Worth Archive


Fort Worth designated first Age-Friendly Community in Texas

Fort Worth is the first Age-Friendly Community in Texas.

The AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities helps participating communities become great places for all ages by adopting such features as safe, walkable streets; better housing and transportation options; access to key services; and opportunities for residents to participate in community activities.

“This is really a communitywide effort,” Mayor Betsy Price said. “Once again we are leading the charge to improve the quality of life and quality of place so everyone can enjoy their life here in Fort Worth.”

The City Council voted unanimously in favor of the action plan that led toward the city becoming an Age-Friendly Community. The plan will be implemented with existing staff and budgets and will be incorporated into the city’s Comprehensive Plan.

In the U.S., more than three dozen communities representing more than a dozen states are enrolled in the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities.

View a survey summary of age-friendly living in Fort Worth.

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Experience holiday merriment at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden

A visit to the Fort Worth Botanic Garden is always a breathtaking experience, especially during the holiday season when the halls are decked with trees, poinsettias and greenery.

The garden staff has planned three special activities during the holiday season:

Fort Worth Opera Christmas Singalong

Start your holidays with friends and family and enjoy and enjoy a free singalong concert at 2:30 p.m. Dec. 2 in the Lecture Hall. The Fort Worth Opera TCU Lesley Apprentice artists will perform a festive blend of classic carols, holiday songs and opera favorites.

Holiday High Tea

At 2 p.m. on Dec. 9, the garden will host its first Holiday High Tea in the Oak Hall Ballroom. Enjoy a selection of teas, assorted sandwiches and delectable cakes and treats. Attire is lace and pearls. Seating is limited. Cost is $45 for adults, $35 for children ages 4-12. RSVP to Stephanie Sellers at 817-392-5535.

Santa’s Wonderland

From 1-5 p.m. Dec. 16, join Santa and Mrs. Claus for crafts, games, story time and holiday treats at the Botanical Research Institute of Texas. Cost is $15 for adults, $12 for children up to age 12. Please limit four children per adult. RSVP to Stephanie Sellers at 817-392-5535.

The Fort Worth Botanic Garden is at 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd.

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Apex Arts League and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra Present Sounds of the Season

The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra will return to Southlake on December 21 to perform a holiday-themed concert at White’s Chapel United Methodist Church. Associate Conductor Alejandro Gómez Guillén will lead the orchestra in seasonal favorites, including selections from The Nutcracker Suite, Charlie Brown Christmas, Pachelbel’s Canon and Gigue, Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride” and a Christmas sing-along.

The program, titled Sounds of the Season, is presented in partnership with the Apex Arts League.

This concert begins at 7:00 p.m. in White’s Chapel UMC, Southlake on Thursday, December 21, 2017. Prices are $10 for children and $20 for adults, with discounts available for Apex Arts League members. Tickets can be purchased by calling the FWSO Ticket Office at 817-665-6000, by visiting www.fwsymphony.org.

This information was provided by Apex Arts League. The Apex Arts League is a 501c3 organization that was established to enhance community awareness, participation and appreciation of the arts in the apex, which is the north-central region of the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex.

Sounds of the Season Flyer

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Fort Worth amends business diversity enterprise ordinance to increase M/WBE participation

Effective, Jan. 1, 2018, the City of Fort Worth will begin accepting certifications from the Dallas/Fort Worth Minority Supplier Development Council and the Women’s Business Council-Southwest, in addition to the Texas Department of Transportation and the North Central Texas Regional Certification Agency.

The City Council adopted an ordinance on Oct. 24 to create a program under which goals are established for awarding certain city contracts to certified minority business enterprises, women business enterprises and small business enterprises.

Their principal places of business must be in Tarrant, Denton, Wise, Parker, Johnson or Dallas counties. (These counties are known as the “marketplace.”) Otherwise, a business must have a significant business presence in the marketplace. A business whose principal place of business is outside the marketplace is eligible if, among other things, at least 20 percent of its full-time and part-time employees are based in the marketplace.

The city’s Minority and Women Business Enterprise Advisory Committee includes 18 members: one representative from four chambers of commerce; six partner organizations that promote the utilization and growth of M/WBEs; one regional certification agency; two community groups and five internal City of Fort Worth departments.

“The City of Fort Worth is one of the founders of the North Central Texas Regional Certification Agency, which was created in 1989, and has been an active member on the board since its inception,” said Gwen Wilson, business development manager in the Office of Business Diversity. “The city has only accepted certifications from vendors who are certified by the North Central Texas Regional Certification Agency and TxDOT. In our efforts to increase M/WBE participation in our procurement process, we have to expand our reach by joining other organizations that allow us access to their members.

“We recognize that the D/FW Minority Supplier Development Council and the Women’s Business Council-Southwest have been in the certification business longer than anyone. They provide business development workshops and training to M/WBEs, plus they host the largest public- and private-sector networking events in the D/FW area, which will allow the city to meet hundreds of M/WBEs at one venue. We look forward to fostering a long-term relationship with these agencies and their members.”

To learn more, call 817-392-2674 or visit the business diversity section of the website.

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Fort Worth listed among 20 organizations that value diversity

Connecting with like-minded peers is great, but there’s also a lot to be said for getting to know co-workers from different backgrounds and walks of life.

The City of Fort Worth is one of 20 employers that see the value in that very thing, according to Muse.com, an online career source for the millennials (ages 18-34).

Fort Worth was honored for championing diversity and fostering a culture of inclusivity.

“One of the fastest growing cities in the nation, Fort Worth offers all the educational information and activities residents require to live a happy, healthy life in the cool community,” the website stated.

“This organization finds it easy to celebrate diversity—it takes a cue from the city itself, which is extremely diverse. As a city with an average age of just 31.6 years old, Fort Worth is a vibrant and lively community that people love to call home. City of Forth Worth employees love their time in the office just as much — thanks to their supportive colleagues.”

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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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Kenneth Morgan named Fort Worth water director

Kenneth Morgan, who has experience in water and wastewater, including management roles at several utilities, is the new director of the Fort Worth Water Department.

While Morgan earned his civil engineering degree from University of Missouri-Rolla, he was a co-op student with Schlumberger and eventually worked full-time for the company after graduation. Early in his career, Morgan joined Denver Water and worked his way up the ranks, leading projects such as inspections of reservoirs, a rehabilitation program and design and relocation of water lines.

In 2002, he became managing director of community development at the City of O’Fallon, Mo. He was responsible for public works, planning, construction management, streets, contracts for wastewater and water, building, engineering and inspectors in the city of 75,000.

In 2004, he took an operations manager role with the St. Louis Metropolitan Sewer District, the sixth largest sewer district in the country at the time. There he developed teams and grew employee productivity. Next, he took an operations manager role at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities.

Morgan became deputy water services director at the City of Phoenix, responsible for the city’s water distribution system, which had a service area of 540 square miles and served 1.5 million people. In 2013, Morgan accepted the role of public works director in Gilbert, Ariz., population 240,000.

Morgan has been consulting for the past year with California and Nevada’s American Water Works Association branches. His consulting services focused on training and include operator certification training, workshops to help agencies better manage their assets, evaluation of crews and development of standard operating procedures.

Morgan starts work in Fort Worth on Dec. 11.

Fort Worth-based Mackenzie Eason & Associates executed the search that resulted in Morgan’s hiring.

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Ambassadors keep downtown Fort Worth safe, appealing

Wondering how to get to the Fort Worth Water Gardens? Want a recommendation for a good barbecue place downtown? Or simply need to report an overflowing trash bin?

Downtown Fort Worth now has a crew of helpers, all decked out in neon green shirts, who can help with all that and more.

Downtown Fort Worth Inc. (DFWI) has added Downtown Ambassadors to the services provided by the Downtown Public Improvement District (PID). The Ambassadors will be circulating throughout downtown in their vibrant green pickup, on foot, on bicycles and on Segways to help visitors, create a friendly and welcoming environment, and add extra eyes and ears on the street.

To fund the program, the City Council in September approved a downtown PID assessment rate increase from 10 cents per $100 of value on taxable downtown properties to 12.5 cents. DFWI manages the PID and has been working with downtown property owners for nearly a year to develop this new program.

DFWI conducted a national search for service providers and selected Block by Block to manage the program. Block By Block manages services for 94 districts across the county, including Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Corpus Christi and Uptown Dallas.

“This is a value-added service. Downtown has new office space coming online, new residential developments and hotels being added at a record pace and more conventioneers than ever before. We have more people in downtown needing assistance,” said DFWI Chair Rick Baumeister. “The Ambassadors will do everything from help with a package and give restaurant recommendations to changing a tire and helping get appropriate social services to those in need.”

The crew will be on duty downtown from 7 a.m.-midnight, seven days a week. Contact the on-duty supervisor at 817-484-3723.

Jed Wagenknecht, PID advisory committee chair, said the Ambassadors will also serve as an “observe, report and deter team.”

“The Ambassadors will provide additional sets of eyes and ears on the street. They will help the police and sheriff’s departments and private security teams by reporting suspicious behavior, and they will help discourage bad behavior by their presence,” Wagenknecht said.

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Fort Worth arts organizations are an economic powerhouse

The arts mean business. That’s the message being delivered by the Arts Council of Fort Worth, which presented the findings of Arts & Economic Prosperity 5, a national study measuring the economic impact of nonprofit arts and culture organizations and their audiences.

In 2015, the typical attendee to nonprofit arts events in Fort Worth spent $36.26 per person, per event, beyond the cost of admission on meals, transportation, babysitting and other event-related spending. Additionally, 2015 spending on the nonprofit arts sector in Fort Worth totaled $450.6 million. That includes $256 million in spending by the organizations themselves and $194.6 million in spending by audiences.

The arts support 14,480 jobs in Fort Worth, survey data indicated.

“Bottom line: The arts are not just food for the soul, they put food on the table,” said Randy Cohen, vice president of Americans for the Arts, a nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education.

Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 is the fifth study over the past 20 years to measure the impact of arts spending on local jobs, income paid to local residents and revenue generated to local and state governments.

As one of 341 study partners, the Arts Council of Fort Worth collected detailed financial information about Fort Worth’s nonprofit arts and culture organizations such as its theater and dance companies, museums, galleries and arts education organizations.

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Planning association awards Fort Worth

Fort Worth has been named Community of the Year by the Texas Chapter of the American Planning Association.

The award was presented to city staff at the group’s annual convention in Frisco.

The award recognizes Fort Worth’s efforts to become the Most Livable City in Texas and cites recent efforts such as the Berry-University development plan, a complete streets policy, expanded downtown urban design district, comprehensive solid waste master plan, bike-share program, age-friendly community designation and several health and well-being initiatives.

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