Countdown to Continental

Grab your walking shoes because the Continental Sidewalk will be open soon.

The four-mile sidewalk trail will loop all the way around connecting FM 1709, S. Kimball Avenue and S. Carroll Avenue giving pedestrians easy access to parks, businesses, neighborhoods and multiple schools.

Over the last few weeks, contractors have cleaned up and added the finishing touches to landscaping and culvert crossings. Only a few minor details remain. The handrail installation is almost complete and crossbars are expected to be installed next week.

This sidewalk segment is part of the City’s 2030 Mobility Master Plan, a plan that identifies opportunities to reduce traffic congestion while simultaneously promoting the needs of residents, businesses, visitors and pedestrians.

The Continental Sidewalk Project portion of the plan is estimated to cost $317,000 and funding was made within the General Fund’s City Pathways Program.

For updates on this and other Southlake Mobility projects, follow Southlake Mobility on Facebook and visit www.ConnectSouthlake.com.

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City Looking to Adjust 2020 and 2021 Fiscal Year Budgets Based on Revenue Projections

City of Southlake CFO Sharen Jackson provided a financial outlook during the May 19 City Council meeting.

Just like other organizations around the world, COVID-19 has impacted the City’s finances and operations. Two key revenue streams for the City of Southlake have been significantly affected, sales tax and hotel occupancy tax, also known as HOT. Sales tax revenue for March 2020 was down 7% from what was anticipated, while HOT revenue was down 62% from City projections. Sales tax revenue for March reflected a partial month of normal activity. It is anticipated that future collections will be significantly less than projected with the adopted FY 2020 budget beginning with the April report.

“Based on our projections, we probably will not collect any HOT taxes for a while going forward,” Jackson said during the meeting.

In March, the U.S. government passed the CARES Act to help with expense reimbursements, however this does not provide for revenue loss relief.

The State of Texas received $11.2 billion in CARES Act funds, with Tarrant County receiving more than $200 million in direct funding. The City expects to receive some of the funds delivered to Tarrant County as part of an interlocal agreement at an estimated rate of $55 per capita.

Jackson reminded the Council during the meeting that the City has the right to request these funds, but that funding is not guaranteed. These funds are required to be used as a reimbursement of costs due to COVID-19, but are not for replacing revenue lost due to decreases in sales, hotel and other taxes.

The City could also receive funds from Denton County for the small percentage of the city limits located in the county.

Jackson said the City will also apply for other government program grants to make up for any funding gaps. She anticipates a slow economic recovery period before sales and hotel tax revenue improves.

City Manager Shana Yelverton is expected to propose an amendment to the fiscal year 2020 budget in June to offset the decrease in revenue. This will be paired with reduced expenses and programming to balance the City’s budget.

To address the potential of decreased revenue, the City froze travel and hiring in March, as well as furloughed 150 employees in April. Large projects were deferred to stabilize the budget. Some community events were also canceled.

Yelverton will propose an FY 2021 budget that takes into consideration decrease revenues of sales and hotel taxes, as well as decreased revenue received from property taxes due to an expected rise in owners protesting property values.

“Early on, we made decisions to address any potential for decreased revenue so we could continue to make sure Southlake is a great place to live and work,” Yelverton said.” “We applied fact-based decision making and management best practices so that we remain good stewards of the funds we’ve been entrusted with. These decisions aren’t always easy, but they’re in the best interest of moving the City forward and responsibly managing our budget.”

Jackson said there are ongoing discussions on the federal level of additional legislation to appropriate revenue replacement funds for local governments.

“We went through our financial audit two months ago and we had fund balances even in excess of the stated goal of 25%,” Mayor Pro Tem Shawn McCaskill said. “Fortunately, we’ve been saving our pennies in the good times to cushion the blow in the bad times.”

During the meeting, Southlake Mayor Laura Hill discussed the perfect timing of previously approved tax breaks for Southlake.

“We also had a tax rate decrease in the current year. That was a tax break for all of our homeowners and also our businesses,” she said. “On top of that, we did the 20% homestead exemption for our residents.”

The City’s principles of planning ahead set the City to be on a good path by saving funds for a rainy day. The consistent planning and constant vigilance of the City’s staff and City Council will ensure that Southlake is prepared for what the future holds in a post-COVID-19 world. Watch the full presentation and Council meeting here.

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Carroll ISD Announces End-of-Year Employee Award Recipients

Although Carroll ISD had to cancel this year’s End-of-Year Reception, school officials and campus administrators were still able to surprise and celebrate the award winners at their campuses and the CISD Administration Center. These employees were nominated by their peers and voted on by an awards committee. Congratulations to the 2019-2020 end-of-year award winners on this incredible honor!

K-6 District Teacher of the Year
Komal Panjabi – DIS

Secondary District Teacher of the Year
Jenna Cossu – CMS

Auxiliary Service Award
Evelia Freyre – Child Nutrition

Community Service Award
Kim Goodman – CHS

Distinguished Service Award
Cindy Dumont – JES

Paraprofessional Service Award
Laura Beth Compton – WGES

Core Value Award: Excellence
Mary Bullard – OUES

Core Value Award: Relationships
Matt Colvin – CSHS

Core Value Award: Character & Integrity
Rebecca Alexander – WGES

Core Value Award: Innovation
Johanna Belwood – CSHS

Core Value Award: Open & Honest Communication
Cheryl Bischof – WGES

Core Value Award: Compassionate Service
Glenn Adams – Transportation

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Teen Court Still in Session – From a Distance

By using a little ingenuity, Metroport Teen Court is still in session despite changes associated with COVID-19.

Teen Court is a voluntary program funded by the cities of Colleyville, Grapevine, Keller, and Southlake that allows teens in middle school or high school the opportunity to keep Class C Misdemeanors off their permanent record.  Teen defendants go through a trial before a jury of their peers who then assess community service hours and jury terms for them to complete.

Holding trials for defendants ordered to complete Teen Court by judges from four cities often results in gatherings of over a hundred people at the Southlake Municipal Court building on Tuesday evenings. But now, two challenges are facing Teen Court: how to hold Teen Court trials when gatherings are limited in size and moving existing cases through the program when teens aren’t able to complete traditional community service hours.

With approval from the cities’ respective judges, Dana Falk, the Teen Court Clerk, and Colleen Anson, Office Assistant, have developed some smart ways in which teens can enroll, have their trials heard, and even complete community service at a distance.

Teen Court Changes

The first thing to figure out was how to move forward on current Teen Court cases where sentencing is still required. Instead of performing external community service, teens can now complete essays or poster boards (digital or physical) and submit those items electronically. Additionally, teens can complete online driver safety, anger management, or alcohol and drug courses, in place of performing community service hours. After trial, defendants are also asked to serve on e-juries to fulfill their assigned jury terms.

New Cases

For new cases coming into Teen Court, teens can now complete an enrollment over the phone with Teen Court staff. After being enrolled, the teen’s trial will consist of an emailed questionnaire comprised of questions typically asked by the jury. Their teen’s answers are then submitted to a jury panel of pre-selected teens to review the defendant’s responses. The jurors will then sentence the teen defendant to community service hours based on those answers.

“We are looking forward to the day that Metroport Teen Court can again be held in person,” said Kristin McGrail, Southlake’s Municipal Court Manager. “But until then, Teen Court will continue to serve our community and our partner cities in the best ways possible.”

For the most up to date information regarding Teen Court, please visit www.metroport-teencourt.org. Or you can contact us by calling  817-748-8346 or emailing at teen.court@ci.southlake.tx.us.

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Summer Program Registration Opening May 26

Your Southlake Parks and Recreation team is excited to announce the opening of summer program registration on Tuesday, May 26!

This summer’s activities will look a little different from years past as we implement state health standards and safety protocols. Class sizes will be limited to help us keep you and your family safe. But rest assured, there will be no shortage of fun!

Here are some of the activities that are available:

Week of June 8

  • Snapology – Snapology’s Movie Favorites9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at Southlake Activity Center
  • Mad Science – CSI STEM: Crime Scene Science1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. at Southlake Activity Center
  • Bowmen Sports – Beginner Basketball10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at Champions Club

Week of June 15

  • Playwell – Transportation Engineering using LEGO9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at Southlake Activity Center
  • Playwell – Transportation Master Engineering using LEGO1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. at Southlake Activity Center
  • Mad Science – Storytime with STEM9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at Southlake Activity Center
  • Weidenhof Martial Arts – Jiu JitsuRecurring Mondays and Wednesdays until July 22 at Southlake Activity Center

Week of June 22

  • Snapology – Space Wars Robotics9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at Southlake Activity Center
  • Abrakadoodle – Build It Art Camp1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. at Southlake Activity Center
  • TGA Premier Golf Camp9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at Southlake Activity Center

Visit ExperienceSouthlake.com to view and register for all available summer programs.

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Recycle Your Clothing Curbside Beginning June 15

Southlake residents now have access to free, simple and convenient recycling for clothing, shoes and accessories.

The program is part of a partnership between the City of Southlake and Simple Recycling that aligns with the 2035 Health and Wellness Plan to encourage diverting recyclable items from the landfill.

“We encourage residents to continue donating their used goods to their favorite non-profits, but are also excited to begin our partnership with Simple Recycling to offer residents an additional way to recycle,” said Lauren LaNeave, Assistant to the City Manager.

Residents should be receiving a post card with recycling instructions and a recycling bag in the mail. Recycling is easy! Fill your orange bag with your pre-loved clothing, shoes, belts or purses, set your bag out beside your recycling cart on your regular recycling day and your bags will be picked up and new bags left for next time.

There is not a limit to the number of recycling bags that can be placed for recycling.

Eligible recycling items include any clothing, accessories such as hats and jewelry, and even household items such as blankets, curtains, pillows and pans.

“The EPA estimates about 85% of clothing and usable home goods are thrown into a landfill instead of donated. This program offers residents a convenient way to divert these items from the landfill and put them to good use,” LaNeave said. “The initial timeframe of the program was delayed by COVID-19, but we are very excited to get it off the ground.”

Unfortunately, the previous launch date was printed on the mailer sent to all homes this week. Please wait to place bags at the curb until June 15.

The items Simple Recycling collects are sorted based on quality and condition. Top-quality items can be resold to the local thrift store, and others will be exported to international markets or processed for raw materials. To request additional clothing recycling bags, visit www.SimpleRecycling.com, email info@simplerecycling.com or call 866-835-5068. Click here for more information about trash and recycling services in Southlake.

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Republic Returns to Regular Trash Schedule

Beginning Monday, May 25, 2020, Republic Services will return trash collection to the regular schedule.

The City would like to remind homeowners that Republic Services provides curbside collection of bulky waste during the regular residential collection at a rate of up to two cubic yards per collection day without any additional charges. Brush placed out on trash days should be bundled and tied in lengths of no more than four feet and no more than 50 pounds in weight.

Additionally, each resident is allotted up to 12 cubic yards of unbundled brush per year at no additional charge. Republic will collect amounts beyond this allotment for a fee. Unbundled brush collections must be scheduled in advance through the Republic Services Customer Service Call Center at (817) 317-2424.

“More residents are returning to work and Republic has adjusted their workforce and truck availability, which will allow them to resume the normal collection of brush and bulky materials,” said Lauren LaNeave, Assistant to the City Manager. “We want to thank everyone for their patience and cooperation during the time — we know that it has been a huge inconvenience.”

For more information about the City’s trash and recycling programs, please visit www.cityofsouthlake.com/TrashandRecycling.

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Resilient & Reliable – How the Southlake Public Works Team Defines Our Values

Resilient & Reliable – How the Southlake Public Works Team Defines Our Values  

Some DFW residents worked from home. Some still had to report to work to make sure the critical needs of everyone in the area were met. Life slowed down for some during this time, but roads, infrastructure and water are still necessities residents need daily.  

“Our workers have been showing up every day,” Public Works Director Rob Cohen said. “They’re working from non-traditional sites while continuing to provide critical and vital services to our customers.  Our end goal is to meet regulatory requirements, achieve the highest level of customer satisfaction as safely and efficiently as possible.”  

Although employee safety is a part of the department’s normal routine, specific protocols including social distancing, vehicle and office space cleaning and sanitization and wearing gloves and masks have now been implemented for field employees.   

Employees that do not work in the field are equipped with office supplies and technology to work remotely, when they return to work, the same practices will be in place. 

In mid – April, the Public Works Department experienced a tragic loss, losing one of their own. Administrative Secretary Darlene Rubio passed away as a result of complications from COVID-19. 

Darlene’s loss caught our workforce by surprise,” Cohen said. The true reality of her being gone did not officially hit the organization until we brought back our employees to our Operations Facility. This is where Darlene worked and the realization of her passing became more clear as her desk was left untouched since she left in early March. 

Employees were allowed to grieve as needed, however, due to social distancing guidelines, the ability to attend services or gather together in mourning was highly unlikely. 

The City Manager’s Office set up a tribute page for employees to post their farewell thoughts in her memory. These pages will be included in a book and presented to Darlene’s family. 

Our workforce is an outward facing, customer centric organization. Our employees take pride in their work and desire to continue to provide essential services to our customers. The ability for them to return to work and do what they do best has helped the healing process. Cohen said.Our workforce is comprised of dedicated professionals who will continue to preserve Darlene’s memory in their own personal way. There is no doubt, however, that we are doing what Darlene would want us to do to continue to move forward and serve just as she has selflessly served our country and our city.   

The Southlake Public Works team resiliency and dedication through this time is a great example of how exemplifying the City’s values of integrity, innovation, accountability, excellence and teamwork.  

Follow our City of Southlake and Southlake Mobility Facebook pages to keep up with our Public Works Department and project updates. 

 

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Carroll Middle School Earns “NoPlace4Hate” Designation

Carroll Middle School has been recognized as a “NoPlace4Hate” school by the Anti-Defamation League. This is a recognition given to a school that takes the extra steps to ensure their campus is an inclusive environment for all students.

This was Carroll Middle School’s first year to participate in the anti-defamation initiative NoPlace4Hate (NPFH).  CMS teacher, Jenna Cossu took the lead role in sponsoring this group of students.  Cossu led CMS staff and students through several activities to help build a culture of acceptance.

To receive this designation, schools must first take the NPFH pledge which includes lines about supporting a non-bullying environment and being an ally to peers. The schools then create an NPFH committee made up of students, teachers, and parents. The committee organizes three schoolwide activities and hosts them throughout the year. Schools are encouraged to be creative and unique in their mission-driven activities.

At the end of the year, schools that completed all steps receive the honor of being an NPFH site and receive a banner for display. This year marks 20 years for the NPFH program nationally and ten years here in the north Texas region. 

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Southlake Parks Reopening

Effective Monday, May 18, 2020, the following park amenities will reopen.

  • Playgrounds
  • Outdoor Basketball Courts
  • In-line Hockey Court

With the reopening of the playgrounds and sports courts, essentially all park amenities are now open including:

  • Tennis and Pickleball Courts
  • Dog Park
  • Batting Cages
  • Restrooms
  • Pavilions
  • Picnic Tables
  • Benches

However, as a reminder, all drinking fountains remained closed.

Based on the Governor’s announcement this afternoon, all city-owned athletic fields will reopen on May 31, 2020, for practices and June 15, 2020, for games. As per the Governor’s executive order, “Effective May 31, 2020, youth sports may begin holding practices without spectators other than one parent or guardian per participant, as needed. Those sports may begin holding games or similar competitions, with our without spectators, on or after June 15, 2020. Spectators should maintain at least 6 feet social distancing from individuals not within the spectator’s group.”

City staff is communicating with league officials to get new schedules in place and share more information with participants.

With the reopening of the City’s park system, the Community Services department has adopted additional cleaning and sanitization practices.

We continue to encourage you to make the best possible decisions for yourself and your family by following expert guidance and advice. With that in mind here are some tips from the CDC and the National Recreation and Park Association about using our facilities during this time.

DO

  • Maximize physical distance from others
  • Bring your own water and hand sanitizer
  • Follow CDC guidelines

DON’T

  • Visit parks if you are sick
  • Visit parks if you were recently exposed to COVID-19
  • Visit crowded areas

covid19 urban park tips

The COVID-19 situation is frequently changing. The City of Southlake is committed to working with our residents and businesses as this unprecedented situation unfolds. We are grateful for the support of the community and work every day to continue to earn that trust.

For the latest City updates visit www.ProtectSouthlake.com

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