FIREFIGHTER CANCER PREVENTION HELP
Fighting fires is dangerous enough on its own without the additional threat of cancer that has affected the lives of numerous of those brave individuals.
At Tuesday’s meeting, the Fort Worth City Council adopted an ordinance by a unanimous 9-0 vote increasing estimated receipts and appropriations in the risk management fund totaling just over $1.3 million. From that amount, $30,000 will be designated for active shooter training and $1.275 million will be used for cancer prevention programs.
The program, which follows a presentation to the council this past October, reinforces the need to provide training, offer forums for conversations, and encourage more research on cancers that specifically impact firefighters so proactive measures can be developed. The funding will focus largely on fire gear and cleaning equipment designed to reduce exposure to potential cancer causing elements.
“This isn’t about someone who smokes a lot. We’re talking about asbestos, carcinogens that come with pesticides, and such as that,” District 7 Councilman Dennis Shingleton said. “We’re trying to make sure we’re covering those who could be exposed.”
In a recent report, workers’ compensation costs associated with FWFD cancer claims has reached approximately $700,000 with 37 firefighters in either treatment or remission.
“The City of Fort Worth self-insures the health insurance we offer city employees. Over the last year, the City of Fort Worth has done well to reduce health care cost,” District 4 Councilman Cary Moon said. “For our firefighters, reducing exposure to carcinogens is expected to reduce future health care claims. Paying for the cancer prevention program from the risk management fund is justified as we are looking to mitigate future health care costs associated with the exposure to carcinogens.”
District 3 Councilman Brian Byrd added, “I’ve reviewed the firefighter cancer data and I’ve noticed a tremendous amount of correlation and probably causation between being a firefighter and developing certain types of cancer. I believe it is an excellent use of resources.”
In addition, in line with the city’s active shooter program implementation, the human resources risk division will launch the city-wide distribution of bleeding control kits and the first phase of door guards hardware.
Bleeding control kits provide users access to equipment which can help stop traumatic hemorrhaging in the event of an emergency. Door guard equipment allows occupants to lock down and secure an area from the inside against an active shooter.
SPINKS AIRPORT GRANT
Spinks Airport may be getting a makeover.
At Tuesday’s meeting, the Fort Worth City Council authorized by a 9-0 vote the application for a grant from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Aviation Division for $3.6 million. If approved and granted, the funds will go toward design, engineering and construction services for the replacement of airfield lighting and rehabilitation of taxiways
and a runway at Spinks Airport.
The council also approved a transfer of $400,000 from the Muni Airport Capital Project Fund into the Muni Airport Grants Federal Fund for the city’s 10% grant match.
TxDOT has announced that funding is available for the project. Based on the most recent pavement condition report in 2012, the runway and surrounding taxiways are in need of repair and rehabilitation. Also, the current airfield lighting system is past its useful life, and officials say upgrades are imperative.
Additionally, the standards for airport markings were revised in May by the Federal Aviation Administration, meaning the markings on the runway need to be updated in order to meet the new criteria. Re-marking of the runway and taxiways will be included in
NEW HELICOPTER FOR FWPD
The Fort Worth Police Department is getting a new helicopter, thanks the Fort Worth City Council’s authorization of an agreement with Bell Textron Inc. The council approved more just over $4.4 million for the purchase of a Bell 505 helicopter, training courses, and maintenance tooling.
“Having this eye in the sky will save lives,” District 6 Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem Jungus Jordan
Funding for the purchase will come from the Crime Control and Prevention District and unused police capital funds.
“Fort Worth is 30 square miles. Funding our police to the same level of similar-sized cities is important to me as we prioritize public safety,” District 4 Councilman Cary Moon said. “The new police helicopter will extend the life of the other two helicopters.”
The Police Department currently has two helicopters, a 1996 model with 24,000 flight hours and a 2003 model with 13,900 flight hours.
“Given the age and use of the department’s current helicopters, it has become difficult to find replacement parts and achieve satisfactory reliability,” District 3 Councilman Dr. Brian Byrd said. “The new helicopter is state of the art, will serve our citizens well, and was included in the 2020 CCPC budget.”
CCPD BUDGET AMENDED, INCREASED
The Crime Control and Prevention District is getting some additional funding following a public hearing and subsequent approval by the Fort Worth City Council at Tuesday’s meeting.
The council approved an additional $962,986 for a police recruit class. With the adjustment, the new CCPD budget is just over $88.8 million.
The CCPD Board conducted a public hearing and approved a budget amendment of just over $2.7 million for funding a police recruit class at its Nov. 12 meeting. However, Police Recruit Class No. 149, which is scheduled to run from July 6 through Sept. 30, will only require partial funding in FY2020.
The remaining amount required to complete the class will be included in the FY2021 CCPD budget.
Following a public hearing at Tuesday’s meeting, the Fort Worth City Council approved the owner-initiated annexation of approximately 412 acres of land in Tarrant County located at 12250 Old Weatherford Rd. Council also authorized an execution of municipal services agreement between the city and the list of 14 property owners, including Annetta Investments; GYF Investments, LLLP; Boa Sorte Limited Partnership; LS Tyler Investments, LLLP; Rio Claro, Inc.; TK Cowley Investments, LLLP; SPG-Harvard III, LLLP; The Cowley Family Foundation; SMT Investors Limited Partnership; CFG Zaharis, LLLP; CFG Broadway & Rooks, LLLP; Allen-Cowley Living Trust; CF,G Brown I, LLLP; and CFG-Whiteman I, LLLP.
Council also adopted an ordinance annexing Cowley Management, LLC for full purposes.
The property is located entirely in Tarrant County and is just west of Chapin Road. It is currently vacant land and has been rezoned for a single-family residential type development.
In a companion case, the council also approved the annexation of approximately 407 acres from the 11600 to 12400 blocks of Old Weatherford Road. That property, west of Vista West Subdivision, was also rezoned for single family.
“The Cowley group plans to add more single family to the Old Weatherford Road area annexation. Although there is significant traffic volume capability with the completion of the Chapel Creek, I-30 bridge, we are talking through other future routes to I-30,” District 3 Councilman Brian Byrd said.
The city tax revenue is expected to have a positive fiscal impact over the next 10 years after the proposed development has been built.
At Tuesday’s meeting, the Fort Worth City Council honored Joe Pothoff and Kendyll Locke with a special presentation.
Pothoff received a proclamation for his service on the Tarrant Appraisal District Board. Locke, a North Crowley High School student, was honored for being selected as one of only two Texas students to serve as delegates in the 2020 United States Senate Youth Program.
“Joe has been the only Fort Worth representative to that board. It’s not an easy job, but he’s done a great job,” District 7 Councilman Dennis Shingleton said.
Pothoff has been on the board for 28 years, the past 22 as chairman. He is rolling off the board.
Mayor Betsy Price noted that in his time on the board, the number of taxable accounts increased from 532,000 to 1.832 million, 244%.
“You may not know what all goes into that job, but it’s a thankless job, and as chairman, Joe was responsible for being there more than any of the rest,” Price said.
As a delegate, Locke will join Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz in representing Texas in the nation’s capital during the 58th annual USSYP Washington Week, to be held March 7-14, 2020.
Locke has been accepted to Morehouse College in Atlanta. He is the nephew of District 8 Councilwoman Kelly Allen Gray.
“I’m looking at a three-page resume that is very impressive,” said District 6 Councilman Jungus Jordan, in whose district Crowley ISD lies. “I’m not going to go through it all because we’d be here all night.”
Among his highlights, Locke is the founder and CEO of KD’s Socialhouse Maintenance, a marketing and advertising firm. He assists businesses with building dynamic brands through strategic consulting, social media marketing, website development, and other strategies.
HUMAN RELATIONS ORDINANCE AMENDMENTS APPROVED
At Tuesday’s meeting, the Fort Worth City Council approved some amendments in the city’s human relations ordinance.
The council was advised of the recommended amendments earlier in their work session via a briefing from Diversity and Inclusion Director Christina Brooks.
The more substantial latest revisions include:
*Changes in the authority to appoint the director, set the director’s salary, evaluate
the director’s performance, and authority to terminate the director.
*Additions to process for investigating complaints of discrimination in places of
*Addition of verbiage relating to the disclosure of information to align with state and
*Addition of appeal process for findings of “no cause” in complaints involving places
of public accommodation and housing.
“Overall, these changes really strengthen the process of transparency and communication by providing clear protocol information regarding mandated operating procedures,” Brooks said.
Brooks said the amendments have been reviewed and approved by both federal agencies the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The ordinance has been revised several times since its original adoption, including but not limited to:
*1969 – Designation of the commission as the agency to receive, investigate and resolve complaints of discrimination.
*1979 – Addition of sex and religion as protected classes.
*1990 – Addition of disability and familial status as protected classes.
*Addition of sexual orientation as a protected class.
*2009 – Addition of transgender, gender identity or gender expression as protected
RACE AND CULTURAL TASK FORCE RECOMMENDATIONS UPDATE
Diversity and Inclusion Director Christina Brooks gave the Fort Worth City Council an update on the progress of implementations of recommendations from the Race and Cultural Task Force at their work session.
Among the highlights of the 22 recommended strategies are:
*Criminal justice – Independent oversight of police department: New Police Monitor Kim Neal and Assistant PM Denise Rodriguez.
*Governance – Diversity and Inclusion department: New CEO/Director Christina Brooks. Expanded mission and responsibilities established. Diversity training: Pilot DI Education Workshop completed with Legal Department.
*Economic development – Capacity building for minority-owned businesses: MWBE disparity study due for completion in April.
The mission of the Department of Diversity and Inclusion is to promote the values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and access as they apply to the city’s employee and labor relations, its provision of municipal services and capital investments, and the
quality of life that all Fort Worth residents experience.
Brooks noted the City Equity Plan has a blueprint for providing access to fair, inclusive, and equitable municipal services for all Fort Worth residents. It also identifies inequities in the provision of municipal services and presents strategies for addressing issues underlying those inequities.
Brooks said the next steps are collaborative discussions to develop an inclusive process for prioritizing departments.
“We would definitely make sure we are involving city staff and community by mingling them to collaborate on the path forward,” she said. “It’s going to take the whole community to make sure this remains a priority.”
WARRANT FORGIVENESS TIME AGAIN
During Tuesday’s Fort Worth City Council work session, a briefing was given on Warrant Forgiveness throughout the month of February.
During the month, anyone who has outstanding citations with the Fort Worth Municipal Court may resolve their cases and may be eligible for alternatives, such as community service or a reduction in fine amount.
Warrant Forgiveness dates and locations include (all times are 9 a.m.-noon):
*Wednesday, Feb. 5, Sweet Home Baptist Church, 5225 Ramey Ave.
*Thursday, Feb. 6, Victory Forest Community Center, 3427 Hemphill St.
*Wednesday, Feb. 12, Diamond Hill Community Center, 1701 N.E. 36th St.
*Thursday, Feb. 13, East Regional Library, 6301 Bridge St.
*Saturday, Feb. 15, A.D. Marshall Public Safety & Courts Building, 1000 Throckmorton St.
*Wednesday, Feb. 19, Chisholm Trail Community Center, 4396 McPherson Blvd.
*Thursday, Feb. 20, Atwood’s, 6001 Lake Worth Blvd.
*Saturday, Feb. 22, True Worth Place, 1513 E. Presidio St.
*Wednesday, Feb. 26, Boys & Girls Club, 3123 Avenue G.
*Thursday, Feb. 27, Como Community Center, 4900 Horne St.