News from Town Hall – August 2015
News from Town Hall
By Double Oak Mayor Mike Donnelly
Discussions at Council Meetings on possible November 2015 / May 2016 Local Option Sales Tax Ballot Measures
The town council has been discussing placing items on the November ballot for Double Oak citizens to vote on. The item(s) which will be on future agendas for discussion will be Local Sales Tax Options (and all related matters) and possibly calling for an election on those measures in November. Discussions to date have focused on (1) Road Maintenance and Repair; (2) Crime Control and Prevention District. There is an information box on the town website to read more on the subjects. Local Sales Tax Options are voted on by the citizens. Update: At the April 20th council meeting, there were further discussions about these business items and council voted to create the Double Oak Crime Control and Prevention District and made appointments to the DOCCPD temporary board of directors. This board will hold posted public meetings in the future and residents are welcome to attend these meetings.
Double Oak’s current 1% sales tax revenue is most likely generated by Double Oak residents. If the measures are placed on the November ballot, registered voters will be asked to vote yes or no to increase the sales tax revenue for dedicated street repair and the Public Safety Crime Control and Prevention District. Sales tax measures and discussions on calling for items to be placed on the November ballot will continue at future council meetings so please feel free to stop in to hear discussions and ask questions. Update: At their July 27 meeting, the DOCCPD ordered a special election to be held on November 3, 2015 to ask the registered voters of our town to decide on authorizing a Crime Control and Prevention District sales and use tax and recommended the duration of the district to be for 20 years. The next step is for the town council, in August, to discuss all matters related to the DOCCPD actions, legal items related to all local sales tax options and consideration for calling an election to go before the registered voters in town. Update: The town is considering its options and studying new legislation which becomes effective on September 1, 2015 that gives cities increased financial flexibility related to local sales tax options. Information relative to this will be posted on the town website for viewing.
Fiscal Year 2015 – 2016 budget planning and work begins soon
Budget discussions are underway in preparation for the next fiscal year which begins on October 1st. The current and last few years operating budgets were balanced by bringing over some reserve funds from the balance sheet. Double Oak’s ad valorem property tax rate is 0.22481 per $100, which is one of the overall lowest in Denton County. I encourage you to check the Denton County Tax Office website link to view area property tax rates: http://taxweb.dentoncounty.com/taxwebsite/truthintax.asp
Part of the budget planning discussions will be developing the Maintenance & Operations proposed budget and setting the appropriate tax rate. The town may need to consider an increase to the ad valorem property tax rate this next fiscal year. Our town recently received another clean and very good annual audit report. Double Oak has very little debt and no bond indebtedness. Double Oak primarily operates on the principle philosophy of pay as we go and keep a good sound financial reserve for emergencies, operations of the town and unexpected business items that pop up. Council welcomes residents to attend our meetings and budget workshops as we proceed with preparing the next fiscal years budget. Let me finish by saying that I do believe our town needs additional revenue to keep us in great financial shape, to adequately take care of today’s municipal needs and to financially prepare for the future needs of our town.
Public Works – Upcoming Work on Selected Town Roads
The town will be going out for bids soon to provide a new asphalt overlay on Highview Drive and a portion of Ridgebriar Lane. Some streets will receive crack-sealing treatment to extend the life of the road surface and others will see minor roadway repairs. In all, the town will be spending around two-hundred thousand dollars on road improvements this fiscal year.
“RE” Ranch Estates District 11-5 Accessory Building
The Planning and Zoning Commission will be reviewing this section of our town ordinances to determine if there are any amendment recommendations to forward to town council for consideration. Please check with town hall to see when P & Z Commission meetings are scheduled. These meetings are public and the agendas are posted on the town’s website.
Sign Up For Code Red Alerts and Informational Town Emails
Denton County is now providing for all residents the opportunity to sign up for Code Red Alerts via www.dentoncounty.com website. This is an important tool to stay informed of severe weather information and other emergencies. You should also think about having weather alerts on your smart phones and weather radios in your homes.
Town Secretary, Charlotte Allen, periodically sends out important informational emails. If you wish to be added to her list, send her an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
New TX Dot Traffic Signal at Simmons Road and FM407 Intersection
New School Year, School Zones & Student Safety
Where has the summer gone? It seems like yesterday the Town Council was congratulating our Double Oak students on their successful school year and wishing all residents a safe & fun summer. The Lewisville and Denton ISD’s begin the new school year on Monday, August 24th. The Town Council and police department kindly remind everyone to use caution while driving and be alert to the presence of students.
To promote student safety and better identify the Double Oak School Zone which serves the LISD Downing Middle School, new solar powered flashing school zone signs have been installed on Cross Timbers Dr and Kings Road. The speed limit in the Double Oak School Zone is 20 MPH during posted times. There will be zero tolerance for those exceeding the School Zone speed limit. Your Town Council, staff and police department are doing everything they can to create awareness of the school zone and promote student safety. The town sends out a big “thank you” to Jerome and JoAnne Hanna for allowing a new school zone sign on their property. The council wishes all students and families a safe and wonderful school year.