Friday, June 18, 2021

Darlene Rubio, Public Works Employee, Passes Away

The City of Southlake is mourning the death of Southlake Public Works employee Darlene Rubio as a result of complications from COVID-19.

Darlene was an Administrative Secretary with the department and had worked for the City for four years.

“Darlene’s death is a mighty blow to our organization,” said City Manager Shana Yelverton. ”As a military veteran and an award-winning, tenured employee, she knew what it meant to be a faithful public servant.”

“Darlene was a cornerstone to our operations,” said Public Works Director Rob Cohen. “Her ability to work through the sometimes complicated nature of our business made her an essential member of our team,” he added.

Darlene started with the City in August 2015. Previous to her City work, she worked with Affiliated Bank as well as One Main Financial/CitiFinancial. Before her work in the financial sector, she spent four years in the United States Marine Corps, assisting senior-level military officers.

“We enjoyed working with Darlene and will miss her,” said City Manager Yelverton. “We are heartbroken that she is gone, and we offer our deepest condolences to her family and friends.”

In 2017, Darlene was named a City of Southlake Value Award winner for Accountability.

 

 

Road Construction Alert: Byron Nelson near Nettleton & Inwood

Pavement repairs on the northbound lanes of Byron Nelson Parkway between Nettleton and Inwood Drives are scheduled to begin August 6.

As the Southlake Public Works Street Division makes the necessary repairs, Byron Nelson Parkway will be reduced to a single lane in each direction within the southbound lanes for the duration of the project.

Drivers who are in the area are asked to keep an eye out for workers as well as message boards and traffic control measures.

The original completion date was scheduled to be August 17, but due to the rainy weather, it has been extended to August 24. Questions? Call (817) 748-8082.

2018 Drinking Water Quality Report in Homes Now

If you haven’t already received the 2018 Drinking Water Quality Report, it should be in your mailbox any day now.

The 2018 Drinking Water Quality Report gives you a detailed look at water quality in Southlake. The most important information you’ll find in the report is that drinking water in Southlake is safe.

This document is a technical tool the City uses to provide a summary of tests required by state and federal regulations. Some of the tests listed in the report show results for copper and lead levels, along with other regulated contaminants.

It’s important to note the test results show only trace amounts of contaminants measured in our water, well below the maximum levels established by the state.

Aside from providing test data the water report also details information about a number of topics you may not have thought about as having an impact on our water quality. Litter and polluted storm drains can have a negative impact on water quality in our streams, creeks and ponds. In addition to keeping our drinking water and stormwater clean, help keep wastewater-free of debris. Flushable wipes, cotton swabs and paint are some of the most common offenders flushed into the sewer system every day.

The report is a great one-stop-shop for your water quality questions. Find out how you can monitor your water consumption at home with the Eye on Water app, see when your lawn watering day is and find out how you can help protect your pipes.

Since its inception, the Water Quality Report continues to be a great source of information about Southlake’s water quality and the steps the City takes to maintain that quality. Download an extra copy of the report here.

Please let us know if you have any questions by contacting us at 817-748-8002.

 

Dirt is flying on N. White Chapel

The N. White Chapel widening project, between Highland and SH 114, is well underway and moving along schedule. Motorists can expect to see more orange barrels when construction picks up at the end of the school year.

As part of the first stages of the project, utility relocation work continues. As the work progresses to the next stages of the project, there will be some rolling lane closures to accommodate construction. Pavement for a temporary lane will be constructed in the next couple of weeks.

A tentative road closure is set for Saturday, June 2 in order for the contractor to safely make a utility crossing. As final preparations are made, more will be communicated to help ensure a safe closure. Message boards will also be in place several days before a closure happens.

“Safety is always one of our top priorities,” said Director of Public Work Rob Cohen. “When we started this project we said we anticipated work to take approximately 18 months to complete. This part of the project is just the start. As always, I’d like to remind motorists to be aware of their surroundings while they drive through a construction zone and keep an eye out for the workers.”

There are several ways to keep up-to-date with the project. Follow the new Southlake Mobility page on Facebook, sign up for the mobility email list, look for stories on My Southlake News and check out the project webpage.

May 21-25 is National Public Works Week!

Happy National Public Works Week, Southlake! Did you know there are actually seven divisions that make up Southlake Public Works? To celebrate, we want to share some interesting facts about our team below.

Streets Crew MSN_Social

Did you know that Southlake’s Streets & Drainage team manages the maintenance of 200 miles of roadway and 40 miles of stormwater channels? This Division works closely with Southlake’s Transportation Division, which oversees eight traffic signals and more than 5,500 roadway signs. Both of these operations divisions often work nights, weekends and holidays, all to keep our City’s infrastructure in tip-top shape! Learn more about them here.

Water Division MSN_Social

Southlake’s Water Utilities Division oversees the maintenance of 2,700 fire hydrants, 7,300 water valves and more than 280 miles of water line. The Water Utilities crews utilize wireless technology and networked data communications systems to manage the flow of millions of gallons of water per day, all to ensure that high-quality water is available whenever you need it! These crews will often work nights, weekends and holidays, to maintain high water quality levels and repair water leaks. Find out more about this team here.

Wastewater MSN_Social

Curious about how many miles of sanitary sewer lines there are in the City? We have more than 200 miles of sanitary sewer line and 14 lift station facilities (which are used to assist in wastewater flow) and the Wastewater Division is ready to maintain and repair all of it. These crews annually clean out all of the City’s sewer lines, repair lift stations and inspect manholes to ensure that wastewater will continue to flow in an efficient and safe manner. The division also works with local restaurants to proactively maintain grease traps and prevent potential system blockages or overflows. Just like all of our Operations crews, it’s not uncommon for this team to work nights, weekends and holidays to make repairs and keep Southlake clean! Get more information about this team here.

Enviornmental Coord MSN_Social

Ever wonder what Southlake’s Environmental Coordinator does? She works alongside our Water, Wastewater and Stormwater Divisions to ensure that all operations are performed within Federal and State environmental guidelines. She also works with regional and state agencies on initiatives such as stormwater pollution prevention, resolving illicit chemical discharges and other environmental protection programs. The City’s Environmental Coordinator is ready to go around the clock, always prepared to respond to an environmental concern! Learn more about her job here.

InspectorsandEngineer MSN_Social

Did you know that Southlake’s Engineering Services Division is part of Public Works? Yes, our civil engineers and construction inspectors work closely with developers, various types of consultants, franchise utility providers, other governmental agencies, contractors and the City’s Operations staff to oversee the expansion of our public infrastructure, including but not limited to: roadways, water and sewer lines, and stormwater facilities, to ensure they are built in compliance with City, state and federal standards.  Southlake’s Civil Engineers also review drainage concerns for residents and commercial stakeholders within the City. For more information, click here.

Pearson Ground Storage Water Tank Rehabilitation

Water tank repainting 1Beginning the week of November 17, 2014, the Pearson Ground Storage Tanks (GST) will undergo routine cleaning and repainting of the tanks’ interiors and exteriors. The painting of the tanks was approved at the October 7, 2014 City Council meeting and MK Painting, Inc. was awarded the contract to repaint the ground storage tanks. The project includes:

  • Painting the interior of Pearson GST #1 (the west tank)
  • Repairing the exterior of Pearson GST #2 (the east tank)

The repairs and repainting are scheduled to be completed by March 2015 with work being done between the hours of 7:00am and 9:00pm.

While the work is being done, there will be minimal to no traffic impacts. However, there may be some noise issues due to the work on the exterior of the east tank. Although that likelihood is also very slim.  Additionally, water service will not be affected during the repainting as this work is being conducted during the winter months when water demand is low.

Ensuring the integrity of the water storage system is incredibly important. Therefore, water tanks must be painted periodically to prevent rusting (corrosion of the steel) and discoloration (oxidation). The last time the Pearson GSTs were repainted was in 2008, when the exterior of Pearson GST #1 and the interior of Pearson GST #2 were painted and limited repairs were performed. This project will be the inverse of the previous work.

For additional information, please visit the project page here. For questions, please contact the Public Works Department at 817-748-8089.

Orange Barrel Alert – Franchise Utility Work at Southlake Boulevard & Randol Mill Avenue

Southlake Blvd/Randol Mill Ave Construction

Southlake Boulevard/Randol Mill Avenue Construction

Beginning the week of October 13, 2014, Atmos will be doing work at the intersection of Southlake Boulevard (FM 1709) and Randol Mill Avenue (FM 1938).  On Tuesday, October 14th, Atmos will perform routine maintenance work on their gas line by conducting a safe release of gas from their line next to Sprouts Marketplace.

Following this, Atmos will  temporarily  close two lanes at the intersection of Southlake Boulevard (FM 1709) and Randol Mill Avenue (FM 1938) in order to remove underground gas valves that are located under the southbound FM 1938 right- turn lanes. Work is only expected to be done two days this week – Wednesday, October 15, 2014 and Thursday, October 16, 2014 – from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm (weather permitting). The work is in preparation to the upcoming FM 1938 – Phase II widening project, which is anticipated to begin early 2015.

The two lanes affected by this temporary closure will be:

  • The outside lane of west bound Southlake Boulevard (FM 1709) west of the intersection of Randol Mill Avenue/ Davis Boulevard (FM 1938)
  • The right lane of southbound Randol Mill Avenue at the intersection with Southlake Boulevard (FM 1709)

Please exercise caution when traveling through the intersection.   For more information about the FM 1938-Phase II widening project, please visit the project page or click the link above. If you have questions, please contact Public Works Engineer Alex Ayala, P.E. at 817-748-8274.

*Correction: Work being done on FM 1938 north of Southlake Boulevard is actually on Randol Mill Avenue (FM 1938) not Davis Boulevard as previously noted. 

Orange Barrel Alert – Kimball Oaks Median Improvements

Construction on the medians near the Kimball Oaks development, near Dawson Middle School, is expected to continue until the end of next week.

Crews will be working from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. daily improving the medians in preparation for the future Kimball Oaks commercial development.

Travelers heading south on Kimball Avenue from the Southlake Boulevard (FM 1709) intersection should be aware of changes to traffic patterns near the work site. The inside lanes will be inaccessible so that work can be done.

For questions, please contact the Public Works Department at 817-748-8098.

Lawn Care Tips During Drought and Water Restrictions

Christi Upton Contact infoWinter 2013-2014 took a toll on Southlake lawns.  The beautiful St. Augustine lawns that many residents have faced moderate to severe damage due to the plunging temperatures. As warmer temperatures returned and because of the occasional rainfall received, most of the lawns that sustained minor damage are recovering. 

So what about the lawns that were severely damaged? Is there hope for recovery? Our Environmental Coordinator, Christi Upton says, “Yes! There is.”

Lawns that were severely damaged WILL recover. However, the recovery will take a little longer and will require a little more TLC than the occasional rainfall will provide.

We asked Christi to provide residents with some tips that will help your lawn’s path to recovery and revitalization and to survive through drought conditions.

Amend Your Soil

Amending the soil, which is mixing materials into the soil, will improve water retention, permeability, water infiltration, drainage, aeration and structure. The goal is to provide a better environment for roots.

Amending the soil, even if the lawn is severely damaged, is always preferable to replacing your lawn. In fact, now is not the time to replace a lawn because of the persistent drought and City’s water restrictions. Lawn replacement requires too much water during a time when we have been asked to cut back on irrigation and to ensure we maintain the water supply for drinking, cooking, bathing, toilet flushing, firefighting and all the many other needs.  Amending the soil works well with the twice-a-week watering and provides plenty of water to help a severely damaged lawn recover.

Irrigation Evaluation

To keep lawns and landscapes looking good during drought and water restrictions, irrigation systems must work as efficiently as possible so all water applied will benefit the landscape. If your irrigation system is not working properly, no matter how much you water, the landscape suffers and water is wasted. The City of Southlake offers free irrigation evaluation to identify ways to increase irrigation efficiency from making repairs to setting the controller. Sign up for a free irrigation evaluation through the  WISE Guys.

Cycle and Soak Irrigation Method

Once your irrigation system is working efficiently, another water saving tip is to apply water in several short cycles instead of all at once. This method of irrigation is called cycle and soak. Most irrigation controllers have the ability to set the cycle and soak configuration.  To learn more about landscape watering and the cycle and soak method,  see the City’s Lawn Watering Tips webpage.

Judge Irrigation Requirements in the Morning

Pay close attention to how your lawn looks in the morning versus the afternoon versus the evening.  High afternoon summer temperatures cause plants to wilt, look off color, drop leaves and/or shrink even if there is significant moisture in the soil. Once the sun sets, the lawn and plants look normal. Irrigation will only be required if your lawn looks wilted and off color in the morning.  If in doubt, use a long screw driver to test for moisture in the soil. Push the screw driver into the soil (like a toothpick into a cake) to see how much moisture is in the soil. The screwdriver will push easily into moist soil and will not push easily into dry soil.

Mow Lawn Higher

Another water saving tip is to mow the lawn higher. Move the mower cutting height up one or two settings. The taller lawn shades the soil which reduces evaporation and encourages longer roots.

Mulch All Planted Areas

Mulch is like icing on a cake because mulch keeps the soil moist the same way icing keeps a cake moist. Mulch slows evaporation of water from the soil, allows water to infiltrate the soil efficiently; moderates the soil temperature; and breaks down into nutrients for the plants. Maintain a 2 to 4 inch mulch layer in all planted beds and containers.

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For more information about water saving practices, visit the  Water Conservation page on the City of Southlake website.

Or you can visit the Texas A&M AgriLife web site at http://dallas.tamu.edu for water conserving information.