City Council Meeting 1/20/2009

By Jeff Cheney | On

After a few months of having historically light agendas, there was plenty to talk about in this meeting. I want to first wish a happy birthday and congratulations to fellow Council Member Tony Felker who was named President of the Frisco Chamber this week. Also, fellow Council Member Joy West celebrated the birth of her first grandchild. We also want to thank Collin County Commissioners Joe Jaynes and Matt Shaheen for attending our meeting. Both commissioners have territory in Frisco and faced elections last May. Joe was reelected and Matt is a newcomer serving his first term. Newly elected Denton County Commissioner, Hugh Coleman, was unable to attend. We will likely invite him to a future meeting. I look forward to working with them further in the future.

We had a large attendance for this meeting due to the discussion of the Dog Park. Over the last year we have received a great deal of input encouraging the development of a Dog Park in Frisco. The supporters are well organized and have a website that you can learn more about their efforts. To read more visit Staff has been looking for many years to find a place where a dog park could fit. I feel they have found the perfect place in BF Phillips Park. The proposed location is located on the lower side of a ridge which separates it from the rest of the park. This location has limited alternative uses and is also separated from housing and businesses. The cost of the project will likely run similar to what the city typically spends on a neighborhood park. This park will have the opportunity to offer another unique venue to our residents and bring together dog lovers from Frisco and surrounding cities. I support activities that promote active lifestyles and this will be another venue for our residents to become active. This agenda item revised the master plan. We will still need to allocate funding and timing for the project. With the difficult times in our budgets, there is no anticipated date yet set for funding. We are thankful for the numerous supporters of this project who have offered their time, talent, and treasure by trying to find sponsors as well as offering their volunteer time.

Here is a picture of the revised plan:

 Frisco Dog Park

 On another topic, we had a lengthy discussion on how to proceed with the old City Hall. The City has been seeking a tenant ever since moving out of the location. Some of the space has been filled with Frisco Ski and Sports renting some of the space as well as the courthouse moving into the location. Approximately 6000 sq ft of the hard corner still remains vacant. The concern is the potential for continued deterioration of the building due to being vacant. Staff was proposing investing some money into the facility to make it more attractive for potential tenants. Several Council Members, including myself, expressed concern of investing too much money into the facility unless we had confidence in attracting a tenant. Staff was directed to put all options on the table including looking at potentially selling the space to a private entity that may reinvest in the facility. This will continue to be a discussion point of the coming months as we look at creative ideas to best utilize this space in a challenging market.

All of our cycling friends paid us another welcome visit to discuss the management agreements of the Frisco Superdrome. This is a great partnership with the Community College and the Superdrome Management Group. The Superdrome attracts thousands of visitors each year from all over Texas. We currently have an Enterprise Fund established to fund the maintenance and operations of the facility. The interest income on this fund pays for the management agreement and is not funded out of our general fund. In addition, the management group raises much of their own money through advertisements and event revenue. This vote was to extend the management agreement as well as to approve an outlay this year of approximately $98,000. This will also be funded out of the Enterprise Fund. I have a good friend that is an avid cyclist that keeps trying to get me out on the track. Our family has taken up bike riding as one of our favorite activities and so I am getting closer to being convinced to give a few laps on the track.

I want to quickly finalize a discussion point we have had over the last few weeks regarding the Municipal Storm Water Utility System Fee. If you recall, we were discussing how to best allocate the cost of providing this unfunded mandate by the state. Many Council Members, including myself, initially were opposed to a tiered structure where those with larger lots paid a higher fee. We had asked for staff for prepare information regarding a single tier structure. In this week’s backup, staff presented the methodology for providing a tiered structure. The fee is based on the amount of impervious space in any given lot. For instance the structure of the home, the driveway, patios, pools, and other impervious items create more runoff from storm water rather than being absorbed into the ground naturally. Staff has conducted statistics of 19,000 homes in the various tiers to calculate an average impervious amount per household. The fee for each tier was then calculated based on these averages. Council voted unanimously to approve the recommended tier approach based on this additional data. The fee for this service will run between $2-4/mo depending on your lot size.

A few other items of note include:

  • Staff asked for Council direction regarding the potential of renaming Coleman Blvd to another name. The plat actually still labels this street as Frisco St which needs to be corrected since Frisco St no longer connects. Coleman is the entrance to Frisco Square. The former developer had placed the Coleman street signs up long ago. Several businesses and residents expressed their objection to the name change due to the inconvenience and possible business interruption. Council was sympathetic to those concerns and gave staff direction to bring back proposals for possible names, including the option of leaving the Coleman name in place. If a name change were to happen, many agreed that it would be done sometime in the future to allow the businesses and residents plenty of time to plan for it.
  • There were a few items mentioning “involuntary annexation.” Several have asked what this means. Essentially it just means that the City had approached the landowner about annexation, it does not mean the City is acquiring the land involuntarily from the landowner.
  • The Mayor and Council gave Chief Borchardt high marks for the Coffee with the Mayor this month. I was able to attend as well as we watched the demonstration of our Central Fire Station Emergency Operations Center. It was estimated that over 100 people came to see the demonstration of this state-of-the-art facility. I had seen the demonstration last year but I was impressed with the innovations just over the last year. It has since been integrated into our traffic control systems as well as our FISD school cameras. It is certainly reassuring to know that if we are ever faced with an emergency, our departments will have the best available tools to serve and protect our families. Those that viewed the demonstration left impressed and proud with the level of service our police and fire departments offer Frisco.
  • Our annual rainfall in 2008 was 38.9 inches, compared to 68.1 inches in 2007. Consequently, there was more water usage in 2008 with an average usage of 233.8 gallons per person per day compared to 196.1 in 2007. The State of Texas has a target rate of 140 gallons per person per day. However, our annual usage is consistent with our near neighbors. The largest use is for lawn sprinklers. Frisco does require each new home to have a sprinkler which is why rain gauges and sprinkler conservation systems have become mandatory as well.

If you would like to see the video of any agenda item just follow the following link and lick on the agenda item:

Please let me know if I may answer any questions.

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