Archive for November, 2008

City Council Meeting – 11/18/08

Mayor Maso was not with us at the beginning of the meeting as he was filming a tribute to news anchor Clarice Tinsley with Fox 4 News.  Clarice is celebrating 30 years of service.  The Mayor joined us shortly in executive session.  To see more about Clarice’s accomplishment, you can visit her tribute page.

The proclamations this week were:

  • Evan Sousa was recognized for becoming an Eagle Scout.  As part of his accomplishments, Evan helped raise over $1,200 through a carwash benefitting Frisco Cares clinic. Congrats to Evan for this achievement.
  • Jim Gandy, President of the Frisco EDC (“Economic Development Corporation”), was recognized for receiving his Certified Commercial Investment Manager (“CCIM”) designation.  Jim stared with Frisco in 1996 and has been integral in Frisco’s rapid development.  He feels this designation will help him with understanding the perspectives of business owners and developers looking to do business in Frisco.
  • Leadership Frisco Class 12 was recognized.  Leadership Frisco is a Frisco Chamber program where 20 citizens participate in a year long class to learn more about the city and seek leadership opportunities in the community.  Each year they also work on a project that serves as their legacy.  Class 12 announced their project will be social services focused and will seek ways to raise money for our local charities and promote volunteerism.  At a time of tough economic times, I cannot think of a more appropriate focus.  I look forward to seeing the accomplishments of Class 12.

A few weeks ago, staff presented the Budget and Audit Committee a proposal for hiring a 3rd party auditor to review our internal controls.  The Committee is made up of me, David Prince, Bart Crowder, and staff members.  I was pleased with this discussion as a former CPA auditor, I understand the importance of internal testing, even when you think everything is going well.  This process should ensure the city is operating as efficiently and effectively as possible.  I applaud our staff for their leadership in approaching Council with this recommendation.

In our Fire Monthly report, I was extremely impressed with the amount of education that our Fire Department does.  In October alone, staff attended 271 events and reached 36,336 residents to teach about Fire Safety.  Our Fire Department’s policy is the best way to fight a fire is to prevent one.  The dedication to education contributes to our Fire Department’s excellent ratings.

In our regular agenda, our main item was approving the revised Hike and Bike Trail Master Plan.  The previous plan was done in 2002 and needed updating since parts of town have developed differently than planned.  The plan calls for a 5 year goal to link major sections of trails to form larger pieces of connectivity.  Staff also worked very closely with the cycling community to develop bike routes. Improving the connectivity of our trails system was a priority established by Council and I look forward to this work over the coming years.  The finished product will not only connect Frisco, but will also connect to the trails system of other cities as well.

A few other items of note:

·         Speeds limits were adjusted on a number of roads.  You can see a full list here

·         Jeff Snowden was reappointed to the Denton County Transportation Authority

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I am certainly thankful for having the opportunity to live, work, and serve such a wonderful and dynamic community.

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City Council Meeting 11/4/2008

Anyone watching notice anything different with tonight’s Council meeting? No, the Mayor did not grow his hair out.  The Mayor was absent due to a previous family engagement.  Mayor Pro Tem Tony Felker did a fine job taking over the reigns in his absence.  This meeting was relatively short.  I think the audience appreciated that as most people were anxious to get home to watch the election results.

We spent the majority of our discussion on 2 items.  The first item was the decision on where to place a water tower and the second was the granting of an option extension on a parcel of land near the future Grand Park. 

The water tower was a difficult decision primarily because of the challenging economic times.  Frisco is in need of a water tower in the Main and Preston area.  Staff has been looking for some time for a suitable site. Some of the sites east of Preston were too expensive and would have required to City to sell off some of the unused pieces.  There were 2 sites west of Preston that were also suitable and less expensive solutions.  The site selected was more expensive that the alternative.  However, it enables the City to complete a piece of our Public Arts Master Plan by having a location for a public arts park.  It also will allow us to take the warehouse facility out of service.  This building does not meet current city standards and the shape of the land made it difficult for future redevelopment.  Frisco has done a great job with preserving the aesthetics of the Preston corridor and this project will help beautify the entrance to Main Street.

The other major discussion item surrounded the granting of the option extension.  There is a great deal of history on this parcel that led us to this point.  Years ago, Frisco was considering building a larger arena on this parcel.  The current arena was not large enough for our High School graduations and was limiting us on events that could be booked.  The City purchased 15 acres of this site to later use in exchange if an arena was built here.  Last year, Council decided to move forward on expanding the existing arena (currently under construction) rather than build a new one.  The owner of the rest of the land has an option to buy this 15 acre parcel from the City to use in their new development plans.  The agenda item was to allow the developer to extend their option so they could develop a new set of plans now that there is no longer an arena going in.  On this tract, there is a rather large tree farm that staff and Council wants to make sure is preserved as much as possible in the future development.  The extension contract had language that would help preserve the trees in exchange for granting the extension.  However, the language was not as tight as some of us would have liked.  The item was tabled for a month to determine if stronger language protecting the tree farm could be agreed upon.

A few other noteworthy items from the meeting:

  • The FAC celebrated its first anniversary in operation on October 22, 2008.  Activities to help celebrate the first year’s success of the Frisco Athletic Center are expected to take place in the first couple of weeks of November.

  • Cottonwood linear park: Given the past communication with the developer for this project, it appears that the development of the linear park may not occur in 2009, unless there is more movement with the development of the residential area adjacent to the park.  Staff will continue to communicate with the developer to see if the status of this project changes.

     

  • Mother-Son Dance – The two dances took place on Saturday, October 11, 2008 at Wakeland High School with a total registration of over 800 participants coming to the dances.  Given the response for this year’s dance, staff will quickly move forward to make arrangements to host the dances next year.

     

  • Eldorado Updates: Franchise utility companies continue to work on finishing  the  relocation of  facilities along Eldorado. Construction is expected  to  take 20months.   Staff is  attending monthly  update meetings with  the  contractor  and TxDOT.   A monthly newsletter will be distributed by email beginning in November to update businesses and citizens  affected  by  the  construction.    The newsletter will  also  be  posted  on  the Engineering Services website in English and Spanish. 

     

  • The traffic signal at Main St and Legacy was improved so that traffic could not see both lights when entering the intersection.  A few motorists were mistaking which light was directing them and this should prevent any future confusion.

     

  • Staff studied  traffic  volumes at Main –Street and Kyser Way and at Main Street and Majestic Gardens Drive to determine if they meet traffic signal warrants.  Staff conducted six speed studies and one stop sign study at the request of citizens.
  • Yes, the rumors are true.  Whataburger is coming to Frisco to be located at Preston and Lebanon.
  • Theresa Jo Reveal Shipman was contracted to act as an event coordinator for the Heritage Center and surrounding facilities.
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