BRANCH BULLETIN - eNews from Farmers Branch
Memo from the MANAGER

Finally winter

  OK, I have to admit it. Having grown up in the midwest, I'm one of those folks that doesn't get too excited to see a snow flurry.

   However, I've lived in Texas long enough to understand why most people will freeze in place for some frozen precipitation.

  First, it's a rare thing so a certain degree of gawking is in order. Secondly, we may feel confident in our own driving abilities in adverse conditions, but we're not remotely confident in everyone else's talents on icy roads.

   What I do know and am very proud of is the way our City employees prepared for and operated in this week's winter weather. Even though we closed early on Monday and opened late on Tuesday, don't think for a minute that there weren't scores of employees on duty and working around the clock to be sure you could move around town until the ice goes away.

   Although this morning's promised snow event turned into a minor slush shower, Monday's ice storm was prominent enough to spur specific action on the part of many City departments.

   Our Police and Fire Departments geared up for the weather ahead of time and brought in additional people to handle the call volume, which included a pre-dawn fatality accident on the George Bush Turnpike in Carrollton.

   Public Works crews had trucks outfitted for sanding and were on the streets by 4 a.m. on Monday to help ensure safe driving. Parks personnel were up extra early as well, keeping sidewalks and pedestrian approaches to City buildings open and passable.

   Even though the Manske Library did not open on Monday, Director Denise Wallace told me that patrons still took advantage of 24/7 online Library operations to renew materials, access research databases and download eBooks and audio books.

   And, of course, we did our best to keep you up-to-date on Monday's early closing hours, Tuesday's late opening hours, whether or not garbage was going to be picked up and what other meetings or activities were affected by the icy weather.

   Part of my job description is to worry in winter weather about the things that could go wrong. However, with this City crew on the job, that worry is kept to a minimum.

   My thanks to these and all other departments and employees that undertook the extra effort to take care of our citizens during this weather event. 

To contact Gary, click on his picture 

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Featured STORY

Original Bell's return celebrated by standing room crowd at Old Church

Tom Bryson
Historical Park Superintendent Derrick Birdsall explained some of the history of the Old Church during the ceremony, held Thursday.

HISTORICAL PARK ~ With handbells symbolically sounding in celebration, the 30th anniversary of the Old Church's relocation from Renner, Texas to the Farmers Branch Historical Park was observed in ceremonies last week, along with the reunion of the original bell to its building host.

   A capacity crowd was on hand for the community celebration, along with ringers from the Brookhaven College Handbell Ensemble.

   Since it's location at the Historical Park in 1985, the 1890s-era church has been the site for lectures, demonstrations, recitals and many, many weddings. However, the original bell had been given to the Renner Baptist Church prior to the move. Recently, its custodians reached out to the park in an effort to return the bell to it's original loft.

   The Friends of the Farmers Branch Historical Park took on the task of funding the restoration of the bell by Siebler Inc. who also removed the railroad bell and placed the original, 600-pound bell back inside the bell tower at the park in January. 

The audience packed the 1890s-era church, which was relocated from Renner, Texas 30 years ago.

   As part of the ceremony, a short film of the bell's re-installation, commissioned by Ron Siebler, was shown inside the church. To cap the ceremony, Mayor Bob Phelps and "Draw the Historical Park" contest winner Eli Toulim, a 5th grader at Janie Stark Elemen

tary School, pulled on the rope to let the 100-plus-year-old bell peal from its original belfry once again.


VIDEO View our videos on YouTube 
"The Homecoming of the Bell"
CityStaff Snapshot

Employee: Wes Caperton

Position: Code Enforcement Officer

Employment: 24 years

Background: I have served for several years on the Executive Board and the Board of Directors for the Code Enforcement Association of Texas. Away from work, I enjoy doing service projects through my church and around my house and even helping with projects on my children's homes as well. These days, most of my spare time is spent with my grandchildren.

What I like most about working for the City: The best thing about working for Farmers Branch is the feeling of family, true appreciation for the work you do and caring for one another.

Firehouse Theatre to close 'Drowsy Chaperone' this weekend


FARMERS BRANCH ~ A parody of the American musical comedies of the 1920s, "The Drowsy Chaperone" will be presented by the Firehouse Theatre, 2535 Valley View Lane, on select nights through March 1.

   Tickets are available now at the Firehouse Theatre box office. For more information, call 972.620.3747 or visit

Last chance for Ancient Egyptian experience at Manske Library as exhibit to close


MANSKE LIBRARY ~ The personal collection of Egyptologist Rollin Phipps, including a variety of both authentic relics and museum-quality replicas, closes on Friday, February 27 after a near-two-month run in the gallery of the Manske Library.

   The Egyptian display was so popular last year that Library officials persuaded Mr. Phipps to bring it back for this winter showing. Call 972.247.2511 for info.

Farmers Branch Police exercise STEP grant for enhanced traffic enforcement


JUSTICE CENTER ~ In an effort to enhance driver safety by actively reducing the number of traffic accidents in the City, Farmers Branch Police officers have been involved in the Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) made possible by a grant from the Texas Department of Transportation.

   The grant enables the department to devote one additional officer each day for traffic enforcement, thus freeing up beat officers to focus on their assigned neighborhoods and attend to other community needs. For more information, call 972.484.3620.

Tax help open at Library & Senior Center every Tuesday


FARMERS BRANCH ~ Tax preparation assistance from AARP-trained volunteers is now underway on Tuesdays at the Manske Library and Farmers Branch Senior Center and will continue through the season.

   Volunteers are available at the Senior Center from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. each Tuesday, but by appointment only. Call 972.919.8740.

   Library-based tax help is on from 1 until 7 p.m. each Tuesday.

   Anyone needing assistance should bring all necessary documents, last year's tax return and printed tax forms.


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Volume 5 | Edition 08 | Number 209  
Branch Bulletin
is published weekly by the Communications Office since March 5, 2011
of the City of Farmers Branch, TX.
Three-time Award Winner for
Excellence in E-Newsletters in Texas
Awarded by the
Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers

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Pam Smith to speak in Florida, Tuesday

JACKSONVILLE, FL ~ Recognizing her reputation as a national expert on beautification, the Garden Club of Jacksonville will host Farmers Branch Landscape Manager Pam Smith for a presentation on Tuesday, in Florida.

Pam Smith

   Pam will speak on her experience in managing rose trials in Farmers Branch with her presentation "On the Trail of Trialled Roses."

   The meeting is at 7 p.m. More info is at


30 Years & Counting

Farmers Branch Police Officer Jim Stephens pauses to acknowledge family and co-workers after accepting  congratulations from Mayor Bob Phelps on the occasion of receiving his 30-year service award at a recent Council meeting. Having joined the Department in 1985 and with no plans of retiring, Officer Stephens accepted the honor, and went back to work.

Coming UP
"The Drowsy Chaperone"
@ Firehouse Theatre on
select dates
@ City Hall
4 pm - Study Session
6 pm - Regular Session

MAR 11
3 to 6 pm @ City Hall

MAR 14
1 pm @ Historical Park

1 to 4 pm @ Historical Park


All events & meetings are subject to change. Call listed numbers or 972.247.3131 for verification or more information.
Coming SOON
APR 21
Dusk til 9 pm @ Historical Park


All events & meetings are subject to change. Call listed numbers or 972.247.3131 for verification or more information.
The week of winter weather was capped by this morning's brief snowfall, followed by rain, followed by sunshine. The minor snow accumulation, similar to this in the bird sanctuary a few years ago, was quickly dashed by the rain.

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About the City of Farmers Branch Farmers Branch Logo
An historic community in the geographic center of the DFW Metroplex, Farmers Branch boasts a residential population of 28,800 and a daytime employment population of 66,000. Located on the northwest border of the City of Dallas, the City's 27 parks and lush greenbelts feature nationally-acclaimed, award-winning soccer fields, football facilities as well as baseball and softball complexes. The city's location in the center of the Metroplex and only 15 minutes away from both DFW Airport and Love Field, along with the 2,200 hotel rooms within the city, make Farmers Branch an ideal location for residents and for business. For more information on the City of Farmers Branch, visit or call 972.247.3131.