Monday, August 10, 2020

Irving investing in Parks and Recreation options for residents

By Fatema Biviji
NDG Special Contributor

Irving Mayor Rick Stopfer began the July 16 Irving City Council meeting by proclaiming the month of July as National Parks and Recreation Month and recognized the various benefits to the City as a result of the services provided by the Parks and Recreation Department.
On those lines, four of the items on the city’s Consent Agenda related to improvements in this area of the city.

The council is approving $51,500 for Architectural Design Services from RPGA Design Group Inc. for the Senter Park Recreation Center Renovation Project, Phase IV. This project is federally funded by a Community Development Block Grant. The overall project includes improvements for: parking space and pedestrian accessibility, racquetball courts and card control access, racquetball court showers’ accessibility, mechanical room, window enlargements for 2nd floor fitness room, and some wall paint and flooring.

Also approved was an agreement with Lea Park and Play, Inc. for the amount of $350,000 towards the CDBG-funded West Park Playground Replacement Project. The project will completely replace the aging playground structures with new ones that are more accessible to persons with disabilities.

Approval of “Change Order No. 2” to the contract with Taurus Commercial, Inc. authorizes $23,770.64 towards the Georgia Farrow Recreation Center Expansion Project. The Change Order modifies the entry of the parking lot so that 7 mature post oak trees can be saved and an existing light fixture can be upgraded to LED.

MART Inc. was awarded a contract in the total estimated amount of $135,500.00 for repair of the Irving Flood Control District III Levee which is part of the Campion Trails MacArthur Blvd Extension Project. This project will correct the slope condition of the Irving Flood Control District III Levee which the original contractor left in an unacceptable state. The overall project which added 2 miles to the northern section of Campion Trails and connected the City of Coppell is funded by a $2.5 million grant from the Dallas County Trails and Preserve Program.

Items relating to School Resource Officers and tourism were also passed unanimously.
A third amendment to an interlocal agreement that extends the existing agreement between IISD and the city was also approved in the consent agenda. In this agreement, the City will continue to allow the Irving Police Department to provide School Resource Officers to help maintain the safety and welfare of IISD students and staff at IISD campuses. The extension expires on July 31, 2021. IISD will pay the City of Irving 50 percent of the costs of salaries, health insurance, retirement, workers compensation insurance, and unemployment insurance for two Sergeants and 18 School Resource Officers. The City’s portion of the cost is estimated to be $1,338,717.92, excluding overtime, and is available in the Police Department Budget.

The council authorized an estimated total of $53,285.56 for tourism advertising via AJR Media Group in various tourism publications. The Irving Arts Center plans to buy advertising in tourism publications such as Texas State Travel Guide, Texas State Event Calendar and Texas Highways Magazine; AAA Texas Journey; and TourTexas.com.

A public hearing was scheduled for the July 16 meeting to gather input on the Action Plan being worked on by the City to determine how to use federal funds received from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). However, no citizens made comments to the council during this time.

Irving’s Community Development and Housing Department receives federal grants annually to help improve living standards for low to moderate-income persons, to help those at risk for homelessness, and to help those in need of affordable housing.

An Action Plan with allocations will be presented at the next City Council meeting for the City Council’s consideration.

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