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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May 08

City Manager's Weekly Update

Posted on May 8, 2020 at 4:37 PM by Jessica Brinkley

Current status of our seventh week being under our Disaster Declaration dealing with COVID-19.
As we have all experienced, things do change weekly if not daily - as of today we are at 22 Orders issued by Governor Abbott and more to come. In my walk around discussion with everyone I know we all have opinions and feelings on how to manage our everyday activities in the coming days. I say it a lot, we live in a bubble in southern Denton County. We have been blessed with a good local regional economy, we have a healthy lifestyle, we have access to outstanding medical facilities, and we have a community that is well educated. So respecting each of our own ideology should be a given on COVID-19 but, as we know, at times it’s not. I know in the coming days we may be personally challenged or feel uncomfortable by someone. Each and every one of us have experienced uncertainty with this virus, please remember we need to treat all individuals with respect, let’s not let fear drive our decision let’s use common sense and social distancing as we go forward.

Our seventh week of COVID-19, so where do we stand with COVID-19 in Denton County and the City of Highland Village? The attached link is the factual data, provided by Denton County Public Health department. For the City of Highland Village, we have eleven (11) residents that have tested positive for COVID-19 and we now have eleven (11) residents with a total recovery, no one is under quarantine.

Next Tuesday the Highland Village City Council will consider extending the City’s disaster declaration, which is currently set to expire on Wednesday, May 13. We are recommending to adopt/mirror Denton County’s declaration that they passed April 28th which enacts the Governors orders. We have started the reopening of different facilities, K-9 Kastle Dog Park and Tennis Courts are now open. On Monday, May 18, City Hall, Animal Services, Municipal Court, Police Department, The Robert & Lee DuVall Center, Playgrounds, and Restrooms will all be reopening.
Wednesday the 13th Governor Abbott will most likely announce he is ordering the State to Phase 2 of “Open Texas.” Based on press releases and comments from the state leadership, I anticipate a very aggressive announcement in proposed openings.

There are so many thank you’s that need to be issued for the past seven weeks. The list is long, each and every department has been challenged in some form or another, either in procedures, operations, management and employee relationships. We have learned more about disinfectants, hand washing, touching your face and the new term “social distancing” as new norms in our everyday life. One of my favorite quotes sums up the last seven weeks pretty well, “In the middle of Difficulty lies Opportunity,” Albert Einstein. Everyone has done fantastic with this opportunity, it’s been an honor to serve with everyone!

“We do have the ability to positively impact someone’s life each and every day!”

Thank you, ML

Marketing & Communication
We continue to update the COVID-19 page on the City website to reflect the latest orders from the State. After Gov. Abbott’s press conferenc on Tuesday, we provided a synopsis to our retail center management companies so they could share the details with their tenants. A positive from this situation is the relationship and trust we are building with these centers as we communicate and seek to assist as we re-open Highland Village. We posted the latest businesses able to open to the City Facebook page.
Marketing_Re-Opening Texas  Phase1 
 Restaurant videos produced this week and published to the Experience Highland Village Facebook, Instagram and include Bistecca, Shoal Creek Tavern, The Donut Place, Grimaldi’s, and Tiff’s Treats. Our restaurant owners and managers have expressed appreciation for the videos and the help in promoting their establishments.

Mayor Wilcox was the host of Story Time with Mayor Wilcox. Appropriately, she read The Recess Queen.
 Marketing_Story Time - Recess Queen
 We welcomed Jessica Brinkley on Tuesday as our new Marketing & Communication Specialist. Jessica came from the police department where she had been working as a dispatcher. We are grateful to have Jessica on the team!
The Fire Department was asked to be a part of several birthday party parades this week. Happy Birthday Lane, Daxton, Anthony, Chandler and Reagan. Thanks to the Pollock twins for sharing their parade picture!
 Fire_Pollock Twins Birthday
 On Tuesday, A-Shift responded to a vehicle fire located in the northbound
lanes of Village Parkway. Upon arrival, they found a fully involved passenger
vehicle in the shopping center turn lane. The fire was quickly extinguished and the crews remained onscene until a wrecker was able to remove
the vehicle and then cleaned the roadway. The Streets department
used blocking measure to keep the water runoff from entering
and contaminating the sanitary sewers.

Fire Chief Michael Thomson is being updated on the latest COVID-19 information through virtual meetings with local, State and Federal entities. All relevant information will be passed on through our City website and social media accounts.

Chief Thomson also took part in an online class through Texas A&M AgriLife Extension called Federal Relief: An Overview for Local Government. This was training for municipalities and other entities which explained the distribution of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds

The monthly testing of the Outdoor Warning Sirens was conducted on Wednesday and all sirens were in working order.

Assistant Chief Collier completed two fire inspections this week.

The Fire Department had the following Calls for Service for the week:
Fire_Calls for Service
Our animal shelter is almost empty – we only have one pup looking for his forever home. If you know of someone interested in an adorable pup, please contact us!

We drove in several birthday “parades” this week for the kiddos. Sarah and Micha turned 13 and 10, Jackson turned 4, and Lane turned 4. Happy Birthday!

Mr. Burham sent us some amazing food from Portillos (which came to us shipped from Illinois!). We really appreciate all of the goodies that have been sent our way and this was some food we never would have been able to try otherwise. Thank you!
Public Works 
Public Works staff met with several residents regarding drainage issues, creek erosion, easements and street repairs.

Work continues on the Street Improvement Project Phase 2. There are still a few punch-list items to complete.
Work is continuing on the Tequesta project. They completed all of the concrete work this week. They are busy raising meter boxes, grading lots and building retaining walls.

As with other City facilities, Public Works has closed the Service Center to the residents on a walk-in basis. We continue to follow social distancing and other guidelines to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Public Works staff met with BW2 consulting engineer to discuss current projects and look at some future projects.

We held a preconstruction meeting for the Street Improvements Project Phase 3 this week. The contractor, Reynolds Asphalt, will begin construction next week.
We also held a preconstruction meeting for the Highland Shores GSR Painting project.

Drainage Division:
  • Met with the residents in 2900 block of Marchwood on the drainage easement located in the back yard.  
Public Works_Marchwood
  • Grading the barrow ditch to flow in the 100 block of Gayle Lane and replacing the sod.  

Public Works_Gayle2
 Public Works_Gayle1
  • Met with the residents in the 2800 block of Spring Hollow on erosion along the fence line in the backyard.
  • Performed mosquito collections at various location in the City for sampling.
  • Changed the drainage conversion in the 600 block of Ranier Court.
Public Works_Ranier 
Streets Division: 
  • Began full depth asphalt repairs throughout Highland Shores Blvd.
Public Works_Highland shores
  • Temporarily patched a pothole at 960 Kingwood Circle.
 Public Works_Kingwood Cir
  • Replaced a sign pole at Pecan and Bluebonnet.
 Public Works_Pecan
  • Crack sealing at various locations throughout the city.
 Public Works_Bluebonnet
  •  Delivered Recycle carts to residents.
 Utility Division:
  • Brought Southwood, Oak Street, and Lake Vista wells on-line for the high demand summer months.
  • Replaced 7 water meters not reporting by the automated metering system.
  • Replaced a curb stop in the 3400 block of Wimbledon Drive.
  • Installed 2 water meters in the Ladera subdivision for new water service accounts.
 Public Works_Meter Install
  • Flushed dead end water main blow-offs as a monthly TCEQ mandated program.
  • Assisted the Drainage section laying new sod on Gayle Lane.
  • Performed annual fire hydrant maintenance and flow testing on several fire hydrants.
 Public Works_FH Maintenance
  • Located 2 areas of water and wastewater infrastructure for contractors performing underground boring and excavations.
  • 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:
  • Preformed eleven preventative maintenance / equipment services.
 Public Works_service
  • Six tires replaced
  • One battery replaced
  • Replaced front & rear brake pads on service truck
  • Two tail lights replaced
Code Enforcement:
  • Officer Beasley opened 23 new cases and closed 35.
  • Continue to monitor rights of way for bandit signage.
 Public Works_CodeEnforcement1  Public Works_CodeEnforcement2
Building Permits:
  • Plans reviewed – 15
  • Permits issued to contractors/homeowners – 15
  • Permit applications submitted – 12
 Parks and Recreation
Parks Division:
The city administrative buildings continue to be closed but staff is available via phone or email. Our contact information is posted online at and is also posted at the entrance of each administrative building. Please feel free to reach out to any of our staff for assistance.

The following city owned facilities continue to be open to the public. Please ensure that all CDC guidelines are followed when visiting these amenities.
  • Tennis Courts
  • K-9 Kastle Dog Park
  • Pilot Knoll Park Boat Ramp
  • Copperas Branch Park Boat Ramp
  • Athletic Fields (Only in groups of four)
  • Highland Village Road Boathouse Parking Lot
As of now, the following city owned facilities continue to be closed within the park and trail system:
  • Playgrounds
  • Public Restrooms
  • Drinking Fountains
This week, staff performed the following tasks:
  • All staff continue to perform routine maintenance tasks throughout the entire park system.
  • Bill Aycock and his crew were able to mow Sunset Point Park this week for the first time since construction was completed. It looks wonderful!
 Parks_Sunset Point 2  Parks_Sunset Point Park 2 Parks_Sunset Point Park 3
 Staff would like to thank Dave Rush, Parks & Recreation Advisory Board Chair, for providing lunch to the department on two occasions to show his appreciation for the work that is done to enhance the quality of life in Highland Village.
 Parks_Dave Rush Lunch 1
 Work Orders

A Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) Work Order may be a request for repair, restoration or replacement of equipment or asset. CMMS work orders puts us in control of maintenance needs, helps improve performance, reduces cost, and results in greater overall efficiency for our organization. A CMMS work order system gives us the ability to organize and manage work requests so: nothing gets overlooked; work can be scheduled to be done at a convenient time; labor time and costs can be controlled; and ordering of supplies and materials can be done in advance to take advantage of purchasing and shipping deals and work schedules. All of these benefits result in increased efficiency, productivity, safety, compliance and reduced costs. Work orders provide a record of business activity that can be accessed for budget planning purposes.

I’d like to give a big Thank You to Adam Richter (Parks & Trails Superintendent) for being able to take our work order software and assist staff in accomplishing 100% of matching work order hours entered vs time entry labor hours paid for each employee for the sixth week straight! Every hour is accounted for, for each employee. I’d also like to thank the following staff for assisting Adam with this initiative: Gabe Doria, Joey Hardin, Marcos Mejorado, Abe Yakes, Bill Aycock, Jorge Ponce, Chris Powell, Hector Gonzalez, Tony Adams, Nacho Gomez, Nacho Escamilla, Phil Schmidt, Brent Hill, Alex Contreras, Scott Strasser, and Manuel Flores. You all rock! I’d like to thank Sunny Lindsay (Director of Information Services) and her staff for assisting in this process as well. They’re always ready to assist in this process as well and it’s is greatly appreciated.
Parks & Recreation Capital Improvement Projects

PFC Aaron M. Hudson Memorial Bridge Dedication Project -
Staff continue to install the infrastructure at the PFC Aaron M. Hudson Memorial Bridge that is located at Doubletree Ranch Park. Temporary irrigation has been set to operate to assist the Bermuda seed in germinating.
 Parks_Irrigation Installation 1 DRP  Parks_Irrigation Installation 3 DRP
Kids Kastle Rebuild Project

Considering the uncertainties associated with COVID-19, the proposed plan is a modified community build. It has been decided that staff and Play by Design will now work May 18-21 to set posts, add bracing, and pour equipment foundations to secure the site. Phase 2 would continue as a community build project sometime in late summer or fall of 2020, depending on the state of COVID-19. This proposal keeps the project within the current budget and allows the community to take part in the build.
Unity Park Plaza Project (Kids Kastle Area)

This week, Cole Construction is working on installing the frame for the decking between the pavilion and Kids Kastle playground. They plan to have this completed in two weeks.
 Parks_Unity Park Plaza 2
Copperas Branch Park Master Plan

The approval of this plan is on hold until further notice and when staff may resume regular council meetings.

Sunset Point Park Project

The construction has been completed and a final walkthrough was performed on Friday, May 1, 2020 with representatives from North Rock Construction, McAdams and city staff. Only two minor items were accounted for on the punch list. North Rock Construction will address these items as soon as possible.

Victoria Park Sidewalk Improvements Project

Staff continues to review the project manual. BW2 Engineers continues the process of updating the plans according to review notes provided by staff.

Turf & Landscape Maintenance Services Contract

At the previous council meeting, city council awarded the contract to BrightView Landscape Services. The contract has been executed. BrightView Landscape Services will begin to maintain the right of ways, trails and other municipal sites on Monday, May 11 which include the ROW and trail easements.

Recreation Division:

Recreation Intern, Luke Trujillo, performed an inventory check on all supplies needed for the upcoming Kids Kastle build. As well, the Director of Parks & Recreation walked with Luke around the build site to see the progression of construction.
On Wednesday, Bree and Luke attended the Texas Recreation and
Park Society video conference with over 90 recreation staff in the
North region. During the meeting, staff from all over the North region were able to discuss their strategies for safely reopening their facility.
 Human Resources
 Kerry Conrad held a new hire orientation for new Utility Technician, Dakota Bell.