Tax relief for homeowners a priority for Denton County Commissioners Court

Tax relief for homeowners has been a priority as we continue to review our Denton County budgets each year.  Not only have we kept the county’s portion of property taxes low among taxing entities in Denton County, we also decreased the county’s tax rate to the lowest since 1986 at $0.225278 for the 2019-2020 fiscal year.

On June 30, the Denton County Commissioners Court approved a residence homestead exemption of up to 1 percent or $5,000, whichever is greater to all homeowners of the county. This means that the taxable value of your homestead will be lowered by these amounts, thus reducing your county property taxes. This exemption is applicable to the current year’s property tax bill, which you will see this fall.

In 2019, we approved a tax limitation for properties receiving an over 65 or disabled person exemption. The Over 65 Exemption the county offers is $55,000 and the Disabled Person Exemption is $15,000. Homeowners can be eligible for one or the other, but not both.

The Denton Central Appraisal District, a separate entity from Denton County and not governed by Commissioners Court, is where homeowners must go to apply for any of the above exemptions. Find out more information at www.dentoncad.com or contact the appraisal district office at 940-349-3800.

Denton library program offers free student library cards

A new Books2Go program offers free Denton Public Library cards to Denton ISD students and gives them the opportunity to use online tutoring assistance, study resources as well as access to books, movies and activities for entertainment.

Parents or legal guardians will need to opt-in when registering their children for the 2020-2021 school year. More information is available at https://bit.ly/DPLBooks2Go.

Congratulations

Two of our agents with the Denton County Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office were recognized at the state level recently.

The Texas County Agricultural Agents Association recognized Zach Davis, the agriculture and natural resources extension agent, with a Search for Excellence award in Young, Beginning or Small Farmers/Ranchers Programming for a countywide tour highlighting several agricultural enterprises.

Janet Laminack, who serves as the horticulture extension agent, received first place in communications for personal column. She is also one of four finalists with the National Association of County Agriculture Agents.

Upcoming events

  • Aubrey 380 Area Chamber of Commerce – networking luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on August 19 at Prairie House Restaurant in Cross Roads. Admission is $13. Send an email to Donna Sims at chamber@aubreycoc.org.
  • Denton Chamber of Commerce – Building a Business for the Future lunch Zoom session from 11 a.m. to noon. Cost is $15 for members; $25 for non-members. Must pre-register at https://business.denton-chamber.org/events/details/building-a-business-for-the-future-5037414.
  • Denton Chamber of Commerce – Virtual Wake Up Wednesday features a guest speaker on Zoom from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on August 19. The event is free for members; $5 for non-members. Registration is required at: https://business.denton-chamber.org/events/details/membership-mixer-08-19-2020-5035602.
  • Lake Cities Chamber of Commerce – monthly luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on August 12. The luncheon will feature a presentation on The Infostructure with Spectrum, Oncor and Atmos. The luncheon location is to be determined. Go to lakecitieschamber.com/event/monthly-luncheon-3-2020-07-08-12/ for more information and to register.
  • Sanger Area Chamber of Commerce – business and networking luncheon from noon to 1 p.m. on August 26 at Babe’s Chicken Dinner House at 204 N. 4th St. Admission is $10. RSVP to https://business.sangertexas.com/events, 940-458-7702 or send an email to chamber@sangertexas.com.

Regional road and bridge updates

FM 2181 North-South – 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 include City of Denton water lines, storm water drainage lines and culverts; lime treatment subgrade; concrete removal; SW3P activities; barricades; general clean up.

U.S. 380/U.S. 377 (Loop 288 to U.S. 377) –Frontier is splicing; anticipate completion by mid-July. Low bidder is Ragle Construction, Inc. with a low bid of $21,269,536.66, at 33.15% over the engineer’s estimate. There are 800 working days and 39 months of barricades. Awaiting project award and work authorization.

U.S. 380 East ­– (U.S. 377 to Collin County line) – Utility coordination meeting held virtually on June 23, 2020.

U.S. 377 North –TNP submitted draft ICI (Indirect and Cumulative Impacts) report on June 19, 2020. Stakeholder meetings with Pilot Point and Krugerville were to be held on July 23, 2020. Comments on the 95% schematic submittal received from TxDOT. TNP has addressed comments and is working toward submittal of final schematic before end of July 2020.

U.S. 380 Feasibility Study –NCTCOG and TxDOT met on June 2, 2020, to discuss. NCTCOG is updating model to run different alignments for integrated corridor.

FM 428 – Project is from Loop 288 to West Sherman Drive/proposed outer loop. TxDOT has completed negotiations with HDR to initiate efforts on the FM 428 feasibility study. Awaiting execution of supplemental work authorization.

FM 1385 – Let date for project has been scheduled for June 2024. The 30% schematic was submitted to TxDOT for review on July 7, 2020. TxDOT is reviewing schematic. Virtual public meeting is tentatively scheduled for September 2020.

FM 2931 – Let date for project has been scheduled for June 2024. The 30% schematic was submitted to TxDOT for review on June 26, 2020. TxDOT District is reviewing schematic. Virtual public meeting was held on July 7, 2020. Meeting materials are posted on http://www.keepitmovingdallas.com/FM2931 and will remain available online through the comment period deadline of July 22, 2020.

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. Consultant held a Traffic Control Plan meeting with TXDOT in early July and is working on requested revisions. Upon completion of TCP revisions, the 95% plan submittal will take place. Anticipate submittal of 95% plan set in September 2020 and the final plan set in December 2020. A utility coordination meeting was held on June 23:

o Bolivar Water: Has preliminary plans and is awaiting reimbursement agreement.

o CenturyLink: Anticipate completion of plans in August 2020.

o CoServ Electric: Plans for the east side of the project have been completed.

o Nortex: Awaiting plans.

o Sanger Electric: Currently designing plans.

o Sanger Water/Wastewater: City council to approve bonds for relocations. Plans are being designed.

o Suddenlink: Awaiting plans.

I-35 at FM 455 – Estimated cost of reconstruction of approximately 4,500 feet of I-35 over FM 455 is projected at $27,231,547 with a let date of August 2022. Consultant held a Traffic Control meeting with TxDOT in early July and is working on requested revisions. Upon completion of TCP revisions, the 95% plan submittal will take place. Anticipate submittal of the 95% plan set in September 2020 and the final plan set in December 2020. CenturyLink anticipates completion of relocation plans in August 2020.   

I-35 North (Segments 1 and 2) – The project from U.S. 377 to FM 3002 is projected to cost $573,740,000 with a ready to let date of October 2022 and a let date of December 2022. TxDOT has reviewed plan set and provided comments to consultant.  Consultant is addressing comments. The 60% plan set is expected for review at the end of November 2020.

I-35E/Mayhill – This $62.2 million project to reconstruct the interchange at Mayhill and I-35E is projected to begin in June 2022. The 95% plans are underway and are expected by the end of July 2020; the 95% plan set will incorporate traffic and final survey. Additional Level A SUE north of Mayhill and south of Loop 288 is underway and is expected to be complete by the end of July 2020. Utility coordination meeting to be held on July 21, 2020.  

I-35/35E/35W Merge – Pavement design conference held on June 25, 2020, and pavement design report has been prepared for District approval. Level B SUE for -090 is complete.

I-35E/US 77/Dallas Drive Interim Improvements – The estimated $50 million project will involve interim improvements to northbound I-35E exit to Dallas Drive, I-35E service road and southbound lanes of Dallas Drive. TxDOT is reviewing possibility of design and construction to address safety concerns at I-35E exit to Dallas Drive, the northbound I-35E service road where it crosses the northbound exit ramp, and the southbound lanes of Dallas Drive.

I-35E/Dobbs/Lake Sharon – This $30 million project involves reconstruction of the interchange and existing frontage roads. TxDOT and consultant are in the process of scoping and preparing a project schedule.

County road and bridge updates

Arvin Hill Road Project US 377 to Red Mesa Realigned Arvin Hill at US 377 is open. New Hope to US 377 scheduled completion September 2020.

U.S. 377/Stewart/Arvin Hill Intersection Improvements Drainage structures under construction scheduled completion November 2020.

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

Sam Bass Road Project – FM 455 North of Nance Road Asphalt paving has started, drainage structures completed. Estimated completion November 2020.

Pecan Valley Road Culvert Replacement Project delayed. Scheduled completion August 2020.

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

Lois Road West Culvert Replacement Survey and Engineering study ongoing.    

Indian Trail Improvements Engineering underway. Estimate 100% plans and bid package October 2020.

Mayhill Road – Construction completed in July 2020. Field inspection completed on June 30, 2020. Walk-throughs have been completed. On July 9, 2020, contractor completed work. City re-inspected project on July 10, 2020. Final acceptance paperwork is underway.

Dallas North Tollway, Extension 4B – 100% plans are expected in July 2020. Consultant is completing revisions requested by NTTA and anticipated submittal of final plan set to NTTA in mid-July 2020. NTTA anticipated advertising the project on July 17, 2020.

Lake Sharon Extension  Current activities include finishing headwalls on the creek crossing culverts and import of fill material. Upon completion of grading work, contractor will begin preparation for paving and project completion. Water is 95% complete; wastewater is 100% complete; drainage is 95% complete; and grading is 50% complete.

Shady Shores Road –An estimated $10 million in STBG funds have been allocated for this project. TxDOT has drafted a funding agreement. Consultant submitted professional services agreement for preliminary engineering and environmental studies efforts. Anticipate commissioners court consideration of same in July 2020.

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.