Updated abatement policy possible boon for county

The Dallas-Fort Worth area, which includes Denton County, continues to attract companies large and small. DFW has the third highest number of Fortune 500 headquarters in the U.S., behind New York City and Chicago.

With no state income tax, a lower cost of living and a low county property tax rate, we have positioned Denton County to be a key player in attracting these companies.

In 2017, Toyota Motor North America relocated its headquarters from California to Denton County, bringing 3,000 jobs. Recently, Charles Schwab announced it would move its headquarters to its campus in southern Denton County.

In October, PGA of America officially broke ground on its new headquarters near U.S. 380 and the Dallas North Tollway where the 600-acre project will open in mid-2022.

In light of the fast-paced growth we are seeing across the county and, in particular, along the 380 Corridor, the Denton County Commissioners Court in December approved an updated tax abatement policy to potentially offer incentives for smaller companies to move into our region. Prior to the changes, a company had to offer more than 500 jobs with an investment in excess of $10 million to be considered for a tax abatement. Under the new policy, a company could be eligible for an abatement if it is adding 10 jobs with an investment minimum of $1 million.

For all of our Precinct One communities in northern Denton County, the new policy could provide just the right incentive to attract new companies with high paying positions – continuing our mission to make Denton County the best place to pursue a career and raise your family.

Corinth planning 20-acre mixed-use project

At the southwest corner of Corinth Parkway and Interstate 35E in Corinth, concept plans call for a mixed-use development with restaurants, hotel and high-end multi-family residences.

The project, proposed by Irving-based Realty Capital Management, LLC, will be one of the largest early contributors to the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone for the I-35E corridor. Realty Capital has also set up a Chapter 380 Economic Development Incentive Agreement with the City of Corinth and the Corinth Economic Development Corporation.

The project will be designed to create a walkable community with public amenities and entertainment options not currently available in Corinth.

Denton County holiday closures for the New Year

Denton County offices will be closed on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020, and will resume regular schedules on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020.

Regional road and bridge updates

FM 2181 – A $37.6 million project to widen FM 2181 from two lanes to a six-lane divided roadway from the Denton/Corinth city limits to Lillian Miller Parkway is expected to be complete in November 2021. Activities expected in January include City of Denton water lines, storm water lines, prep ROW and grading.

FM 720 North – The contractor is working on placing concrete for sidewalks, ramps, and median; top soil and sod on southbound; and permanent striping for north and southbound lanes.  The project is on track for March 2020 completion.

U.S. 380 East (Loop 288 to U.S. 377) The 95% plans were completed and submitted for review on May 20, 2019. TxDOT design team is working toward completion of final plans before the end of December 2019. (U.S. 377 to county line) Consultant completed work on 95 percent plans and submitted for review on July 26, 2019. Consultant is working toward completion of final plans on December 2019. Utility coordination meeting was held on Nov. 21, 2019. Meetings are coordinated monthly.

U.S. 377 North – Public meeting will be scheduled to coincide with 60 percent schematic delivery in late spring 2020. A noise analysis is in process. TNP continues efforts toward the 60% schematic which is anticipated in March 2020.; TNP and TxDOT met on Dec. 3, 2019, to discuss schedule 60% design submittal, a proposed public meeting and a VE study for late spring 2020.

U.S. 380 Feasibility Study – NCTCOG continues model runs with different alignments. Upon completion, a second public meeting will be scheduled.

FM 428 – Project is from east Windsor Drive to West Sherman Drive/proposed outer loop. NCTCOG is interested in partnering – limited access facility. TxDOT to initiate feasibility study.

FM 1385 –Schematic alignment changes near churches at Mustang Creek were requested by Denton County. Began drainage design analysis for the 8 of the 23 drainage crossings along the project limits. Environmental: Work is progressing on the environmental constraints mapping. The draft report is scheduled for submittal before the end of December. Traffic: Coordinated with NCTCOG and local governments for traffic counts. Progressing towards developing data and traffic projections. Draft Traffic Methodology Report is scheduled for late December 2019.

FM 2931 – Due to change in project managers at onset of project, TxDOT held a second meeting on Nov. 20. Contractor has begun work on initial set-up and layout of proposed typical sections and footprint.

FM 455 – From west of FM 2450 to east of Marion Road; the project is slated to have 100% plans ready in September 2020 with a January 2022 let date. The contractor is finalizing cross street and driveway profiles, continuing development of plan and profile sheets throughout the corridor, coordinating with drainage design on storm sewer layout, finalizing profile and corridor modeling, and finalizing traffic control plans. The 95% plans are on schedule for submittal on January 31, 2020.  

I-35 at FM 455 –A workshop resulted in a noise wall to be built along I-35 northbound frontage roads for the neighborhood on the east side of I-35 in Sanger. The contractor continues development of plan and profile sheets, drainage design, driveway and cross street profiles, and traffic control plans. The 95% plans are on track for submittal in January 2020.

I-35 North (Segment 1) – Environmental approval was received on Oct. 7 for the estimated $546.5 million project from U.S. 380 to 0.7 miles north of FM 3002. Consultant is preparing 60% PS&E for submittal by end of December 2019. A coordination meeting with the I-35 merge project was held on Dec. 4, 2019. A workshop resulted in a noise wall to be built along I-35 northbound frontage roads for the neighborhood on the east side of I-35 in Sanger.

I-35 North (Segment 2) – Environmental approval was received on Oct. 7 for the estimated $546.5 million project from U.S. 380 to 0.7 miles north of FM 3002. Consultant is preparing 30% PS&E for submittal by end of January 2020. A coordination meeting with the I-35 merge project was held on Dec. 4, 2019.

I-35E/Mayhill – This $55.6 million project to reconstruct the interchange at Mayhill and I-35E is projected to begin in May 2021. The 95% plans were expected in December but will be delayed to February 2020 to incorporate traffic and final survey. TxDOT has received preliminary survey and is awaiting the final survey on the northbound frontage road. Additional Level B and Level A SUE north of Mayhill south of Loop 288 has been requested. Preliminary Level B SUE north of Mayhill and south of Loop 288 has been received. A utility coordinating meeting was held on Nov. 21, 2019.

I-35/35E/35W Merge – TxDOT and consultant are working on bridge layouts. Coordination meeting with I-35 North project held on Dec. 4. With draft geotech information received on Dec. 2, 2019, submittal of 30% plans (previously expected in January 2020) will be delayed to incorporate geotech.

I-35E/Loop 288/Brinker/Mayhill – Construction is expected to be complete in January 2020. Currently, asphalt removal in northbound main lanes are underway as well as construction of northbound main lanes and placement of cement treated subgrade southbound frontage road. Asphalt paving on the southbound frontage road is expected soon with work on the sidewalk, sod/grass, rip rap and ditches.

County road and bridge updates

Arvin Hill Road Project US 377 to Red Mesa – Red Mesa to New Hope under construction, scheduled completion March 2020. New Hope to US 377 scheduled completion September 2020.

U.S. 377/Stewart/Arvin Hill Intersection Improvements –TxDOT is reviewing 95 percent plans for the intersection improvements.

Sam Bass Road Project – FM 455 North of Nance Road –Contract awarded to Texas Bit. Preconstruction meeting scheduled for January 2020.

Pecan Valley Road Culvert Replacement – Contract executed with West Texas Rebar Placers. Preconstruction meeting completed.

Rockhill Road/Arvin Hill Road Project Red Mesa to UP RR – Revisions to 100 percent plans for USACE comments underway. Utility relocation coordination ongoing. 

Hackberry Creek Park Road Project – Construction request and mitigation plan submitted to USACE.  

Lois Road West Culvert Replacement – Survey and Engineering study ongoing.   

Rector Road West Culvert – Bid opening January 2020.

Hickory Creek Road Street Lights – Request to design submitted to ONCOR.

Mayhill Road – From north of Quail Creek Road to U.S. 380, paving operations are ongoing.

A partial traffic opening was scheduled for Dec. 19 with a change in traffic to kick off the divided-road operations by allowing one southbound lane open to use the ultimate southbound pavement and northbound lane to use the ultimate northbound pavement. Work on median, sidewalks, driveways and seed/sod will continue. Signal installation is ongoing. Driveway design constructability review and right of entry identification underway.

Dallas North Tollway, Extension 4B –NTTA is working on property donation agreements with a projected property acquisition date of March 2020.

Lake Sharon Extension  The city, bankruptcy and surety company have executed termination paperwork. Awaiting execution by contractor.

Sam Bass Road – From FM 455 to approximately 500 feet north of Nance Road, this estimated $3.5 million project will rebuild the road as a two-lane rural road and realign the intersection with FM 455. Utility coordination efforts are ongoing. Contract with Texas Bit has been executed.

Shady Shores Road – TxDOT has drafted funding agreement. City of Lake Dallas has executed ICA to obligate 50 percent of funding for engineering with an agreement to be placed on Commissioners Court agenda for consideration. Town of Shady Shores has executed ICA to obligate 50 percent of funding for engineering. Commissioners Court approved the agreements on Aug. 27. On Oct. 15, 2019, Denton County Commissioners Court approved a Request for Qualifications for preliminary engineering and environmental efforts. Qualification statements were due on November 14, 2019. Five firms submitted qualification statements. The evaluation committee members have been selected and were approved by the Commissioners Court on November 19, 2019. The selection committee has been evaluating responses and will be scheduling a meeting in January 2020 to select the most qualified firm.

Denton County Precinct One Commissioner Hugh Coleman can be reached at (940) 349-2810. The main office is located at 1175 Union Hill Road in Sanger. He is also available by appointment only at the Steven E. Copeland Government Center at 1400 FM 424, Suite 139 in Cross Roads or the Denton County Courthouse-on-the-Square at 110 W. Hickory St., Suite 323 in Denton.