Southlake approves budget for 2014

Posted Monday, Sep. 23, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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The City Council unanimously approved an $84.8 million budget at its Sept. 17 meeting.

The budget contains funding for two major projects including the Community Recreation Center and the Department of Public Safety North facility.

The design phase of the recreation center in Bicentennial Park began in August. The DPS facility is on track to open later this year.

Along with the budget, the council approved a homestead property tax exemption for homeowners. In the past, the Council would approve an exemption on a yearly basis, but now will keep it a recurring part of the annual budget process.

The budget also sets aside $75,000 in various economic-based studies, including a hotel market study, retail market saturation study and a target industry recruitment study. City officials contend the studies will provide necessary data for better economic decisions.

“We need to be so focused and need some guidance on what is a good fit,” said Mayor Pro Tem Brandon Bledsoe.

Assistant City Manager Alison Ortowski said having better data would allow the staff to market Southlake to businesses rather than be reactive.

The King’s University Moves Headquarters

Also at the meeting, John Spurling, The King’s University Chief Academic Officer, announced that the Pentecostal university is moving its headquarters to Gateway Church in Southlake.

The international institution is moving its headquarters from California where it has five campuses along with one in Hong Kong, another in New Zealand and three in Texas.

Curriculum includes biblical studies, Christian ministry and theological studies.

Spurling said the Southlake campus, which is in its second year, has 180 enrolled students.

Signs around Southlake

Harry Mark with RSM Design introduced three identification monuments designed to have Southlake’s name and identity.

“This is your front door and it is a very important part of Southlake,” Mark told the council.

Two separate limestone monuments that bare the city’s name were designed to be placed at entrance ways into Southlake. He also revealed a 44-foot tall civic tower that would be placed at a high traffic point of the city.

Councilwoman Carolyn Morris was supportive of the entry markers.

“As you’re traveling into our city you know what to expect,” she said. “If not totally familiar with our city, it helps the visiting population know what to expect and where.”

Dustin L. Dangli, 817-390-7770 Twitter: @dustindangli

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