Councilmembers considered a proposed addition to the city that aims to maintain its neighborhoods as it approaches buildout.
Assistant City Manager Lauren Rose presented a Neighborhood Partnership Program — something other cities have used to preserve parts of aging neighborhoods — during the Monday, Oct. 17 council meeting.
The concept of such a program was brought up in 2017 during the Comprehensive Plan’s drafting, said Rose, but was never fully fleshed out. The first project staff hope to complete is in the Hudson Crossing neighborhood, which currently has a screening wall in disrepair.
“We want to get your feedback on a framework and really understand the direction that this city council would like to go in relative to these specific issues,” Rose said. “In the spirit of the Comprehensive Plan, we are recommending the launch of a Neighborhood Partnership Program.”
However, Rose said the early stages of the partnership program would likely only tackle small projects, such as screening walls, sign toppers and entry features for neighborhoods.
City funds — likely from the large unassigned general fund balance — would be used to fund the initial project at Hudson Crossing. The initial contribution would be around $500,000, said Rose, with the project costing between $350,000 and $400,000 to complete.
The current screening wall is brick but has dilapidated significantly, said Rose, and is not a suitable design method going forward. The replacement wall would be made from a pre-cast concrete base that would be finished with a limestone-looking facade.
Rose said this construction would be more durable and maintain its appearance longer than alternative designs, such as masonry or wood.
Going forward, the funding model would resemble the current process for the Vehicle and Equipment Replacement Fund used in the current budgeting process.
“We’re incorporating it into the budget process so council and the residents ultimately have the ability to weigh in on whether or not it is suitable to fund for that particular year,” Rose said. “We do this for similar projects throughout the city; we dedicate funds for large capital items and put those aside. Council would have the opportunity to do this for a new subset of projects that are neighborhood amenities.”
For the full story, see the Oct. 27 issue of The Sachse News.