City issues $54.4 million in bonds, approves almost $500k in Thrive construction oversight

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Lewisville City Hall. (Photo by Adonis Carcamo)

The Lewisville City Council approved a $47.2 million general obligation bond for refunding and capital improvement at its regular meeting Sept. 10, among the approval of several economic agreements and zoning changes. $2.9 million will go toward refunding, and the rest will be used for the city’s long-term projects, with the largest portion going to the Thrive multi-generational center.  

A total of eight bidders pitched 25 individual bids during a competitive auction process for this bond. Bank of America won the auction with a final interest rate of 2.98 percent on Monday morning. With this new bond refunding some existing debt, the city saved about $370,000.

The council also authorized a nearly $7.9 million revenue bond for the city’s waterworks and sewer system. These funds will go toward improvements, additions and extensions to the water and sewer infrastructures throughout the city.

Council approved all items on the consent agenda unanimously, meaning projects like a $674,868 agreement with Huitt-Zollars to design rebuilds for six residential streets in Old Town — Hatcher Avenue, Herod Street, Lynn Avenue, Richland Street, Temple Drive and Walters Street — will now move forward.

With the consent agenda approved, the city also authorized a $256,000 professional service agreement with Ramel Company LLC to oversee construction on the Thrive multi-generational center, making sure it follows the city’s vision. A second agreement was approved for $238,185 with Peak Program Value LLC to provide project control by ensuring the project stays within budget. Ground broke on the center in July.

Council approved a development incentive for a new $22 million business park planned for the northeast corner of Spinks Road and Valley Parkway. This would be the seventh of 10 planned business parks for DFW Lewisville Partners, more commonly known as Majestic Realty. The 3.2 million square foot park is scheduled to open Dec. 30, 2019.

Council approved an amendment to an economic agreement passed in May this year to bring the headquarters of Innovative IDM from Carrollton to the corner of Highpoint Oaks and Vista Ridge Mall Drive. The project resulted in the removal of a large number of protected trees. Lewisville city code requires all tree mitigation fees to be paid in advance of a development project.

The passed amendment means the city will reimburse IDM for an estimated $172,000 in tree mitigation fees and, in return, IDM will build a five-foot wide publicly accessible granite path around its new facility.

Three zoning items in Old Town were also authorized for developers to build townhomes on the corner of Cowan and Hickory and the corner of E. Walters and Harris and single family residences along McCart Street.

Council passed an ordinance amending mixed-use zoning districts, allowing the code to be modified to remove some permitted uses and clarify the process for rezoning to a mixed-use district.

Council also passed an ordinance over the process for obtaining certificates of occupancy, aiming to add more clarity and consistency. Certificates of occupancy are documents issued by local governments stating the property on hand has been built and maintained accordingly to building or zoning ordinances.

“A lot of work went into this [ordinance] and I truly believe this will help clear things up,” Councilmember TJ Gilmore said.

Council held its second public hearing over the FY 2018-19 budget, although no comments were made by the public. Under this proposed budget, the property tax rate will remain the same. Council will vote on adopting the budget next week.

Council approved waiving the rental fee of $540 for the Lewisville Railroad Park for the annual Battle of the Badge softball tournament between DFW area law enforcement set for Oct. 20. The event benefits the Lewisville Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association and the Children’s Advocacy Center for Denton County.

Brandon Jones and Bob Troyer were appointed as council member representatives for the Parks & Rec Financial Management and Cost Recovery Model Subcommittee. Karen Locke and Derek Hayenga were also appointed to the same subcommittee as 2025 board representatives. The committee, needing only three more representatives from the Parks & Recreation Advisory Board, alongside a project team and a consultant, will analyze and discuss a fiscal management philosophy and establish a cost recovery model for all parks and rec programs and services.

Council also received a presentation about screening walls during a workshop session to provide contextual information about the current situation of the walls in the city. Screening walls are put up between residential neighborhoods and the road for privacy and attractiveness.

Councilmember Neil Ferguson requested this presentation to start discussions about the issue.

“My concerns are the existing ones are declining,” Ferguson said at the workshop session. “They require a lot of maintenance. There’s an increasing cost to care for them and only a fixed amount of funding per year.”

The city spends $300,000 annually repairing and maintaining screening walls like this one on Edmonds Lane. (Photo by Steve Southwell)

City Manager Donna Barron said she will have staff conduct a thorough review over screening walls in the city, but it’s likely results won’t return until after the first of the year.

Lewisville City Council meets every first and third Monday of the month, pushing to next week when that falls on a holiday. These meetings are at 7 p.m., usually with a 6:30 p.m. workshop at which most of the discussion takes place, at City Hall, 151 W. Church St. in Lewisville. These meetings are open to the public.

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