Plano Edition - March 2020

PLANO EDITION

VOLUME 6, ISSUE 7  MARCH 20APRIL 23, 2020

ONLINE AT

Funding at stake as census begins Organizers are pitching in to help census workers get an accurate count of the Plano population, as thousands of federal dollars are at risk for every person the count misses. Alan Johnson is one of those trying to help. For the last year, the Plano resident has headed the Plano Census 2020 Complete Count Committee, a group the city tasked with working with local organizations to ensure an accurate count. “Our whole point over the last year has been to focus on promoting the census and informing people that CONTINUED ON 28 BY DANIEL HOUSTON Census results help determine how billions of dollars in federal funding are allocated across states and communities in addition to how many congressional seats a state gets. $1,578 will be allocated to Texas annually for each person counted. Federal assistance programs that allocate funds based on decennial data include: WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

P I S D Fine Arts Center $67.5 million budgeted in 2016 bond $5million for land purchase $53.3

RENDERING COURTESY PLANO ISD

W. PARK RD.

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million construction bid SOURCE: PLANO ISD COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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The Plano ISD Fine Arts Center is currently under construction along Alma Drive. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)

Long-awaitedPISDne arts center nears completion

BY LIESBETH POWERS

and none of them have come to fruition.” The 85,000 square-foot building along Alma Drive is engineered to support each facet of the district’s ne arts programs. The main theater is designed to hold 1,700 people. Other unique spaces include an art gallery, a dance rehearsal space and a studio theater, Kuddes said. The center was approved as part of PISD’s $481 million 2016 bond referendum and was originally expected to be built by late 2019. A number of factors, including permits and weather, pushed the start of construction to April 2019, PISD Chief Financial Ocer Randy McDowell said. CONTINUED ON 26

For years, Plano students and artists have turned to neighboring cities to host their bigger productions because their own city lacked a venue of sucient size. All that will change with the opening of the new Plano ISD Fine Arts Center. The $67.5 million facility is a dream several decades in the making, PISD Fine Arts Director Kathy Kuddes said. “In the last 25 years,” Kuddes said, “there have been sev- eral conversations about locations and a facility that would meet this need, either built by the city or in a partnership with the district or in a partnership with several cities, …

Medical assistance programs State Children's Health Insurance Program

Foster care

Special education grants

SOURCE: U.S. CENSUS BUREAUCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Private School Guide

CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE

Due to the fast-changing nature of coronavirus in the region, readers should visit communityimpact.com to nd the latest coverage on announcements, case numbers, school closures and more.

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PLANO EDITION • MARCH 2020

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Notice Regarding Physician Ownership: Baylor Scott &White The Heart Hospital - Denton, McKinney and Plano are hospitals in which physicians have an ownership or investment interest. The list of the physician owners or investors is available to you upon request. Physicians provide clinical services as members of themedical staff at one of Baylor Scott &White Health’s subsidiary, community or affiliatedmedical centers and do not provide clinical services as employees or agents of thosemedical centers or Baylor Scott &White Health. ©2020 Baylor Scott &White Health. 13-HH-82608-CommunityImpact4PrintAds AM

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

THIS ISSUE

CONTENTS

OUR PLEDGE TOOUR READERS

IMPACTS

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FROMLEANNE: Over the last few weeks, our community and our world has been inundated with news about the coronavirus. The media has played an important role in providing vital updates in real time, and if you’ve followed communityimpact.com, you’ve seen our team hard at work keeping up with coverage. Breaking news on this matter is abundant, and we’re grateful for the platform to share it. We know that our readers expect us to uphold the mission that drives us: in-depth coverage of hyper-local news in print. That’s why,

Now Open, Coming Soon &more TODO LIST

PUBLISHERS AND FOUNDERS John and Jennifer Garrett PUBLISHERDFWMETRO Christal Howard GENERAL MANAGER Leanne Libby, llibby@communityimpact.com EDITORIAL EXECUTIVE EDITOR Joe Lanane MANAGING EDITOR Valerie Wigglesworth EDITOR Daniel Houston STAFF EDITOR Gavin Pugh REPORTER Liesbeth Powers COPY CHIEF Andy Comer COPY EDITORS Ben Dickerson, Kasey Salisbury ADVERTISING SALES DIRECTOR Tess Coverman ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Rebecca Anderson DESIGN CREATIVE DIRECTOR Derek Sullivan ART PRODUCTIONMANAGER Aubrey Galloway ASSOCIATE ART PRODUCTIONMANAGER Breanna Flores GRAPHIC DESIGNER Chase Autin STAFF DESIGNER Chelsea Peters, Stephanie Torres BUSINESS GROUP PUBLISHER Traci Rodriguez CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER Claire Love ABOUT US John and Jennifer Garrett began Community Impact Newspaper in 2005 in Pugerville, Texas. The company’s mission is to build communities of informed citizens and thriving businesses through the collaboration of a passionate team. CONTACT US 7460 Warren Pkwy., Ste. 160 Frisco, TX 75034 • 2146189001 communityimpact.com PRESS RELEASES PLNnews@communityimpact.com SUBSCRIPTIONS communityimpact.com/subscriptions © 2020 Community Impact Newspaper Co. All Rights Reserved. No reproduction of any portion of this issue is allowed without written permission from the publisher.

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Check out local events TRANSPORTATION Road projects in Plano CITY& COUNTY

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News on local government PRIVATE SCHOOL GUIDE Listing of Plano schooling options

even in the midst of a breaking news event that is ongoing, we continue to produce a high- quality print edition packed full of the useful local content you expect in your mailbox every month. We look forward to a return to normalcy in the future where we can focus 100% of our reporting on hyperlocal community news. In the meantime, Community Impact Newspaper will continue to deliver on our promise to our readers, no matter what is happening locally and even nationally. We’ll be covering this big story but also all the other stories that are important to our readers carefully and closely. As it relates to coronavirus, we’ll be doing enterprise reporting on our website that goes beyond press conferences and statements. We’ll be sharing stories about the innovation and resilience of our local businesses as they adjust their plans to thrive through this time. While everyone is facing challenges, from disruption in family schedules and professional lives to health concerns, it’s important that we rally together as a community to stay connected and support our neighbors. Look for updates on local nonprots that are activating plans to help. Make sure to support Plano businesses that feed our local economy and contribute so much to the vibrant community we all enjoy. At Community Impact Newspaper , we take our mission very seriously: to build communities of informed citizens and thriving businesses through the collaboration of a passionate team. We are grateful for our loyal readers, and thankful for local advertising partners who fully fund our ability to do this important work. Leanne Libby, GENERALMANAGER

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BUSINESS FEATURE Whirlyball Laserwhirld

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DINING FEATURE Fork & Fire PEOPLE FEATURE

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Q&A with Myrtle Hightower REAL ESTATE Residential market data IMPACT DEALS

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Great local coupons

Correction: Volume 6, Issue 6 A report on the newPlano police substation incorrectly identied which side of the street the facility will be located. It will be on the southwest corner of McDermott and Robinson roads.

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PLANO EDITION • MARCH 2020

NORTH IMPACTS

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Brisket Love BBQ

COMING SOON 7 Ari Korean BBQ expects to open in September at 120 Legacy Drive, Plano. The restaurant oers beef, pork and intestine BBQ options, which are cooked in front of guests. Ari Korean BBQ also has a location in neighboring Carrollton. 469- 892-2166. www.aribbq.com 8 CVS Pharmacy led a permit to demolish a former Capital One building at 4000 W. Spring Creek Parkway, Plano. Documentation with the Texas Depart- ment of Licensing and Regulation shows the construction of a new building could have begun as early as January. CVS has nine locations in Plano. 800-746-7287. www.cvs.com 9 Bavette Grill expects to open at Granite Park, 8100 Dallas Parkway, Ste. 115, Plano. The classic American bistro will oer a variety of lunch and dinner options, including steak and shrimp entrees. www.bavettegrill.com ANNIVERSARIES 10 Bella Italia celebrated one year in Plano on March 7 at 3948 Legacy Drive,

NOWOPEN 1 The Alta 289 apartment community began move-ins in January at 7950 Pres- ton Road, Plano. The apartment complex expects to oer 288 units for lease at a time. Amenities at Alta 289 include a pool with a tanning deck, a 24/7 ath- letic center, a pond and a walking trail. 469-925-0791. www.alta289.com 2 Bright at Home Cleaning opened Feb. 10 at 3600 Flowing Way, Plano. The residential cleaning company oers home consultations to determine clean- ing needs. The family-owned company is based outside of Plano and serves the Collin County area. 469-443-6903. www.brightathomecleaning.com 3 Brisket Love BBQ opened March 10 at Legacy Hall, 7800 Windrose Ave., Plano. The barbecue concept opened across from Velvet Taco on the rst oor and oers smoked meats and sides, including pitmaster sandwiches and meat plates. Brisket Love’s meats are smoked on-site, according to a release from Legacy Hall. 214-352-6700. www.legacyfoodhall.com

4 As of this paper’s March 13 deadline, Handel’s Ice Cream expects to open by March 16 at 4200 Legacy Drive, Plano. The ice cream store will take over the spot that formerly housed Bualo Bluez. This will be Handel’s second location in Texas, as it recently opened a location in Little Elm. 330-702-8270. www.handelsicecream.com 5 Sankalp: The Taste of India opened March 12 at 3680 Hwy. 121, Ste. 300, Plano. The restaurant held a reser- vation-only soft opening from March 12-20 and expects to be fully opera- tional March 21. Sankalp oers South and North Indian cuisine as well as Indochinese items. The restaurant is located where Saalna South Indi- an Eatery used to be and has other locations in New Jersey. 214-407-7149. www.sankalpusa.com 6 Hemp&More opened at the beginning of March at 6921 Independence Parkway, Ste. 100, Plano. The store oers a range of CBD products for pain and relaxation as well as hookah accessories and avors. Hemp & More also sells cigars and other tobacco products. 469-969-0389

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Plano. The Italian restaurant serves chicken piccata, pizza, calzones, lasagna and more as well as side items, such as fried calamari and Italian wedding soup. 469-969-0998. www.bellaitaliaristorante.com 11 LC Kitchen reached one year of business in January at 6549 Declaration Drive, Plano. The Legacy Central food court oers dishes from four dierent stalls, including sandwiches, salads, burgers, tacos and Korean dishes. 972-517-4954. www.lckitchenplano.com

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Tecovas oers western wear and accessories, with a focus on cowboy boots. (Courtesy Tecovas)

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NEWOWNERSHIP 12 Teriyaki Madness reopened Feb. 26 under new ownership after a tempo- rary closure at 8448 Parkwood Blvd., Ste. 300, Plano. The menu remains the same, according to the new owners, and includes teriyaki bowls and appetizers. 469-573-2748. www.teriyakimadness.com IN THE NEWS 13 Hilti , a construction innovation company, announced in a news release March 11 that it has acquired a majority of the assets of Concrete Sensors, a software and services company that aids in the construction and concrete process. This agreement will allow Hilti to assist with more construction projects, the release said. Hilti’s North American headquar- ters are located at 7250 Dallas Parkway, FEATURED IMPACT NOWOPEN As of this paper’s print deadline, Tecovas expected to open March 14 at The Shops at Legacy, 7601 Windrose Ave., Ste. F110, Plano. The boot company is Austin-based and sells men’s and women’s boots, apparel and accessories. “Our brands started 100% online and really operated that way for the rst few years,” Tecovas founder and CEO Paul Hedrick said. “Basically, exactly one year ago, we started our rst store in Austin, and our stores are really the culmination of our brand in one place.” This is Tecovas’ sixth location. It also has a nearby store in Dallas that opened in October. “Plano’s its own town, and it’s close to Frisco ... and near a lot of our customer base already,” Hedrick said. “I gured, ‘Why make those folks drive 20 miles [if] we can build something in their backyard that works well for us and hopefully works well for them?’” At each Tecovas store, guests are

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treated to a comfortable, relaxed and fun experience, Hedrick said. “One of the goals of Tecovas is to be a really approachable and understandable brand,” he said. “And part of that is ... you understand what we make, and anywhere that you experience our brand, you should see, for the most part, everything we make in a similar way.” Guests to the store can also expect to receive custom leather debossing, boot shines and refreshments, including Topo Chico, local beer and bourbon, according to a release from the company. 833-832-6827. www.tecovas.com

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14 Sea Breeze Lobsta & Chowda House will close March 15 at Legacy Hall, 7800 Windrose Ave., Plano. The restaurant will continue to serve guests at its full-size location at LakeSide Market, 4017 Preston Road, Ste. 530, Plano, where menu options include lobster rolls, chowder fries and other dishes. 972-473-2722. www.seabreezesh.com 15 Saalna South Indian Eatery closed in late 2019 at 3680 Hwy. 121, Ste. 300, Plano. The restaurant oered chicken biryani, paneer tikka, paneer butter masala and more as well as a lunch buet. www.facebook.com/saalnausa

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PLANO EDITION • MARCH 2020

SOUTHIMPACTS

Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon, relocating or expanding

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Fields Steak and Lobster Lounge used to stand. The location will oer standard Velvet Taco menu items, including 20- plus taco varieties and various sides. Velvet Taco also has a stall at Legacy Food Hall. www.velvettaco.com 11 Vitality Bowls expects to open a Plano location in mid-May at 2100 N. Dallas Parkway, Ste. 132, Plano. The franchise specializes in acai bowls, smoothies, paninis, juices and salads and currently has six locations in the Dal- las-Fort Worth area. This will be Plano’s rst location. www.vitalitybowls.com 12 Inset expects to open this fall at The Shops at Willow Bend, 6121 W. Park Blvd., Plano. The store will be the company’s debut location; it will oer in-store operations for online brands with a rotating selection of various products. The store will go into the space that previously housed Crafted. www.theinset.com RELOCATIONS 13 Crafted closed temporarily to move into a new storefront at The Shops at Willow Bend, 6121 W. Park Blvd., Plano. The wine and beer shop expects to reopen this spring. Crafted oers a collection of beverages from local and worldwide sources, as well as home entertainment items. 972-400-6004. www.craftednespirits.com 14 Mighty Oaks Counseling and Wellness began operating with its full sta Jan. 1 at its new location, 4100 W. 15th St., Ste. 220, Plano. The counseling group includes counsel- ors and yoga teachers, who oer play

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NOWOPEN 1 Learning Cube Academy opened Jan. 10 at 3425 Ashington Lane, Plano. The preschool and prekindergarten facili- ty oers half-day, full-day, phonetics and enrichment programs for kids ages 2-6. The school follows the Plano ISD academic calendar and oers separate summer programs. 972-905-5994. www.lcaplano.com 2 Pigtails and Crewcuts opened March 3 at 4801 W. Park Blvd., Ste. 417, Plano. Haircuts, shampooing, blow-drys, braids and other stylings are among the packages the salon oers. Pigtails and Crewcuts also gives a lollipop and a prize from a treasure chest to kids at the end of each visit. 469-298-3084. www.pigtailsandcrewcuts.com 3 SFT Athletics opened March 9 at 300 E. Plano Parkway, Plano. The sports facili- ty will serve as a space for all ages to prac- tice or take lessons in a variety of athlet- ics, according to the center. Sports oered include golf; baseball and softball; yoga; Pilates; and strength, speed and agility training. The facility includes a putting green and seven simulators for golng. 469-344-3985. www.sftathletics.com

COMING SOON 7 2 Taste BBQ & Kebab expects to open by late March at 3201 Alma Drive, Plano. The restaurant will sell grilled and smoked Texas BBQ and Indian ke- babs as well as American dining options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 2 Taste also expects to have weekly jazz band and open mic nights. 469-367-4754 8 Peri Peri Original expects to open March 28 at 6205 Coit Road, Plano. The restaurant oers Portuguese cuisine, including grilled chicken, wraps, salads and burgers, among other menu items. The company has stores worldwide as well as locations in Virginia and Maryland. 703-337-2399. www.periperioriginal.com 9 Bar Ranch Steak Company expects to open in late April or early May at 1016 E. 15th St., Plano. The company will oer lunch and private dinners during the week and will oer wine and charcuterie boards on the week- end with live music. 469-294-4074. www.facebook.com/barsteakco 10 Velvet Taco expects to open its rst full-sized Plano location in May at 5013 W. Park Blvd., Plano, where Steve

4 Prestonwood Christian Academy celebrated the opening of its new middle school building Feb. 28 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The roughly $20 million, 60,000-square-foot build- ing addition provides full programming for over 400 middle school students and allows for more collaboration between students and faculty, accord- ing to school ocials. Prestonwood Christian Academy is located at 6801 W. Park Blvd., Plano. 972-820-5300. www.prestonwoodchristian.org 5 A-Max Auto Insurance opened a new location Feb. 14 at 1300 Jupiter Road, Ste. 2516, Plano. The com- pany oers vehicle, property and business insurance as well as other types of insurance. A-Max has two locations in Plano. 972-737-9000. www.amaxinsurance.com 6 Bean Life Coee expects to open in March at 624 Haggard St., Ste. 708, Plano. The small-batch roastery curates, mixes, roasts and ships coee blends from around the world to coee shops and other businesses as well as direct to customers. Ordering is available online or in-store. 469-298-2486. www.beanlifecoee.com

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The center opened last fall and began fully operating in October, according to Plano ISD. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)

therapy, adolescent counseling, adult counseling, parenting help, social skills groups, yoga and meditation classes. The move allowed for the group to expand from a one-room space to a ve- room clinical facility. 469-844-0625. www.mightyoakscounseling.com 15 Chick-l-A expects to open its relocated Plano Parkway restaurant in late 2020 at 300 W. Plano Parkway, Pla- no, according to a statement from the company. The future location is where Japan House previously sat and is across Accent Drive from the current Plano Parkway Chick-l-A location. 1-866-232- 2040. www.chick-l-a.com FEATURED IMPACT IN THE NEWS The Southern Methodist University Center for Family Counseling and Mediation at Plano ISD celebrated its rst semester in operation with an open house Feb. 11 at 1517 Ave. H, Plano. The college had previously had a center in north Plano until the building was sold. Plano ISD then oered to house the group. As part of the center’s counseling services, interns deliver direct care to families under the oversight of a university professor of counseling services, Susan Modisette, assistant superintendent for Student & Family Support said at a meeting Feb. 4. Fees range from $0-$45 depending on a family’s income. The center began its rst semester by oering counseling two evenings a week, but ocials quickly recognized

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CLOSINGS 16 Ginger’s Popcorn expects to close downtown by the end of March at 1020 E. 15th St., Plano. The popcorn shop opened in May 2019 and oered avors like peanut butter chocolate, loaded baked potato and traditional buttered popcorn. Ginger’s Popcorn is based in Hot Springs, Arkansas. www.gingerspopcorn.com 17 Japan House announced its clos- ing Jan. 27 at 300 W. Plano Parkway, Plano. The restaurant had been open for 12 years and served Japanese buet options for lunch and dinner. The location will become a Chick-l-A later this year. www.japanhouseplano.com the need for further services. “It was evident almost as soon as they got o the ground that we had a larger need than they had capacity to serve,” Modisette said. “So we were able to add, this semester, a third evening.” Mediation and conict resolution services are run by graduate students as well as a full-time attorney and professor. These services cost $100 per party and are free to PISD sta, students or families. 469-752-3098. www.pisd.edu/page/22000

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PLANO EDITION • MARCH 2020

NEWS UPDATE

WHERE'S THE TODO LIST?

Ocials urge distancing in virus response

BY DANIEL HOUSTON

“[G]iven all that we know, and what we can anticipate based on information from local, state and national agencies, ... we believe this is the most prudent course of action at this time,” Superintendent Sara Bonser said in a March 12 statement to the PISD community. Meanwhile, organizers had begun to cancel a number of events in the Plano area, including all classes and programs at city of Plano libraries, recreation centers and senior centers. “We are encouraging our community to use extreme caution when considering group gatherings or activities,” City Manager Mark Israelson said in a March 13 statement. “Everyone has a social responsibility to keep our community safe and healthy.” State ocials have recommended resi- dents wash hands thoroughly and often, avoid touching their faces and distance themselves from public places when sick. Abbott said private internet providers were expected to increase their band- width as more employees began working remotely.

Events were canceled, school breaks were extended and some employees were encouraged to work from home in Plano in the early days of public response to the new coronavirus. As of this paper’s March 13 print deadline, Gov. Greg Abbott had told state employees to work from home and taken steps to limit visits with groups of people who are at heightened risk of complica- tions from the virus. Abbott announced these measures March 13 as he declared a statewide disaster to help combat the infection’s spread. Abbott informed nursing homes, day cares and prisons that they should limit visitations to protect their occupants. As Abbott made his comments, Plano ISD had already announced it had extended its spring break an extra week as the district attempted to slow the potential spread. More actions were expected to be considered after this paper’s print deadline. Find the latest updates at communityimpact.com.

FROMTHE EDITOR: On a normal month, this page is a place for us to keep readers up to speed on local events coming up in their community. This hasn’t been a normal month. We went to press with this paper on March 13, a full week before it started reaching mailboxes. At the time, some Plano events we were planning to highlight in this and future editions—such as the 17-year tradition of AsiaFest Plano—had been canceled as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus. Some other event organizers we spoke with were still planning to go forward. We quickly realized we could not guarantee the accuracy of an event listing page. With that in mind, we decided not to run the To-do List this month. Our goal is for our coverage to connect readers with their communities, and to do so with accuracy and a mind for our readers’ well-being. We hope to bring this content back soon. Look for it in future print editions and on communityimpact.com. Daniel Houston, EDITOR

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ONGOING PROJECTS 1 Coit Road project

Cost: $500,000 Funding source: city of Plano 4 Custer Road repairs A concrete repair project on Custer began in January. Crews are working be- tween Parker Road and Park Boulevard. One lane will remain closed at all times in construction areas, with an additional lane closed from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on week- days and some Saturdays. Timeline: January-May Cost: $500,000 Funding source: city of Plano 5 Preston Road intersection project A project to expand the bridge where Preston Road meets President George Bush Turnpike began March 2 with the installation of traffic-control devices along outside southbound lanes. Crews began demolition on outside lanes March 11. The first three phases will include the removal of pavement and existing bridges, the construction of a new bridge substructure to the west of the existing bridge, and the construction of the new bridge’s super- structure and a roadway widening. Timeline: March 2020-February 2021 Funding sources: TxDOT, city of Plano 6 Hedgcoxe Road repairs Crews began repairing concrete in late February on Hedgcoxe Road between Independence Parkway and Ohio Drive. The project is expected to affect the road’s eastbound and westbound lanes for about three weeks. One lane will remain closed at all times in construc- tion areas, with an additional lane closed from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on weekdays and some Saturdays. Timeline: late February-May Cost: $1 million Funding source: city of Plano

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Crews began a two-year project in Janu- ary to repair pavement and sidewalk on Coit Road extending from Parker Road to SH 121. The early stage of the project will take place between Parker Road and Spring Creek Parkway until May, when crews will move to other parts of the road. One lane will remain closed at all times in construction areas, with an ad- ditional lane closed from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on weekdays and some Saturdays. Timeline: January 2020-late 2021 Cost: $6.4 million Funding source: city of Plano 2 Parker Road repairs An 18-month construction project on Parker Road began in June. Crews are working on eastbound and westbound lanes from US 75 to K Avenue. The nearly $4 million project is expected to last into late 2020. One lane will remain closed at all times in construction areas, with an additional lane closed from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on weekdays and some Saturdays. Timeline: June 2019-late 2020 Cost: $3.8 million Funding source: city of Plano 3 Jupiter Road project An extensive project to repair pavement and sidewalk on Jupiter Road began in early January. The project, which will stretch from 14th Street to the northern city limits, will initially affect north- bound and southbound lanes south of 18th Street. One lane will remain closed at all times in construction areas, with an additional lane closed from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on weekdays and some Saturdays. Timeline: January 2020-summer 2021

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PLANO EDITION • MARCH 2020

GOVERNMENT More than 800,000 voters across DFW showed up to cast primary ballots More than 877,000 voters turned out for the 2020 primary elections in Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant counties. That total is the third-highest turnout for a presidential primary election in the last 20 years. The first- and second-highest primary election turnouts in North Texas were in 2016 and 2008, respectively. North Texas Democratic turnout in the 2020 primary elections was 536,021, while Republican turnout was 341,863, according to county reports. Statewide turnout in the 2020 pri- mary election was about 4.06 million, representing about 25% of registered Texas voters, according to records from the office of the Texas secretary of state. BY GAVIN PUGH

BALLOT BREAKDOWN Dallas Denton Tarrant Collin

Here is a snapshot of combined presidential primary votes across Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant counties.

This primary pitted then-Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, against eight competitors, including then-Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York.

300K 250K

200K

150K

100K

50K

0

Year

2000

2004

2008

2012

2016

2020

250K

This primary pitted then-businessman Donald Trump against eight opponents, including Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

200K

150K

100K

50K

0

Year

2000

2004

2008

2012

2016

2020

DESIGNED BY CHELSEA PETERS

SOURCES: COLLIN, DALLAS, DENTON AND TARRANT COUNTIES/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

GOVERNMENT Hale fends oTerrell in Collin County commissioners race

BY DANIEL HOUSTON

In a March 3 interview, Hale highlighted his endorsements from various conservative groups and his advocacy for slowing property tax growth as reasons he should be re-elected. Terrell did not respond to a request for comment. Both candidates supported implementing what’s called the “eective” tax rate, which keeps total property tax collections constant from year to year, even when county property values rise. Commissioners Court Precinct 1 incumbent Susan Fletcher ran unopposed in the Republican Party primary. Running to challenge Fletcher, Democratic candidate Courtney Brooks (54%) defeated Carol Scarborough (46%) with all election day vote centers reporting. For more results of these and other races, visit communityimpact.com.

Voters went to the polls March 3 to weigh in on candidates in the Democratic and Republican party primaries. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)

Incumbent Darrell Hale defeated challenger Steve Terrell, the longtime mayor of Allen, in the March 3 primary. The two conservative Republicans were vying for a seat on the Collin County Commissioners Court. Hale earned 56% of the vote for his Precinct 3 seat after early voting and with all election day vote centers reporting. Terrell had 44%. Hale will face Democrat Dianne C. Mayo in November. Mayo ran unopposed in her party’s primary. Terrell served as Allen mayor for more than two decades before the city instituted term limits last year that prevented him from running again in 2020. He had campaigned on a platform of prioritizing transportation funding and halting the rise in salaries for commissioners.

COLLIN COUNTY ELECTION PREVIEW Republican and Democratic voters picked their preferred candidates March 3 for various Collin County oces. Here are the candidates who cleared the nomination process and will appear on the November ballot. * Incumbent Collin County tax assessor-collector D John Turner-McClelland R Kenneth L. Maun* Collin County sheri R James Skinner* Collin County commissioner, Precinct 1

Collin County commissioner, Precinct 3 D Dianne C. Mayo R Darrell Hale* Collin County constable, Precinct 1 R Mike Vance Collin County constable, Precinct 2 R Gary Edwards* Collin County constable, Precinct 3 R Sammy Knapp* Collin County constable, Precinct 4 R Joe Wright* DISCLAIMER: These results reect only public oces for the county itself. They do not include judge races or other results from the March 3 elections. For more results, visit communityimpact.com.

D Courtney Brooks R Susan Fletcher*

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

GOVERNMENT

Public Utility Commission sides withPlano inwater rate dispute

BY DANIEL HOUSTON

which only means more cost to our citizens.” Grimes added his city would work with the others to try to address long-term concerns about the water contract. NTMWD Executive Director Tom Kula said the district is open to changes to the current water rate structure, which was adopted by member cities in 1988. “We’ll also continue our focus on keeping rates as low as possible while addressing the challenges and need for new projects for aging infra- structure, changing regulations and growing communities,” Kula said in a statement. The state commission was expected to agree on an interim order in the ensuing weeks and vote on a formal order in a future meeting, PUC spokes- person Andrew Barlow said. “That would then likely move the case into the hands of an administra- tive law judge at the State Oce of Administrative Hearings to begin the process of the rate review,” Barlow said. The four cities challenging the contract said in a statement that they have paid a combined $275 million in recent years for unused water. Under the existing water contract, each city pays for the amount of water it consumed in its highest-usage year. As the water district has raised rates to fund infrastructure expansions in a quickly growing region, cities like Plano have seen payments creep upward as a percentage of their total

A state arbiter said the North Texas Municipal Water District’s rate structure was adverse to the public interest, a decision that could have a ripple eect on consumer water bills throughout the growing region. The Public Utility Commission of Texas voted Feb. 27 to move forward toward a review of the North Texas Municipal Water District’s rate structure for its 13 member cities. That structure had been challenged by the cities of Plano, Richardson, Garland and Mesquite. Those cities argued that under the existing contract, they have paid hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years for water their residents and businesses did not use. “We are hopeful that this next step in the process will bring us closer to establishing a new rate methodology that is fair and equitable to all mem- bers, encourages conservation and better serves the Region’s long-term interests,” the four cities said Feb. 27 in a joint statement. The water district’s other nine member cities are Allen, Farmersville, Forney, Frisco, McKinney, Princeton, Rockwall, Royse City and Wylie. “We are reviewing the Commis- sion’s actions but are concerned with its implications,” McKinney City Man- ager Paul Grimes said. “It ignores the long-standing principle of the sanctity of contracts and has wide-reaching implications for water contracts across the state that may increase the amount of litigation of these matters,

$275MILLION the combined total of payments made for unused water in Richardson, Plano, Mesquite and Garland

The North Texas Municipal Water District’s treatment plan inWylie is part of its infrastructure serving the district’s 13member cities. (Cassidy Ritter/Community Impact Newspaper)

costs, even as residential water usage has gone down. In Plano’s case, those city costs are largely passed on to consumers, Plano Budget Director Karen Rhodes-Whit- ley told Community Impact Newspaper in September. “Our request was made after working for more than a decade to get relief for our ratepayers,” the state- ment from Plano, Richardson, Garland and Mesquite read. “Due to our lack of bargaining power, all parties remained

at an impasse, and our most viable option was to request the PUC review of our rates.” Once the commission adopts a new rate structure for the water district’s member cities, the district will have 90 days to perform a cost study. “This has been a long process, and we’re committed to doing our part to strengthen partnerships with our cities to serve the needs of our region,” Kula said.

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PLANO EDITION • MARCH 2020

CITY& COUNTY

News from Plano

Collin CreekMall likely to receive $30Mtoward parking garage

BY LIESBETH POWERS

the public meeting and with the RTC, we’re moving ahead with our $30 million for that project,” Morris said. The funding comes from a new mega-redevelopment program, which Morris said is underway with the Collin Creek Mall project. Previously, only new developments were eligible for these types of funds, but with this program, more rede- velopment projects may be able to receive funding, according to Morris. For this project, the garage must be considered a regional park-and- ride lot for the federal funding to apply, he said. “[Plano] needed money to help build the development. We had to create a context of, ‘Why are we involved in it?’” Morris said. “So we created the transit component, we created the broader public policy item.” The partnership includes

PLANO The Collin Creek Mall rede- velopment project will likely receive $30 million in federal funds from the North Central Texas Council of Governments to put toward a parking garage. The Regional Transportation Council discussed and approved funding for the project at a Feb. 27 meeting. Half of the $30 million will be a grant to the city, and the other half will be a loan. The city of Plano is contributing an additional $25 million to the garage project. This funding will become available April 8, barring any major concerns from the public, which would require a revisiting of the plan, said Michael Morris, the council’s director of transportation, at a March 9 public meeting. “I think you should assume with

The Collin Creek Mall redevelopment project will likely receive $30million in federal funds to put toward a parking garage in April. The redevelopment project is currently in the demolition phase, as seen in this photo, which was taken Jan. 29. (Photos by Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)

requirements for park-and-ride spaces in the garage as well as the inclusion of electric-vehicle-charging infrastructure in the development. The city will also be required to coordinate with Dallas Area Rapid Transit for a transit service that uses next-generation electric vehicles to transport riders to the Downtown Plano Light Rail Station. Plano may be able to pay for this portion of the project through funding from the Federal Transit Administration or

other government organizations. The garage must also be owned by the public sector, and the funding can only be used for construction, according to Morris’ presentation. “It serves like eight purposes for us, all in one project,” Morris said. “You could live here [Collin Creek Mall redevelopment], park here, go to dining in downtown Plano. ... Lots of what we call ‘market segments’ [are] well-integrated into this project.”

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