Summer Newsletter 2016
Dallas City Councilmember Jennifer S. Gates
In This Issue
Public Safety Update
Budget Update and Budget Town Hall
Homelessness
Preston Center Plan
Forestwood Development
Chapter 27
Streets and Alleys
Wildlife
Summer Highlights
Quick Links
Preston NW Highway Area Plan Project Link

City Of Dallas Website

District 13 Website

Domestic Violence Task Force

Zika Virus Information

Sanitation Services

August 2016

Dear District 13 Neighbors,

 

While we are enjoying a small cool front and some rainy days, we know the heat will continue outside as well as in Budget discussions at City Hall. This is an exciting and busy time for City of Dallas and District 13. I would like to take a moment to share a few highlights.

Public Safety Update
I want to thank everyone in our district and the greater Dallas community for the outpouring of support we have received in response to the tragedy that took the lives of four Dallas Police officers and one DART officer. I am proud of our community response to come together and offer support to the officer’s families and loved ones during this time of mourning.
 

Many have reached out to see how they can help. If you feel compelled, the Assist the Officer program provides financial assistance to officers and their families in times of crisis. Find the link to donate here: http://atodallas.org/ You can also donate to the Communities Foundation at

http://www.cftexas.org/disaster-dallas-shooting
Thank you all the men and women in blue who risk their lives to protect our community every day. 
 
The City Council have always made Public Safety a priority, the recent tragedy in July has brought to our attention the need to address pressing issues in our budget of police retention, officer salaries and public safety delivery. While at the same time, the city faces the greater looming issues of: 1) the unfunded liability for the police and fire pension and 2) the pay referendum lawsuit.
For an explanation of the Public Safety cost considerations for the proposed FY2016-2017 Budget please see the August 17th briefing here
To better understand the issues facing the police and fire pensions you can review the long-term stability recommendations report presented to the Dallas Police Fire Pension Board. Please see the report here, which includes the following recommendations: increasing member contributions, plan adjustments and increasing city contributions.
Chief Brown at the Prayer Vigil that took place July 8th at Thanksgiving Square

Budget Update and Budget Town Halls
Budget season is upon us. Below are some highlights from the City of Dallas Proposed Budget for FY 2016-2017:
  • The FY17 Budget is balanced and totals 3.1 billion. The general fund is 1.23 billion.
  • Current service levels are maintained with increases in key priority areas. Priority areas include: Public Safety, Infrastructure and Code Enforcement.
  • The proposed recommended City property tax rate is 78.12¢. This recommendation is a 1.58¢ decrease in the tax rate.
  • Water retail revenues are projected to increase 2.6%. About 88% of residential customers will see an increase of $2.16 or less per month. Required revenue increase is driven by continued need to fund rehab and replacement of water systems.
  • The proposed budget includes an increase to the sanitation residential rate of $1.53 per month. Budget increase is based on full cost recovery analysis including an increase to personnel cost, acquisition/replacement of fleet and increase in street rental fee.
To see the entire Proposed Budget FY2016-2017 click here.
To see the Budget Briefing that was presented to the Council on August 7th click here.
I encourage feedback and input from my constituents on the the Dallas Proposed Budget for FY 2016-2017. Please see the Budget Town Hall dates and times below:
District 13 & District 11
Thursday August 18, 2016
6:30 PM – 8:00 PM
Churchill Recreation Center
6906 Churchill Way
Dallas, TX 75230
District 13
Thursday August 25, 2016
6:30 PM – 8:00 PM
Walnut Hill Recreation Center
10011 Midway Road
Dallas, TX 75229

Homelessness
The City Council and the Mayor are currently working toward finding the most equitable solutions for our homeless population. The Dallas Commission on Homelessness Community Engagement Subcommittee hosted Community public meetings on the issue of Homelessness to educate, engage and gather feedback from the community about their experiences, challenges and solutions for homelessness in Dallas.
The Homeless Commission presented their preliminary findings to the Council on August 10th and we expect final recommendations in November. The proposed city budget allocates one million dollars towards homeless initiatives.
To see the Homeless Commission report presented to council click here. 

Preston and Northwest Highway Area Plan Update
The Preston and Northwest Highway Area Plan is underway, with a finalized report being drafted by members of the Advisory Taskforce. The report will evaluate development scenarios and metrics produced by the consultant team Kimley Horn as well as develop the best vision for the future of the Preston and Northwest Highway area.
We plan to hold a community meeting in September, the date is yet to be determined. The meeting will be open to the public to make comments and ask questions about the proposed development scenarios.
For more information on the Area Plan and agendas and presentations from prior meetings, please check the project website.

Forestwood Proposed Development
A proposed redevelopment for the Forestwood Townhomes at Inwood and Forest is in process. To ensure transparency and a thorough review of this proposal, representation from the Nashwood, Shirestone, Forestcrest, Schreiber, Caladium Club, Hockaday and Melshire neighborhoods have been selected to provide neighborhood input and communication with the community.
For more information on the proposed Forestwood Development as well as agendas and presentations from prior meetings, please check the project website. 

If you would like to know who your neighborhood representative is or would like additional information on this project please contact our office at 214-670-3816.

Chapter 27 Update
The Dallas City Council was briefed on Chapter 27 changes on August 17th City Council meeting. The City plans to take action in September, these changes will effect all rental properties in the City.
To see the August 17th briefing click here

Condition of Our Streets and Alleys

Our office continues to work diligently with the streets department to address street and alley concerns.

There are a number of ongoing street projects with new projects being added daily. Some projects of note in District 13 are:
  • Preston Road construction began on June 6th with an estimated completion date of August 15, 2016. Work was done one lane at a time with each lane taking approximately three weeks to complete. TXDOT started overlaying southbound Preston Road on June 17th. The overlay for the outside south bound lanes was completed on  Friday July 29th. Permanent striping continued on Monday August 1st. There may be a few items left to take care of, but the striping is complete as of August 15th.
For more information on current TXDot projects effecting major intersections on Northwest Highway click here.
We are also working with the Street Department to list construction updates on our District 13 City website. If you have additional questions or want to know more information about a certain project, please contact the District 13 office.

Wildlife

Our office has received feedback from neighbors that active wildlife is a constant presence in some District 13 neighborhoods. The City policy is to try to coexist with these animals. However, if you see an animal that starts to exhibit threatening or aggressive behavior, contact  911 Wildlife at214-368-5911.

Some general tips to deter wild animals from entering your property:

1) Do not keep pet food outdoors
2) Pick the fruit from your trees as soon as it ripens and keep rotten fruit off the ground
3) Keep trash can lids securely fastened and keep trash cans in your garage until collection day
4) Den sites such as openings under a deck or shed should be secured with heavy gauge welded wire mesh
More tips and information can be found on the 911 Wildlife website. Please see the link to the website here:http://www.911wildlife.com

Summer Highlights
Its back to school time this week or next for most kids in District 13, wishing all a prosperous school year. Hopefully the summer has brought you the opportunity to enjoy the Dallas Zoo, the Dallas Arboretum, and the many parks and pools throughout Dallas. If not, there is still time this summer to see all the City has to offer.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to my office with any questions or concerns at 214-670-3816.
Hoping the joys of summer continue into the fall. Pictured below, John and I with our grand-kids on the 4th of July.
Sincerely,
Jennifer

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