Allen City Council met on Tuesday, July 26. Read on for the highlights and approved projects. The full agenda and meeting video are available here.
Architects to begin detail designs for Allen Public Library expansion
Plans to expand Allen Public Library are moving forward. City Council approved a $949,297 contract with Hidell and Associates Architects to develop schematic and detail designs and prepare construction documents.
Allen Public Library received more than 2,000 responses to public surveys during the first phase on the project. Architects used that feedback, as well as input from the project steering committee, Library staff focus groups, tours of local libraries and other evaluations, in conceptual designs.
Final designs are expected to be completed in Spring 2023. At that time, construction bids will be solicited and negotiated before a final construction contract is submitted to City Council for consideration. If approved, construction is expected to begin in Fall 2023 with a preliminary estimate of 15 months for completion.
City of Allen agrees to purchase portion of Molsen Farm property from Allen ISD
A property once home to one of Allen’s last working farms will now be fully owned and cared for by Allen Parks and Recreation.
A 16-acre portion of the Molsen Farm property was purchased in 2016 by Allen Independent School District. Recently, Allen ISD determined the land was not necessary to meet future needs. The Allen ISD Board of Trustees approved the land sale on July 25; Allen City Council approved the purchase during its July 26 meeting.
Allen Parks and Recreation is already developing a master plan for more than 52 acres of the Molsen Farm property already owned by the City of Allen. The property has an existing trail as well as a new trailhead currently in design. Incorporation of the newly acquired land will be considered during finalization of the master plan.
The purchase cost, not to exceed $4 million, will be funded by a combination of 2016 bond election funds and various grants.
VIDEO: Upcoming Molsen Farm Public Park
Allen receives $2 million TxDOT grant for highway safety improvements
City of Allen was awarded a $2 million grant through the Highway Safety Improvement Program from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). The funding is intended to enhance safety at key intersections. Most notably, the grant includes funding for installation of a new traffic signal at Greenville Avenue and Ridgemont Drive.
To satisfy the grant requirements, Council approved spending $220,000 for the design of traffic signal improvements at approximately 11 locations in Allen.
Improvements include replacing existing and older video detection technology with new cameras, upgrading pedestrian push buttons to newer audio-accessible technology, relocating existing traffic signal poles that have been damaged, rewiring traffic signals to replace older wiring, installing longer signal arms to accommodate dual left turn signal heads, and upgrading existing traffic signal cabinets with new and improved technology.
Membership, rental fee changes coming in 2023
Allen Parks and Recreation will introduce new membership fees and added member benefits following the approval of a new fee and rate structure by Allen City Council.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2023, members who join or renew their memberships at Joe Farmer Recreation Center and Don Rodenbaugh Natatorium will enjoy convenient monthly billing, all-inclusive fitness classes and free season passes to Ford Pool.
Day passes, pavilion rentals and field rates will also be adjusted beginning Jan. 1. This is the first major update to recreation fees in more than 15 years.
The changes bring the department in line with current market rates and fee structures from both surrounding cities and comparable fitness facilities based on market research. The adjusted fees at recreation facilities, pavilions and fields are projected to generate an additional $600,000 in revenue by the Fiscal Year 2024.
Membership rates will not change for Allen Senior Recreation Center. The Edge Skate Park and Visitor Center will discontinue memberships beginning Jan. 1. Ford Pool’s season pass will remain available for purchase every summer.
Comprehensive details, including communication with current facility users, will begin this fall.
Allen wins $290K beautification award
For the third time in ten years, the City of Allen has received the Keep Texas Beautiful Governor’s Community Achievement Award. The award was presented to Keep Allen Beautiful for its citywide efforts in litter prevention, cleanup, solid waste management, community education, beautification and improvement.
The award comes with a $290,000 prize to be used in local roadway and median landscaping projects. Allen also won the award in 2012 and 2016.
Established by the Allen City Council in 1997, Keep Allen Beautiful is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit community organization that works to educate and involve Allen residents in preserving our environment and improving our community's appearance.
City council recognized the group’s work during the July 26 meeting. In addition to the Governor’s Community Achievement Award, Keep Allen Beautiful received the Sustained Excellence Award and the Gold Star Award. These awards signify a continual commitment to community beautification and cleanliness. Keep Allen Beautiful has received the Gold Star Award every year for the past 18 years.
Educators from Allen Independent School District’s Gifted and Talented Program were awarded the Sadie Ray Graff Educational Institution Award for their work creating a new environmental based curriculum for the program.
Follow council news and future meetings
Allen City Council meets at 7 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month. Meetings are held in Council Chambers at Allen City Hall (305 Century Parkway). A calendar of upcoming meetings is available on the City website.
To receive a link to upcoming meetings by email, visit CityofAllen.org/NotifyMe and sign up for City Meeting Notices. Meeting agendas are posted at least 72 hours prior to each meeting. Agenda links are provided within the meeting details of each calendar listing and at CityofAllen.org/Agendas.