Advances in 5G technology bringing changes in wireless infrastructure to Southlake

As technology has advanced so too has the infrastructure needed to support the deployment of the new technology. Recent state and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations have changed how municipalities will be able to regulate the placement of small cell wireless facilities.

“5G technology will become the standard for telecommunications and wireless communication,” noted Senior Planning and Development Services Director Ken Baker at the February 5 City Council meeting. “The traditional large cell towers have a lot of limitations in how they can deliver the new technology and in order to use the full ability of 5G the data speed, the 5G technology will be delivered through what is called small cell wireless facilities.”

These small cell wireless facilities will help deliver data at speeds roughly 20 times faster than possible with current 4G technology. Feature-length HD movies will be downloaded in seconds. In order for the 5G technology to perform at its optimal level, more of the small cell wireless facilities will have to be placed.

How will the small cell wireless facilities be regulated?

The 85th Texas Legislature adopted a new state law, obligating Texas municipalities to permit the use of municipal right of way and municipal poles (including traffic signal poles, non-decorative light poles, and sign poles) for placement of wireless network equipment and the installation of new poles for use by wireless network providers. The new state law restricts municipal authority to prohibit facilities in the right of way. Further, the new law places strict time limits on considering permits and fees charged for permits.

The new state law does allow some municipal discretion over design by requiring network facilities to conform to municipal design standards in designated design and historic districts. In Southlake, Town Square and the Carillon Commercial District have been designated as design districts. The state law also allows the City some regulation if a network provider places a stand-alone pole in a City park right of way or in the right of way adjacent to a residential area.

The City of Southlake adopted a public right of way management ordinance in order to comply with the new state law.  The ordinance modifies the right of way management codes to accommodate the new types of activities and facilities related to wireless networks. In short, services providers will need a specific use permit to place a small cell facility on private property; providers will need Council approval for placement in public right of way like design district, parks or residential; and providers can place small cell towers in public right of way with permit approval from Southlake Public Works.

In late 2018, the Federal Communications Commission approved sweeping regulations for 5G infrastructure curtailing both State and local authority to regulate 5G facilities. The intent of the FCC ruling was to meet rapidly increasing demand for wireless services and prepare our national infrastructure for 5G. The FCC states that providers must deploy infrastructure at significantly more locations and expanded the ability of service providers to place facilities not only in the right-of-way but also on public buildings. In Southlake, this could mean buildings like Town Hall and DPS facilities.

“We’ll work with providers to try to minimize the impact,” said Baker. “As staff, we know the areas that may be more suitable, and more palatable to our community. We’ll also look at some of the design standards and try to use standards that will be more aesthetically pleasing and result in little to no impact on the community.”

View the small cell wireless facilities presentation from the February 5 Council Meeting here

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Southlake Water Utilities Announces Utility Rate Changes to Take Effect October 2018

Water, sewer, garbage and recycling rate changes will go into effect on October 1, 2018, for all Southlake Water Utilities customers.  Residents will notice the increase on November bills.

Water Rate Change

In September this year, the Fort Worth City Council voted to increase its wholesale water costs. As a result, the increase will be passed on to Southlake customers. Southlake Water Utilities is a financially self-sustaining utility similar to electric and natural gas companies, where increased costs to the utility are passed on to consumers.

The City of Fort Worth is Southlake’s wholesale water provider.  Fort Worth’s pass-through rate increase amounts to 4.38%.

What does this mean?

For example, if you have a one -inch water meter and consume 26,640 gallons of water a month, with the rate increase your water bill will increase by $7.26.  This example is based on the average residential water consumption in Southlake.

Sewer Rate Change

In August of this year, the Trinity River Authority (TRA) Board of Directors voted to approve rate increases for sewer treatment at both Denton Creek and Central Regional wastewater plants. As a result, Southlake Water Utilities will be passing the 11% increase on to Southlake customers. The Trinity River Authority supplies sewer treatment to 98% of Tarrant County, including, Southlake.

The maximum residential sewer charge Southlake customers will see is $68.48 per month. This will also take effect on October 1, 2018, and the increase will show on the November billing statements.

Refuse Rate Change

In August, City Council approved a new five-year renewal of the contract with Republic Waste Services of Texas, Ltd. for waste and recycling services in Southlake. Under the new the contract renewal, residential collections will increase by $1.03 on October 1, 2018. The trash rate will increase annually by three percent and the recycling rates will be adjusted annually based on processing costs. Commercial collections and roll-off rates will increase by three percent on October 1 and three percent annually under the contract renewal.

You may view all of the above rate changes by visiting the Southlake Water Utilities webpage, then click the Water & Sewer Rates button.

Reminder, the effective date of increase for Southlake customers will begin October 1, 2018. Customers will see the changes reflected on their November bill.

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Southlake City Council Makes Changes to Champions Club Membership Fees

The Southlake City Council updated the Champions Club membership fees at their August 7 regular meeting.

City Council initially discussed the fees at their June 28 meeting after receiving feedback from residents.  They then directed staff to return with options that included rate changes for residents. These options were presented to the City Council who unanimously voted to approve:

  • Increasing the resident discount from 10% to 20%
  • Increasing the corporate discount from 5% to 10%
  • Allowing residents to opt out of child watch services, which are included in the pricing structure. This results in a $10/month discount on family memberships.

New fee structure:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are looking for a healthier lifestyle, are interested in learning a new skill or just want to relax by the pool, Champions Club at The Marq Southlake has you covered.  This new 82,000 square foot facility opens this winter and includes a state-of-the-art fitness center, indoor fieldhouse and track, basketball courts, a playground for the Little Champs in your life and a spectacular indoor pool that features a zero-depth entry, water slides, a not-so-lazy river and lap lanes.  These world-class amenities coupled with fun recreational programming are the perfect combination for you and your family to create lifelong memories.

Membership sales begin later this year and all memberships will include access to 50+ fitness classes, child-watch, priority registration and other perks like guest passes, member appreciation events, and access to discounted rentals on just about every room in the building.

Be sure to check out ExperienceChampionsClub.com to learn why Champions Club is the perfect place for fitness in Southlake. You can also follow us on Facebook to find the latest Champions Club news.

If you have any questions, please give us a call at (817) 748-8955 or email us at memberships@themarqsouthlake.com.

 

 

 

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Possible arrival changes at DFW Airport

DFW Airport has informed The City of Southlake about a planned change to DFW arrival procedures.

The FAA has told DFW Airport of a possible increase in arrivals onto Runway 13R/31L, beginning Tuesday, March 6 during South Flow conditions while operating under the FAA Converging Runway Operations (CRO) rule.

The FAA instituted CRO rules at 17 airports across the U.S. including DFW which took effect on April 2, 2014. CRO rules significantly reduced the number of arrivals on RWY 13R which impacts DFW Airport’s overall capacity. DFW Airport and the FAA have been working together to find solutions that might permit additional arrivals on 13R especially in light of upcoming airfield work which could close other runways from time-to-time.

What to Expect:

In the next two weeks, the winds are forecast to vary in wind direction, 5 to 10 mph in either North Flow or South Flow. When strong winds are northerly, aircraft will take off to the north and land from south to north. When winds are southerly, aircraft will take off to the south and land from north to south. During South Flow conditions, the use of RWY 13R will increase due to an FAA operational evaluation.

The shift in aircraft operations during these weather conditions may affect the cities of Southlake, Grapevine, Trophy Club and Westlake.

DFW Airport encourages citizens with inquiries or complaints to contact them, by email at dfwnoise@dfwairport.com, or on the Noise Complaint Hotline, at 972-973-3192 (manned 24/7). Follow-up response calls or emails will be provided when requested.

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Facebook Changes – Don’t Miss Important Information

If you’ve noticed that some of your favorite Facebook pages, like the City of Southlake and Southlake DPS pages, are not showing up in your newsfeed as often as they once did, we can help you make sure you receive all of our updates and important information.

In early January, in an effort to “put the social back in social media,” Facebook changed how it ranks the posts, videos and photos that appear in its users’ Newsfeed – putting what friends and family have to say first. It’s great to keep up with family and friends, but we also don’t want you to miss out on important information from the City and the Southlake DPS Facebook pages. Southlake Police Chief James Brandon says, “Providing our citizens with accurate and timely information, especially when it comes to traffic mobility and important crime alerts, are part of our core mission. We want you to help keep you informed.”

Don’t worry we’re here to help. Just follow these simple instructions so you and your family can continue to hear about breaking news and information from the City of Southlake, Police and Fire Department alerts and important traffic and road closure information.

First, go to “Following” under the banner page on our City and Southlake DPS, Library, Parks, Legends Hall and Visit Southlake Facebook pages.

pages. Next click “see first.” This tells Facebook that you actually want to see what we post. Just two clicks and that’s it!

We too want our Facebook pages to be a place for meaningful interactions and information, and we know that as Southlake residents it’s important for you to keep up with all that is happening in your City. So log in and follow those two simple steps or “clicks” so you will never miss an important traffic alert, news about fun City events or anything else.

See you on Facebook!

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Strong winds from the west could cause DWF Airport runway changes

DFW Airport has informed the City of Southlake about potential west flow aircraft operational conditions due to strong winds from the west, forecasted for Monday, January 22, 2018.

The best chance of west flow based on the forecast is late morning through the afternoon but could extend into evening hours.

What to Expect:
Monday weather forecasts show winds from the west at 15 to 25 mph with gusts as high as 30 mph.

When strong winds are northerly, aircraft will take off to the north and land from south to north. When winds are westerly or northwesterly (West Flow), the diagonal Runways 13R/31L and 13L/31R may be needed for arrivals and/or departures. Potential northwest weather conditions are most likely during the morning hours through the afternoon but could extend into evening hours.

The shift in aircraft operations during these weather conditions may affect the cities of Southlake, Grapevine, Coppell, and Irving, which could experience some additional aircraft traffic.

DFW Airport encourages citizens with inquiries or complaints to contact them, by email at dfwnoise@dfwairport.com, or on the Noise Complaint Hotline, at 972-973-3192 (manned 24/7). Follow-up response calls or emails will be provided when requested.

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Strong NW winds could cause DFW Airport runway changes

DFW Airport has informed the City of Southlake about potential west flow aircraft operational conditions due to strong northwest winds, forecasted for Thursday, January 11, 2018.

The best chance of west flow based on the forecast is between from 12:00 pm until 3:00 pm but could extend beyond these hours.

What to Expect:
Thursday weather forecasts show winds from the south-southwest at 15 to 20 mph, becoming north-northwest at 25-30 mph in the morning. Winds could gust as high as 35 mph and a chance of precipitation at 20%.

When strong winds are northerly, aircraft will take off to the north and land from south to north. When winds are westerly or northwesterly (West Flow), the diagonal Runways 13R/31L and 13L/31R may be needed for arrivals and/or departures. Potential northwest weather conditions are most likely during the hours of 12:00 pm– 3:00 pm Thursday.

The shift in aircraft operations during these weather conditions may affect the cities of Southlake, Grapevine, Coppell, and Irving, which could experience some additional aircraft traffic.

DFW Airport encourages citizens with inquiries or complaints to contact them, by email at dfwnoise@dfwairport.com, or on the Noise Complaint Hotline, at 972-973-3192 (manned 24/7). Follow-up response calls or emails will be provided when requested.

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Utility Rate Changes: Southlake Water Utilities Announces Changes

Water, sewer, garbage and recycling rate changes will soon go into effect for all Southlake Water Utilities customers. The increases will go into effect October 1, 2017. You will notice the increase on your November bill.

Water Rate Change

In August of this year, the Fort Worth City Council voted to increase its wholesale water costs. As a result, the increase will be passed on to Southlake customers. Southlake Water Utilities is a financially self-sustaining utility similar to electric and natural gas companies, where increased costs to the utility are passed on to consumers.

The City of Fort Worth is Southlake’s wholesale water provider. Fort Worth’s pass through rate increase amounts to 7.53%. To cover the higher charges assessed by Fort Worth for elevated water use, the upper tiers of Southlake’s water rates will also be slightly adjusted.

What does this mean?

For example, if you have a one -inch water meter and consume 26,640 gallons of water a month, with the rate increase your water bill will increase by $11.71. This example is based on the average residential water consumption in Southlake.

Sewer Rate Change

In June of this year, the Trinity River Authority (TRA) Board of Directors voted to approve rate increases for sewer treatment at both Denton Creek and Central Regional wastewater plants. As a result, Southlake Water Utilities will be passing the 17% increase on to Southlake customers. The Trinity River Authority supplies sewer treatment to 98% of Tarrant County, including, Southlake.

The maximum residential sewer charge Southlake customers will see is $61.66 per month. This will also take effect on October 1, 2017, and the increase will show on the November billing statements.

Refuse Rate Change

The new refuse rates—reflected on Southlake Water Utility bills for residential customers, will increase by 2.1% for all customers. This increase is consistent with the contract agreement the City has with Republic Services.

The breakdown for a residential consumer is $9.80 per month for trash service, $3.92 per month for recycling service and $1.13 for sales tax. This represents an increase of $0.30 for residential customers for a total rate per month of $14.85. Commercial customer rates will also be adjusted to account for the 2.1% increase based on their contract.

This new rate includes trash collection two times per week, automated recycling collection once each week, bagged grass collection, scheduled curbside leaf recycling, two household hazardous waste collection events per year, bulk collections, and bundled brush collections.
You may view all of the above rate changes by visiting the Southlake Water Utilities webpage, then click Water & Sewer Rates box.

Reminder, the effective date of increase for Southlake customers will begin October 1, 2017. Customers will see the changes reflected on their November bill.

If you have any questions, please contact Southlake Water Utilities at (817)478-8051 during regular business hours.

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Changes Coming to Southlake City Council

Brandon Bledsoe

Deputy Mayor Pro-Tem Brandon Bledsoe has served on the Southlake City Council since 2009.

Changes are coming to the Southlake City Council as long-term member Brandon Bledsoe is stepping down due to the Council term limit provision of the City Charter.  Chad Patton will take his place when sworn in on May 17.  Councilmembers Randy Williamson and John Huffman will be sworn in on that evening for new terms.

Bledsoe, who has served on the Council since 2009, has an extensive service record with the city, which includes service as Mayor Pro Tem and as a member of several City Council committees, the Planning & Zoning Commission, and the Southlake Program for the Involvement of Neighborhoods Standing Committee.  He has also been active with the Urban Land Institute, Bob Jones Nature Center Board of Directors and with other community caus3 es through Amegy Bank of Texas.

“Brandon Bledsoe’s wisdom and steady hand have been so important to our City,” said Mayor Laura Hill.  “He has been an outstanding elected official whose impact has been significant. He will be sorely missed.”

Managing development, addressing infrastructure needs, protecting the strong financial position of the City, and being responsive to citizen preferences have been priorities for Councilmember Bledsoe, who played an active role in the development of the City’s master plan, Southlake 2030, and in implementing important financial policies.

“It’s been an honor to serve and contribute in some small way to the positive evolution of the City,” he said.  “It’s been satisfying work that I’m glad to have been a part of.  It’s a great city, and I’m confident that Southlake will continue to move forward with great success.”

Chad Patton, will replace Bledsoe in the Place 3 seat when sworn in on May 17.  Patton, who has resided in Southlake since 2005, has served on the City’s Parks and Recreation Board, Zoning Board of Adjustment, and has volunteered as a coach for youth sports.

“I’m ready to get started and look forward to working with the team.  There are many interesting projects underway and I’m happy to be able to continue my service to the City in this way,” he said.

Current Councilmembers Randy Williamson and John Huffman were unopposed in their bids for reelection and will be sworn in for new three-year terms the same evening.  Both have service records on various boards and committees for the City and as volunteers within the community.

Randy Williamson
MSN John Huffman
2016 Chad Patton MSN article

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