More change ahead in Westlake

Posted Monday, Jan. 28, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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WESTLAKE - Managing the town's growth spurt remains a priority for Westlake Mayor Laura Wheat, along with investing in infrastructure and implementing Phase I of the Westlake Academy expansion.

Westlake Academy will complete its 10th year in June and graduate the fourth and largest class to date with 42 students.

Wheat said she hopes to effectively "navigate the waters of change" being brought about by the recent sale of large tracts of land, the improving development climate, the recently completed FM 1938 from Randol Mill Road to Texas 114 and the soon-to-be-completed DFW Connector.

"I have found that one can say two things about change: it's never easy, and it is the one constant in life," Wheat said.

Changes during 2012 were mainly from economic development activity, which continues to rise.

Deloitte University completed its first full year of operation, creating more than 400 jobs. Fidelity Investments opened its Phase 2 office building into full operation by consolidating offices in Westlake and the town had 14 new homes starts with an average value of $2.2 million.

New retail stores in 2012 include a QuikTrip convenience store/gas station and a Centennial Wine & Beverage.

Road improvements include the completion of Davis Boulevard from Texas114 south to the Southlake city limits, with the town investing heavily in its hardscape to make the appearance of this major north/south corridor attractive.

Westlake, Keller, and Southlake were heavily involved in this $15 million TxDOT project, with Westlake acquiring the right-of-way.

Other projects completed in 2012 include a north entrance to Westlake Academy, which was opened to alleviate traffic on Ottinger Road during peak student drop-off/pickup times, a new ambulance and first response attack pumper truck was purchased for the fire department and the town unveiled a new and improved website.

The town also reinvested in infrastructure and public safety services with completed street reconstruction and installed water system improvements in the in Stagecoach Hills subdivision and improvements to Dove and Ottinger roads, including new sidewalks and trails, funded by a $6.2 million development agreement with Hillwood Properties.

"I am very proud of much that has been accomplished in the past year, but if I had to pick just one thing, it would be the completion of the trail connecting the new Davis Boulevard to Westlake Academy," Wheat said. "The trail, a result of a Development Agreement with Hillwood, is a wonderful example of how public private partnerships can produce terrific results."

Westlake's innovative projects, citizen engagement efforts and transparency are characteristics that led the town to three statewide awards in 2012 including the 2012 City Council of the Year Award. Texas City Management Association granted the award based on an extensive evaluation of each council member's commitment to ethical practices, citizenry priority, cohesive functioning capability, financial management support, professional development emphasis, harmonious interaction with other members, promotion of community awareness and expressions of leadership.

Following on the heels of the City Council of the Year Award, Westlake was awarded two additional honors--the Texas Economic Development Council's 2012 Community Economic Development Award and the International City/County Management Association awarded the town with the Community Sustainability Award for Westlake Windows: Transparent Government In Focus initiative.

Earlier in the year, Tom Brymer, Westlake town manager, was awarded Public Administrator of the Year by the North Texas Chapter of the American Society of Public Administrators.

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