2019 Texas Municipal Excellence Award Winners
The historic section of Boerne’s Main Street was named the Hill Country Mile as part of an initiative to foster economic growth and tourism, preserve historical and cultural identity, and promote quality of life. Today, the Hill Country Mile is home to cafes, shops, galleries, and offices. Underpinning the success of the corridor are public spaces that host events such as Art Al Fresco, the Texas Corvette Show, Key to the Hills Rod Run, Movies in the Park, and the Christmas experience titled Dickens on Main.
In an effort to remove neighborhood trash, ensure employee safety, encourage recycling, and improve the trash pick up process, the City of Denison started providing automated trash collection and alternating monthly brush and bulk curbside pick up. To prepare residents for the new service, the City developed and implemented a detailed marketing and communications plan. The effort included television and news articles, a letter from the mayor to all households, a utility bill insert, numerous social media posts, public meetings, and a website.
When rapid growth began straining Manor’s Development Department, staff researched ways to streamline its permit application process. The result was a successful transition from an outdated and time-consuming paper process to a user-friendly and sophisticated online system that improved efficiency, reduced storage needs, and enhanced the overall customer experience. Due to the software’s success with managing building permits online, the City of Manor now successfully processes code violations through the online system and has inspired several other departments to look for online solutions.
To address an increase in thefts of building materials at construction sites, the City of Celina Police Department met with builders and other stakeholders to identify effective strategies to deter theft. As a result of this collaboration, the problem-solving initiative identified 28 best practices, and the City developed a resource guide to help builders implement the strategies. The result was a resounding success – a 63 percent reduction in construction-related thefts – which benefits the builders and the entire community.
The City of Paris staff developed an inexpensive and easy-to-implement strategy to address deteriorating drainage infrastructure that was putting homes at risk for flooding. After evaluating different materials, the City worked with local concrete providers to use low-quality, leftover concrete to create building blocks. These blocks were then placed along major earthen drainage channels to stabilize the channels and prevent erosion. The result is a low-cost and easy to install solution that has significantly decreased flooding and erosion.
Over 25,000 Population Categories
In 2017, the Texas Department of Transportation began a major reconstruction and expansion of State Highway 26, which is the main commercial corridor of the City of Colleyville. While seen as a much-needed transformation, Colleyville businesses along the corridor were negatively affected by the project – many seeing double-digit declines in sales. In response, the City implemented successful quarterly promotional programs that were created to encourage residents to support local businesses. The campaigns included a receipt collection contest by local schools, gift cards to all residents, and advertising assistance.
Ask Plano is a fun, memorable, and fast-paced way to answer frequently asked questions from the City’s social media and email accounts. Each Ask Plano video interjects humor and an engaging animation-style format to examine issues that residents are most concerned and curious about. Episodes covered so far include city zoning, severe weather, traffic, property taxes, and bobcats. The program has sent a powerful message to the City’s constituents that the City of Plano is listening and is committed to transparency and openness.
Ruby Red Ventures is a small business fund that was created by the Mission Economic Development Corporation in collaboration with the City of Mission. The Venture aims to nurture the entrepreneurial spirit and promote the creation of innovative businesses. Venture participants take three business courses facilitated by The University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley, and then they pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges in hopes of securing funding. Since its formation, Ruby Red Ventures has funded 47 small businesses in the City, totaling more than $625,000 in grants.
Inspired to prevent childhood drownings, the City of Burleson Fire Department and marketing team created a public service video to raise awareness and encourage parents to safeguard their children. Wanting to do more, the Drowning Prevention Coalition, which consists of multiple community partners, formed and began collaborating on ways to end childhood drowning deaths. The result was a successful effort to provide swimming lessons, free of charge, to Burleson youth. To date, the Coalition is responsible for providing 1,500 children with swim lessons.
The City of Round Rock used an innovative approach to rehabilitate corrugated metal pipe culverts. Instead of the traditional method of excavating the roadway and removing the pipes to replace them, the City sprayed concrete onto the existing metal pipes. Round Rock also pioneered a strategic way of applying the concrete to prevent bottom deterioration. Not only were these techniques effective, but the projects were completed with minimal design time, reduced installation expenses, no road closures, and lower maintenance costs.