As a new year begins, it is important to take stock of the goals we would like to achieve personally and professionally. Now is a time to reflect on lessons learned in the past 12 months, prepare a plan, and apply it in the year ahead.
This is also an opportunity to recognize how crucial it is when we work as a team to tackle projects. We are much stronger and more effective together.
In Denton County, we continue to manage the challenges of being one of the fastest-growing counties in the country. It is important to us to ensure services to our residents meet the demand while also keeping our tax rate as low as possible for property owners. We have been successful as our tax rate is the lowest it has been since 1986 at $0.217543. Not only is it important for our property owners, but also in attracting additional development that will provide plentiful housing, jobs, and retail services as our population increases.
In 2023, we will begin steps to utilize the first part of the $650 million road bond package to expand and improve our Denton County roadways. The most recent bond package, before the one in 2022, was 14 years ago in 2008. Thank you to all of the voters for allowing us this opportunity to work alongside our communities and state officials in planning for better traffic flow in the decades to come.
I look forward to working with our communities in Precinct 3 on a number of important projects ranging from extending Kirkpatrick Lane in Flower Mound, reconstructing South Hook Street in Hickory Creek, reconstructing Highland Shores Boulevard in Highland Village, reconstructing Shady Shores Road in Lake Dallas to making Valley Parkway a four-lane, divided roadway, and many more. We will restart the Precinct 3 Transportation meetings this next year as these projects begin to roll out. Please stay tuned for details.
In support of the Denton County Sheriff’s Office, we continue to provide resources for human trafficking prevention efforts by expanding the existing investigative team. We also increased detention officer salaries with the Fiscal Year 2022-23 budget to ensure adequate staffing in our jail facilities, as well as salaries for our law enforcement personnel and other county employees to ensure we retain our qualified staff.
And, finally, as the 88th Legislative Session begins, we are working with our communities and school districts to bring a collective list of legislative priorities before our Legislators. We also work closely with our Denton County Legislative Delegates to ensure that county and local governments continue to have the tools necessary to work in partnership with the state in building and maintaining our infrastructure and addressing ongoing local issues, from affordable housing for seniors to supporting our educators and much more.
These are just a few of the initiatives I will be working on as the calendar rolls into a new year. I hope, as you plan and prepare for 2023, that you will reach out and let us know your thoughts on any issues that Denton County and our local entities can collaborate to address. We are fortunate to live in such a prosperous region, but we must also realize that, to reach our goals, we also need to ensure everyone has the opportunity to join us in these efforts.
Thank you for all you have done in 2022 and all you will do in 2023. May we all enjoy a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year!