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Featured Articles
» Murphy water customers return to weekly watering
By Staff Writer | Published Today | Local Government | Unrated


MURPHY (August 29, 2014) Effective Monday, Sept. 1, in order to ensure water quality is maintained throughout the water distribution systems, Murphy water customers will return to once-a-week watering of lawns and landscapes with automatic sprinkler systems, says City Manager James Fisher.

"The North Texas Municipal Water District announced a recommendation to allow the resumption of the original Stage 3 restrictions," he said. "That level allows for landscape watering once a week with sprinklers or irrigation systems."

The new restrictions will be in place through the end of October.

Even so, no watering is allowed after 10 a.m. or before 6 p.m. And all other listed restrictions for Stage 3 from the Water Conservation Plan apply, along with those from Stages 1 and 2. For example, hosing of paved areas, buildings or windows is prohibited, although pressure washing of impervious surfaces is allowed for health and safety. No operation of ornamental fountains or other amenity ponds that use treated water is allowed.

Washing or rinsing of vehicles by hand can only be accomplished with a hose equipped with a cutoff nozzle. And, using water in such a manner that allows runoff or other waste is strictly forbidden. Landscape watering with sprinklers or irrigation systems at each service address is confined to specific days allowed, if needed.

 

» TRAFFIC ALERT
By Staff Writer | Published Today | Around Town | Unrated

News4777 E. Highway 80

Mesquite, Texas 75150

(214) 320-4480

TxDOT’s four goals:  Maintain a safe system, address congestion, connect Texas communities, and be a Best-in-Class state agency

 

--- TRAFFIC ALERT ---

                                                                                                            AUGUST 29, 2014

 

EARLY MORNING CONSTRUCTION TO COMMENCE ON MURPHY ROAD TUESDAY

 

WHERE:   MURPHY – FM 2551 (Murphy Road) at Maxwell Creek

 

  WHEN:   Beginning at 3 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014 through noon of that day

  WHAT:   Weather permitting, construction of the bridge over Maxwell Creek will begin at 3 a.m. through noon on Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014. There will be no lane closures associated with this construction; however, there will be bright construction lights on and noise generated during this concrete work on the bridge.

» Art contest entries soon to grace Animal Shelter walls
By Staff Writer | Published Yesterday | Smiles | Unrated

MURPHY (August 28, 2014) Expressions of affection rendered in art will soon grace the walls of the Murphy Animal Shelter as the staff conducts a student contest that asks participants to illustrate their feelings toward animals, says Kim Parker, Support Services Manager.

"All Murphy students are eligible to participate," she said. "Whether the student attends a school in Murphy or elsewhere or is home schooled. We’re looking for maximum participation."

The contest is part of the Animal Shelter’s grand opening, set for Oct. 25 when the new shelter is christened during the Howl-o-Ween Celebration. The theme of the art contest is "What Animals Mean to Me," and students are asked to draw or paint something that exemplifies their feelings toward animals.

Between Monday, Oct. 6, when submissions are due, and the grand opening on Oct. 25, judges will determine which piece of art will win the grand prize. The winner will receive an iPad Mini and have his or her artwork framed and prominently displayed at the shelter.

"We, of course, will take all of the submissions and post on the walls of the shelter periodically," she said. "We hope to have fresh, new art on the walls every few weeks."

The contest is open to all students, Kindergarten to tenth grade, who live or attend school in Murphy. Art should be on paper, card stock or poster board. Elementary school-aged students should present their work on "canvasses" of 8 ½ by 11 inches. Middle schoolers should use paper, stock or posters of 11 by 17 inches, and high school students should present their art on 17 by 22-inch paper, card stock or poster board.

Media may include crayons, water colors, standard or color pencils, ink or charcoal. High school entrants may also use acrylic paints. An entry form with parental permission is required and artwork should be clearly marked with the artist’s name, grade, school, home address and phone number on the back.

There is no charge to enter the contest, but a consent form must accompany the entry form.

All forms and entry rules are available at the Murphy Police Department headquarters, 206 North Murphy Road. Deadline for submission of the art is 5 p.m., Monday, Oct. 6. All art and both entry and consent forms must be submitted together. Art submitted without either form will not be eligible for prizes or for exhibition.

The art becomes the property of the City of Murphy and the City reserves the right to display it at its convenience.

The Howl-o-Ween Celebration will include a number of activities and events commemorating the Animal Shelter opening. Final plans for the celebration are being confirmed and once complete will be shared with the community.

"The opening celebration will focus on animals, of course, but also the role that humans have in safeguarding them," said Parker. More information on the art contest can be obtained by contacting the Police Department at the non-emergency number, 972-468-4200 or by contacting Kim Parker at

kparker@murphytx.org.

» Local talent search returns to Murphy Maize Days
By Staff Writer | Published 08/26/2014 | Recreation | Unrated

 

Karaoke Corn Idol contest expands age categories

MURPHY (August 26, 2014) The search for talent in the Murphy community continues as the Murphy Maize Days celebration, set for Saturday, Sept. 27, brings back the Karaoke Corn Idol contest for another run, according to Recreation Specialist Kayla McFarland.

"The contest is a fun way for anyone with a burning desire to show off their talents in front of friends and family to do so," she said. "And, who knows, there might even be a prize in it for them."

The Karaoke Corn Idol contest is held at the Community Stage at Murphy Maize Days, which runs from 10 a.m. until 8:15 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 27 at the City of Murphy Municipal Complex, 206 North Murphy Road.

"The Corn Idol competition is one of the Maize Days most popular attractions," she added. "Some people show an extraordinary amount of talent, and others are there for the sheer fun of performing in front of a friendly crowd." Entry into the contest is free, but requires registration. While registration will be available at 10 a.m. on the day or the event, prior registration online is highly encouraged. Minors must have parental or guardian permission.

As before, Rob Hunter of Ballard Street Music will serve as a very capable and entertaining Master of Ceremonies for the Community Stage. The company is also the Stage’s main sponsor. The Community Stage will operate form 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

New this year are more evenly distributed age groupings for the competition. For example, kids under age 9 will compete only against each other. Competitors between the ages of 10 and 13 will face off against each other, and participants 14 to 18 will have their own competitive category as well. Contestants 19 and above will be placed in their own class.

Each of the four categories will produce a first, second and third place winner, and there will be one overall winner from among all contestants. Judges will evaluate each contestant in three critical areas: pitch; rhythm and timing; and projection and vocal dynamics.

Registration can be accomplished at

www.murphymaizedays.com and is a prerequisite to participate. In the registration form, contestants must provide the names of two or three popular tunes which they plan to sing.

Additionally, talent for the Community Stage is being sought to play before and after the Corn Idol contest. Send an e-mail to

murphymaizedays@murphytx.org to get on the entertainment schedule.

"People always congregate at the Community Stage when the Corn Idol contest gets close to the finals," said McFarland. "It’s a fun way to compete, win prizes and provide some homegrown entertainment."

Murphy Maize Days will be held rain or shine. In addition to the Community Stage, the Main Stage will provide top-tier entertainment. There will be food booths, vendor areas, crafts, a Kid Zone, and other rides and attractions available. The event is free, however some items are available for purchase. A fireworks display will conclude the day’s events. Free parking and shuttles are provided from Tom Kimbrough Stadium and Murphy Marketplace.

» City Council Regular Meeting
By Greg Goodwin | Published 08/23/2014 | Local Government | Unrated


At the regular City Council meeting on August 19, 2014, the meeting was called to order and a quorum was certified by Interim City Secretary, Terri Johnson.

There was a presentation by Murphy Fire Chief, Mark Lee and several Murphy Fire Fighters of funds collected in their “Fill The Boot” Drive for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). Accepting the donation was Fund Raising Coordinator for the Dallas MDA, Jenny Allison. Ms. Allison also introduced Kati Bukolt and her children Avery and Hudson. Four year old Avery has muscular dystrophy. Ms. Bukolt expressed a heartfelt thanks to Murphy Fire Fighters for their hard work and contribution to this event.

Finance Director, Linda Truitt, gave a presentation of the Financial and Investment Report as of July 31, 2014. There is a projected surplus when the current Fiscal Year ends.

On the Consent Agenda, the Regular City Council minutes for August 5, 2014 were approved as well as the issuance of a special permit to allow a fireworks display during the Murphy Maize Days celebration on September 27, 2014.

On the Individual Items Agenda, there were no public comments on the proposed 2014 Tax Rate of $0.5500 per $100 valuation. There will be a final decision on this tax rate September 16, 2014. Additionally, Murphy resident, William Stansfield, spoke to Council on his concerns for a Budget increase he estimated at 14.9 percent. He suggested that the City provide ancillary materials explaining the reasons for the increase and what it provides in value to the citizens of Murphy. There will be another public hearing on the Fiscal Year 2014-2015 Budget on September 2, 2014 and there will be a final vote on the Budget, September 16, 2014.

Also, Council was asked to approve the proposed Interlocal Agreement between the City of Murphy and Texas and Texoma Area Paratransit System, Inc. (TAP).  Addressing Council to answer questions about overall costs were Cory Young, Director of Grants and Planning (TAPS) and Zak Kerfai, Director of Risk Management for TAPS. Council then moved to approve this agreement and voted unanimously.

City Manager, James Fisher, also updated the Council on the current status of North Murphy Road and the Animal Shelter construction. Currently the center turn lane is being poured and as always, caution is advised. There will be additional crossing guards as well as police officers to direct traffic during morning and afternoon school commute times. Also mentioned by Fisher were two additional bonus watering days for the citizens of Murphy. Even numbered addresses may water on Monday, August 25th and even addresses on Wednesday, August 27th.

Recent Articles
» Fill the Boot drive closes yet another successful year
By Staff Writer | Published 08/6/2014 | Health & Family | Unrated

MURPHY (August 4, 2014) Final numbers are not yet in, but expressions of thanks from Murphy Fire Rescue and the cadre of firefighters who manned the Fill the Boot corner are being loudly voiced, according to Fire Chief Mark Lee.

"The boots were definitely filled," he said. "We have not counted all the coins yet because there was so many, but in terms of folding money, we collected $1,649. That alone would make this a rousing success."

Adding the coins could bring the total to a significant amount, and signal a successful return to the Fill the Boot campaign for Murphy Fire Rescue after missing the annual event in 2013.

"We had a small one-year lapse in participation, but we are still very much committed to the cause," he said. The International Association of Fire Fighters and many local firefighter associations and departments have partnered with the National Muscular Dystrophy Association in fund-raising for some 60 years, garnering millions of dollars in the fight against these neuromuscular diseases.

"We are dedicated to assisting our community, as firefighters and as residents, and so we gladly and eagerly do what we can to help," added the Chief. "And, while I have been part of these community fund-raisers and toy drives and other community-based programs for many years, I am always so very gratefully pleased to see the outpouring of generosity."

As is now becoming customary, the kindness of Murphy residents has shown through in the amount of money gathered, and in the many expressions of support the firefighters heard and saw over the three-day campaign. The funds will be combined with other firefighter companies and presented to the MDA during their Labor Day Telethon on behalf of the larger firefighting community.

"In reality, though, we only collected what the community was willing to give, so it’s a gift from the greater community," he said. The unseasonably cool weather was another positive note, giving firefighters a break from the usually oppressive heat of early August.

"All in all, we consider it a success, and we thank the MDA folks for their assistance as well," he concluded.

» Murphy Municipal Development District (MMDD) finalizes Fiscal Year 2015 budget
By Greg Goodwin | Published 08/6/2014 | Local Government | Unrated

A brief meeting was held to discuss and finalize the FY-2015 MMDD budget to be presented to Murphy City Council on August 5, 2014. The meeting was called to order and a quorum was certified. The minutes of the July 14, 2014 Joint City Council and MMDD meeting and the July 14, 2014 Budget Work Session were approved.
At this meeting, items discussed on July 14, 2014 were incorporated into the proposed FY- 2015 budget with a couple of adjustments. These were presented to the board by Kristen Roberts, Director of Economic and Community Development.
· It was noted that the Finance Department projected MMDD revenues for FY- 2015 at $883,600. This is an increase of 2.5% that is reflected across all revenue projections.
· Adjusted was the set dollar amount for Economic Incentives to
$100,000. Discussed was the possible focus of these incentives to be
Murphy Market Place.
· The Promotional Expense line item was adjusted to reflect $25,000 for
appropriate opportunities that become available during the Fiscal Year.
· It was discussed that in consideration of fees waived by the City for
yearly Murphy Chamber of Commerce events, that no additional specific
amount of funding be added at this time.

The formal reading of the City of Murphy’s Budget will be at the August 5,
2014 meeting. The first of two (2) public hearings on the budget is scheduled for August 19, 2014 with a second hearing scheduled for September 2, 2014.

Additional City Budget information can be found on the City of Murphy
website.

» City Council and Murphy Municipal Development District (MMDD) Joint Session
By Greg Goodwin | Published 08/6/2014 | Local Government | Unrated

The meeting was called to order and a quorum was certified for both City
Council and the MMDD.

A presentation was given by Aaron Farmer from The Retail Coach outlining the current status of the retail development study and recommendations. A demonstration of the mapping studies, showing the overall retail area that impacts Murphy indicated that the City attracts people from as far north as Lucas, as far east as eastern Wylie, as far south as Garland and on the west side, Richardson and Plano. The study so far recommends targeting retailers and developers for businesses involving Groceries, Sporting Goods, Dine-in Restaurants, Home Improvements and Clothing. A list of potential targeted businesses to attract to Murphy was presented and discussed.

A continued discussion involved the Economic Development Vision for the City of Murphy. Expressed by several Council and MMDD members was a continued desire to make Murphy a “unique” place to live and work and to look at attracting businesses, services and entertainment that will enhance that vision.

Council and MMDD then held a closed Executive Session. The regular meeting was then reconvened with no action taken. The joint regular session was then adjourned. The City Council and the MMDD then moved to separate meeting rooms for work sessions regarding Financials and FY 14-15 Budget proposals.

Discussions are ongoing with budget approval tentatively scheduled for the
end of August. Fiscal Year (FY) 14-15 budget information will be available on the City of Murphy website.

» Parks and Recreation hears Monarchs for Murphy presentation
By Greg Goodwin | Published 08/6/2014 | Local Government | Unrated

The meeting was called to order and Kim McCranie, Executive Administrative Assistant, certified a quorum.
The first item on the agenda was a call for discussion on planting wildflowers in various areas of City owned parks and open space. Rajesh Jyothiswaran- 728 Ashley Place, approached the city staff and gave a presentation to the board about Monarch butterfly migration. He said we are in the crossroad of the migration path of the Eastern Monarch. With development over the years of migration areas, migration has slowed considerably. Mr. Jyothiswaran inquired about the possibility of planting in certain Central Park areas and other open spaces, butterfly host plants to hopefully increase Murphy as a stopping point along their migration journeys. The board thought this was an idea worth investigating and requested the city staff to look into appropriate areas, care and maintenance costs as well as seasonal considerations. The board members liked the idea of “Butterfly Gardens”, and thanked Mr. Jyothiswaran for an informative presentation.
City Staff presented a Murphy Central Park Playground Shade Structure design and requested P & R Board input. The design consists of geometric canopies of various shapes and sizes suspended on metal poles. The board discussed canopy and pole colors and requested additional information from City staff about expected lifespan, replacement costs and maintenance.
Also discussed was the current state of the Murphy Central Park Learning
Center. Four (4) truckloads of mulch was donated by Raising Canes and
trucked in by Arborilogical Services. Additionally four (4) wood-grain benches have been added as well as an Owl House. The board discussed with staff possible future projects for the Boy Scouts, school field trips and future expansion.
Before deciding on a date(s) for Murphy Trail Connectivity Work Session(s), the board asked the City staff for an updated Master Trail Plan which should include new planning for trails and signage. Also City staff updates on the success of Amphitheater Concert events and the Timbers Nature Preserve projected completion date of May 2015.
The Parks and Recreation Board then approved the April 14, 2014 minutes and adjourned.

» Murphy Community Development Corporation (MCDC) holds a brief meeting
By Greg Goodwin | Published 08/6/2014 | Local Government | Unrated

The MCDC meeting was called to order and Lori Knight of the City Staff
certified a quorum. Individual agenda items were:
· The Regular Meeting Minutes for June, 16 2014 were approved.
· There was a request by City Staff to add an Event Coordinator and
amend the Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 budget to include this new position as
well as add to the FY- 2015 budget to be submitted to City Council. In
2013, the City of Murphy held eight (8) community events. In 2014/2015, the City of Murphy has sixteen (16) events scheduled. This increase has necessitated the need for a dedicated staff position.
· A public hearing was held but there were no comments on the MCDC FY- 2015 budget. With minor adjustments, the board approved the FY- 2015 budget to be presented to the City Council for final approval.
· The City Staff updated the MCDC board on the Community Enhancement Grant Program. Outlined were the Approval, Program Guidelines and Application process for eligible applicants. Possible recipients include community service organization projects and community enhancement projects that enhance the quality of life for the residents of the City of Murphy. Initial grants will be in the amount of $2500. Some projects could be eligible for a larger grant with the approval of the MCDC and City Council. The first application deadline will be January 31, 2015. Additional Grant information and the Program Overview will be available on the City of Murphy Website.

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