September 13, 2006

Dates to Remember

October 10th, 2006 is the deadline to register for the General Election.
October 26th, 2006 is when Early Voting begins.
November 7th, 2006 is the General Election.
December 1st, 2006 is when Interim Reports are due.
January 9th, 2007 is when the Legislature Reconvenes.
May 28th, 2007 is when the Legislature Adjourns until 2009 (unless a special session is called).

September 11, 2006

ISO Rating

The Town of Little Elm's Fire Department is preparing for an ISO Review. ISO ratings range from 1 (the best) to 10 (the worst) covering every aspect of Fire Prevention and Control for more on ISO (click here).

Fire Chief Joe Florentino has already met with a consultant and believes that the Town will recieve an improvement in our current rating Class 6 to a Class 4 rating, if no additional improvements are made, or increase to Class 3 with the improvements budgeted in the 2006-2007 fiscal year completed.

If the Town's ratings improves to a Class 4, residents would be eligible for a 9% reduction in their homeowner's insurance policy should the rating improve to a Class 3, residents can expect an 11% drop in homeowner's insurance rates. Commercial rates will be affected as well.

Note that it will even with the improved ISO Rating it will still be the residents responsiblity to apply for the homeowner insurance decrease and to show proof that the rating has improved. Chief Florentino said the new rating will be posted on the town's website (Editor's Note it will also be celebrated right here at blog central). A letter may also be provided upon request from the Town Office. If possible we at Blog Central will post a link so you may download the necessary documents to apply for your homeowner's insurance decrease.

The current plan calls for an official ISO review application to be submitted in March 2007, shortly after the opening of the new firestation with an ISO Review to be conducted in June or July of 2007.

Stay tuned for more details on this possible discount on your homeowner's insurance policy.

Garage Sale Days

With cooler weather also comes a chance to clean out the attic and garage and also makes holding a garage sale more comforable (and perhaps more profitable) as more and more neighbors venture outside to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine.

Some may not be aware of the changes to the Garage Sale regulations that the town council has approved which went into efffect this year. All garage sales inculding yard sales, require a permit to be obtained in advance of the intended sale date.

The only signs which will be allowed will be the bright yellow Garage Sale signs provided with approved permits. Non-permited signing such as cardboard boxes, notices attached to poles and other signs placed on public property will be removed without notice and subjects the seller to possible fines for non-compliance with the regulations.

You can now obtain a Garage Sale permit on Saturday mornings at the Little Elm Public Library located in Town Hall.

New Regulations

New regulations in the Town of Little Elm concern Home Based Business and Vehicle Sales. Under the new Home Based Business ordinance, a home occupation is defined as a business, occupation or profession that is a secondary use of the residence. Only home businesses employing people who are not residents are required to register and be inspected. No signs or outdoor activities are allowed unless they are screened from the neighboring property and public rights-of-way.

New vehicle sales ordinance prohibits the parking and display of vehicles for sale on improved and unimproved lots along public roadways. This ordinance does allow a property owner to sell up to three vehicles on their property within a one-year period.

Notice of Vote on Tax Rate

The Town of Little Elm conducted public hearings on a proposal to increase the total tax revenues of the Town of Little Elm, Texas, from properties on the tax roll in the preceding year by 22.26% on August 29, 2006, and September 5, 2006. The Town Council of the Town of Little Elm is scheduled to vote on the tax rate that will result in the tax increase at a public meeting to be held on September 12, 2006, at Town Hall Center, Council Chambers, 100 West Eldorado Parkway, Little Elm, Texas.

Editor's Note: Take into account that most homes in Little Elm have been increased in property value a great deal this past year. If you have not had your assessment decreased from it's possibly inflated number by contacting the Denton County Tax Office and requesting a re-evaluation, this tax increase will mean your tax bill will be a higher percentage of a that higher amount and will in all likelihood increase your mortgage by a substantial amount.

September 06, 2006

Restaurant Report Cards

Following in the footsteps of nearby Frisco & The Colony, Little Elm will now be issuing Grade Cards to local area restaurants. Ordinance 776 enacted August 15th 2006, provides that each establishment will now receive a letter grade from the Town Health Inspector, this grade must be posted on a colored card and clearly displayed at or near each entrance to the restaurant.

Grade A (90 to 100) cards will be blue.
Grade B (80 to 89) cards will be green.
Grade C (70 to 79) will be yellow.
Grade D (70 to 79) cards will be red.

Prior to this new Food Service Operation Ordinance the Health Ordinance which was adopted in 1886 was outdated and missing various Texas Administrative Codes and Amendments. The council hopes that this revised ordinance will address specific needs of the Town including definitions of related terms, a permitting process and standards set for stationary cart establishment like snow cone and hot dog stands. The new ordinance also requires food service establishments to have a Food Manager.

You will start to see the grade cards showing up in local restaurants in October, after the next inspection is performed. Some things that will affect a restaurant's grade include, improperly labeled food or containers, insects in the kitchen, food maintained at the incorrect temperature, expired food, lack of permit & cross contamination.

Restaurants receiving a score lower than they would like can fix the low score causes and request a follow-up inspection.

Master Gardener Fundraiser

The Collin County Master Gardener Association (CCMGA) is gearing up for their 3rd Annual Fall Fundraiser: Bulbs for North Texas Landscapes. The bulbs being offered are a lovely selection of tulips, daffodils and other minor bulbs in an assortment of colors, shapes, sizes and bloom times. These bulbs are those which will reward gardeners with a beautiful spring display that will thrive and sometimes even multiply even in our difficult soil and climate extremes.

Bulbs for North Texas Landscapes is schedualed to be presented by the CCMGA Speakers Bureau in a series of presentations to garden clubs and other organizations. A color brochure, description of bulbs available for sale and an order form are available for downloading at the CCMGA website
(click here). Orders must be received by September 28th, 2006. You can call CCMGA at (972) 548-5232 for additional information.

Pirates Cove Restaurant

Its no secret that the wife and I eat out often and more often than not we end up in one of the nearby towns due to the lack of restaurants here in Little Elm. When we first arrived in this town we checked out all of the restaurant choices and was less than impressed with the lot of them.

What a difference a few years makes, while we did not enjoy the Red Carpet Restaurant we love eating at Manny's Tex Mex Retaurant at the same location. We also did not enjoy the smoky dim atmosphere of Pirates Cove Restaurant so you can imagine my surprise when I arrived there today for a meeting to find the place completely reborn.

From a new menu with many choices to a new layout this restaurant offers something for everyone. On the weekends they offer a breakfast buffet for $6.50 and the view of the lake from the dinning area evokes views from far more expensive restaurants. The food is fresh and delicious and the hospitality is great. There is a bar for those who want something stronger than soda pop and pool tables & foosball for those inclined to play. They also have a Jukebox the likes of which I haven't seen in years.

So if you have never been to the Pirates Cove Restaurant or if it has been awhile, check them out again, you are sure to be pleased.
Pirates Cove Restaurant 1120 W Fm 720, Little Elm (972) 292-1234

September 05, 2006

Taxes To Rise 7 Cents

Little Elm Town Council originally proposed a rise in property taxes of 4-cents, yet after holding a special meeting last Tuesday evening the council authorized an additional 3-cents to bring the increase to a total of 7-cents. This will bring the tax to 47-cents per $100.00 for the 2006-2007 fiscal year.

With this proposal the average taxpayer will see their property taxes increase by a grand total of $86.86 per year.

Little Elm Finance Director, Ryan Adams says that the increase is to meet the town's rapid growth and increase services to residents. This year's budget for the general fund shows an increase in expenditures from $2,734,038.00 to $3,748,110.00 a total increase of $1,014,072.00 with most of that going to pay for staffing and equipping the town's second firestation on Walker Lane, which is schedualed for completion in the early part of next year. The increase in the Fire Department budget is $641,816.00 which is more than half of the whole tax increase. The Fire Department has added 6 new staff members and will add another 7 this year bringing the total to 31.

The budget also provides for the build out of Town Hall, continued work on the Town's Comprehensive Plan, ISO ratings review, feasibility study for exsisting fire station (due to proposed Eldorado Parkway expansion) and two new message boards to help improve communications with the residents.

There will be a public hearing on the proposed tax rate and budget during the next Town Council Meeting on Tuesday, September 5th at 7:00 p.m.

For the official announcement please
(click here).

Sept. is Literacy Month!

September is Literacy Month!

Read a book! Visit the Library! Donate Used Books to Library or Charities! Join a Book Club! Volunteer to Read to Children! Write a Letter to Your Favorite Author! Celebrate All Things Literary during the month of September.

Participate in the great adventure that reading brings. With cooler weather comes opportunities to sit outside in the breeze with your favorite genre book and refresh your body and mind at the same time.

Road Rules Program

"Road Rules" - What Every Parent Should Know is a Texas PTA (Parents Teachers Association) presentation which will be hosted by the Little Elm High School PTSA on September 5th 2006 at 7:30 p.m. at Little Elm High School.

Car Crashes are the leading killer of children and youth, experts now say that most crashes are not accidents since driver behavior makes most crashes predictable and preventable. If you are a parent, caregiver of children of all ages, a teen driver or soon-to-be driver, you should attend this presentation and get the details about student programs, driver education, graduated driver licensing and the new points system. Learn what parents can do to help new drivers be more aware of the risks of the road their children will be facing.

Notice of Public Meeting

Notice of Public Meeting to discuss the Little Elm ISD Sate Financial Accountablity Rating. Little Elm ISD will hold a Public Meeting at 6:30 p.m., September 18th, 2006 in the Lakeside Jr. High School Auditorium, 400 Lobo Lane, Little Elm.

August 31, 2006

Oh I love the Nighlife

Oh I love the nightlife, I got to boogie on the disco 'round, oh yea
Oh, I love the nightlife, I got to boogie on the disco 'round, oh yea
Please don't talk about love tonight Your sweet talking won't make it right

If you too love the nightlife but don't know of any cool places to go in the area I've got a few suggestions of places in nearby Frisco that will appeal to you.

Tres Meida on Preston Road & Mall Drive A (972) 334-0937 offers Live Latin Music.
Down Under Pub & Grub on Northwest corner of Preston and Gaylord Parkway (972) 668-0062 offers Karaoke, Live Music, Pool Tables.
Dunn Bros Coffee on Northwest corner of Preston and Warren Parkway (214) 705-8558 offers Live Music, Poetry Readings, Art House & Free WiFi connections.
Farpointe Wine Bistro on Northwest corner of Legacy Road and SH 121 (214) 618-9888 offers Weekend Wine Tastings.
Sakura on Southeast corner of Preston and SH 121 (972) 688-7253 offers Karaoke
The Irish Rover on Northeast corner of Parkwood and Gaylord Parkway (214) 618-6222 offers Live Music.
The Abbey in the Old Abbey Church on Main Street in Downtown Frisco (972) 335-3812 offers Theatrical Plays & Sunday Brunch.
Dave & Buster's on Stonebriar Center at Preston Road and SH 121 (214) 387-0915 offers Arcade, Billards and Shuffleboard.
Varsity Club Wings & Sports on Southeast corner of 423 and 720 (214) 387-8127 offers Air Hockey, PlayStation, Sports TV & Tuesday Night Karaoke.
Randy's Steakhouse on Downtown Main Street in Frisco (972) 335-3066 offers a Piano Lounge.
Strikz! on Southwest corner on Lebanon and Preston (972) 668-LANE offers Bowling, Laser Tag.
9Fish on Northwest corner of Preson and Gaylord Parkway (214) 618-3474 offers Live Jazz.
Zea Woodfire Grill on Southeast corner Dallas North Tollway & SH 121 (972) 712-7077 offers Live Jazz Music on Fridays & Saturday.
Terilli's Restaurant & Jazz Bar on Southeast Corner Dallas North Tollway & SH 121 (972) 712-7077 offers Live Jazz Music on Wed. - Sat. & Sunday Brunch.

August 29, 2006

Free Military Shipping Kits

The United States Postal Service provides free Priority Mail shipping supplies for customers sending packages to U.S. Military personnel overseas. If you call (800)610-8734 and select option #1 (express mail, priority mail or global express guaranted products), and ask a customer service agent for CAREKIT04 (or a military kit). You need only give them your name, address and a phone number and they will send you a kit that will arrive within 7-10 days. They will also assign you a customer ID number to expidite the process of ordering additional supplies. This offer incluces ONLY packing materials you will still be required to pay the requisite postage yourself.

The USPS also has a Supporting Our Troops page on their web site with links to guidelines for packing, addressing and shipping items to U.S. Troops.

With the holidays just around the corner and our troops still overseas defending our freedom this is a great way of showing your gratitude and appreciation.

Did U Know?

Little Elm's Mayor Frank Kastner's " Did U Know?" ofers readers short items about Little Elm that can be quickly absorbed, informative, enlightening and maybe even amusing.
Suggestions for future "Did U Know?" items can be e-mailed to
Mayor Frank Kastner .

Lewisville Lake down 10.41 feet, Lake Lavon down 14.48 feet, Lake Ray Roberts down 5.46 feet.

Little Elm Library

Library Hours:
Monday 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Tuesday 12:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Wednesday 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Thursday 12:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Friday (closed)
Saturday 10:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Sunday (closed).

2005/2006 Annual Budget: $206,912.00

Staffing: 5 full time equivalent employees

There are 10,142 current Library Card Holders, 200 new patrons are added each month, 38,000 people visited the Library from October 2005 to June 2006. The Library houses 20,000 plus items (books, audios, videos, DVDs, etc.) 300 items are added each month to the collection. The Library currently receieves monthly, the top 10 new DVD releases.

16 computers with internet connections are available in the Library. The Library is an internet "Hot Spot" offering wireless internet connectivity.

Activites and Services: Fax and Color Copy services. / Toddler Time (1 to 3 years of age) every Wednesday from 10:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. / Story Time (4 to 6 years of age) every Wednesday 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. / Family Story Time (all ages) Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. / Costume Character in attendance on the 4th Saturday of the month. / Teen Advisory Group meets 1st & 3rd Tuesday each month 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. / Anime Club (Japanese Culture) meets 2nd & 4th Tuesday each month 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. / Saturday Movie matinee (showing new release DVD's) Saturday 1:00 p.m. / Children's Film Festival on Saturday 11:00 a.m. / Game Night 1st & 3rd Thursday 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. / Flash Back Movie Night (vintage movies) 2nd Thursday 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. / Stitchin Bee 2nd Saturday 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. / Business Fair 4th Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. / Adult Book Club 3rd Tuesday 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

The Little Elm Library also particiapates in the Interlibrary Loan Program so if what you are looking for is not available at the Library they can get it for you from other libraries.

There is a small meeting room (reservation required).

For additional information on our Library call (214) 975-0430 or email or check the web site and click on Library.

August 28, 2006

Everybody Loves Pizza

New retail stores are planning on opening in the Lowes plaza here in Little Elm. Soon to open are; Zip It Mail Services, Martial Arts School and what plaza in Little Elm is complete without it's very own Pizza Parlor.

This combined with the doughnut shop next to Auto Zone and the Goody Goody Liquor store opening nearby brings the total of Doughnut Shops, Pizza Restaurants & Liquor Stores to..... but wait that's the topic of this weeks Arbor Creek Community Blog Contest. The first person to correctly guess how many currently working Doughnut Shops, Pizza Restaurants & Liquor Stores will win a prize.