Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Library Task Force to Present to City Council on June 7

The Southlake Library Task Force is scheduled to present its recommendations to the City Council on Tuesday, June 7, 2022.

“The level of engagement on this issue has been extraordinary,” said Councilmember and Task Force Co-Chair Kathy Talley. “We have heard from hundreds of community members who are passionate about this new opportunity and what it will mean to Southlake.”

Many citizens used an online comment form to share their thoughts. Councilmember Talley noted that the comment form will be open until Monday, June 6, 2022.

“It’s vital that our residents have the opportunity to get involved in such an important decision,” said Talley.

Earlier this year, the Library Task Force was charged with looking closely at the future of the library and working with the community to envision a new space that welcomes people at the front door and invites them to experience a library in a whole new way.

          

After visiting libraries and community spaces in other DFW Metroplex cities, the Task Force hosted two Open Houses and Town Hall Meetings. Those meetings held on May 11, 2022, and May 16, 2022, helped provide the Task Force with citizen feedback and allowed them to report what they had learned through the research process. Then, on May 25, 2022, the Task Force presented location options to the Library Board, facility amenities, and complementary uses that could be incorporated into the facility.

The Council will review the Task Force recommendations and the Library Board’s feedback at the June 7 meeting. The public is invited to the in-person meeting or can watch online. The meeting starts at 5:30 in the Town Hall Council Chamber. The Task Force is expected to present their findings at approximately 7:00 p.m. following Executive Session.

City of Southlake Facilities Reopen Friday, 2-25

All City of Southlake facilities, including Champions Club at The Marq, will reopen for regular business hours on Friday, 2/25.

Trash and Recycling

Residential trash and recycling routes resume their routine schedule on Friday (2/25). For those who missed collection earlier this week, please place your trash and recycling out on your next regularly scheduled collection day. For more information, please visit CityofSouthlake.com/TrashandRecycling.

Road Treatment/Mobility

Road treatments started early Thursday morning in key areas throughout Southlake. As our crews continue to treat the roads and then begin the clean-up, please give them plenty of room to do their job. Look for the latest updates on www.ProtectSouthlake.com and the City’s social media channels.

E-Services

As always, we encourage residents to use the City’s e-services to access the City’s online offerings and quick links. If you have questions, call us during regular business hours at 817-748-8400.

Stay Up to Date
Stay up to date via the City of Southlake’s Facebook page or the Winter Weather webpage on ProtectSouthlake.com.

City Council Discusses Use of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funds

The Southlake City Council has begun work to earmark more than $8 million of federal funds the city is expected to receive from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

In Tuesday’s City Council meeting, the city discussed the staff recommendation to use the funds for water infrastructure improvements.

“Our recommendation was built around the desire to advance key water projects to strengthen our system and accelerate construction of large, high-impact projects,” said Assistant City Manager Alison Ortowski, who has been appointed as the city’s ARPA Program Director. “We are prioritizing projects that meet the federal guidelines and can be completed within the grant timeframe.”

Council provided staff with direction to move forward with the plan as presented. Next steps will include finalizing the project priority list, developing conceptual costs and a project schedule. Once plans are finalized, projects will be designed, and all approved projects must be completed by the federal deadline of December 2026.

All ARPA funds that are utilized adhere to a strict set of guidelines which relate back to COVID-19.

ARPA projects will complement the city’s ongoing work on its water infrastructure. Projects most recently completed include the installation of larger water lines on North White Chapel, along SH 114, in the southern part of the city near the fuel farms, and along TW King. The City has also coordinated with the City of Colleyville for an interconnection, like the interconnection already in place with the City of Grapevine. Pump station infrastructure has been improved, and power assessments have been completed. Technology upgrades and corrective maintenance throughout the system have also been accomplished.

Meet World Class Employee Barbara Walsh

The Southlake Public Library is full of tall tales, fantastic books and special treasures. One of the library’s precious jewels is longtime employee Barbara Walsh.

Walsh has served at the library for 15 years.

She works behind the scenes with the team organizing the library’s daily activities before the facility opens to the public.

“As a team, we process holds, collect the book drop, merchandise the stacks and display areas, prepare coffee for customers and get ready for different interactive programs,” Walsh said.

When she is not working with her teammates, you will find Walsh primarily working at the circulation desk assisting customers.

“I’ve always enjoyed my job as a library service clerk and meeting with the public daily,” Walsh said.

Although a typical day may be anything but typical, Walsh is fulfilled when it comes to her job.

“It is a happy place that has given me personal gratification, and the library staff has been like family to me over the last 15 years,” she said.

Walsh also discussed making special connections with customers and watching their children grow throughout the years.

“I am privileged to work at an uncommonly friendly and exciting environment and proud to serve our community,” she said. “We all take pride in creating a welcoming atmosphere before “showtime” when the doors open at 10 a.m. As these daily tasks are performed, we share a warm camaraderie and sense of community pride.” For more information about the services offered at the Southlake Public Library, please visit us online or follow us on Facebook.

Former Public Works Employee Bill Hollings Named Star of Texas Recipient

Former City of Southlake Public Works employee Bill Hollings was named a Star of Texas recipient by Governor Greg Abbott.

Mr. Hollings, a traffic supervisor, passed away in August of 2020 due to his injuries from a July 2020 traffic accident believed to be caused by a drunk driver. At the time of the accident, he was aiding the Southlake Police Department in keeping an intersection safe after the traffic signals lost power.

Gov. Abbot present Star of Texas Award to Ms. Hollings

Governor Greg Abbot presents the Star of Texas award to Vivian Hollings on behalf of her late husband, Bill Hollings.

The Star of Texas Awards honor all Texas peace officers, firefighters, emergency medical first responders, and federal law enforcement officers who are seriously injured or lost in the line of duty. Private citizens who were seriously injured or passed away while aiding or attempting to aid a peace officer, firefighter, or emergency first responder in the performance of their duties are also eligible to receive a Star of Texas Award. Southlake Police Chief James Brandon nominated Mr. Hollings in the private citizen category.

“The City of Southlake is pleased that Bill could be honored in this way. He was devoted to his beautiful family and his faith. We are lucky to call him one of our own,” said Southlake City Manager Shana Yelverton.

Chief AshleighCasey with Ms. Hollings

Southlake Assistant Police Chief Ashleigh Casey with Vivian Hollings, wife of the late Southlake Public Works employee Bill Hollings who died while assisting the City’s traffic patrol in keeping an intersection safe after the traffic signals lost power.

Forty-six Texans were honored this year. Governor Abbott started the ceremony with remarks telling the families and audience: “We pray with gratitude for you and your families. The service of your loved ones will never be forgotten.”

The entire ceremony can be viewed here- https://control.resi.io/webplayer/video.html?id=a030e9e1-8d02-484b-ab74-56b50f7a3e50. Mr. Hollings’ family is seen accepting his Star of Texas Medal at 2:32:36.

Troop 168 Carries on Tradition of Placing American Flags at Town Square

With dew on the ground, the sun peeking through the horizon, shadows begin to scatter around the front of Town Square, as members and leaders of Boy Scout Troop 168 begin placing American flags around the perimeter of the front lawn one by one, paying homage to the United States of America.

This scene has occurred since 2010 as the Troop sets out and takes down the American flags at Town Square on seven holidays each year.

Scoutmaster Simon McLean said Troop 168 takes pride in honoring America and these special holidays with the placement of the flags.

“We’re proud to do so,” Scoutmaster McLean said. “And participating scouts receive service hours when they fulfill this responsibility.”

The Troop places the flags in Town Square each President’s Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, Patriot’s Day, Veteran’s Day and Pearl Harbor Day. So, if you ever wondered who ensured a symbol of our City’s pride in the USA was displayed on these holidays, you now know it was an act of service from the Southlake Boy Scout Troop 168.

Southlake Historical Society’s exhibit on Bob and Almeady Chisum Jones wins 2021 AASLH Award of Excellence

The Southlake Historical Society (SHS) was recently named the recipient of an American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) Award of Excellence for “Bob and Almeady Chisum Jones: A True Story of Resilience, Courage, and Success.” The AASLH Leadership in History Awards, now in its 76th year, is the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history.

The exhibit tells the story of former slaves who established a prosperous ranch, built relationships with white neighbors and townspeople based on friendship and respect, and valued church, education, hard work and family. The Joneses continue to impact Southlake today.

“Our goal was to make history real by connecting it to the namesake of Bob Jones Nature Center, park and road,” said Anita Robeson, SHS historian. “The Joneses’ remarkable story of perseverance and success in an uncertain world is often overlooked, but it is one everyone should know. It is part of the heritage of Texas.” See the exhibit virtually at www.SouthlakeHistory.org or in person at the Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve visitor center when the building is open during programming hours.

“The Bob Jones family has left a lasting legacy for the city that will forever define Southlake,” said Southlake Mayor John Huffman. “We are grateful to the Southlake Historical Society for bringing their incredible story to life through this award-winning exhibit.”

This year, AASLH is proud to confer 38 national awards honoring people, projects, exhibits and publications. The winners represent the best in the field and provide leadership for the future of state and local history.

The Southlake Historical Society was formed in the early 1990s after Gary Fickes, a former Southlake mayor and now a Tarrant County commissioner, put an ad in the Grapevine Sun newspaper asking people interested in Southlake history to meet. The 2021 board members are Connie Cooley, president; Claire Johnson, secretary; Terri McAndrew, treasurer; Rebecca Utley, director of development; and Anita Robeson, historian. In 2013, the society received the AASLH’s Albert B. Corey Award, which recognizes “volunteer historical organizations that best display vigor, scholarship and imagination.”

The American Association for State and Local History is a not-for-profit professional organization of individuals and institutions working to preserve and promote history.

The City would like to extend its appreciation to the Southlake Historical Society for their partnership on this story and the virtual tour video that was created so people could enjoy the exhibit online. The City’s collaboration with the Historical Society goes back to the early 1990s.

Home-Grown Staff: From Volunteer to Camp Director

Summer Camp Mania is a Southlake staple and one of our most beloved recreation programs. Today, we celebrate one of the special Community Services Staff Members that make it all happen: Meet Emma Blight!

 

Emma is currently going into her junior year of college at the University of Oklahoma majoring in Public and Non-Profit Administration. She is kind-hearted, selfless, and brings a smile to everyone around her. Emma’s story is just one example of our staff’s commitment to creating life-long memories for our residents.

 

Emma has been a crucial part of the Parks and Recreation team for six years. She initially made her mark as a Summer Camp Mania volunteer for two years in a row. During her first year, she was even honored with the Junior Volunteer of the Year award. Having enjoyed her volunteer experience so much, Emma took her commitment to the department to the next level by becoming a Camp Counselor. During her time with Camp Mania, Emma developed positive relationships, environments, and games for kids of various ages.

 

When the opportunity to become this year’s Camp Director became open, Emma knew she had to jump on it! Camp is only a few weeks in, but she has already exceeded expectations for the role! When your child comes home thrilled from a fun-filled day at Camp, make sure to thank Emma for her passion and dedication to Camp Mania.

 

Emma’s career within the Community Services Department is just one example of the career growth that’s possible when you have the right attitude. From volunteer to counselor to Camp Director, we are very excited to see what comes next for Emma’s future with our department.

 

“Working for the City of Southlake helped me find a job that I truly care about, as well as exemplified what it truly means to be a part of a team!”—Emma Blight, Camp Director.

 

We are happy to have Emma be a part of our team!

Meet Your MODs- Lexi Briner

It’s getting hot outside, so there’s no better time than summer to take your workout indoors and into Champions Club! When you do, make sure to wave at MOD, Lexi Briner!

Those committed enough to fitness to work out on the weekends may have run into this week’s featured MOD Lexi Briner. Lexi oversees keeping Champions Club in tip-top shape on Saturdays and Sundays so that you can continue crushing your wellness goals.

For those that take a well-deserved rest day over the weekend, we wanted to give you the pleasure of getting to Lexi. Here’s what she had to say to us:

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I was born in Toledo, OH, but grew up in Texas starting at age 7. I went to college at Central Christian College of Kansas, where I played golf and got my degree in Sport Management. I coached golf when I graduated college until I joined the City of Southlake in September of 2019 as a Recreation Specialist in Athletics. I became a MOD in October of 2020.

What are your hobbies and what do you like to do in your free time? 

I enjoy reading, playing golf, spending time with my family, and playing with my dog.

What is your favorite thing to do at Champions Club? 

My favorite thing to do at Champions Club is look out over the courts from the track and watch our members enjoy themselves. I think that it is the best view in the building!

What do you like most about being a MOD? 

I really enjoy getting to walk around the building and build relationships with the members and staff. I think that the key to a well-run facility is to have good relationships with everyone.

What would you say to someone considering a Champions Club membership?

I would tell them that they won’t regret it! There is something for everyone here, and we would be happy to welcome them into the Champions Club family.

Challenge yourself this month to work out on a Sunday, and make sure to head to the track and say hello to Lexi!