Gainesville Daily Register

Local News

January 12, 2013

Sullivan unveils tentative five-year plan for Gainesville

Gainesville — Officials unveiled a tentative five-year prospectus for the city of Gainesville during Wednesday’s regular Rotary Club meeting, offering details that suggest a sturdy local future.

City Manager Barry Sullivan discussed a preliminary capital improvement program for Gainesville and said intentions toward city progress have been bundled into seven goals: good finances, improvement of basic infrastructure, improved visual appearance, staff efficiency, promotion of economic development, a safe and prepared city; and promotion of cultural and recreational opportunity.

“Those are broad and that covers everything,” he said, adding that all costs in the plan are adjusted for estimation of inflation. “If we have an item in the five-year capital improvement program and it can’t fiscally fit into the five-year budget, it is cut. It is fiscally restrained — and you’ll see a lot of cities that do not fiscally constrain their five-year ‘CIP.’ That, to me, is not a program or a plan; it’s just a wish list.”

Sullivan said capital improvement plans are made annually. He estimated that the average year includes roughly five months of budget and policy analysis in regards to the coming few years ahead.

He also said no preliminary city plan is ever ironclad.

“This is not a Bible, and it will change every single year,” he said.

Good finances

Sullivan said the chief objective in maintaining good city finances is reaching a point where a 90-day reserve is available in the categories of general funds, water/sewer funds and solid waste funds. Sullivan added that when he began as city manager, the related requirement was only for a 45-day reserve, which later moved to a 60-day requirement. He estimated that by the end of 2013, the city should be operating at the 90-day level.

Basic infrastructure

Sullivan cited several city projects slated through 2017, including some that began during the past two years.

“This is the busiest the city has ever been,” he said.

He discussed the ongoing Street and Utility Maintenance Project (SUMP), which is already bringing overhaul to several city streets. He cited a proposed remodeling of lounge facilities at Gainesville Municipal Airport, an expansion of the Moss Lake water treatment plant and the ongoing Pecan Creek flood damage reduction project, which will widen the creek between Olive and Moss streets and replace six bridges. It is slated for completion in summer 2013. Sullivan also briefly discussed an upgrade of the city’s wastewater treatment plant and the construction of a new community services facility near Gainesville City Hall.

Visual appearance

Sullivan said a $75,000 state grant, received several years ago, has been allocated for the creation of a “city gateway” at the intersection of Interstate 35 and California Street that will include new brick arches and trees. City officials plan to demolish up to 20 existing substandard structures within Gainesville limits during 2013. Another planned project is a joint task force among officers in police, fire, city marshal, community services, public works and administration departments to improve “problem” neighborhoods.

Sullivan also cited recent “city cleanup” projects that unfolded during 2012. This included group efforts among local students to clean yards  in violation of code — and the demolition of the historic Gainesville Junior High School building on Denton Street and the development of a Boys and Girls Club facility scheduled to surface in its place.

“That’s a true partnership in community,” Sullivan said. “It also made economic sense.”

Staff efficiency

Gainesville city staff will continue to implement technology training in their operations, Sullivan said. One new program, called “Gainesville University,” requires city staff members to be trained on “every aspect of the city in every department” by spending one day per month learning about a new department. Sullivan also discussed the planned increased use of “Lean Six Sigma,” a corporate efficiency philosophy that originally surfaced during the mid 1980s and increases productivity by reducing waste and combining operations. He also discussed digitized upgrades to the city water system and the police department’s crime mapping system.

Promotion of economic development

Gainesville and Cooke County are currently known as having economies strongly driven by energy companies and the oil-and-gas industry. Sullivan said this shows no signs of changing soon, and city officials aren’t opposed to more of it.

“We’re not going to turn anybody away,” he said. “If it’s a great oil company job, we’re going to take a look at them.”

But Sullivan said the coming years also make a fine time for diversity of industry. He cited the recent Gainesville expansion of GAF, which manufactures roofing materials. It added 40 to 50 new jobs averaging $15 per hour.

More industrial companies such as GAF, he said, would be ideal additions to the roster.

“It’s great impact for property tax and a nice number of higher-paying jobs,” he said.

A safer city

Sullivan said increased safety measures during 2013 and beyond will include increased camera surveillance at Leonard Park, Frank Buck Zoo and other major local thoroughfares; a new ladder truck for the Gainesville Fire Department; a slight increase in police officers and code enforcement officers; and the expansion and maintenance of a trained group of emergency responders.

Culture and recreation

The city’s hotel occupancy tax revenue will be used to promote city-operated tourist spots such as Frank Buck Zoo, Morton Museum of Cooke County, Butterfield Stage Players, local arts councils and nonprofit agencies such as the Boys and Girls Club, which is expected to utilize a series of athletic leagues. Sullivan added that this category of development will get a guaranteed boost during the coming months when the swimming pool facility at Leonard Park re-opens during summer 2013 as a full-scale water park.

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • movie Movie team set to film in Gainesville

    The City of Gainesville was recently selected as the exclusive site for the new movie “Windsor.”

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • river Red River boundary disputed now and then

    The Red River boundary controversy is not new and over decades has involved land, politics, oil, cattle, court orders, war, American Indians, and desperadoes. And one dispute was even used as Nazi propaganda during World War II.
    The current boundary controversy concerns private property and federal land claims.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • swing Swing band school returning to Gainesville

    Young musicians who enjoy a love of western swing bands will be learning from one of the best at the fifth annual Big Texas Swing School to be held July 15-19 at North Central Texas College in Gainesville.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • school Walnut Bend ISD to offer new amenities

    New technology, free school supplies and a free lunch and breakfast program await students attending Walnut Bend Independent School District (Walnut Bend ISD) this fall.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Military surplus program restored for fire departments

     The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) reversed a recent decision to cut a popular program that provides surplus military trucks, tankers and other vehicles to rural fire departments.

    July 11, 2014

  • drug sentence Defendant sentenced to 25 years for cocaine possession

    Carl Andrew Walker, 54, of Wichita, Kan. recently pleaded guilty to the first degree felony offense of possession of a controlled substance and was sentenced by the 235th Distict Court to 25 years confinement.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • donation Landmark bank provides donation

    Landmark Bank recently donated $1,865 to Home Hospice of Cooke County.
    Home Hospice of Cooke County is an institution that cares for those in the final stages of life, regardless of their ability to pay.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • rotary Geyer speaks at Rotary Club

    Sandy Geyer of the Butterfield Stage talks Wednesday to Gainesville Rotary Club members about the organization’s upcoming production “Annie Get Your Gun.”

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Muenster City Council appoints new police chief

    The Muenster City Council appointed Sgt. Tom Barr as the new chief of police after former police chief Mark Blankenship submitted his resignation, according to the July 7 unofficial minutes.

    July 10, 2014

  • 'Annie Get Your Gun' opens July 17

    Ticket sales are brisk for Butterfield “Annie Get Your Gun” — the final production of the 2013-2014 season.

    July 10, 2014

Featured Ads
Poll

What are your plans for the upcoming vacation season?

Stay close to home.
Take the trip of a lifetime.
See more of the fabulous sites in Texas.
Haven't decided.
     View Results
Facebook
Twitter Feed
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Joy Fills Streets of Cleveland As LeBron Returns Proposed Bill to Regulate NY Costumed Characters WH: LeBron's Move a 'Powerful Statement' Ana Ortiz on 'Devious Maids' Finale CDC Addresses Lab Safety Problems Texas Shooting Suspect Collapses in Court Death Toll Tops 100 As Israel Offense Continues LeBron James Says He's Returning to Cavaliers Man Flees Police in World Cup Scalping Scheme Robot Writes Jewish Torah Scroll Raw: Israel, Gaza Exchange Rocket Fire More Immigrants Detained Along Rio Grande World Cup Final Pits Argentina Against Germany Police: Prostitute Linked to 2nd Death Thousands Attend NYC Firefighter's Funeral Art of Haitian Machete Fighting Revived Raw: Australia Hosts Annual Beer Can Regatta Mass. Mayor: Families Lost Everything in Fire Fans Dying to Be Near Jazz Greats Robots Gearing Up for Their Own 'World Cup'
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide