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Thursday, October 22, 2020
Government Council Wrapup: Food bank, Boys and Girls Clubs, service centers

Council Wrapup: Food bank, Boys and Girls Clubs, service centers

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FOOD BANK BUYS PROPERTY

The city council authorized the sale of some foreclosed property at 3021 Galvez Ave. to Community Food Bank Inc. for $4,419.

District 8 Councilwoman Kelly Allen Gray, in whose district the property lies, said it has been a vacant lot for many years and is now a future parking lot for food bank patrons. Community Food Bank is responsible for all related costs, including providing proof of payment of the post-judgment taxes.

BOYS AND GIRLS CLUBS

The city council approved a pair of contracts with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Tarrant County Inc.. Both are part of the fiscal year 2019 funding.

The first was for $307,015 for the operation of a Safe Haven Youth Program at the Martin Branch, located at 3123 Avenue G.

Youth Safe Havens are places where children in targeted neighborhoods can play and learn without fear of being victims of a crime. The original Safe Haven Program was operated in southeast Fort Worth and was later expanded to other neighborhoods.

Effective Oct. 1, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Fort Worth will merge with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Arlington. The new combined organization will be called the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Tarrant County Inc. It will provide a Youth Safe Haven Program for youngsters living within a five-mile radius of the Martin Branch.

“[It’s an] excellent program that provides young men and women with a positive alternative to being on the street and involved in activities that are detrimental to their future and the community,” said District 8 Councilwoman Kelly Allen Gray.

The program strives to offer character and leadership development, educational activities, cultural arts, health and life skills, and recreational opportunities. Program staff address any additional educational, social, psychological and physical needs that the youth may have.

The second contract was for up to $1.3 million for the continued operation of the Comin’ Up gang intervention program.

Comin’ Up was established in 1994 to reduce gang-related violence by diverting gang members into programs and services to help them avoid negative and destructive behaviors. It provides intervention services to gang-involved youth between ages 13 and 24.

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Tarrant County Inc. operates Comin’ Up at six sites: Diamond Hill, Hillside, Near Southside (Panther), Northside, Poly and Stop Six. These sites serve about 680 youths nightly Monday through Friday.

Program staff provides information and referral services, works directly with gang leaders to assist with conflict resolution, and provides crisis intervention to diffuse potentially troubling or violent situations. This has helped staff develop truces between rival gangs.

Money for the project comes from the Crime Control and Prevention Fund ($1.1 million for continued operation) and the general fund ($208,350 for administrative costs).

CREEKWOOD SUBDIVISION PARK

The city council accepted the dedication of about 31 acres of parkland and facility improvements from Hillwood RLD LP and Creekwood Community Homeowners Association Inc. The land will go toward the creation of a new park in north Fort Worth.

The land is a cumulative portion of the park dedication required for the Creekwood subdivision development project. Hillwood, the developer, worked with the city’s parks and recreation department to provide suitable parkland and improvements to serve this development.

Creekwood is located north of East Bailey Boswell Road, east of the BNSF Railway and west of North Blue Mound Road.

In addition to the land dedication, the developer constructed about 7,511 linear feet of trails, four benches, two trash receptacles and three pedestrian bridges/low-water crossings. The total cost of these was $282,381, exceeding the neighborhood park development fee requirement of $250,800.

“It will be a great area. Most of it is recreational and an active park with baseball and soccer fields,” Councilman Shingleton said. “There’s a definitive shortage of those.”

The total value of the land dedication is estimated at $307,060. The annual cost to maintain the parkland is $44,252. Funding for operations and maintenance will be included in the parks and recreation department’s base budget beginning in fiscal year 2020.

SERVICE CENTERS MERGED

The council authorized an architectural services agreement with Quorum Architects Inc. for $726,000 to provide design and construction administration services for Phase II of a new consolidated maintenance service center in southeast Fort Worth. It will be at the site of the existing Parks and Recreation South Service Center, 5199 James Ave.

The realignment of Crestline Road to improve Trail Drive required the relocation of the Crestline Service Center from the Cultural District to the James Avenue facility. This was Phase I of the project.

The existing maintenance facilities are in two-story buildings that were World War II military barracks. They were never intended to last 80 years, and have outlived their usefulness. The upper floors have been condemned.

Phase II will demolish these structures and provide new facilities to complete the relocation to the new consolidated facility.The overall cost will be $11.1 million.

Phase I has been designed and is at the start of construction. As part of the city’s 2018 bond program, Phase II’s design and construction was approved.

“This project results in a new facility with an updated building and better location,” District 9 Councilwoman Ann Zadeh said. “In addition to this relocation of the parks and recreation maintenance facility from Trinity Park, prompted by the construction of Trail Drive, we also benefit from the addition of eight acres of park land to Trinity Park.”

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