Save Water this Winter – Avoid Planting Winter Rye Grass

It may look lush, but Rye Grass could end up costing you water and money this winter

It may look lush, but Rye Grass could end up costing you a lot of  water and money this winter.

Water conservation is getting a big push in the City of Southlake beginning in 2016. As part of an ongoing effort to promote stewardship of water resources, the City will be rolling out a comprehensive campaign aimed at educating residents on responsible water use.

The goal of this effort isn’t just about water conservation, however. It’s also about helping residents save money by providing information and the tools necessary to make water conscious decisions in your day-to-day lives. In short, the motto for 2016 is “Save Tarrant Water”

Even though the official kick-off of this campaign doesn’t happen until 2016, you can start making water wise decisions right now. With the fall season upon us – even though the temperatures would lead you to believe otherwise –  many area residents are starting to think about transitioning from their summer landscape in preparation for cooler weather.

The “go to” grass in this landscape transition is usually fescue, better known as “winter rye.” However, you may want to reconsider planting new grass this fall and just let your existing lawn go dormant until spring. Here’s why:

  • Cool season grass species require regular irrigation (more water = more money) to maintain during the winter months. Allowing your lawn to go dormant as the weather cools means that you can turn off your sprinkler controller for the season; saving water and money!
  • By not over-seeding with cool season grasses, warm season species (such as bermuda and zoysiagrass) grow back thicker and healthier after their return from winter dormancy because they aren’t having to fight against cooler season grasses for essential nutrients.

As the temperatures decrease this fall season, so too can your water use by letting your grass go dormant and turning off your sprinkler controller. Save water and save money by avoiding winter rye!

For information, helpful tips and to know what the City is doing to save water, visit the Public Works Department Water Conservation page here.  Stay tuned in 2016 to see what you can do to “Save Tarrant Water”

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Bicycle Helmet Age Requirement Changes

Bike Safety
Bicycle Helmet Age Requirement Changes
As of November 1, 2015, the age requirement for wearing a bicycle helmet will be changed from 14 years and under to age 17 years and under. The changes are being recommended after thoughtful consideration by City Council Members and the City leadership team. Changes to the bike helmet ordinance will be voted on during the last City council meeting in October. Statistics from the medical community show that wearing a bicycle helmet can help prevent serious head injuries, and/or death.

The Departments of Public Safety and the City believe this change to the City ordinance will help reduce head injuries to children. Information and prevention is the key to the success of this bicycle safety campaign. DPS will produce and distribute effective communication through the City website and various social media channels throughout the year to include information about the proper fitting of bike helmets and other important bicycle safety tips. (*see below)

Here are some important Bicycle Safety Tips:

Wear a Helmet
Wearing a helmet is the single most effective safety device available to reduce head injury and death from bicycle crashes.
When it’s time to buy a new helmet, let your children pick out their own; they’ll be more likely to wear them on every ride.
Make sure your child has the right size helmet and wears it whenever riding a bicycle, skating or operating a scooter.

Find the Right Helmet Fit
Your children’s helmet should meet the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) standards.
Make sure the helmet fits and your child knows how to put it on correctly. A helmet should sit on top of the head in a level position, and should not rock forward, backward or side to side. The helmet straps must always be buckled, but not too tightly. Safe Kids recommends kids take the Helmet Fit Test.
EYES check: Position the helmet on your head. Look up and you should see the bottom rim of the helmet. The rim should be one to two finger-widths above the eyebrows.
EARS check: Make sure the straps of the helmet form a “V” under your ears when buckled. The strap should be snug but comfortable.
MOUTH check: Open your mouth as wide as you can. Do you feel the helmet hug your head? If not, tighten those straps and make sure the buckle is flat against your skin.

Do’s Don’ts
Let your child pick their own helmet. Wear a helmet that does not fit.
Choose the right helmet for the type of activity. Ride with a helmet not buckled.
Wear a helmet on every ride. Participate in wheeled activities with no helmet.
Make sure your child knows how to wear the helmet. Allow the helmet to rock back and forth or side to side.

Use Appropriate Helmets for Different Activities
Children should always wear a helmet for all wheeled sports activities.
A properly-fitted bike helmet is just as effective when riding a scooter, roller skating or in-line skating.
When skateboarding and long boarding, make sure your child wears a CPSC certified skateboarding helmet.

Proper Equipment and Maintenance Are Important
Ensure proper bike fit by bringing the child along when shopping for a bike. Select one that is the right size for the child, not one he or she will grow into.
When children are sitting on the seat of the bicycle, their feet should be able to touch the ground.
Before the ride, make sure the reflectors are secure, brakes work properly, gears shift smoothly, and tires are tightly secured and properly inflated.
Long or loose clothing can get caught in bike chains or wheel spokes. Dress young kids appropriately to ensure a safe ride.

Keep an Eye Out
Actively supervise children until you’re comfortable that they are responsible to ride on their own.
Every child is different, but developmentally, it can be hard for kids to judge speed and distance of cars until age 10, so limit riding to sidewalks (although be careful for vehicles in driveways), parks or bike paths until age 10. No matter where you ride, teach your child to stay alert and watch for cars and trucks.
Children should be able to demonstrate riding competence and knowledge of the rules of the road before cycling with traffic.
You’d be surprised how much kids learn from watching you, so it’s important for parents to model proper behavior. Wear a helmet, even if you didn’t when you were a kid.
Teach your kids to make eye contact with drivers. Bikers should make sure drivers are paying attention and are going to stop before they cross the street.
Tell your kids to ride on the right side of the road, with traffic, not against it. Stay as far to the right as possible. Use appropriate hand signals and respect traffic signals, stopping at all stop signs and stoplights. Be predictable when riding.
Stop and look left, right and left again before entering a street or crossing an intersection. Look back and yield to traffic coming from behind before turning left.

Be Bright, Use Lights
When riding at dusk, dawn or in the evening, be bright and use lights – and make sure your bike has reflectors as well. It’s also smart to wear clothes and accessories that have retro-reflective materials to improve biker visibility to motorists.
Most states require a front light but allow the use of a rear reflector. Headlights aren’t so much for bicyclists to see where they are going but for others to see them. Riding without a headlight means drivers won’t see you, and surprising motorists is never a good idea.

Information provided by Safe Kids Worldwide.

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Two Positive Samples of West Nile Reported

The City of Southlake was notified Wednesday (10/14/15) that two mosquito samples have tested positive for the West Nile Virus.

The samples were taken from traps at the 800 block of Shady Lane and the 3200 block of Woodland Drive. “These are the first two positive samples of West Nile to be reported in Southlake this year,” says Public Works Director Bob Price. “The City is following its protocol to control the disease spread by mosquitos.”

The City of Southlake plans to ground spray both of these areas beginning tomorrow, Thursday, October 15th. The spraying will occur for three consecutive nights continuing through Saturday (10/17), weather permitting. Director Price says that those residing outside of the half-mile spray radius should remain cautious. He adds, “The City will continue to conduct surveillance in the area following the spring event. When we see positive samples at these locations everyone in the area needs to be mindful.”

Residents are reminded to look for sources of water in both the expected and unexpected places on a weekly basis and eliminate mosquito breeding grounds by draining standing water, covering outdoor containers, and treating undrainable areas with larvacide. Also, always wear insect repellent containing DEET when outdoors—especially at dusk and dawn.

Again, the City intends to ground spray within a half-mile radius of the affected areas (see maps below) beginning tomorrow night through Saturday (10/15 through 10/17).

For more information about the West Nile Virus Action Plan and what Southlake is doing in the area of mosquito surveillance and control, please see CityofSouthlake.com/WestNileVirus.

 

WMV 2015 3240 Woodland Dr.   WMV 2015 3240 Woodland Dr.

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2015 Citizen Satisfaction Survey is now online

In order to know what residents are thinking about everything from quality of life and neighborhood safety, to the city website and communication outreach, the City conducts a biennial Citizen Satisfaction Survey.

The survey results are also used by City Council and city staff to analyze the effectiveness, responsiveness and value of City services such as trash and recycling collection and code enforcement.

This year as in past years, the City is using Decision Analyst, an independent, external firm to create survey questions and to promote its scientific validity. To see the results from previous years, please  click here.

To take the 2015 Citizen Satisfaction Survey please click here.

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Southlake Residents Make Rx Drug Take Back Program a Success!

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 1 in 9 teens have abused prescription drugs. Often these medications are found in the home. That’s why the Southlake Police Department participates in the bi-annual Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) National Drug Take Back Day.

Dozens of Prescription Pill Bottles

Dozens of Prescription Pill Bottles

This year the DEA’s Drug Take Back program was held on Saturday, September 26th. Many Southlake citizens took advantage of the DEA’s program by bringing in their old or unused prescriptions to our DPS Headquarters.

The DEA’s program works so well that in June of 2013 the Southlake Police Department created it’s own Drug Take Back program and made it available at DPS Headquarters, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Participants are able to come to the second floor lobby at 600 State Street and drop off their unused or old prescription medication. It’s simple and secure. Medications are dropped into a sealed bag and then tossed into a secure safe that closes automatically. Our drug enforcement officer is responsible for removing the contents and securing them into our property room until destruction.

Following Saturdays’ DEA Drug Take Back initiative Southlake residents surrendered 177 pounds of prescription drugs. Since 2013 residents have surrendered 475 pounds of prescription drugs.

Not only are residents making their homes safer by getting rid of unused and old prescriptions, but also these medications are being disposed of properly so they don’t end up in lakes and streams causing toxicity to fish and wildlife or end up back into our water systems.

If you missed the National Drug Enforcement Drug Take Back day – do not worry. You can drop off your unused or old prescriptions M-F from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on the second floor of DPS Headquarters located at 600 State Street.

Instructions on how to use SLPD’s Drug Take Back Program

You will find the secure safe located in the lobby of DPS Headquarters. Here’s what you need to know:

  • The drug take back program is anonymous and no requests for identification or personal information will be made.
  • Participants may dispose of prescription medication in its original container or dispose of it directly into the secure disposal box.
  • Liquid prescriptions, such as cough syrup, should remain in its original bottle. Please make sure the lid is tightly sealed to avoid spillage.
  • All participants must retain possession of their own medication during the surrender process.
  • Intravenous solutions and syringes will not be accepted during this initiative due to potential blood-borne hazards.
  • No hazardous materials are allowed.
  • No inhalers or anything else using compressed gas are allowed.

If you have further questions about the program lease feel free to contact us at (817) 748-8923.

 

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Community Planning Month Proclamation

At the October 6, 2015 City Council meeting, Mayor Laura Hill recognized the City of Southlake’s planning department for its valuable contributions made in the community with the proclamation below.

Whereas, Change is constant and affects all cities, towns, suburbs, counties, boroughs, townships, rural areas, and other places; and,

Whereas, community planning helps manage this change in a way that provides better choices for how people work and live and provides an opportunity for residents to be meaningfully involved in making choices that determine the future of a community; and,

Whereas, the full benefits of planning requires public officials and citizens who understand, support, and demand excellence in planning and plan implementation; and,

Whereas, the American Planning Association and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, endorse National Community Planning Month as an opportunity to highlight the contributions of sound planning; and,

Whereas, National Community Planning Month also gives us the opportunity to publicly recognize the dedication of the members of City Council, the Planning and Zoning Commission, city staff, and citizens who have contributed time and expertise to the improvement of the City of  Southlake; and,

Whereas, we recognize the many valuable contributions made by professional community and regional planners of the City of Southlake and extend our heartfelt thanks for the continued commitment to public service by these professionals; now,

Therefore, I, Mayor Laura Hill, on behalf of the City Council, do hereby proclaim the month of October 2015 as Community Planning Month in the City of Southlake in conjunction with the celebration of National Community Planning month.

IMG_9028

 

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City Hosts Understanding Development Town Hall Forum

On September 29, 2015, The City’s Community Engagement Committee (CEC) hosted the Understanding Development Town Hall Forum.

The evening started with an open house which then lead into a panel discussion featuring Frank Bliss with Cooper and Stebbins,  Paul Spain with Terra Land Management, Ken Baker, Planning and Development Services Senior Director with the City of Southlake and Shannon Hamons, the City’s Economic Development Director.

The panel, moderated by CEC Chairman Craig Rothmeier, touched on a variety of development items including commercial and residential development and what it takes to build in Southlake. They then took questions from the audience.

If you missed the forum it is available below or on the City’s Video on Demand page.  If you have questions regarding development within the City please click here: http://bit.ly/1OVa1Xa.

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Carroll ISD’s Homecoming Parade – Street Closures

Carroll ISD is having their 2015 homecoming parade; carnival and pep rally this Wednesday, October 7th at 6:30 p.m. in Town Square. The Southlake Police and Public Works departments will have the parade route and side roads blocked off by 5:00 p.m. Wednesday evening.

Southlake Police Officers have mapped out the parade route which will begin at Division and Grand Ave., by Barnes and Noble, and wind along Grand Ave. – making a right on to Fountain Place and another right, behind Williams and Sonoma, and finally a last right on to Main Street – stopping in front of Town Square.

The parade is scheduled to last approximately 45 minutes. Streets will begin to reopen as the parade ends in front of Town Hall on the south side. The pep rally will also be staged at this location.

If you would like to watch the parade you can find additional parking in the east or west garages and walk to Grand Ave. Additional handicapped parking will be available behind The Buckle store near the east garage. Please allow yourself plenty of time to get into place so that you can enjoy CISD’s Homecoming 2015 – Candy Land: How Sweet it is to be a Dragon!

Homecoming2015Packet

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Join us October 10th for National Night Out in Town Square!

Mark your calendars for Saturday, October 10th for the annual National Night Out event.  It is also Fire Prevention Week. This year we are partnering with the Southlake Rotary Club who will announce the Firefighter of the Year at this years celebration!  Parents and kids will be treated to a great time!  This year we’ve added a few new things for kids. We’ll have a petting zoo, clown, lots of fun give-aways, real Police Officers and Firefighters along with your kids favorite super heroes and much more!  Plus, the kids will get to climb into real fire trucks and police vehicles and sit atop a real police motorcycle. It’s the highlight of the night for lots of kiddos.

The evening is always lots of fun for the whole family!  It’s not only a fun time but kids and their moms and dads will take home some important safety information and public education materials. It will be a night to remember so you will want to be sure to arrive on time.  The event starts at 5:00 p.m. and will end at 8:00 p.m. So don’t be late!  You will have a great time and your kids will leave with memories that will last for years to come!

Take a look at the flyer below and if you have any questions please call our Community Initiatives Team of Valerie Snyder or Renni Burt.

 

NNO TS 10.2015

 

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Fire Prevention Week – October 4th – 10th

Hear the Beep Where You Sleep. Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm!FPWBanner200x200lores

Location matters when it comes to your smoke alarm. That’s the message behind this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Hear the Beep Where You Sleep. Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm!”

Along with firefighters and safety advocates nationwide, we are joining forces with the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) during Fire Prevention Week, October 4-10, to remind local residents about the importance of having working smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement.

“In a fire, seconds count,” said Kelly Clements, Fire Marshal. “Half of home fire deaths result from fires reported at night between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. when most people are asleep. Home smoke alarms can alert people to a fire before it spreads, giving everyone enough time to get out.”

According to the latest NFPA research, working smoke alarms cut the chance of dying in a fire in half. Meanwhile, three out of five fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.

This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign includes the following smoke alarm messages:

  • Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement.
  • Interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. This way, when one sounds, they all do.
  • Test alarms at least monthly by pushing the test button.
  • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old or sooner if they don’t respond properly.
  • Make sure everyone in the home knows the sound of the smoke alarm and understands what to do when they hear it.
  • If the smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside. Go to your outside meeting place.
  • Call the fire department from outside the home.

This week we will be promoting “Hear the Beep Where You Sleep. Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm” during visits to area schools. We will wrap up Fire Prevention Week during the Rotary/National Night Out/Fire Prevention Week event being held in Town Square on October 10th from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. We hope these educational, family-oriented activities, residents can learn more about the importance of having a working smoke alarm in every bedroom.

To find out more about Fire Prevention Week programs and activities in please contact Fire Prevention Officer Renni Burt at 817-748-8349 or at rburt@ci.southlake.tx.us. To learn more about smoke alarms and “Hear the Beep Where You Sleep. Every Bedroom Needs a Working Smoke Alarm!” visit NFPA’s Web site at www.firepreventionweek.org and www.sparky.org/fpw.

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