the next phase to bring the two sections together the temporary transitions or ‘hump’ will remain in the intersection.”

Want to stay updated on this project? Follow Southlake Mobility on Facebook for all the up-to-date mobility news in Southlake. You can also visit the website at www.ConnectSouthlake.com.

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City Receives Three TAMIO Awards For Communication Excellence

The City of Southlake took home three awards from the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers (TAMIO) for government communication excellence.

The Mayor’s Alliance for Unity and Culture video was announced as the winner in the Public Service Announcement Marketing video. The City worked with Mayor Laura Hill to create the video after two racially charged incidents. The video served as an invitation for people to join the Alliance, which now has more than 30 members and is working toward the creation of a community plan. The video can be viewed in its entirety by clicking here. To learn more about the Mayor’s Alliance, visit www.CityofSouthlake.com/MayorsAlliance.

Mayor's Alliance for Unity and CultureAn Award of Excellence was given to Southlake DPS for Best Use of Social Media (Planned). The Humanizing the Badge social media posts on three main areas: sound police management practices and protocols, the officers’ professional training, and their relationship-building activities. The campaign was also the recipient of the Public Relations of America’s (PRSA) Silver Anvil Award for Best Campaign $5,000 or less, Government. If you haven’t already, check out the Southlake DPS Facebook and Twitter pages by clicking here and here.

Southlake DPS was also recognized with a TAMIO Award of Honor for its educational Public Service Announcement – Southlake Police Speeding Infomercial. The video was produced in a funny infomercial style to detail the process of what happens when drivers get a speeding ticket and how they can avoid this hassle in the future. To view the infomercial, click here.

“We are always striving to find new ways to inform and to get our residents involved and engaged in City government,” said Assistant City Manager Alison Ortowski. “We are honored that the judges made special note of these communication and marketing efforts.”

TAMIO recognizes municipalities for communication excellence in more than 20 categories. The City of Southlake received two awards in 2018 for including one for its Bench the Grinch video reminding people to Hide, Lock, Take.

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