BRANCH BULLETIN - eNews from Farmers Branch
TOUR OF LIGHTS closes TONIGHT | Open 6:30 to 9:30 pm

   I was all set to do a column about the traditional New Year's song, "Auld Lang Syne" for this final installment of 2015.
   But, then, Saturday happened.
   We were lucky in Farmers Branch to be spared the ravages of the unseasonable and most unwelcome severe weather that devastated parts of Rowlett, Garland, Ovilla, Sunnyvale and other communities the day after Christmas.
   But, so many of our neighbors suffered damage or lost their homes. And, tragically, 11 lost more than that.
   I'd like to paraphrase that New Year's song and suggest that especially in the case of disaster in our midst we should "let no acquaintance be forgot." 
   You may know someone who has been directly affected. In our organization, Salvador Flores is a member of the Public Works Department. He and his family were thankfully out of town for the holidays when the tornado struck Rowlett and destroyed his house.
   Texans are never short on compassion and our co-workers have already sprung into action. Some of our people went out on Sunday and Monday to help as they could. Others are organizing a fundraising mechanism within our own ranks to help ensure that Salvador and his family have the basic necessities covered while the wheels of the insurance process begin to turn.
   If you feel motivated to help any of the December 26 storm victims, there are plans in place through the American Red Cross of North Texas, the Salvation Army and many others, some specific to communities or faith-based institutions.
   I know I don't have to encourage you to help. Most of you probably have already started that process. And, that compassion is possibly what I love most about Texas. We've got each other's backs.
   "Auld Lang Syne" is a 16th century Scottish poem set to music. It's about raising a glass to "times gone by" in anticipation of things to come. With that in mind, as you celebrate the new year tomorrow night, let's remember to raise a glass to better days ahead for our neighbors.

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Farmers Branch personnel provide assistance to stricken areas

ROWLETT ~ After Saturday's severe weather turned tragic, Farmers Branch officials were among those from many communities converging on the stricken areas to lend assistance.
   Farmers Branch Emergency Management officials did sound the Outdoor Warning Sirens that night as the National Weather Service included the City in a Tornado Warning area. Fire Chief Steve Parker said no damage was reported in the City.
   However, in the hardest hit areas of Rowlett, Fire Department equipment and personnel were dispatched to assist in search and rescue efforts Sunday. Parks crews were called in for help with the damage. 
   Additionally, Emergency Management Specialist Ashleigh Feryan worked with officials at the Rowlett Emergency Operations Center and the Farmers Branch Police Department had a squad car in Rowlett helping to patrol their neighborhoods.

Tour of Lights wraps up 2015 season Wednesday evening

FBTX ~ Heavy traffic is expected tonight as the Farmers Branch Christmas Tour of Lights concludes its record-breaking 2015 edition. 
   Having opened Thanksgiving weekend, the Tour has now seen more traffic than any previous year. Final numbers will be available in January. 
   Open each night from 6:30 until 9:30 p.m., admission to the Tour of Lights is free with donations accepted by the non-profit agencies working each night. 
   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. 
   For more information, visit
FBPD plans 'open carry' public information meeting, January 12

FBTX ~ Farmers Branch Police Chief Sid Fuller wants to be sure everyone is informed on the new law where on New Years Day, Texas becomes the latest state to permit the open carrying of handguns by licensed individuals.
   As such, he is inviting the public to an open, informational meeting on the subject, set for Tuesday, January 12 at 6:30 p.m. at The Branch Church, 3035 Valley View Lane.
   "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. 
Deadline TUESDAY
Citizen Committee to consider November bond issue while Council looks at Public Safety

FBTX ~ With the January 5 deadline approaching, City leaders are encouraging as many people as are willing to fill out an application to consider plans for a potential quality-of-life bond initiative that could hit ballots next fall.
   While Council develops and considers immediate public safety needs that may be brought in a May election, this committee will consider other quality of life proposals for a possible November 2016 bond election.
   The Citizen Committee would be expected to begin work in January 2016 after having had an opportunity to meet with Council for finalizing appointments. Although a volunteer effort, committee members would be expected to commit several hours and days per month towards planning the future of Farmers Branch.
   The Committee will have three to four months to assess current City facilities and needs, consider Council suggestions, identify new projects for consideration, determine costs and prioritize proposals. Members of the committee will then create a written report and present their findings to the City Council in mid-June.
   Organizers say the committee will likely be self-directed so people with a passion for Farmers Branch are necessary. Anyone interested in applying for service on the committee should complete an application and return it no later than 12 noon on January 5, 2016.
   A special meeting has been set for January 14 at 6 p.m., at the Community Recreation Center, for Council to meet applicants and discuss timeline and process for the quality of life bond issue.
   For more information, call 972.919.2505 or visit
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Volume 5 | Edition 52 | Number 253
Wednesday, December 30, 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 offices closed Friday for New Year

FBTX ~ All City offices and facilities will be closed Friday, January 1, in observance of New Year's Day. 
   Some City facilities may post earlier than usual closing hours on Thursday, December 31. Call the facility of your choice to inquire on December 31 hours of operation. 
   There will be no garbage collection on January 1 and the Citizen Collection Center will be closed.
Frog Pond season pass sale extends through March 31

FBTX ~ A summer's worth of fun in the sun at the Farmers Branch Aquatics Center's Frog Pond remains on sale at a special price through March 31.
   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.
   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. 
City Council revises plan on trash & recycling collection

FBTX ~ Following discussion in a specially-called meeting in early December, 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. 
BRANCH BULLETIN - eNews from Farmers Branch
The record traffic for the Tour of Lights finishes up tonight as the curtain falls on the 2015 edition. The tour will be open from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. More at
Photo by Derrick Birdsall
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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

Dec 2015 / Jan 2016
6:30 to 9:30 pm
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.