D-Day Anniversary Exhibit in Southlake Library Spotlights Southlake Resident’s Bravery

In honor of the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, the Southlake Historical Society is telling the story of Southlake’s own Lt. Colonel Charles H. Young in a pop-up exhibit June 3-15 in the Southlake Public Library, 1400 Main St.

The Society is inviting relatives and friends of people who participated in D-Day to write the service members’ names and units in a special book included in the exhibit.

On D-Day, more than 140,000 Allied troops crossed the English Channel at Normandy, France, paving the way for the liberation of Europe. Hours before Allied troops stormed Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword beaches, Young and other Troop Carrier Group pilots flew paratroopers and towed artillery filled gliders to targets behind German lines. Flying 70 feet apart with minimal lights and poor navigation technology, the unarmed planes were easy targets as they descended to 700 feet and slowed to just above stalling speed for their drops. Young’s plane was “The Argonia,” named for his hometown of Argonia, Kansas.

After the war, Young resumed his job as a pilot for American Airlines. In 1953, he and Virginia Young, his wife, bought a 100-acre place that today is part of the Monticello subdivision. In 1956, the pair helped found Southlake by working with a handful of neighbors to incorporate a small part of rural Tarrant County into a town.

In the 1970s, Young was editor of “Grapevine Area History,” the go-to book for anyone interested in local history. In 1995, he published “Into the Valley: The Untold Story of USAAF Troop Carrier in World War II, From North Africa Through Europe” to set the record straight about the under-appreciated Troop Carrier Command. His son, Charles D. Young, was the editor.

Also on display will be authentic WWII helmets, medals and other items owned by history enthusiast and UNT student Paul Porter of Southlake.

Library hours are 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, closed Sunday. The exhibit is free. Learn more about the Southlake Historical Society here.

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Upcoming event helps residents take care of outstanding warrants

Fort Worth Municipal Court will conduct a Safe Harbor initiative, meaning residents may visit without fear of arrest for outstanding warrants issued by the Municipal Court.

The Court in the Community event will be held 1-4 p.m. Jan. 17 at Good will Industries of Fort Worth, 4005 Campus Drive. The event is open to the public, but only the first 100 in line will be admitted.

Residents who plan to request alternatives to payment should bring all supporting documents for their request:

  • Time served. Bring booked-in and booked-out paperwork.
  • Community service/indigence documentation that shows you do not have the financial means to pay your warrants.
  • Time payment plans.
  • Two forms of identification.

To learn more, call 817-332-7866, ext. 2179.

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Managing Debt the Southlake Way – Conservatively While Supporting Residents

Debt management is a key financial principle that guides the development of Southlake’s budget every year. This approach supports a financial strategy that will allow the City to retire 94% of the current tax-supported debt in 10 years.

“The City uses several different methods to reduce debt, including careful budget management, use of voter-approved special revenue funds, aggressive amortization schedules, paying attention to refunding opportunities, and using cash when possible for major projects,” said Southlake’s Chief Financial Officer, Sharen Jackson. “Our approach has allowed for a reduction in the City’s property tax-supported debt by 60% since 2003 in spite of ongoing infrastructure development.”

“Debt as a percent of assessed value (property tax) has decreased from over 3% in 2002 to a projected 0.44% in 2019,” Jackson notes. “For the fifth straight year, there will be no new property tax-supported debt. The City will use cash to pay for general fund capital needs.”

Special Funds Debt

The City has several special funds that are responsible for paying principal and interest on outstanding debt. These include the Southlake Parks Development Corporation (SPDC) for park-related projects, the Crime-Control and Prevention District (CCPD) for safety and security initiatives, and the Community Enhancement and Development Corporation (CEDC) for projects like Champions Club at The Marq Southlake.

“SPDC, CCPD, and CEDC are voter-approved corporations or districts that help support many services that the Council and our residents have told us are important,” said Southlake City Manager Shana Yelverton. “These funds are supported by a percentage of sales tax and any time we take on capital projects supported by these funds or the general fund, the City pays for them either in cash or with Council-approved low-interest bonds that maximize the City’s AAA and AA+ bond ratings.”

The city also has several revenue bonds that pay for City’s water and sewer system improvements. Debt payment on these bonds is supported by Southlake Water Utilities ratepayers.

Infographic showing information about how the City manages debt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paying It Off

At $0.447 cents for every one hundred dollars of valuation, the City of Southlake’s property tax rate supports basic city services such as public safety, street maintenance, library, and community services. It also helps pay off the debt that’s been incurred projects such as new roadway construction. The rate will apply $.0357 for general operations and $0.09 for the debt service fund.

Total debt service fund expenditures for FY 2019 are projected to be $6,186,261 for annual principal and interest payments, as well as related administrative costs. The projected debt service balance for FY 2019 is $5,826,015.

Special funds are paid off through their own debt funds. Currently, there are no debt obligations for the Crime Control Prevention District.  For FY 2019, the SPDC Debt Service Fund will cover total expenditures of $2,886,537, and the CEDC Debt Service Fund will cover total expenditures of $2,451,406.

“The City takes it debt obligation very seriously, said Yelverton. “Several years ago, we worked with the City Council to establish a strategy to reduce the debt as a percentage of assessed valuation over the long term. It’s good to see that percentage decrease year after year.”

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PD helps residents ‘blow away the box’ at hiring fair

At the Fort Worth Police Department’s first Blow Away the Box job fair, held at Como First Baptist Church last month, officers and volunteers helped more than 100 attendees apply for jobs. So far, more than half of the applicants who were unemployed are working, and many others have strong job leads.

The job fair was organized by community leaders in the FWPD’s West Division in conjunction with Tammy Maguire of People Ready, an employment agency that has helped more than 150 Fort Worth residents, most with felony violations or less-than-perfect backgrounds.

“Blow Away the Box” refers to the box on job applications that asks whether a candidate has a criminal history.

“We proved that we were able to meet an important, generational community need,” said Officer Tracy Carter, one of the event organizers. “This police/community effort gave members of the community hope that manifested in the form of exciting new opportunities to legally earn wages by blowing away the box and improving the quality of their lives, as well as their family members’ lives.”

Financial counselors were available to mentor and educate participants, who learned important fiscal management skills to increase the benefits of their new employment.

“Our mission in this endeavor was simple,” Carter said. “We strive to provide employment opportunities for all who need them, and through education and employment, break the box and change the lives and future for all involved.”

Other event organizers include Tammy Maguire, People Ready; Glen Strongberg Investment Group; Abdul Chappell, Build a Better Hood Partners of Tarrant County; the Rev. Kenneth Jones, Como First Baptist Church; the Rev. Kyev Tatum; and Nathan Carter.

A larger job fair is scheduled for Sept. 28 at New Mount Rose Missionary Baptist Church, 2864 Mississippi Ave. There are also plans to branch out to the north and east areas of Fort Worth.

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Important Notification for Residents on Royal Lane & Knight Court

Southlake Public Works Wastewater personnel will begin necessary repairs on a sewer line located under the roadway in the 600 block of Royal Lane on Wednesday, February 7. Work will continue through the end of Thursday, February 8, weather permitting.

Access to eight homes on Knight Court will be affected. A message board has been placed at the entrance to Royal Lane off of Johnson Rd. to notify residents. Access will be limited to residents and emergency vehicles only. Road plates will be installed over the roadway at the end of the day. Workers will assist residents in getting to their homes.

If you have any questions, please contact Public Works Operations at (817) 748-8082.

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Utility service assistance available to Fort Worth residents

Utility service assistance is available to residents who need help with electric and gas bills to avoid utility service disruption. Fort Worth’s Community Action Partners program receives Comprehensive Energy Assistance Program funds, which make the assistance possible.

Applicants must provide proof of residence and household income along with a current utility bill. Income eligibility is 150 percent of federal poverty income guidelines:

  • Family unit of one: income below $18,090.
  • Family unit of two: income below $24,360.
  • Family unit of three: income below $30,630.
  • Family unit of four: income below $36,900.
  • Family unit of five: income below $43,170.
  • Family unit of six: income below $49,440.
  • Family unit of seven: income below $55,710.
  • Family unit of eight: income below $61,980.
  • For each additional person, add $6,270.

Apply online or download a mail-in application.

Community Action Partners is a division of the City of Fort Worth’s Neighborhood Services Department.

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New rules of procedure in place for residents addressing Council meetings

The City Council approved new rules of procedures for residents who want to speak at City Council meetings. The new rules go into effect Nov. 30.

Here’s what you need to know:

Sign up to speak

Everybody who chooses to speak before Council must register by 5 p.m. on the day of the meeting. There are several ways to register:

  • Drop by the City Secretary’s Office on the third floor of City Hall, 200 Texas St.
  • Call the City Secretary’s Office at 817-392-6150.
  • Filling out a speaker card online using the links available on the online Council Agenda.

Written comments may be submitted in lieu of making an oral presentation.

Make your presentation

  • Begin by stating your name and your city of residence.
  • You will be allowed three minutes to address the Council. The meeting chair, at his or her discretion, may reduce the time to two minutes per speaker.
  • Group presentations are permitted as long as a speaker is representing at least 10 other people. Provide those names when you register. All 10 people must be present in the Council Chamber and will be asked to stand and be recognized when their name is called.
  • Group presentations can be up to six minutes long; however, if all 10 people are not present, the presentation is limited to three minutes.

Rules of conduct

Residents have the right to criticize policies, procedures, programs and services, but speakers must stick to the time limits and stay on topic.

New rules of conduct prohibit behavior that fails to yield the floor when the speaker’s time is concluded; is not relevant to the agenda item or city business; repeatedly interrupts a councilmember; disturbs the order of the meeting; involves loud, threatening, hostile, abusive, vulgar or obscene language; and intends to break up the council meeting with prolonged loud yelling or clapping.

View tips for making successful presentations to the City Council.

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A visual emergency alert for Fort Worth residents now available

When outdoor warning sirens are activated for severe weather events, an act of terrorism or a manmade disaster, many people with a sensory disability living or working in Fort Worth will not receive the alert.

To help provide emergency alerts to the entire community, the Fort Worth Office of Emergency Management has contracted with DeafLink, a national leader in sensory disability services, to provide the Accessible Hazard Alert Program, or AHAS. It’s a free visual alert service to any resident, worker or visitor who is deaf, hard of hearing, blind or deaf/blind.

How it works

DeafLink receives the alerts from the National Weather Service or the Office of Emergency Management and creates a visual message in American Sign Language, English voice, English text and refreshable Braille. The program was recently expanded to include a Spanish-language text in addition to the English version. The visual alert is sent to Fort Worth AHAS participants using ZIP code locations.

AHAS participants must have a video device capable of receiving video signals, such as a smart phone, iPad or email or a refreshable Braille reader in order to get the alert.

Register online

Residents can receive this free service by registering for AHAS online. Because the program uses Fort Worth ZIP codes as location markers, the AHAS program is only available within the city limits of Fort Worth.

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HarborChase of Southlake Welcomes First Residents in September

No one says getting old will be easy, but in Southlake, you can do it in style. HarborChase Assisted Living and Memory Care is the fourth facility to open in the city catering to seniors. With its first residents scheduled to move-in this September, HarborChase is putting the final touches on the approximate 35,000 square foot, two-story building located at 700 E. State Highway 114 (between Carroll Avenue and White Chapel Boulevard).

HaborChase Dining RoomAccording to Executive Director Mindi Willis, they currently have 50 deposits and can house up to 92 residents.

“One of the things that make HarborChase unique is that we are a Christian-based company and provide extensive training for all staff members. We hire for heart, not just for experience,” said Willis, adding there will be 60-80 staff members onsite, depending on patient care needs.

A trademark of HarborChase properties is to incorporate elements from the hospitality industry, which is evident in the lobby with cozy seating areas, a fireplace, concierge desk, and bistro that sells coffee, snacks, sandwiches and salads. Other hotel-style amenities include a full-service bar and lounge, indoor and outdoor dining areas, pizza kitchen, beauty salon, billiards room, art studio, and meeting spaces for games, activities and presentations. The Wellness Room provides physical therapy equipment, a massage room, and an office for visiting physicians. A dog park (HarborChase is a pet-friendly facility), butterfly garden and landscaped courtyards are intended to encourage residents to spend time outside.

HarborChase offers two options for senior living: Its memory care unit, known as The Cove, has 30 rooms and eight companion suites. Located on the upper “Garden” level are 17 assisted living apartments equipped with a refrigerator and microwave. Nurse stations are located in each section.

“We intentionally have many areas to encourage socialization among residents and provide activities for family members when visiting. We want this to be an extension of their home,” explained Willis, noting that all rooms and apartments are unfurnished so they can be decorated with personal items.

HarborChase Lobby“The wonderful thing about our Southlake community is that everyone here is treated like family. Making sure residents with elderly family members have great living options with premiere facilities, like HarborChase, is what makes our community such a caring and wonderful place to live,” said Mayor Laura Hill.

In addition to HarborChase, Southlake is also home to the master-planned retirement community Watermere at Southlake, which offers villa and condominium homes to persons 55 and older, along with assisted living options and long-term care services. The Carlyle at Stonebridge Park specializes in skilled nursing care and rehabilitation services. Silverado is a memory care community with staff specially trained in the challenges of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other types of dementia.

For more information about HarborChase or to schedule a tour, contact Mindi Willis at (682) 305-7022 or mwillis@hraonline.net.

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