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Coppell Chronicle Vol. 2, No. 36
Boardwalk Gets Funding Nod • Bond Committee Gets Feedback • Farmers’ and Gardeners’ Numbers Grow • Congratulations are in Order
It’s the last Sunday of October, so it’s time for a summary of some articles that my free subscribers didn’t get to read this month:
If you upgrade to a paid subscription, you’ll be able to read those articles — plus all the others published since this newsletter began in February 2021 — in the Coppell Chronicle archives.
Foreshadowing: There’s a lot of information sprinkled throughout this edition, but don’t let your eyes glaze over before you get to some sweet news baked into the Chronicle Crumbs.
Boardwalk Gets Funding Nod
Fans of Moore Road Park are going to get their long-awaited boardwalk back, even though the price tag has gone up significantly.
On Tuesday, the City Council informally gave their staff the go-ahead to pay for the project with nearly a fifth of the $10.2 million the city received under the American Rescue Plan Act. Things will get more formal when the council meets again on Nov. 8.
The council could have allocated money from the Coppell Recreation Development Corporation or the city’s general fund, but the consensus was that using federal cash on the boardwalk would provide the most flexibility regarding other projects. This particular project, which will connect two concrete trails on either side of the pictured pond, has a long history.
2012: A boardwalk at that location was removed because the city staff had to repair it after every major storm. “It was a floating dock, and it kept floating out of its moorings,” City Manager Mike Land said Tuesday. During last month’s meeting of the Parks and Recreation Board, Chair Ed Guignon said, “Oh my gosh — you’d be surprised how many people in the community raised their hand and said, ‘Why’d you do that? We want it back.’”
2019: Based on community feedback, the council opted to replace the boardwalk, and a design contract was executed with Halff Associates. The preliminary cost estimate was $1.033 million.
2020: The project was put on hold while the city assessed the potential impact of Comptroller Glenn Hegar’s plan to shift sales-tax revenues away from warehouse-heavy cities like Coppell.
2021: The council approved resuming the project, while also adding storm water drainage improvements to its scope.
September: The only bid on the project came from contractor Rebcon, which said it would cost $1.96 million.
John Jun was the lone City Council member to push back on that price. “Two million dollars for a bridge — in our economy, in our current situation — is really hard for me to just take in,” he said Tuesday.
Nearly a third of the tab ($628,000) will cover the installation of 66 concrete piers that will go as deep as 40 feet to properly secure the boardwalk. Land clarified that if the piers don’t have to go that deep, then that portion of the bill would be reduced.
Jun asked how much of the city’s American Rescue Plan Act funds will be left after $1.96 million is allocated to the boardwalk. Deputy City Manager Traci Leach said that depends on how many businesses apply for the $10,000 and $5,000 grants the city is offering via ARPA funds. The application deadline for those two grant programs is Jan. 31.
As I wrote recently in “Lots of Free Cash Remains Unclaimed,” if you own a business in Coppell and you haven’t received a $10,000 grant from the city this year, what are you waiting for?
Bond Committee Gets Feedback
More than 1,800 people filled out Coppell ISD’s Future Facilities Survey, which is an “awesome response rate” according to Cindy Powell, the consultant helping guide the work of the district’s Bond Steering Committee.
During this month’s school board meeting, Trustee Leigh Walker called that number “amazing” and asked how the participation rate met with Powell’s expectations. Powell said, “That was a lot more than we expected.”
Powell said the results of that survey will be presented to the Bond Steering Committee when they meet on Tuesday; the rest of us will see the results sometime after that on the bond webpage. Your next opportunity to influence the committee’s work will be on Nov. 10, when a “Community Dialogue” session will happen at New Tech High; another survey will be accessible the following week.
On Oct. 17, Powell shared some interesting forecasts about the capacity and utilization of the district’s campuses. The chart above shows the overall stats for elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools, but if you click here, you can drill down to the numbers for each campus.
On a somewhat related note, I recently learned that the Ivy Montessori Academy, Victory Place @ Coppell’s next-door neighbor, has been shuttered since the pandemic began. The Ivy building is the only one on its block that isn’t owned and occupied by Coppell ISD; its other neighbors are Coppell Middle School North and Denton Creek Elementary School.
Dallas Central Appraisal District records indicate that the Ivy property at 109 Natches Trace recently changed hands. In August, it was sold to a creatively named company called 109 Natches Trace LLC that has a San Francisco mailing address.
Here’s one more piece of feedback for the Bond Steering Committee: Maybe the new owners of the Ivy building could be tempted to flip it.
Farmers’ and Gardeners’ Numbers Grow
I had never heard of the Coppell Sustainable Food Organization until I watched a recording of Tuesday’s City Council meeting. That organization encompasses the Coppell Farmers Market and the Coppell Community Gardens, and its leadership gave an annual report to the council. Here are some food statistics from their presentation for you to chew on:
1,700 to 2,000 visitors to the Coppell Farmers Market on a typical Saturday morning.
73 percent increase in Farmers Market purchases by participants in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), relative to last year.
$10 incentive given to each SNAP participant per market session. The goal is to increase that to $20 in 2023.
24,165 pounds of produce donated by the Coppell Community Gardens in fiscal 2022, bringing the grand total to 323,664 pounds since 1998.
400 to 450 families served daily by the Metrocrest Services food pantry, which is where those donations end up.
13,242 hours volunteered by gardeners in fiscal 2022.
Congratulations are in Order
• The Coppell Cowboys cross country team finished second in the Class 6A Region 1 meet last Monday in Lubbock. That qualified them for the state championship meet, which is scheduled for Friday in Round Rock.
• The Coppell Cowgirls volleyball team (34-10) will open the playoffs at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday against Denton Guyer. The match will happen at Lake Dallas High School.
• The Coppell Cowboys football team (8-1) clinched a playoff berth on Friday night via their 39-21 road win over Flower Mound. They will finish the regular season at home this Friday when they host Plano.
• The Coppell High School varsity band were named Class 6A Area B champions at a competition that I’m told began at 7 a.m. yesterday and didn’t conclude until after midnight. They will compete for a state championship on Nov. 7 and 8 in San Antonio, but first they will offer a free performance for the community at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at Buddy Echols Field.
• Not long after I wrote an article about drainage issues in the Arbor Brook Channel last May, a Northlake Woodlands residents sent me this creepy picture of a ventriloquist’s dummy that turned up in her yard after floodwaters receded. I’ve been meaning to share it with you ever since, and Halloween weekend seemed like an appropriate time to do so.
• On Wednesday, Coppell High School parents were notified that the campus was briefly in lockout mode due to “police activity in the area.” Coppell Police Department Officer Kelly Luther said witnesses had reported a suspicious person in Andrew Brown Park West who was exhibiting strange behavior while walking toward the school. Luther said police determined this adult was going through a mental crisis and took the person to a mental health facility.
• CORRECTION: The “Fisher Forgoes Coppell ISD Position” in last week’s edition said anybody interested in temporarily filling the Place 7 seat on the Coppell ISD Board of Trustees has until 5 p.m. on Nov. 5 to apply. The deadline is actually 5 p.m. on Nov. 1.
• CORRECTION: The “Silver Line Project Inching Along” article in last week’s edition said there will be one three-day period when all of the crossings will be fully closed. Actually, each crossing will have its own three-day shutdown.
• There’s no evidence of this at Coppell Market Center (the shopping center anchored by Market Street), but I’m confident that Shipley Do-Nuts is moving into the drive-thru space that Subway recently vacated. That’s based on an updated site plan on the property owner’s website. When you share this news with your friends and neighbors, be sure to tell them you read about it in the Coppell Chronicle! [cue my yet-to-be-composed jingle]
Early Voting: You can cast a ballot between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., tomorrow through Friday, and if you live in Dallas County, the polls are scheduled to be open until 9 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. Click the link for more details.
Spamilton: An American Parody: If you’ve watched Hamilton more times than you can count — [cough] Mrs. Koller [cough] — then you may enjoy this sendup that will be performed at the Coppell Arts Center on Friday and Saturday.
Caregiving Heroes: The support group for people who are assisting loved ones with aging or other concerns will convene for their monthly meeting at 10 a.m. on Saturday at First United Methodist Church.
Indie Author Fair: Local writers are hoping to meet some potential readers between 1 and 4 p.m. on Saturday at the Cozby Library and Community Commons.
Taste of Coppell: For $35 in advance (or $40 at the door), you can sample food and beverages from at least a dozen Coppell restaurants during this annual event, which is scheduled from 4 to 7 p.m. on Saturday at the Four Points by Sheraton hotel at Belt Line and 635.
Date Night in the Park: Casablanca will be screened at Andrew Brown Park East at 7 p.m. on Saturday. This is intended to be an adults-only event, so be sure to book a sitter.
Let’s Dance!: The Coppell Children’s Chorus’ annual fall show is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Nov. 6 at the Coppell Arts Center.
Red Cross blood drive: Appointments are always available at the Irving Blood Donation Center along LBJ Freeway, but if you’d prefer to not leave Coppell, donate between noon and 6 p.m. on Nov. 8 at Rejoice Lutheran Church.
First Name Basis: The Coppell Community Chorale will celebrate famous names — from Jolene to Asaka — on Nov. 12 and 13 at the Coppell Arts Center.