Sunday, October 25, 2009

Council committees to be briefed on one-day-a-week garbage pickup, Katy Trail extension

Monday is usually the busy day for Dallas City Council committee meetings and, I gotta tell ya, I really feel sorry for council members Jerry Allen, Ann Margolin, Vonciel Jones Hill, Angela Hunt, Delia Jasso, Ron Natinsky and Dave Neumann, who, as members of Budget, Finance and Audit Committee, must sit through the following briefings:
  • Property Appraisal Process Overview

  • Real Property Acquisition Procedures and Requirements

  • Annual Investment Policy Review and Discussion of Investment Strategies

  • Quarterly Investment Report

  • August 2009 Financial Forecast Report
OK, that first one could be interesting because it will feature Ken Nolan, chief appraiser/executive director of the Dallas Central Appraisal District trying to explain how DCAD values our homes and places of business -- all 815,689 of them (I thought there would be more) -- for property tax purposes. Ms. Hunt ought to have fun with this one, especially since she was loudly critical of the way in DCAD appraised the land on which the convention center hotel will be constructed.

Things pick up at noon, however, when the Quality of Life Committee will (after plodding through a briefing on "Urban Foresty Inventory Using Concurrent Airborne LiDAR & Hyperspectral Remote Sensing"-- a topic that sparks heated debates between me and my granddaughter on a regular basis) hear about when the Katy Trail will be expanded to the White Rock Rail Station and next March's rollout of "OneDAYDallas," once-a-week, same-day garbage/recycling pickup.

OneDAY was instituted in far North Dallas in March 2008. Northwest Dallas followed in Feb. 2009. This year the City said to hell with this piecemeal approach, let's go all-hog, so all the rest of the city -- about 180,000 households, according to this briefing -- will be switched over March 1.

The briefing outlines how Sanitation Services plans to switch, where households will have different pickup days from what they have now, and, most importantly, how it plans to notify those 180,000 households about the switch to once-a-week garbage pickup. Although the topic was addressed at every budget townhall meeting I attended throughout the city, I'm betting, at the most, less than 10 percent of those households are aware of what's coming. My entire neighborhood doesn't know about about it, nor does it know that the switch (thankfully/finally) means we will be switching from black and blue bags to the city-issued roll carts.

The Katy Trail briefing features some sexy pictures of a pedestrian bridge over Mockingbird Ave., but I'll save you some time and give away the punchline. The trail is expected to reach Skillman by March 2011 and to White Rock Station, where, presumably, it will link with the White Rock Trail, by September 2011. That means I could ride my bike from my Northeast Dallas hood all the way to the American Airlines Center for home Maverick games. Now ask me how often I plan to do that.

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