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Big North Richland Hills development plans set to be revealed on Wednesday

by Fort Worth Business Press

Details of a key development in North Richland Hills will be unveiled on Wednesday, Oct. 7, when city officials and Centurion American Development Group lay out their vision for City Point.

The development, on land that was formerly part of North Hills Mall, is expected to be a mixed-use project with single-family and townhomes, multifamily and commercial/retail.  North Richland Hills has built a new city hall and a public safety and municipal court complex on a part of the property.

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Fort Worth Aviation Director Fired For Using Airport Property For Hunting, Running Undisclosed Private Aerospace Business

by Jason Allen - CBSDFW

Fort Worth’s former aviation director was using a section of airport property as a personal hunting ground, running a private aerospace business and didn’t report damage to a city vehicle from a hit-and-run wreck, according to a termination letter.

The letter sent to William Welstead on Sept. 9 also says employees reported an atmosphere of “intimidation, coercion and fear of retaliation” in the department.

At the time the city did not release any details of what led to the decision. However, city manager David Cooke asked for a financial audit and a police investigation into possible criminal wrongdoing.

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Consultant selected for Stop Six Choice Neighborhood Development First Phase

by Fort Worth Business Press

Fort Worth Housing Solutions announced July 20 the selection of dlb Consultants of Arlington to provide construction support consulting services for the first phase of Cowan Place, a senior living community that will kick off residential development for the Stop Six Choice Neighborhood Initiative.

The Arlington-based firm, led by founder Demetria Bivens, will create, direct, implement and manage the Section 3 and Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprise program for the community of one- and two-bedroom units tailored for seniors, Fort Worth Housing Solutions said in a news release.
She is not related to Fort Worth City Councilwoman Gyna Bivens.
Cowan Place will be built south of East Rosedale Street between Andrew Avenue and Stalcup Road. Its name honors early Stop Six settlers Alonzo and Sarah Cowan, who donated land for the community’s first church. Construction is expected to begin in March 2021.
McCormack Baron Salazar (MBS), a nationally recognized developer of economically integrated neighborhoods, will manage dlb Consultants’ Cowan Place work in its role as the partner for the housing portion of the Stop Six Choice Neighborhood Transformation Plan.

MBS also is managing the work of general contractor Block Companies of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Bennett Benner Partners, the Fort Worth-based architect of record. Fort Worth Housing Solutions and the City of Fort Worth, as co-recipients of a U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Choice Neighborhoods Implementation grant, are required to provide employment, contracting and other economic opportunities to low- and very-low income persons and to businesses that provide economic opportunities to low- and very-low income persons.

“Fort Worth Housing Solutions is thrilled to have dlb Consultants on board for the first phase of our Stop Six Choice Neighborhood development,” Fort Worth Housing Solutions President Mary-Margaret Lemons said. “We are committed to ensuring that women and minority-owned businesses and community residents participate in this transformational initiative that promises to drive new economic activity in one of our city’s historic communities.”
HUD awarded Fort Worth a $35 million Choice Neighborhood Implementation grant in April to replace the obsolete Cavile Place public housing community in Stop Six and to seed new residential and other economic development in the area.

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Price meets with protesters, calls for enhancing police policies

by Fort Worth Business Press

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price said on Saturday, June 13 that she has met with members of groups that have been protesting in Fort Worth in recent weeks.

“This was not my first meeting with those protesting and it won’t be my last,” she said in a Facebook post. “(Saturday) we discussed calls to action and ways we can make progress in the community. I have committed to bringing this discussion to a public city council work session, so that the entire community can hear Council take part in these critical conversations. Let’s keep working, Fort Worth,” she said in the post.

On Friday, June 12, Price released a letter where she called for enhancing certain police policies and ensuring existing policies are enforced under the General Orders of the Fort Worth Police Department .

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Fort Worth Launches Grant Program For Small Businesses

by Andrew Greenstein - MSN

For small businesses in Fort Worth impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, there is financial help available.

In partnership with the Unit3ed Way of Tarrant County, Fort Worth is making $10 million available to small businesses through the Preserve The Fort grant program.

The money comes from the $158 million that the city received from the federal government through the CARES Act.

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Fort Worth Development Services' Predevelopment Conferences Assist Developers Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

by City of Forth Worth

Predevelopment conferences can help streamline the process for customers.

The Development Services Department continues to offer predevelopment conferences during the COVID-19 pandemic. These conferences are 30-minute informational meetings designed to help developers conduct project due diligence.

Though the meetings do not serve as comprehensive question-and-answer sessions, predevelopment conferences are very useful in discovering potential issues early in the development process, providing a platform to create a common understanding among all city departments and helping streamline the development process for customers.

To provide increased availability for customers, one-hour face-to-face meetings have been modified to 30-minute virtual meetings. This continues to allow an effective exchange of information between city staff and developers.

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Trinity Metro to get $55 million from CARES Act funds

by Fort Worth Business Press

Trinity Metro will receive $55 million as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding for public transportation. The Regional Transportation Council approved the funding, which can be used for financial impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, Trinity Metro said in a news release.
Trinity Metro’s $55,161,034 will be used toward offsetting losses in the operating budget from decreased sales tax and fare box revenue. The money will also be used for COVID-19 expenses that were incurred to protect passengers and employees.

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Fort Worth mayor 'very optimistic' Colonial can host PGA Tour in June

by Bob Harig - ESPN

The PGA Tour's first rescheduled tournament is now a month away, and the mayor of the city that is set to host a spectator-less event is confident the longtime Colonial Country Club tourney will proceed with the proper safety measures in place.

Betsy Price, the mayor of Fort Worth, Texas, told ESPN on Sunday that her staff and tournament officials have been in constant contact with the PGA Tour as plans for coronavirus testing have been put in place for the participants and workers at the Charles Schwab Challenge, which is scheduled for June 11-14.

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City of Fort Worth sets aside $15 million to help renters, homeowners

by Dionne Anglin - Fox4-KDFW

The city of Fort Worth is moving forward with financial help for renters and homeowners in need.

Fort Worth is one of several large Texas cities to receive federal emergency funding. It will receive close to $159 million from the federal CARES Act.

The city’s plan is to use $15 million of that to help residents with emergency housing needs. It is available money to help renters and homeowners with mortgages who are out of work or have other hardships.

Fort Worth is home to more than 86,000 apartment units. As of right now, officials say 15 percent of those rents remain uncollected for the month of April.

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City of Fort Worth names new director of Public Events

Michael E. Crum has been named director of the city of Fort Worth’s Public Events Department.

As vice president for business development and chief financial officer for the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, Crum has been responsible for developing collaborative efforts between the CRVA and its community partners, as well as overseeing the agency’s accounting budget, audit, information technology, strategic planning, research, business analysis, application delivery, security and risk management functions.

“Mike Crum brings an impressive résumé in facility management to Fort Worth,” Assistant City Manager Jay Chapa said. “As Fort Worth looks toward expanding and renovating its downtown convention center, we will rely on Crum’s experience in developing convention business and bringing new and exciting venues online.”

Crum went to Charlotte in 1989 as director of finance for the Auditorium-Coliseum-Convention Center Authority, and in 1997 was named the Authority’s managing director. In this capacity, he was at the center of Charlotte’s efforts to retain the NBA Hornets and in 2002, helped negotiate the agreement that led to the development of Spectrum Center and the return of an NBA franchise to the market.

In 2004, Crum oversaw the merger of the Authority with Visit Charlotte, Charlotte’s convention and visitors’ bureau, to create the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority. He subsequently served as the CRVA’s chief operating officer until the reorganization of the CRVA’s management structure in 2012.

Prior to coming to Charlotte, Crum worked in the Facility Management Division of the Pacer Basketball Corp. in Indianapolis from 1987-1989.

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Department veteran assumes role as Fort Worth’s police chief after predecessor’s firing

by Loyd Brumfield - Dallas Morning News

Ed Kraus, who took over the Fort Worth Police Department on an interim basis after former police chief Joel Fitzgerald was fired, will fill that role permanently, Mayor Betsy Price announced Wednesday.

Kraus, 52, has been with the department since 1992 and as interim chief immediately found himself thrust into a delicate situation when a Fort Worth officer fired into the home of Atatiana Jefferson and killed her on Oct. 12 while she and her nephew were playing video games. Aaron Dean quit the force, before Krause could fire him, and now faces a murder charge.

“I feel like this is where God put me for now,” Kraus said in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “I’ll serve as long as I can and do the best job I can.”

Kraus replaces Fitzgerald, who was fired over the summer after he reportedly got into a heated discussion at a Washington, D.C., conference with Austin police Sgt. Todd Harrison, the president of the state union, the Star-Telegram reported.

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Fort Worth Hires First Diversity and Inclusion Director

by Scott Gordon - NBCDFW

The city of Fort Worth announced Thursday it hired its first diversity and inclusion director, implementing a key recommendation of a task force formed after the controversial arrest of Jacqueline Craig three years ago.

Christina Brooks comes to Fort Worth from South Bend, Indiana, where she has served as diversity officer and LGBTQ liaison.

"Brooks is a dynamic and proven leader who deeply understands how to create, successfully run, and foster meaningful change throughout the city," Mayor Betsy Price said in a statement.

She will lead the city in implementing policies that ensure diversity and inclusion in every department, Price said.

The position was recommended by the Task Force on Race and Culture, which was formed after the December 2016 arrest of Jacqueline Craig, a Fort Worth mother who called police about a neighbor assaulting her young son.

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Fort Worth investigating whether bid process for Will Rogers parking contract was fair

by Mitch Mitchel - Fort Worth Star-Telegram

An internal auditor for the city of Fort Worth is investigating whether the bid process was fair when the parking management contract for the Will Rogers Memorial Center was awarded, according to a deposition in another legal proceeding.

The allegation was discussed during a deposition Sept. 12 for a hearing concerning the termination of former Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald. City Manager David Cooke was asked by Fitzgerald’s attorney, Stephen Kennedy of Dallas, about an allegation that undue influence was used by a former assistant city manager to affect the bid process.

Cooke said the complaint came from Kirk Slaughter, who was the former head of the public events department, according to the deposition. The contract was awarded to Trail Drive Management Corp., the nonprofit that runs the city-owned Dickies Arena.

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City of Fort Worth Considers Large New Municipal Complex

by Larry Collins - NBCDFW

The face of downtown Fort Worth could change in the near future as city leaders are in the preliminary stages of planning to build a large municipal complex.

Early discussions show a new eight-story 253,400 square-feet municipal complex and central library, and an adjacent eight-story parking garage with 1,200 spaces. The estimated cost for both would be around $150 million.

The new complex would be from the current City Hall south to Lancaster Avenue.

"We are at the very beginning stages of this discussion," interim Assistant City Manager Kevin Gunn said. "We’ve done a little bit of analysis about how many people and how many cars those employees represent.

"The city owns or leases about a dozen different facilities in the Downtown or nearby area," Gunn added. "So, we are looking to bring all those folks down to a central location."

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Fort Worth mayor has ‘serious concerns’ after reading Panther Island report

by Luke Rankor - Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Fort Worth officials said Monday they were worried about Panther Island after reading a consultant’s report about the $1.17 billion project.

The report from Dallas-based Riveron suggests changes to the management structure of the Trinity River Vision Authority to improve oversight, transparency and clear confusion surrounding the decades-old flood control and economic development effort. Suggestions include moving real estate development and recreation promotion on the island to a nonprofit and creating a risk management office to better plan for obstacles.

The Army Corps of Engineers Central City Project, known as Panther Island, requires the Corps to cut a bypass channel in the Trinity River, forming a roughly 800-acre island north of downtown that would be ripe for development. Though the channel is a Corps project, the Trinity River Vision Authority, Tarrant Regional Water District and city of Fort Worth act as local partners.

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Local mayors Price and Williams elected to U.S. Conference of Mayors advisory board

by Fort Worth Business Press

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price and Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams have been elected as U.S. Conference of Mayors New USCM Advisory Board Members at the organization’s 87th annual meeting this week in Honolulu.

Rochester Hills, Minnisota, Mayor Bryan Barnett became the 77th President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) in a gavel-passing ceremony on July 2, accepting the honor from outgoing USCM President Mayor Steve Benjamin of Columbia, South Carolina, at the meeting. Louisville, Kentucky, Mayor Greg Fischer was elected USCM Vice President, and Dayton, Ohio, Mayor Nan Whaley was elected USCM Second Vice President.

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Burghdoff, Gunn named interim assistant city managers


14 June 2019

City Manager David Cooke appointed two seasoned veterans of municipal government as interim assistant city managers, replacing longtime city employee Susan Alanis, who will become chief operating officer at Tarrant County College District in July.

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Council Report: Building permit fees changed

Fort Worth Business Press - Rick Mauch

5 June 2019

The Fort Worth city council, at its Tuesday meeting, adopted an ordinance to amend the Fort Worth Building Administrative Code, and to update the building permit fees for residential remodel work in all council districts.


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