Southlake Volunteers Make A Marq in the Community

The City of Southlake is ranked the third most charitable city in North Texas according to the DBJ, with the average family donating over $1,000 annually. Many of those families go a step further and donate their time and talents to our community as well.

Volunteer Southlake consists of over 1600 active volunteers that gave an astounding 50,630 hours last year. These volunteers serve in various capacities that include the Southlake Public Library, Departments of Public Safety, and Boards & Commissions to name a few.

Volunteer Southlake will be hosting their annual Volunteer Appreciation event this month to celebrate the dedicated volunteers giving generously of their time every day. The evening will highlight how volunteers are “Making a Marq in our community”, and will be hosted at our brand new community center, The Marq on April 25th, 2016.

We will celebrate volunteer service with the presentation of the Presidential Service Awards, the inaugural Mayor & Council Medal, and the Lifetime Key Award. We will also unveil the new SAVe card (Southlake Appreciates Volunteers), loyalty program.

All volunteers in attendance will receive an all access pass to tour The Marq during this private event. With the ability to host more volunteers than ever, the City of Southlake will make this a tasting event to remember with heavy hors d’oeuvres showcasing the expertise of Culinary Arts Catering (a preferred vendor of the Marq facility).

The event will begin promptly at 5:30pm with the award ceremony commencing at 6 pm. Private tours of The Marq will be available following the award ceremony. Volunteers qualifying for the SAVe Card will receive their cards at the event so they can begin utilizing this exciting new program right away.

We welcome all volunteers to attend this year’s ”re-Marqable” event and look forward to celebrating the many ways they make Southlake a wonderful place to live. For more information about this event, or to RSVP, please contact Brandi Kaplan in the Volunteer Office at: (817) 748-8035.

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Slow Down in Construction Zones

The Southlake Police Department would like to remind drivers to slow down especially in road construction work zones like the FM 1938 project where we’ve seen an increase in complaints for excessive speed.

Not only can traffic fines double in work zones where workers are present but serious accidents can occur. The top two causes for work zone crashes are speeding and driver inattention.    WZA

Driver Safety

Roadway work zones are hazardous, both for workers and motorists who drive through a maze of construction worker signs, barrels and lane changes.

Please keep the following tips in mind when driving through work zones:

  • Slow down and always follow posted work zone speed limits.
  • Speeding is one of the major causes of work zone crashes.
  • Remember, traffic fines double in work zones.
  • Pay attention. Workers and heavy equipment may only be a few feet from passing vehicles.
  • Be patient. Delays from highway construction can be frustrating, but it only takes a few extra minutes to slow down for a work zone.
  • Plan ahead. Leave a few minutes early when traveling through a work zone in order to reach your destination on time.

Remember, speeding to your destination is not worth your life or the life of someone else. Slow down, drive safely and watch for workers in construction zones.

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Southlake Police Participate in National Drug Take Back Day

April is a time for spring cleaning and sprucing up your home and garden, but it’s also the perfect time to rid your home of unused prescription drugs.

Properly disposing of old or unused medicines will help keep them from getting into the wrong hands; especially, teenagers where prescription drug abuse is more prevalent. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) prescription and over-the-counter drugs are the most commonly abused substances by individuals age 14 and older, after marijuana and alcohol. Statistics show that teenagers often raid medicine cabinets putting them at even greater risk.

Each year the Southlake Police Department participates in the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA’s) National Drug Take Back Day. This year the event takes place on Saturday, April 30, 2016 from 10:00a.m. to 2:00p.m.

Individuals can bring unused prescription drugs to our designated drop-off location at our DPS Headquarters located at 600 State Street on the second floor. Participants will remain anonymous and no questions will be asked. 

Participants may dispose of pill-form medication either in its original container or by removing the medication from its container and dropping it directly into the 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. A Southlake Police Officer will be on hand to keep the DEA container secured.

National Drug Take Back Day

Saturday, April 30, 2016

10:00AM – 2:00PM

DPS Headquarters 600 State Street

FAQs

  • The drug take back program is anonymous and no requests for identification or personal information will be made.
  • Participants may dispose of medication in its original container or dispose of it directly into the disposal box.
  • All participants must retain possession of their own medication during the surrender process.
  • No illicit drugs or substances such as marijuana or methamphetamine will be accepted.
  • Intravenous solutions and syringes will not be accepted during this initiative due to potential blood-borne hazards.
  • Collection boxes will be provided and each box will be labeled by law enforcement for proper disposal.

This is a great opportunity to safely dispose of unwanted or unused prescription drugs. National Take Back Day is open to everyone.

If you are unable to drop off your old and unused prescriptions on Saturday, The Southlake Police Department provides a secure safe for the disposal of unused medications at this same address Monday – Friday during normal business hours. Instructions to use the secure safe are located in the lobby at DPS Headquarters. The Southlake Police Department began it’s own drug take back program on June 3, 2013 and the safe is filled and emptied on a regular basis. The drugs are then properly disposed of.

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First Zika Virus Disease Confirmed in Denton County

April 13, 2016 – The Denton County Public Health Department has alerted the City of Southlake to the first confirmed Zika case in Denton County. The case involves a female who contracted the virus while traveling internationally earlier this year. The City of Southlake is aggressively monitoring for Zika and other mosquito borne disease as well as partnering with Denton and Tarrant Counties to utilize all available resources to address the safety of our residents.

“The City of Southlake is actively reducing mosquitoes by reducing mosquito breeding in public areas,” says Christi Upton, Environmental Coordinator for the City of Southlake.

You are encouraged to reduce mosquito bites by following the 4 D’s:

  • Dawn / Daytime / Dusk are the most common times of the day when mosquitos are active.
  • Dress in long sleeves and pants when you’re outside.
  • DEET is an ingredient to look for in your insect repellent. Follow label instructions, and wear repellent when outdoors.
  • Drain standing water in your backyard and neighborhood.

Please visit the Denton County Public Health website www.dentoncounty.com/zika for additional information.

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A Festival for all Senses: Art in the Square Returns to Southlake April 22-24

Southlake Town Square will once again be a showcase of visual arts, live music, children’s activities, and delicious food and drinks during the 17th Annual Art in the Square April 22-24. Hosted by Southlake Women’s Club, the community fundraiser benefits Tarrant County charities and features more than 150 national and local artists presenting a palette of beautifully crafted paintings, drawings and sculptures. Admission and parking for the event is free of charge.

AITS CSince beginning in 2000, the event has evolved into one of the most popular art festivals in the nation. Art in the Square was recently rated the 12th best fine arts festival in the U.S. for 2016 by the ArtFair SourceBook, a two-decade-old national publication and guide to the Best Juried Art & Craft Fairs in the United States. Because of its wide variety of attractions and entertainment, the annual event was also named “Best Local Outdoor Festival” in the Star-Telegram’s 2015 Best of the Best Southlake category.

In addition to visual art, live musical performances will take place throughout the weekend on two stages with styles ranging from jazz and blues, to pop and rock–and even reggae, Motown, and country. Headlining this year’s event is Canadian-born country rocker Dallas Smith, who will perform April 23 at 8:30 p.m. on the main stage.

The three-day juried festival will also feature artists from across the country, as well as several international artists. Works include 2D medium, 3D relief and sculpture ranging from the traditional bronze to outdoor metal to multimedia decorative sculpture and photographic art. In addition, area high school students will participate in a juried “Youth Art in the Square.”

More than an arts festival, Art in the Square will offer something for each member of the family. Kids Korner will offer young children face painting and various crafts, while The Zone will entertain older children with bounce houses, a rock climbing wall, zip lining, and a bungee trampoline. Food and beverages will be available for purchase in the Le Bistro area. Popular local eateries will have booths on site, including FeedStore BBQ, Burger Shack, Tzikis, and Frezko Taco Spot, to name a few. Four food trucks specializing in various international cuisines, the King and Queen Pub, a bellini and margarita tent, and smoothie and lemonade stands will further add to the options available to event-goers.AITS D

Art in the Square is the Southlake Women’s Club primary fundraiser with proceeds going to support 31 local charities that serve women, children and families throughout Northeast Tarrant County, including Alliance for Children, APEX Arts League, Battered Women’s Foundation, Community Enrichment Center, GRACE, Metroport Meals on Wheels, North Texas SNAP, SafeHaven of Tarrant County, and Tarrant County Area Food Bank. Since its inception, Art in the Square has raised more than $2 million dollars.

For additional information, including event hours, map and an entertainment schedule, visit www.artinthesquare.com.

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Tax Relief Proposal Coming As Appraised Property Values Rise

The Tarrant County Appraisal District (TAD) sent notices of appraised values to property owners last week, based on market values as of January 1. Denton County values have been released as well.

Aggregate information is provided to the City by each appraisal district, with Tarrant County’s expected late April. City staff is currently developing a proposal for City Council to increase the homestead exemption, based on the preliminary values.

This is the first step for the City to establish the property tax revenue that will be used to develop the City’s FY 2017 budget.

Southlake’s expected increase is attributable to the increased value of existing residential and commercial property, as well as the value of new construction.

“We’re currently evaluating the information,” said Southlake’s Chief Financial Officer Sharen Jackson. “It’s too early to finalize our budget approach at this time, but the increase in property values is one of the factors considered when developing plans for property tax relief, and we are confident that economic growth will provide the opportunity for relief in the coming fiscal year.”

Since 2009 the City has implemented five tax relief initiatives (FY ’09, FY ’13, FY ’14, FY ’15 and FY ’16) focused on increasing the homestead exemption for residential property owners as new commercial properties have been developed.

“As Southlake’s commercial sector has grown, we have been able to more adequately balance the tax burden,” Jackson said. “We’ve moved from a 0% residential homestead exemption in 2008 to a 12% exemption adopted for the 2016 budget.”

Last year the City was able to return the increase in property values to homeowners through the adoption of a 12% exemption.

“We continue to build a growing City and have associated financial obligations. And, we’ve tried to limit debt through a pay-as-you go approach with certain infrastructure. But we are committed to balance needs with tax relief measures,” she said.

Staff will take a proposal to increase the homestead exemption to the Council in June.

City staff will work on the budget through the summer, finalizing it once certified values are received from each appraisal district, no later July 25. Public hearings on the budget will occur in late August and early September.

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April is Distracted Driver Awareness Month

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and the Southlake Police Department is reminding everyone, teens and adult drivers alike, to put their phones down while driving.

According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), distracted driving causes more than 100,000 traffic accidents each year in Texas. In 2015, 38% of Texas drivers admitted to talking on their cell phone while driving at least some of the time, according to a survey conducted by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. The study also found that more than one-fifth (21%) of drivers said they read or sent text messages or emails when behind the wheel.

While using a cell phone when driving is the most common offense, there are many ways in which a driver can be distracted. Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving including:

  • Posting to social media
  • Checking email
  • Eating
  • Grooming
  • Reading
  • Programming a navigation system
  • Watching a video
  • Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player

Teenaged drivers are most at risk. Drivers under the age of twenty make up 27% of distracted drivers in fatal crashes across the country. One quarter of teens say they have responded to text messages one or more times while driving.

Police Chief James Brandon says, “Sending or receiving texts takes your eyes off the road for approximately 4.6 seconds. That’s the equivalent of driving blind at 55 miles per hour for the entire length of a football field.”

“If it has been awhile since you’ve talked to your teens about distracted driving, now would be a good time to sit down with them again and remind them of the dangers of distracted driving. We want everyone to arrive at his or her destination safely”, adds Chief Brandon.

Drive now – talk later. The message is simple and it can save lives.

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Distracted Driving Message From Police Chief James Brandon

James Brandon  Chief of Police

James Brandon
Chief of Police

As you may know, April is distracted driver awareness month, and the police department is focused on keeping all of our drivers safe, but especially our teen drivers.

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, distracted driving causes more than 100,000 traffic accidents each year in Texas.

Teen drivers are even more at risk, so we encourage parents to talk with the teens in your home to ensure that they are as safe as possible on the road.

In addition, the police department will be focusing our attention on Southlake’s school zones.

We want to ensure that our Dragons are able to safely walk to school and that all drivers are obeying the law while in a school zone.

Help us by observing the school zone speed limit, stopping for pedestrians in crosswalks, and keeping your hands on the wheel and off your phones while driving through a school zone. Thank you and drive safely.

 

 

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Orange Barrel Alert – Storm Drain Installation on Dove Road @ N. Peytonville Avenue

Dove Rd, N. Peytonville ave, road closure

Road Closure on Dove Road @ N. Peytonville Ave

Dove Road near Peytonville Avenue reduced to one lane for the installation of a storm drain line.

Beginning today, April 5, 2016, Dove Road in the vicinity of North Peytonville Avenue will be reduced to one lane for the installation of a storm drain line. Flaggers will be on the scene to direct traffic, so please be aware and exercise caution when traveling in the area.

Work is expected to occur between 9:00am and 3:00pm daily and last for approximately 4 weeks – weather permitting.

For questions about this project, please contact Alex Ayala, P.E. at 817-748-8274.

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Frontier Communication Transition Information

As of April 1st, Frontier Communications has acquired the wirelines (internet) for Verizon Fios.  The City has been provided the following information from Frontier Communications regarding the switch-over.

Existing Verizon customers who request more information regarding their Internet service provider transition, should access this link: http://internet.frontier.com/fios-network-acquisition/

If residents have questions about establishing Frontier service or switching to Frontier from their current service provider, please see the below information: http://internet.frontier.com/Texas/

Questions about Frontier Communciations can also be referred to 844-298-3984.

The City of Southlake does not regulate internet service providers. For further information about utilities in the City of Southlake please visit CityofSouthlake.com 

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