BRANCH BULLETIN - eNews from Farmers Branch
Don't forget

   For those of us over the age of, say, seven, we may have to think back to the time when our feet hit the floor in the early morning hours of December 25th as our parents fiddled with flash bulbs and cameras.
   We may have been a bit wobbly but we weren't going to let a thing like "just out of bed balance" get in the way of heading for that tree and the bounty that the kindly old man with the weight problem had left overnight.
   Think back.
   Remember the sense of wonder and amazement. If you had younger siblings you could delight in watching their eyes grow to the size of quarters as an audible, delighted gasp comes from their joyous faces.
   If the season of giving inspires any memories, those are among the sweetest.
   But, its not that way for everyone.
   There are families, with small children, in our midst that don't have much to look forward to on Christmas morning. Through fate or happenstance, it is all they can do to provide food for the table. There may not be anything left over for Christmas.
   You may not see them, but they're there.
   That's why it is so important to remember to support the organization of your choice that specializes in helping to brighten the holiday season for those that are less fortunate.
   If you'd like, when you're out shopping, pick up a new toy or two. Don't wrap them, but drop them off when you come through the Christmas Tour of Lights. But, please do it by Friday. At that time, all the toys collected will be turned over to Metrocrest Services for the benefit of the families they help.
   Or support the efforts of your church or of the food bank of your choice. The important thing is to give back when we are able.
   It creates a more wonderful season for everyone involved.

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Updated INFO
Tour of Lights toy drive deadline coming up Friday

FBTX ~ With traffic increasing through the month, the Farmers Branch Christmas Tour of Lights is building towards a December 18 deadline for collecting toy donations to benefit the area families served by Metrocrest Services. Christmas Tree
   Admission to the Tour of Lights is free with donations accepted by the non-profit agencies working each night. Additionally, new unwrapped toys can be dropped off during the tour that will help make Christmas a bit brighter for children of families in need.
   The Tour is open every evening from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. through December 30.
   Beginning at the intersection of Valley View Lane and Stemmons Freeway, the tour follows the miles of lights and Christmas displays down Denton Drive to the Farmers Branch Historical Park where a synchronized light show awaits all tour participants. 
   By the way, kids are sure to get a look at St. Nick towards the end of the tour. The Historical Park portion of the tour is not open December 25. For more information, visit
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Featured STORIES
FBPD plans to educate public on 'open carry'

FBTX ~ Farmers Branch Police Chief Sid Fuller wants to be sure everyone is informed on the new law where on January 1, 2016, Texas becomes the latest state to permit the open carrying of handguns by licensed individuals.
   "The new law is complex and it's important for our residents and businesses to be informed. " Chief Fuller explained. "The law permits concealed handgun license holders, thereafter to be called a handgun license, to carry their weapon openly in a belt or shoulder holster or concealed."
   He said those individuals must have their license on their person at all times and must show it to law enforcement officers upon request. 
   There are some restrictions as to where a license holder can carry a firearm, for a list of those and other frequently asked questions please go to the  FAQ posted on the Farmers Branch Police Department website.
   For questions or for more information, call the Farmers Branch Police Department at 972.484.3620. 
City posts information on Lake Lewisville Dam

FBTX ~ Following release of a news media report that calls into question the safety of the Lake Lewisville Dam, the City of Farmers Branch, along with other downstream cities, has released information from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to answer questions raised by The Dallas Morning News article.
   As the agency responsible for the Lake Lewisville Dam, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the dam is under "no immediate threat of failure or is it likely." They released a statement to stakeholders Monday night:
"The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Fort Worth District continues to operate the Lewisville Dam, part of the Trinity River flood risk management system, as designed with no imminent danger of failure. Recent press reports have inaccurately indicated that the dam is unsafe.
The Fort Worth District has consistently communicated the status of Lewisville Dam, and all of its dams, in an open and transparent manner with the public and local communities and will continue to do so. The District held its most recent open house meeting to inform the public of developments in the ongoing Lewisville Dam Safety Modification Study on November 16, 2015. Life safety is always our primary concern."
   The City has provided additional information online at
Fire Marshal's Office receives Gold Level award

FBTX ~ In recognition of performance excellence in Fire Prevention, the Texas State Fire Marshal's Association bestowed a Gold Level award on the Farmers Branch Fire Marshal's Office during their annual Banquet in October, in Austin.
Farmers Branch Fire Marshal Tim Dedear (center) explains the parameters of the Texas State Fire Marshal's Association Gold Level award during the December 15 City Council meeting while Fire Chief Steve Parker (left) and Mayor Bob Phelps (right) look on.
   "I am very excited and proud to present this Gold Level Award to the City of Farmers Branch Fire Marshal's Office whose hard work in fire prevention activities has earned such a prestigious award through their dedication and professionalism which is the cornerstone of this award, association and its members," said Texas State Fire Marshal's Association President Jim Terry.
   Farmers Branch Deputy Chief, and Fire Marshal, Tim Dedear was on hand to accept on behalf of the Farmers Branch team. The award was presented to the City at the City Council Meeting of December 15.

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Online STORIES @
City Council revises plan on trash & recycling collection

FBTX ~ Following discussion in a specially-called meeting, the Farmers Branch City Council revised their direction on the upcoming solid waste contract for trash and recycling, asking for twice a week garbage collection in bags and optional once a week curbside recycling collection in rolling containers. 
Citizen Bond Committee applications open til January 5

FARMERS BRANCH ~ In preparation for the prospect of presenting a bond issue to voters in 2016, the Farmers Branch City Council is seeking community volunteers to serve on a Citizen Committee to research and champion a potential quality-of-life bond effort.
Bond roadwork will keep Welch tied up for three to four months
Road work

FBTX ~ Progressing through the City, the Farmers Branch Street Bond Program has begun resurfacing operations on Welch Road from LBJ to Spring Valley.
   In order to maintain two-way traffic while this road is being resurfaced, the construction will progress in three phases. First, will be the northbound, easternmost lane. The construction process will consist of milling the asphalt surface, making any necessary concrete repairs and overlaying the surface with new asphalt. 
ICMA renews credentials of
City Manager Gary D. Greer
City Manager
Gary D. Greer
City Manager Gary Greer

WASHINGTON, D.C. ~ Recognizing his record of success and continuing professional development, the International City/County Management Association has renewed the professional credentials of Farmers Branch City Manager Gary D. Greer.
   ICMA established the credentialing program in 2001 to define and recognize local government managers and to promote lifelong learning. 
Farmers Branch ED department rated fifth best in DFW for 2014
Dallas Business Journal logo

FBTX ~ The Farmers Branch Economic Development Department has landed on the Dallas Business Journal's Top Ten list of DFW-area Economic Development agencies for the fourth consecutive year.
  Managing Director John Land and his team placed at number five on this year's list, up from number 10 last year.
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Texas Book Festival grant enhances Library's large print collection

FBTX ~ The Farmers Branch Manske Library has been awarded a $1,700 collections enhancement grant by The Texas Book Festival to upgrade the Library's large print collection. 
   As a result of the grant, more than 60 new books from all genres have been added to the collection. 
   Every year public libraries across Texas apply to the Texas Book Festival to receive grant funds. The grants are intended to update and increase book collections. This year, the Festival is distributing grants up to $2,500 to 34 libraries. Since its founding, the Festival has contributed more than $2.7 million in grants to more than 600 Texas public libraries.
   Everyone is encouraged to come by the Library to check out the new additions to the Large Print Collection. 
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Rec Center Photo
Let it go
Elsa had a previous engagement but Anna, from the Disney classic, "Frozen" was on hand Saturday to make a special appearance at "Olaffles with Santa" at the Farmers Branch Community Recreation Center. Farmers Branch Environmental Health Manager Katy Evans helped make Anna's appearance possible.
Volume 5 | Edition 50 | Number 251
Wednesday, December 16, 2015  
Branch Bulletin
is published weekly by the Communications Office of the
City of Farmers Branch, Texas since March 5, 2011

Comments are welcomed at

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City lists hours for upcoming holidays

FBTX ~ All City offices and facilities will be closed on both Thursday and Friday, December 24 & 25 in observance of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. 
   Some City facilities may post earlier than usual closing hours on Thursday, December 31 but all City office and facilities will be closed on Friday, January 1 to observe New Year's Day. 
   Call the facility of your choice to inquire on December 31 hours of operation. There will be no garbage collection on December 24, 25 & January 1 and the Citizen Collection Center will be closed.
2016 Frog Pond season passes on sale for Christmas

FBTX ~ A summer's worth of fun in the sun at the Farmers Branch Aquatics Center's Frog Pond makes a great Christmas gift as season passes for 2016 are on sale through the season.
   Officials say that individual season passes for Farmers Branch residents are on sale for $65, that is $20 off regular price.
   Family passes are good for up to four immediate family members and are $130, a $40 savings.
   The sale continues through March 31. Drop by the Farmers Branch Aquatics Center at 14032 Hearthside Place, call them at 972.919.8720 or visit
   The 2016 summer swim season at the Frog Pond opens Memorial Day weekend. 
Seniors plan for Christmas concert in Las Colinas

LAS COLINAS ~ Farmers Branch Seniors can celebrate the season with this festive concert and interactive sing-along by the Las Colinas Symphony on Saturday, December 19.
   The bus departs from the Senior Center at 7 p.m. and returns at 10:30 p.m. Cost is $13 per person and involves limited walking.
   Call 972.919.8740.

REC Center
Santa is making house calls

FBTX ~ Santa Claus will make visits to kids in their homes in Farmers Branch again this year as part of his "Santa Makes House Calls" program, sponsored by the Community Recreation Center.
   The Jolly Ol' Elf will come during 
a pre-arranged appointment now, through December 24, from 6:30 to 9 p.m.
   Visits are 15 minutes long and Santa will enter through the front door. Cost is $25 for Community Recreation Center members and $29 for non-members. 
   Prime time slots go fast so call the Rec Center at 972.247.4607 for reservations.

The City Christmas Tree continues to light up the night in the Historical Park as part of the Christmas Tour of Lights now underway, through December 30.
Photo by Tom Bryson
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TRAIL Master Plan

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   Applications are being accepted for membership on several of the City's volunteer advisory boards and commissions, according to City Secretary Amy Piukana.
   Currently, the following boards have vacancies:

Parks & Recreation Board
Community Watch Committee

December 2015
6:30 to 9:30 pm each evening thru Dec 30 (closed Dec 25)

Most City offices closed
No garbage collection
All events & meetings are subject to change. Call listed numbers or 972.247.3131 for verification or more information.

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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.