With frigid temperatures expected to continue through the end of the week, here is the latest information on rolling blackouts/power outages and City of Southlake program and meeting cancelations.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) advised all Texas power providers early Monday morning that they had entered emergency conditions and initiated rotating outages.
Oncor, one of Southlake’s primary power providers, said, “The length of controlled outages have been significantly extended due to the current emergency grid conditions and severe cold weather. These outages are taking place across the service territory, and ERCOT has said they could be required through Tuesday.” They also added that all Oncor customers should prepare to be without power for an extended period of time. Click here >>> http://bit.ly/Oncor3rW5i0P for Oncor’s outage map. They also have a downloadable mobile app.
Tri-County Electric provided this Facebook video update to its customers. Roughly 58,000 members are out of power, with 2,400 being snow/weather-related and 55,800 members involved in the rotating outages. Their alert page is here, and they are also encouraging their members to go to their Facebook page for updates.
The City has opened up an Emergency Temporary Warming Shelter for residents at the DPS North Facility, 100 East Dove Road. Residents who utilize the facility are encouraged to bring water and snacks. Limited electrical outlets are available for use. For more information, visit the City’s webpage.
Parks and Recreation Programs
Ideas are beginning to take shape for the artwork planned to be installed at the Park Village fountain at the corner of Southlake Boulevard and Carroll Avenue.
During a joint meeting January 27, Mayor Laura Hill, the City Council and the Southlake Arts Council discussed art options and timeframe for the installation.
The Arts Council envisions a contemporary sculpture that portrays flight. The property is the former site of an airstrip. Discussions are ongoing with an artist based in Arkansas.
“Southlake’s Public Art program brings such a special feel to our community,” Mayor Laura Hill said. “Working with the Arts Council to bring another incredible piece to one of Southlake’s most popular areas is exciting. That corner deserves a special piece that captures the spirit of our City and all it represents.”
Funding for the artwork will come from a public investment agreement with the property owner that uses sales and property tax from the development.
In November, the Southlake City Council approved a zoning change and site plan for the Park Village development that included modifications to the fountain area. The fountain was deemed inoperable, and the modifications will correct issues to create a community atmosphere. The site plans call for the City to install public art.
The property owner began construction this week to modify the fountain area with an anticipated completion June 2021, weather permitting.
In an effort to accommodate space for social distancing, the December 1 Council Meeting will be held at the ballroom at The Marq Legends Hall at 5:30 p.m.
The Marq is located at 285 Shady Oaks Drive.
The meeting will also be streamed live through the Video On Demand service on the City’s website, however, due to the new location, the meeting will not be streamed on the City’s cable channel.
A recorded version of the meeting will be available on through the City’s Video On Demand service in approximately 48 hours after the meeting ends.
The City Council meeting agenda will be posted and available to view on the City’s website next week. View Council meeting agendas.
City Council approved the final concept and contract for new Public Art as a tribute to Bob and Almeady Jones at the November 17, City Council meeting.
Jones was a former slave, husband, and father who became a prosperous landowner and rancher in the Roanoke-Southlake. He and his wife Almeady Jones raised 10 children together and were well-respected residents.
As a part of Southlake’s art initiative to promote public art in Southlake, the Southlake Arts Council extended an invite to local artists to submit a proposal for a commissioned sculpture in honor of the Jones Family to be placed at Bob Jones Park. Artist Seth Vandable was selected for his piece, Bob and Almeady Jones Monument.
The bronze monument depicts Bob and Almeady dressed in period attire relaxing beside a picnic, enjoying a freshly harvested summer meal after a hard day of work farming, and teaching their children to welcome visitors to the park.
The piece incorporates the agricultural history of Southlake along with the family values and work ethic which would serve as a cultural touchstone to current residents and visitors.
According to Vandable’s artist statement, he believes the sculpture will be a reflection of the City’s past.
“I believe Southlake will strongly identify with this sculpture as a beautiful timeless symbol of your strong City’s past, the strength of the family and determination to succeed in the face of challenges,” he stated.
The monument will be on display at Bob Jones Park in Spring 2021.
Funding for this project is allocated within the approved FY 2021 Public Art Fund CIP budget in the amount of $100,000.
Stay in the know with the latest news and updates from City Council, Parks and Recreation, Planning and Zoning, SPIN and more by using the City’s on-demand video service to watch meetings.
This service allows customers to access City information 24 hours day, seven days a week.
You can find your meeting is just four easy steps.
1. Visit the City of Southlake website. Scroll down and you will see a green icon labeled Video OnDemand
2. Click the Video OnDemand icon and it will direct you to a list of available videos.
3. Select the meeting of your choice.
4. Once you have made your selection, chose the meeting you would like to watch. The meeting will display along with the agenda. Customers have the option to watch the full meeting or skip to a specific agenda item. A video transcript and option to share the video are also available.
If you would like to watch a live video, follow the same instructions for 1-3 and click Live.
City of Southlake Mayor Laura Hill and the City Council announced the appointment of new board and commission members during the October 6 City Council meeting.
These volunteers assist with serving the Southlake community by working alongside City staff, Council and the Mayor to help the City strategize to implement policies, review programs and meet goals.
Members were appointed to serve a term period of two years on the following boards: Community Engagement Committee, Community Enhancement Development Corporation, Crime Control & Prevention District Board, Library Board, Metroport Teen Court, Senior Advisory Commission and the Southlake Arts Council.
If you are interested in becoming a part of one our boards or commissions, please visit our Boards and Commissions webpage.
Businesses in Town Square can now have an individualized look thanks to recent ordinances passed by City Council over the summer.
The modifications to the ordinances allow for greater flexibility for the provision of signage, administrative approval of storefront façade designs, and relieves some restrictions on the use of branding colors.
Town Square has always played a pivotal role in Southlake by serving as the heart of the community with retail, office and hotels which is highly critical for the community economically in terms of attracting visitors and other business opportunities.
The City has made recent modifications to the Town Square sign ordinance and Downtown “DT” zoning ordinance to create flexibility and efficiency in the provision of signage, store front designs and lighting with the intent to create an ordinance that streamlined the review and approval process.
The modifications to the ordinances will increase the variety and diversity in signage types to address new trends in retail while remaining complementary to building designs, the urban pedestrian-oriented environment and further placemaking efforts that may occur in the near future.
For more information on this ordinance, please contact the City of Southlake Planning and Development Services.
Another upscale hotel is making its way to Southlake. The future Westin Dallas Southlake will be located just north of State Highway 114 in between Carroll Avenue and Grace Lane.
Construction began in Fall 2019 for the six-story, 261-guestroom hotel that will feature 22 suites, 1 2-bedroom suite, and four Peloton suites. At completion, the property will include over 26,000 square feet of meeting space, an 8,000 square foot event lawn, modern restaurant and bar, state-of-the-art fitness center and resort-style pool with a pool deck and food and beverage service.
The project is being developed by SRH Hospitality and managed by Harrell Hospitality Group, both located in the DFW area.
“As a Southlake resident myself since the early 1980s, I’m proud to be associated with such an upscale facility, and to bring corporate and leisure visitors to this great city,” CEO Paul Barham said. “The high-quality facility and services offered by The Westin Southlake represent exactly what Southlake is known for.”
The hotel is scheduled to open in Fall 2021. The Westin was originally approved by the Southlake City Council in April 2014.
The Westin Southlake will add to Southlake’s existing 660 guest rooms
of which include the Hilton Southlake Town Square and Cambria Southlake hotels, as well as the Delta Marriott Southlake Hotel currently under construction.
For more information about The Westin Dallas Southlake, click here.
City of Southlake CFO Sharen Jackson provided a financial outlook during the May 19 City Council meeting.
Just like other organizations around the world, COVID-19 has impacted the City’s finances and operations. Two key revenue streams for the City of Southlake have been significantly affected, sales tax and hotel occupancy tax, also known as HOT. Sales tax revenue for March 2020 was down 7% from what was anticipated, while HOT revenue was down 62% from City projections. Sales tax revenue for March reflected a partial month of normal activity. It is anticipated that future collections will be significantly less than projected with the adopted FY 2020 budget beginning with the April report.
“Based on our projections, we probably will not collect any HOT taxes for a while going forward,” Jackson said during the meeting.
In March, the U.S. government passed the CARES Act to help with expense reimbursements, however this does not provide for revenue loss relief.
The State of Texas received $11.2 billion in CARES Act funds, with Tarrant County receiving more than $200 million in direct funding. The City expects to receive some of the funds delivered to Tarrant County as part of an interlocal agreement at an estimated rate of $55 per capita.
Jackson reminded the Council during the meeting that the City has the right to request these funds, but that funding is not guaranteed. These funds are required to be used as a reimbursement of costs due to COVID-19, but are not for replacing revenue lost due to decreases in sales, hotel and other taxes.
The City could also receive funds from Denton County for the small percentage of the city limits located in the county.
Jackson said the City will also apply for other government program grants to make up for any funding gaps. She anticipates a slow economic recovery period before sales and hotel tax revenue improves.
City Manager Shana Yelverton is expected to propose an amendment to the fiscal year 2020 budget in June to offset the decrease in revenue. This will be paired with reduced expenses and programming to balance the City’s budget.
To address the potential of decreased revenue, the City froze travel and hiring in March, as well as furloughed 150 employees in April. Large projects were deferred to stabilize the budget. Some community events were also canceled.
Yelverton will propose an FY 2021 budget that takes into consideration decrease revenues of sales and hotel taxes, as well as decreased revenue received from property taxes due to an expected rise in owners protesting property values.
“Early on, we made decisions to address any potential for decreased revenue so we could continue to make sure Southlake is a great place to live and work,” Yelverton said.” “We applied fact-based decision making and management best practices so that we remain good stewards of the funds we’ve been entrusted with. These decisions aren’t always easy, but they’re in the best interest of moving the City forward and responsibly managing our budget.”
Jackson said there are ongoing discussions on the federal level of additional legislation to appropriate revenue replacement funds for local governments.
“We went through our financial audit two months ago and we had fund balances even in excess of the stated goal of 25%,” Mayor Pro Tem Shawn McCaskill said. “Fortunately, we’ve been saving our pennies in the good times to cushion the blow in the bad times.”
During the meeting, Southlake Mayor Laura Hill discussed the perfect timing of previously approved tax breaks for Southlake.
“We also had a tax rate decrease in the current year. That was a tax break for all of our homeowners and also our businesses,” she said. “On top of that, we did the 20% homestead exemption for our residents.”
The City’s principles of planning ahead set the City to be on a good path by saving funds for a rainy day. The consistent planning and constant vigilance of the City’s staff and City Council will ensure that Southlake is prepared for what the future holds in a post-COVID-19 world. Watch the full presentation and Council meeting here.