Exchange Zone Spaces Now Available at the Duncanville Police Station

exchange-zone-signWith the increasing ability to make purchases online, the Duncanville Police Department is now offering the public two designated parking spaces in front of the Duncanville Police Station (203 E. Wheatland Rd) to complete transactions. The “Exchange Zone” spaces are well-lit and under 24-hour surveillance, giving residents and commuters a safe place to purchase or exchange property from online sale sites such as Craigslist, Offer Up, 5 Miles, and Facebook. “It is important to remember that the people you meet online are strangers and can pose dangers,” said Duncanville Chief of Police Robert Brown. “Not every buyer or seller you meet online is someone who is true with their intent. Unfortunately, there are certain individuals that capitalize upon the inexperience of others. Our goal is to reduce victimization by online predators, and provide a safe and monitored place to conduct these types of transactions.” In addition to online purchase exchanges, the Department also invites blended families to utilize the Exchange Zone for child custody arrangements. For more information, contact the Duncanville Police Crime Prevention Office at 972-780-5027.

Infrastructure Improvements Underway

Your Public Works Department has been busy with infrastructure improvements throughout the city. Many of these projects are currently under construction or have recently been completed such the erosion control improvement project at Lions Park. The existing retaining walls along Horne Branch were lengthened approximately 200 feet to prevent further erosion along the south bank at a cost of approximately $119,528.00.

The FY2016 Water/Wastewater Improvements Project along Roma Drive between Greenstone Lane and West Ridge Drive is almost complete. This project includes the construction of approximately 2,100 linear feet of 8 inch water line and 2,100 linear feet of 10 inch and 8 inch wastewater line, the placement of 730 tons of asphalt pavement, and 1,500 square yards of reinforced concrete pavement. This project is budgeted at $956,848.00 but is anticipated to be completed at a significantly reduced cost. Approximately 50% complete are the FY2016 Wastewater Improvements and Sidewalk Improvements Projects. The wastewater improvements project will install 8,100 linear feet of sanitary sewer by pipe bursting at a cost of approximately $1,229,738.00. The sidewalk improvements project will provide new sidewalks, ADA compliant ramps, and a new hike and bike trail through Lakeside Park from Mizell to Center Streets at a cost of $356,215.00.

 

Town Hall Meeting Scheduled to Discuss Proposed TIF

A Town Hall meeting has been scheduled for next Thursday, October 27 at 6:30 p.m. at the D.L. Hopkins Jr. Senior Activity Center to discuss a proposed Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Reinvestment Zone for the Camp Wisdom Road / North Duncanville Road / N. Main Street area. The meeting will include a presentation discussing the purpose and structure of a TIF, including examples of TIF projects in other communities. A Q & A will follow the presentation and City Council will listen to the public comment on this topic.  For more information, contact the Duncanville Economic Development Department at 972-780-5090.

Keeping Up with the City’s Infrastructure

The Wastewater Department began its Annual Manhole Rehabilitation program again this fall. Aging sewer manholes throughout the city made from brick, concrete, fiberglass, or a combination of the three, need attention. Manholes suffer cracks, breaks or separations caused by age, ground shifting, and excessive weight from traffic, allowing groundwater to enter the sewer system. This equates to lost money and an inefficient system.

In 2004, the Wastewater Department started using information obtained from sanitary sewer surveys to attack leaking and failing manholes. A yearly program was implemented to identify failing structures so they could be rehabilitated by spray lining. These photos show manholes treated with spray lining.

The city currently budgets $65,000 annually to rehabilitate these failing structures, equating to approximately 30 to 50 manholes each year. Spray lining is a cost-effective, non-intrusive way of saving our sewer infrastructure. The products used provide a long-lasting, leak-free barrier. Our goal is to provide money saving efforts in keeping our infrastructure up-to-date and maintained. The Wastewater Department also tries to keep up with changing technology to cause the least amount of service disruption and give the longest life possible out of our system.

 

City Celebrates Arbor Day with Free Tree Giveaway

Arbor Day is celebrated in Texas on the first Friday in November. In celebration of 14 years as a Tree City USA community, the City will be giving away free yearling trees at the Recreation Center parking lot on November 4, 2016 on a first come, first serve basis beginning at 8am. Limit is 2 per person.

Fall and winter are ideal tree-planting times as it gives roots a chance to settle in during the cooler months. Trees get a jump on the next growing season and are better equipped for the summer’s heat. This involves smart planting, plant trees you know you can water and maintain. This is an opportunity to plant drought-tolerant natives in your lawn or garden. Just remember, these future water-savers need some moisture while they establish. It’s especially important to keep an eye on them the first two years.

But dare we grab the shovel, given our drought conditions? Yes, if you can water properly, experts say. This is not as daunting as it may sound. All agree that a few gallons a week will keep a newly planted tree’s root ball moist. Although Duncanville homeowners are not currently under any stage of the water restrictions other communities are facing, a homeowner would find that even Stage 1 or 2 restrictions are more than adequate to keep one or two newly planted trees healthy and vigorous when watered correctly. According to the Texas Forest Service, a newly planted tree should be watered three times a week, depending on rain and drainage. With each watering, apply 5 gallons per inch of trunk diameter. For example, a tree with a 1-inch diameter trunk would get 5 gallons three times a week or 15 gallons a week. Weather and seasonal conditions should be considered as well in this equation.

Select trees that will adapt to the sunlight and soil conditions around your home. Consider the tree’s mature height and width so you can plant a safe distance from your home and utility lines. A shade tree that matures to 25 or more feet should be planted at least 20 feet from your home and utility lines. A tree that matures to 20 or less feet should be spaced at least 10 feet from the house and at least 5 feet from lines.

Following are some helpful tips to properly plant your new tree.

TREE PLANTING TIPStree-planting

 

Dig a hole two to three times wider than the root ball and slightly shallower. The tree should be planted at or slightly above the original soil level. This is especially important in heavy clay soils to aid drainage.

Cut any circling roots along the outer edge of the root ball with pruning shears.

Pick the tree up from the bottom, not by the trunk, and place it in the hole. Hold while backfilling around the root ball with original soil from the hole. Tamp the soil lightly to eliminate air pockets. Break apart large clods before backfilling.

Remove any grass or weeds within a 3-foot-diameter circle around the tree and create a watering saucer.

Cover this bare area with 3 inches of mulch. Don’t pile mulch against the trunk.

Adequate water is essential at planting time. Place a hose at the base of the tree and allow water to slowly trickle until the soil is saturated.

 

 

 

Take Care of Duncanville by Managing Your Leaves this Fall

As autumn brings the start of the school year, football games, and cooler temperatures, it also signals the arrival falling leaves.
While Texans are encouraged to plant shade trees to help lower their utility bills in the summer, these deciduous trees lose their leaves in the fall, in abundance. Instead of raking and bagging them, where they’ll head to a landfill, put them back into your lawns and gardens, as a valuable source of mulch and fertilizer, and an addition to your compost.

Leaves contain 50 to 80 percent of the nutrients a plant extracts from the soil and air during the season. Grass clippings, leaves, and other yard debris make up 20 percent of the trash sent to landfills each year. It costs Texans over $250 million a year to collect and dispose of this waste.

There are four basic ways in which leaves can be managed and used in the landscape:
1. Mowing – a light covering of leaves can be mowed, simply leaving the shredded leaves in place on the lawn. This technique is most effective when a mulching mower is used.
2. Mulching –a lawn mower with a bagging attachment provides a fast and easy way to shred and collect the leaves. Apply a three to four inch layer of shredded leaves around the base of trees and shrubs. A two to three inch mulch of shredded leaves is ideal for flower beds. For vegetable gardens, a thick layer of leaves placed between the rows functions as a mulch and an all-weather walkway that will allow you to work in your garden during wet periods.
3. Composting – in addition to leaves, other yard wastes such as grass clippings, pine needles, weeds, and small prunings can be composted. Compost can serve as a soil conditioner that nourishes your yard and reduces the need for outdoor watering up to 60 percent.
4. Soil Improvement – leaves may be collected and worked directly into garden and flower bed soils. A six to eight inch layer of leaves tilled into a heavy, clay soil will improve aeration and drainage. The same amount tilled into a light, sandy soil, will improve water and nutrient holding capacity.

For more tips to keep our air and water clean, conserve water and energy, and reduce waste, visit TakeCareOfTexas.org. While you’re there, pledge to Take Care of Texas, and we’ll say thanks by mailing you a free Texas State Park Guide.

Police Looking for Aggravated Robbery Suspect

The Duncanville Police Department is requesting the public’s help in identifying and locating an aggravated robbery suspect. anisha-food-mart-aggravated-robbery-suspect-10-12-16

The incident occurred at approximately 10:34 p.m. on October 12 when a male suspect reportedly approached a clerk as he was locking the Anisha Food Mart, located at 102 South Cedar Ridge Dr. The suspect forced the clerk back inside where he tied the clerk up with a phone cord and stole money from the register. The suspect was armed with a semi-automatic pistol.

The suspect is described as being dark-skinned, approximately 6`1, 250 pounds, and wearing a blue long-sleeved hooded shirt under a white t-shirt, gray sweatpants, and black boots.

See Video

Anyone having any information concerning these offenses is asked to contact Detective Jeff Pollock with the Duncanville Police Department at 972-707-3831 or Crime Stoppers at 1-877-373-8477.

Duncanville Residents to Benefit from Smoke Alarm Donation

The City of Duncanville was selected to receive a 200 smoke alarm donation by the Insurance Council Of Texas (ICT) through its We’re Out to Alarm Texas program.  Duncanville Firefighters  img_8993 img_8986installed smoke alarms and conducted a home inspection for possible fire hazards in a Duncanville home today. The donated smoke alarms will be installed on a first-come, first-serve basis. Interested Duncanville residents should contact the Duncanville Fire Department at 972-780-4920.

The Insurance Council of Texas (ICT), through its We’re Out to Alarm Texas program, recently distributed almost 2,000 smoke alarms to fire departments in 23 Texas cities in anticipation of Fire Prevention Week.  Working with Texas fire fighters, ICT has placed approximately 16,000 smoke alarms into the homes of seniors and other citizens throughout the state over the past 12 years.

“ICT has been joined by other insurance organizations and First Alert to prevent needless tragedies from the lack of a smoke alarm,” said Mark Hanna, a spokesman for the Insurance Council of Texas.  “Through the help of the State Fire Marshal’s Office, we have placed these smoke alarms in communities hardest hit by fire fatalities.” The Travelers Insurance Companies, State Farm, the Association of Fire and Casualty Companies of Texas (AFACT) and First Alert assisted ICT in making this effort possible.

The State Fire Marshal has supported the smoke alarm program since its inception.  “Simply put, smoke alarms save lives,” said State Fire Marshal Chris Connealy.  “The goal of this program remains preventing people from dying in fires because they couldn’t afford these lifesaving alarms.”

The Insurance Council of Texas is the largest state insurance trade association in the country consisting of approximately 500 property and casualty insurers writing business in Texas.  For more information click on www.insurancecouncil.org or http://www.facebook.com/insurancecounciloftexas.

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Fire Prevention Week is October 9-15th: Change Smoke Detector Batteries

This year’s Fire Prevention Week is designed to get Americans thinking about the age of their smoke alarms. Smoke alarms do age and become less effective over time. Your family, home and possessions deserve the best protection available and when that protection becomes obsolete or even aged to the point where it is offering little or no warning, it is time to replace it. The industry standard is a life expectancy of 10 years on smoke alarms.

Smoke alarms generally have a date of manufacture displayed by a small sticker attached to the underside of the base. If you cannot locate a date or cannot remember when the smoke alarm was installed, it is probably time to replace it. It is important to note the date of manufacture as the beginning of the 10 year period instead of the date of installation. The material used inside the alarm to detect smoke begins to break down and becomes less efficient over time. Changing the battery at least twice a year is extremely important. Keep in mind that fresh batteries do not increase the life span of the smoke alarm.

Today, a decent battery-powered, combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarm sells for around $25.00. Over a span of ten years the daily cost of a $25.00 smoke alarm is 0.006 cents a day (plus the cost of batteries)! Where else can you buy peace of mind for your family for literally fractions of pennies? Smoke alarms continue to be one of the best, low-cost investments for protection of your entire house.

Another reason to replace old smoke alarms is due to the changes in technology. Alarm manufactures are constantly upgrading their products. Some smoke alarms include lights, voice messages and overall better detection of smoke. Many smoke alarms are now sold with a 10 year battery as well, how easy is that? What a great way to remember when the alarm is due to be replaced.

For more information visit the NFPA website below:

http://www.nfpa.org/public-education/campaigns/fire-prevention-week

Check your smoke alarms when you change your clock! Daylight Saving Time ends November 6, 2016: turn clocks backward 1 hour.

Most fatal fires occur at night. Every home needs working smoke alarms to provide an early warning. Install smoke alarms in all sleeping rooms, hallways that lead to sleeping areas, basements and each additional level of your home.

Smoke alarms should be mounted on the ceiling 4″ from the wall; wall mounts should be 4-12″ from the ceiling. Do not install near draft areas (windows, vents).

 

Citizen Input Needed for Downtown Element of the Comprehensive Plan

What: The City of Duncanville will host a Downtown Stakeholders Meeting to seek citizen input on the downtown element of the Comprehensive Plan. The intent is to discuss the existing Downtown District boundary, challenges and opportunities for future development within downtown. The meeting is geared toward property owners and business owners within the Downtown District but is open to the public.

The meeting will be an opportunity for citizens to participate in interactive exercises and discussion facilitated by the consultant, Freese and Nichols, Inc. The goal of the meeting is to walk away with a basis of understanding of what the community deems as important as it relates to downtown Duncanville.
Community participation through events like the Downtown Stakeholders Meeting is vital for the comprehensive plan development process. For more information on the Comprehensive Plan, please visit: www.DestinationDuncanville.com.

When: Wednesday, October 12, 2016; check-in begins at 6:30 p.m., meeting begins at 7:00 p.m.

Where: D.L. Hopkins Senior Center, 206 James Collins Blvd, Duncanville, TX 75116

The meeting is being hosted in partnership with the consultant Freese and Nichols, Inc., which has offices around the country and throughout the State.