The Arbor - August 2005
August 1, 2005
City to test CodeRED system
All residents in University Park will receive a phone call from the City's emergency notification system, CodeRED, at the end of August. The CodeRED system delivers pre-recorded emergency telephone messages to targeted areas or the entire city at a rate of up to 60,000 calls per hour. The system was purchased several months ago and has been tested in select areas of the City.
Although CodeRED uses a comprehensive telephone database, the City encourages residents to also register with the system. By providing their physical address, first and last names, and preferred telephone numbers, residents can be assured that they will be called if the City activates the CodeRED system. Examples of situations involving CodeRED use include notification of a water shortage or warning of a natural disaster. Click here to be redirected to the CodeRED registration page. Individuals without Internet access may call 214-987-5380 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to provide their information over the phone.
The test phone call will be a prerecorded message asking residents who have not already registered and verified their information with the system to log on the City website or call the City to update your information.
The CodeRED system is a geographical based notification system, which means street addresses are needed to select which telephone numbers will receive emergency notification calls in any given situation. The system also works for cellular phones but still requires a street address. People who have recently moved in the city but kept the same listed or unlisted number also need to change their addresses in the database.
The system also contains a do not call list. If you do not wish to be contacted for emergencies, you may call 214-987-5380 and ask to be placed on the "Do Not Call List". The information is used for emergency notification purposes only. Any questions should be directed to the City's Emergency Management Office at 214-987-5380. The goal of the City is to make sure that every resident can be quickly reached in an emergency situation.
Goar Park Improvements and City Hall Renovation update
Pictured left: The Mayor and City Council broke ground on the Goar Park improvements and City Hall renovation July 5.
Following a groundbreaking ceremony on July 5, the first phase of the Goar Park improvements and City Hall renovation is now under way. A wooden slat fence has been built by the Park Department around the perimeter of the construction site for safety and to shield neighbors and those visiting the park from construction debris. University Boulevard was closed to traffic on July 13 to begin the box culvert construction. University Blvd. will be closed to traffic for approximately four months. Once construction is complete on University Blvd., the contractor will continue building the culvert and retaining walls north to Vassar Dr. This phase of construction should be complete in summer 2006. Watch for renovation updates in the Arbor and on the City website at www.uptexas.org.
City Council to review new budget
At its August 2 meeting, the City Council will receive the City Manager's proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2006 (FY06, which occurs October 1, 2005 to September 30, 2006). Budget and property tax rate hearings are scheduled for the August 23 and September 6 City Council meetings.
Detailed information on the proposed budget may be found after August 2, 2005, on the Budget Information page of the City website.
After receiving the City Manager's proposed budget, the City Council traditionally refers it to three advisory committees, which are composed of UP residents appointed by the Council. The advisory committees - Employee Benefits, Finance, and Insurances - meet with City staff during August, then make a recommendation to the Council regarding adoption or modification of the proposed budget.
Residents may attend the hearings or contact the Mayor and City Council directly with their thoughts or questions about the proposed budget.
Sidewalk replacement program information
The City has begun a sidewalk replacement program to assist property owners who have received a violation notice from a University Park Code Enforcement Officer.
The program reimburses property owners for 50% of the costs to replace defective sidewalks, up to a maximum of $7 per square foot. For example, if the repairs needed to a sidewalk cost $15/sq. foot, the reimbursement will be at a rate of $7/sq. ft. If the repairs needed to repair a sidewalk cost $5/sq. foot, the reimbursement will be at a rate of $2.50/sq. foot. The reimbursement will only be applied to the sidewalk sections that are in violation and not for sections that are replaced for aesthetic consistency.
For more information, contact Assistant to the Public Works Director Robbie Corder at 214-987-5460.
False security alarm fees change September 1
Senate Bill 568, which authorized cities to increase fees for false alarms, was signed by the Governor on June 17, 2005. The new legislation allows for three "free" false alarms, then a $50 fee for four to five false alarms during the preceding 12-month period, a $75 fee for six to seven false alarms in the preceding 12-month period, and a $100 fee for eight or more false alarms during the preceding 12-month period. Also, a city may revoke an alarm permit for more than eight false alarms during the preceding 12-month period. This bill will go into effect September 1, 2005, pending a vote by the University Park City Council at the August 2nd meeting.
The City currently follows state statute which operates on a set calendar year (January to December). Currently, residents are allowed five false alarms and on the sixth alarm the City bills $50 for every false alarm thereafter. In 2004 the University Park Police Department responded to 3,190 false alarms; 1,582 were Direct Alarm Monitoring customers, and 1,608 were outside alarm companies. These numbers do not include calls that were disregarded while the officer responding was in route. The Police Department hopes that by enacting higher fees for false alarms, residents will be more careful with their alarm systems. By decreasing the number of false alarms, officers will have more time to respond to true emergency calls and routine enforcement.
Please contact the University Park Direct Alarm Monitoring Office at 214-987-5318 for more information.
Hope you enjoyed the Fourth of July festivities!
-From Mayor Holmes and the City Council
Pictured above: Mayor and Council and their spouses before the 4th of July parade.
Back to school safety tips
1) Those students who walk or ride bikes, be sure to obey all stop signs, signals, traffic markings.
2) Those high school students who drive to school, be sure to obey all traffic laws.
3) Look both ways before crossing the street.
4) When crossing the street, make sure you are in a crosswalk and do not cross until the crosswalk signal has directed you to do so.
5) Those students who ride the bus, make sure to have the right change and get off at the correct stop.
6) Do not talk to strangers.
7) Be aware of surroundings and of any suspicious person, vehicle, or activity. If any of these things are observed, report them immediately to a police officer, teacher or principal.
*Reminder to residents* Be aware of school zones