City Manager Michael Leavitt

City Manager's Report

Communication is very important to the City of Highland Village. Each week, I will provide you departmental updates on projects, events and accomplishments. Please stop by and take a minute to become informed on what is happening in your city.

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Mar 23

City Manager's Weekly Update

Posted on March 23, 2020 at 8:55 AM by Laurie Mullens

On Thursday evening Council ratified and extended the state of local disaster declaration to May 13, 2020. The declaration prohibits:
  • Public or private community gatherings of 50 people or more.
  • Public or private recreational gatherings that are likely to bring together more than ten people at the same time including parties, backyard barbecues, social events, sporting events, and other gatherings.
  • Restaurants with or without drive through services may only provide take out, delivery or drive-through services.
  • Bars, lounges, taverns, private clubs, arcades, massage parlors, and gyms shall close
  • Additionally, along with the recommendations of the Office of the Denton County Judge and the Denton County Department of Health and Human Services, the City strongly urges high-risk individuals to cancel, reschedule, and not attend all gatherings until further notice.
At the meeting the leadership team and I provided an update on how we are responding to the COVID-19 situation. It is our goal to continue to provide City services. City offices are closed to the public and we continue to serve the community online, by phone, or by appointment if necessary. Public safety personnel, public works and parks personnel continue to provide essential services. We have cancelled all events, programs and activities through the duration of the declaration. The restrooms and drinking fountains at our parks are closed. Our local businesses are doing what they can during this time. Some have closed temporarily, some have modified hours, and some restaurants are continuing their service to the community with take out or delivery options. You can view the list of Highland Village restaurants here.

This is an ever-changing situation that we monitor daily through conference calls with the state and county. It is our goal to be the reliable source of information to our community and the face of calm in this time of uncertainty. Mayor Wilcox has spoken to our community via video and it has been well received. The Council meeting presentation can be viewed here.
Fire Department
This week, all three shifts attended EMS Continuing Education classes in the Fire Department’s Training Room. These classes are taught by Lead II Excellence and this session spent taking a look at how medicine will be changing in the coming year due to the COVID-19 virus and its affect on emergency medicine.

Assistant Chief Nokes attended an EMS committee meeting at Medical City Lewisville this week. This committee meets to discuss continuity of care for patients that are being transported, by ambulance, to Medical City facilities.

Weekly Blood Pressure Checks at The Robert & Lee DuVall Center have been suspended in order to safeguard the health of our at-risk citizens.

Assistant Chief Collier completed two fire plan reviews this week.

The Fire Department had the following Calls for Service for the week:
3.20.2020 FD - Calls for Service 
Public Works
Public Works staff met with several residents regarding drainage issues, easements and street repairs.
Work continues on the Street Improvement Project Phase 2. They are currently working on Winding Creek installing driveway culverts, headwalls and curb. They are also prepping the subgrade for cement stabilization.
Work is continuing on the Tequesta project. Most of the off-site work has been completed. They have finished installing water lines, sewer lines and storm sewer. They have been working on the street grading in preparation for paving.
As with other City facilities, Public Works has closed the Service Center to the residents on a walk-in basis.

Drainage Division:
Corrected the back yard drainage improvements in the 900 block of Shadow Ridge Ct.

3.20.2020 PW - Shadow Ridge
Met with the resident at various locations throughout the city for flooding issues during the recent rains.
Deployed sand bags to assist with the flooding associated with the recent heavy rains in the 100 block of Gayle Lane.
Cleared creek crossings of debris after the heavy rains.
Cleared a blocked curb inlet of leaves and debris to achieve proper flow in the 100 block of Baird Circle.
 3.20.2020 PW - Baird Cr
Removed a 15’ long ADS pipe from the drainage culverts in the 300 block of Lake Vista South. 
3.20.2020 PW - Lake Vista
Performed full depth repairs on Willow Way. 
3.6.2020 PW - Willow Way 1  3.6.2020 PW - Saw cutting 
Delivered recycle carts to residents
Pothole patching in various locations throughout the city.

Utility Division
Potholed 4 locations on Turpin Drive to expose a 42” and 54” storm sewer pipe to verify location and depth for the upcoming water line replacement project.
 3.6.2020 PW - Storm Drain
Repaired a leak on a water service in the 2400 block of Glenmere Drive.
3.6.2020 PW - Service Leak 
Flushed 2,500 linear feet performing 30 and 90 day sewer line flushing on Village Tree Drive and Pebble Knoll.
Began flushing dead end water main blow-offs as a monthly TCEQ mandated program.
Replaced a curb stop in the 2700 block of Crestwood Drive.
Located 2 areas of water and sanitary sewer infrastructure for contractors performing underground boring and excavations.
Assisted the Drainage division laying new sod in the 900 block of Shadow Ridge.
Performed customer service inspections on several commercial businesses.
Performed nitrification and bacteriological sampling as mandated by the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality.
Performed meter rereads, water turn on/turn offs, and leak checks.
Performed maintenance on well lots, lift stations, fire hydrants, and the water distribution and wastewater collection system.

Maintenance Division
Performed ten preventative maintenance / equipment services.
Three vehicle registration new fleet trucks
Replace A/C compressor on service truck
Several small engine repairs
One tire replaced
Sent two pieces of equipment out for repairs

Code Enforcement
Officer Beasley opened 30 new cases and closed 25.
Continue to monitor rights of way for bandit signage.
 3.6.2020 PW - Code  3.6.2020 PW - Code2
Building permits (All)
Plans reviewed – 21
Permits issued to contractors/homeowners – 17
Permit applications submitted – 16
Parks and Recreation
Senior All-Stars:

Monday: Assorted Card Games - Dealer’s Choice, Spades in the Library Tuesday: Assorted Card Games - Dealer’s Choice, Dominoes, 42
Thursday: Assorted Card Games - Dealer’s Choice, Bridge, Rummikub

On Thursday, 36 Senior All-Stars enjoyed chicken potpie, salad, and chocolate cake for lunch provided by Meals on Wheels. After lunch, some of the All-Stars stayed to play Bingo.

Community Education Classes:
Yoga classes are available at The Robert & Lee DuVall Center. Private Yoga Classes are offered by certified Yoga Instructor, Rachel Swan. To schedule your private class, please contact Rachel Swan at (214) 641-4236 or

Drop in Yoga classes are available at the Doubletree Ranch Park Barn in Room 102. Come relax at New Beginnings Yoga before the hustle and bustle of the day. For more information, please contact Karen Fenton at (214) 695-3702 or

Camp Gladiator is held at Unity Park on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday at 8:30 a.m.; at Doubletree Ranch Park on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 7:45 a.m.; as well as on Monday and Wednesday at 5:00 p.m., 6:15 p.m., and 7:30 p.m. at Doubletree Ranch Park.

 3.6.2020 PR - CG March 4  3.6.2020 PR - CG March 5
Tai Chi Gung is held Mondays from 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m., Wednesdays from 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and Thursdays from 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. at The Robert & Lee Duvall Center. These classes are free of charge.

Outdoor Recreational Pickleball open court is available at Unity Park. Pickleball nets and balls are located on-site for set up. All ages are welcome to play FREE of charge and residency is not required. Don’t forget to bring your paddle!

Indoor Recreational Pickleball open court is available weekly on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. at The Robert & Lee DuVall Center. All ages are welcome to play FREE of charge and residency is not required.

All Parks
All staff continue to perform routine maintenance throughout the park system.
 3.6.2020 PR - Unity Maintenance  3.6.2020 PR - Brazos Maintenance
Staff continue to prepare the game fields for the upcoming spring season. Kickball begins next Wednesday and baseball/sofball begin on March 21.

Park Capital Improvement Projects
PFC Aaron M. Hudson Memorial Bridge Dedication Project
This week, Joey Hardin and Marcos Mejorado began installing the infrastructure at the PFC Aaron M. Hudson Memorial Bridge that is located at Doubletree Ranch Park. The will continue to install the rest of the infrastructure in the following weeks.
3.6.2020 PR - PFC Aaron M. Hudson Memorial Bridge
Kids Kastle Rebuild Project
This week, staff hosted a staff meeting with some of the committee chairs to discuss the timeline and construction expectations of the Kids Kastle Playground Rebuild project.
3.6.2020 PR - Kids Kastle Rebuild Committee Chairs Meeting 1
Departmental staff Andra Foreman, Bree Shamsy, Terry Golden, Adam Richter and Gabe Doria continue to coordinate the ordering of materials, supplies, equipment, staging and any other necessary items needed for this build to be successful.
This week, staff continue to receive playground equipment and materials.

Staff continue to prepare for the Kids Kastle Rebuild project. This week. staff began digging the holes for the posts inside the playground area.
3.6.2020 PR - Kids Kastle Rebuild Site Setup 1
3.6.2020 PR - Kids Kastle Rebuild Site Setup 2 
BW2 Engineers has staked all 205 post and all 25 equipment footings.

The build date as follows: Phase 1 March 23-26 & Phase 2 March 31-April 5. You can find more information at about this project at Staff is currently seeking corporate sponsorship and volunteers for this project. If you’re interested in sponsoring or volunteering, please do not hesitate to contact us at We do not need expert carpenters to build, we are seeking passion and we’d love for you to be involved for current and future generation to enjoy. Together, we will make this magical playground happen!

Unity Park Plaza Project (Kids Kastle Area)
This week, Cole Construction is pouring concrete around the pavilion. They will continue to proceed with this project weather pending.

Unity Softball Field Project
Staff and the contractor continue to await drier conditions so that they are able to top-dress the seams of the sod in the outfield and regrade the infield one last time.

Unity Park Pond Dredging Project
American Underwater Services has completed the dredging of both ponds. They plan to power wash the parking lot on Friday and Saturday. Afterwards, staff will open up the parking lot to use for the Kids Kastle Rebuild project.

Copperas Branch Park Master Plan
This week, La Terra Studio sent staff an even more updated plan for review. Staff is in the process of reviewing.

Sunset Point Park Project
The contactor continues to work on completing this project. The contractor is awaiting the delivery of the solar powered security light and as soon as it arrives. It has been ordered and estimated delivery is five weeks from today.

Victoria Park Sidewalk Improvements Project
This project is not scheduled to be awarded until late summer of 2020 in combination with the Highland Village Rd. Sidewalk and FM 2499 sidewalk projects. Staff has been in coordination with BW2 Engineers regarding the design of all three projects. BW2 Engineers is in the process of revising the plans and will resubmit them to staff when they’re ready.

Human Resources
The City participated in LISD’s job shadowing program on Friday. Six students visited Police and Fire.

Our staff is committed to providing excellent service to our citizens and living by the values and mission that has been set forth. Please join us in congratulating these City of Highland Village employees with anniversaries in November. Thank you for your dedication to our community!

Gary Cowley Jr.  - Building Inspector - 17 Years
Fince Espinoza - Dep Director of Parks Ops & Projects - 21 Years
Jack Gammon Jr.  - Bus Driver - 3 Years
David Monticino Gonzalez - Street Technician III -  4 Years
Kimberlie Huntley - Community Services Assistant -  8 Years
Michael Leavitt - City Manager - 20 Years
Karen McCoy - Executive Assistant - 19 Years
Daniel Ortmeier - Fire Captain - 6 Years
Fabiola Ramirez - Police Officer - 2 Years
Briana Sanchez - Communications Officer -  1 Year
Jimmy Sims - Police Officer -  4 Years
Philip Smallwood - Communications Officer - 2 Years
Donald Strange - Mgr of Streets / Code Enforcement - 5 Years
Michael Thomson - Fire Chief - 1 Year
Abraham Yakes - Pest Control / Herbicide Technician -  5 Years