PIP Days Started! – Today was the first of four planned PIP (Property Improvement Projects) Days, the joint project of the Duncanville Neighborhood Vitality Commission and Duncanville First United Methodist Church. The two properties selected for work were 534 Golden Meadows and 415 Longworth. More than 45 volunteers from the church, as well as volunteers from Duncanville Police Department, signed up for the two-weekend project. Today’s volunteers performed cleanup, fence repairs, tree removals, house repairs, etc. Republic Services donated dumpsters and brush removal, as well as shovels and gloves for the volunteers. Duncanville Subway provided lunch today to the volunteers.
Hotel Occupancy Tax Court Case – In May 2008, the City of San Antonio filed a lawsuit on behalf of similarly situated Texas cities (a class action suit) against eleven online travel companies (OTC). The suit asserted that the OTCs owed taxes to the cities because they had failed to collect and remit hotel occupancy taxes on the difference between the retail price of the hotel rooms charged to the customer and the wholesale price paid to the hotel by the OTC. The suit sought an award of damages for the occupancy taxes that were due and owing. A jury trial was held in 2009, and the Final Judgment was entered in 2013. Based on the Final Judgement, and Duncanville’s hotel occupancy tax rate, the city stands to receive $45,605 in owed hotel occupancy taxes, penalties and interest. We do not know how long the process will take to receive those funds.
Police Department — Police Recruit Steven Ahrens joined the Duncanville Police Department on Monday, April 25, 2016 and will attend the North Central Texas Council of Governments Regional Police Academy in Arlington. The Basic Course in Applied Police Science consists of 720 hours of instruction and begins May 9, 2016. It includes legal topics, police procedures, investigative techniques, and technical skills. Upon graduation from the police academy, he will be assigned to Field Training.
Fire Department – There were no major fire or EMS events in Duncanville this past week.
Department personnel went door to door in District 4 installing smoke alarms and replacing batteries in existing smoke alarms on Saturday, April 23. It was very successful and helped generate interest in fire safety. We plan to repeat this in a different district each month. We are also looking at the idea of creating a one-page “city upcoming events sheet” for that particular time period that the firefighters can carry with them and hand out as they go door to door.
Public Works – Water usage was 24.971 MG last week, down from 27.355 MG the prior week. The weekly peak water demand occurred on Saturday, April 23, when 3.800 MG was pumped from ground and elevated storage.
The North Main Pump Station improvements are underway this week. The old altitude valve will be removed, which means the elevated tank will be isolated for the repair to take place. This should not have any effect on water availability, as we have more than an adequate water supply in our other storage tanks. New doors and windows on the old storage building, which will now house new electrical panels and the new RTU cabinet, will be replaced as part of this project.
The Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee will meet on Monday, May 2, 2016, at 7:00pm in the Briefing Room of City Hall. The Committee will discuss the Comprehensive Plan logo and tagline. Additionally, the Committee will continue discussion on possible questions to include in a community survey that will be a part of the public engagement process.
A Developer Roundtable will be held on Thursday, May 5, 2016, at 10:00am at the Duncanville Public Library. We invited a small group of developers and development professionals with a vested interest in the growth of Duncanville to this initial meeting for input and discussion. This initial meeting is intended to be small to facilitate discussion on the current development process for both commercial and residential projects and ways the city may improve those processes. For example, we hope to create a Development Guide which will aid in facilitating development in Duncanville more effectively and efficiently. The input received from this roundtable will be used in finalizing the elements of the Development Guide. Once completed, it will be a resource for developers and property owners to use throughout the development process. At that time, we will also host a larger roundtable with more professionals, realtors, business owners, etc.
Parks and Recreation – Staff continues to work with our new mowing contractor to get all the city’s areas mowed and maintained on a consistent basis. We meet with the contractor on a weekly basis to discuss issues and review the work. The contractor has experienced some problems due to wet weather and delays in hiring seasonal help. The contractor has indicated they will continue to work weekends to get caught up. Also, it is important to note that I-20 will not be mowed until late May or early June at the earliest to allow the bluebonnet seeds to dry and harden which is necessary for successful blooming next year.
Copa ESPN is hosting its youth soccer tournament this weekend at Harrington Park with overflow games at a few regional locations. 130 teams have registered with 30-40 of those teams from outside the DFW Metroplex. This should result in significant increase in business at our hotels and restaurants. Staff is watching the weather to ensure that player safety and the field conditions are being protected. Any decision regarding playability will be made by city staff with input from the tournament organizers. Play is scheduled to start at 6:00pm Friday and 8:00am Saturday & Sunday, weather permitting.
The Big Red Smokin’ Blues and BBQ was a successful first-time event and the Lion’s Club and City staff will be meeting next week to assess all aspects of our planning efforts to make next year even better. The Lions Club plans to hold the next event in October 2017.
Economic Development — ED staff is providing assistance on the following potential projects:
Italian Restaurant to move into the old Texas Tux (restaurant at Quality Inn). The Development Team met on-site with property managers of the hotel to perform an on-site walk-through of the restaurant. Fire, health, and building inspections identified changes and upgrades necessary to bring the restaurant area of the property into compliance and allow a new restaurant to open.
ED and Public Works staff is working on bringing the GIS system live to the City website in order to allow outside developers convenient access to important parcel information.
Certificate of Occupancy (CO) Permits Issued:
Proficiency Automotive; 1303 S Alexander Ave Unit A
Childtime Learning Center; 550 W Danieldale Rd
Brandelene Wellness and Spa, LLC; 100 S Main St
A-1 Appliance; 633 E Hwy 67
Lilly’s Embroidery; 603 E Hwy 67
JETS for the Community (Food Service Program, Commissary Kitchen); 626 Oriole Blvd