Allen’s Project Home improves safety, helps find missing endangered persons with special needs

Quick look at life in Allen TX news

1. Project Home in City of Allen TX
2. Allen City Council
3. Allen security and home alarms
4. Allen bulk items
5. MyAllenApp

Collin County Magazine shares local news

Allen TX – What can you tell us about The Convention Center and hotels at Watters Creek?

The Allen TX hotel and convention center will feature 290 guest rooms, 64,200 square feet of convention space and a 1,000-car parking garage
The Allen TX hotel and convention center will feature 290 guest rooms, 64,200 square feet of convention space and a 1,000-car parking garage

How did the convention center and hotel project come about? The Allen City Council approved a development agreement for the construction of The Convention Center at Watters Creek.

Where is it? The $85 million, four-star facility developed by TCH Altera is being built at Bethany Drive and North Central Expressway. It is projected to open in January 2017.

What will it mean to Allen TX and Collin County? The hotel and convention center will feature 290 guest rooms, 64,200 square feet of convention space and a 1,000-car parking garage. It will allow Allen to host larger meetings and conferences, with enough space to accommodate groups of 500 people or more.

How big is the Allen convention center and hotel? The space is comparable to some of DFW’s most significant convention centers, including the Gaylord Texan, Hilton Anatole and Sheraton Dallas Hotel, according to a study by HVS. The HVS study estimates that revenue from the convention center will reach $3.6 million annually by its fourth full year of operation.

The City of Allen, Allen Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) and Allen Community Development Corporation (ACDC) agreed to jointly contribute $12.3 million toward the capital investment in the project. In addition, the City of Allen TX pledged up to $10 million in hotel occupancy tax over a 12-year period toward the management operations of the convention center.

5G Studio Collaborative will complete the architectural design. Plano-based Aimbridge Hospitality has been chosen to manage the hotel, offering a wealth of experience working with cities for management of convention center properties.

The corner of Bethany and 75 will soon have a new hotel when Aloft opens in 2018
The corner of Bethany and 75 will soon have a new hotel when Aloft opens in 2018

Across Bethany, Starwood Hotels & Resorts announced this week that a 136-room Aloft hotel will be opening along Central Expressway in Allen TX in 2018 in Watters Creek.

In addition, more apartments are going in at the popular area that offers a place to live, walk, shop, entertain, enjoy the outdoors, dine and work.

Keep Texas Beautiful award won by Allen

Allen Wins The 2012 Keep Texas Beautiful Governor’s Community Achievement Award

Keep Allen Beautiful is an organization dedicated to developing and fostering programs which help make Allen a cleaner, healthier and more attractive city. Established by the Allen City Council in 1997, Keep Allen Beautiful is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit community organization that works to educate and involve Allen residents in preserving our environment and improving our community’s appearance.

After submitting community achievements to Keep Texas Beautiful for many years, the City of Allen and Keep Allen Beautiful have been awarded the 2012 KTB Governor’s Community Achievement Award! KTB, as well as the Texas Department of Transportation, have recognized the Allen community as a state leader who is working diligently to create and sustain comprehensive environmental and beautification programs.

Along with winning the GCAA, Keep Allen Beautiful and its volunteers have been the recipients of the following awards: 

Keep Texas Beautiful Lifetime Achievement Award, presented to Donna Kliewer – 1st place
Keep Texas Beautiful Ruthe Jackson Youth Award (Scout), presented to Kyle Webre – 1st place
Keep Texas Beautiful Sadie Ray Graff Award (Elementary Educator), presented to Kirk Evans – 1st place
Keep Texas Beautiful Media/Electronic Award, presented for “David Chicken” video – 1st place
Keep Texas Beautiful Ebby Halliday/Maurice Acers Business Industry Award, presented to Atlas-Copco – Honorable Mention
Keep Texas Beautiful Gold Star & Sustained Excellence Affiliate
North Texas Corporate Recycling Alliance Superior Waste Minimization Award – 1st place
Waste & Recycling News Green City Award (Small City) – National Finalist
WFAA Green Eco-Educator Award (K-5th Grade Teacher), presented to Kirk Evans – 1st place

City of Allen mayor, council races

Source: League of Women Voters Guide

Steve Terrell – Candidate for Allen Mayor
Contact Information:
Background: I have served as
Mayor since 1997, and City
Council since 1991. During this
time, Allen has experienced
tremendous growth and business
developments. I have voted to lower property
taxes for 18 consecutive years. I serve on the
North Central Texas Council of Governments
Board of Directors, and the Allen Chamber of
Commerce Board. I am a member of the Allen
Noon Rotary and the Allen High Noon Lions Club. I
own a business in Allen, and am accessible to
citizens. Being Mayor is very time consuming and
fortunately, my business allows me to spend the
needed time as Mayor.
Finances: I was proactive two years ago in
adjusting our budget. We reduced our spending
then, and again last year, without reducing
services. Because of our added growth, the total
property value did not decrease. We increased our
sales tax revenues beyond projections. Our
reserve funds are healthy with 84 days, and our
debt ratio is 25% of the tax rate. For the second
consecutive year, the City received a perfect audit.
Allen has a AAA bond rating by Standard and
Retirement: The Texas Municipal Retirement
System did an actuary study for all Texas cities in
their system. It was determined that cities needed
to invest more money to keep the retirement fund
at a comfortable level. Allen has made the
necessary investments in the last two years. Every
two years, we do an actuary study on the retirees’
health plan. We put any needed monies into a trust
fund. At this time, I know of no major adjustment
needed for the benefit plans for retirees.
Tax Rate: The Strategic Planning process is an
annual work session that is conducted by the City
Council and upper level City staff. Each year, we
review our goals, concerns, and the possible
budget impact for the next 3 to 5 years. Budget
forecasting is an important component of the
planning session. In addition, council members are
expected to bring any ideas, goals, and issues to
the table. We discuss them with our department
heads, and together we find solutions. This
process has served our city well for many years,
and prevented budget surprises that would cause a
tax rate increase.
Development: I am focused on bringing economic
development to Allen. Business is the funding
engine for all of our amenities, and it has greatly
reduced the tax burden on the homeowner. Allen
has had extremely good results because we have
stability in our political leadership, and because I
actively participate in business development. I
make sure that City Hall has a business friendly
attitude without compromising our quality
standards. I support working with our current Allen
businesses to help in their growth and
development, as we have with Micron, Jack Henry,
Experian and more. We don’t have many
challenges, just opportunities.
Homelessness: The City contributes to Allen
Community Outreach which provides a one-stopshop
for social services. The religious groups in
Allen help to support ACO, the Samaritan Inn, and
the Family Promise. All of these organizations
work to help with the homeless in our community.
Allen is blessed to have so many volunteers who
give many hours and contributions to these great
Other Issues: Due to our growth, we must provide
for public safety funding increases. We need to
manage our water supply and conservation while
working with the North Texas Municipal Water
District to develop more sources of water. We
need to continue our efforts at water conservation.
And, we need to maintain a conservative budget
without affecting our award winning services.
Transportation is a serious issue for our region, and
will need additional funding. I do expect to see
more economic development projects throughout
the city, and I look forward to working through that

Blake Beidleman – Candidate for Allen Mayor
Contact Information:
Background: I meet or exceed
all qualifications to hold the
position of Mayor. It is time for a
new voice and a fresh start. I am
not, nor ever intend to be, a
career politician. To the contrary, I am a hands-on,
ordinary, everyday “Allenite” who wants to bring a
new voice to the Allen City Council. I have over 20
years of experience in building rapport, listening to
people’s needs and working with them to overcome
objections, and offering solutions to meet their
needs. That takes a proactive person and that I am.
Finances: If elected, I will continue to demand
efficiency in city operations and enhance our efforts
to grow sales tax revenues that can be used to pay
for initiatives and maintain city services. We must
continue to take steps in the budget, so no city
employee loses their jobs and essential services
are maintained. Expensive new projects need to be
delayed until we are certain that we can maintain
our basic services and keep the right people who
provide those services. When the economy
improves lets look at projects that fill our wants, for
now we must look at our needs
Retirement: City employees give their blood,
sweat and tears to do their jobs and are already
being asked to do more with less. Our public safety
employees (Police and Fire) put it all on the line to
serve the people that live here. We should at no
time cut, change, eliminate or alter any retirement
benefit to any City employee as there are always
options to reduce or eliminate in other areas before
you have to impact the people that make the City
what it is. Without the people the City is nothing.
Tax Rate: I support all efforts to grow sales tax
revenue for the City of Allen. I think if we work hard
and grow that area and partner with all of our
businesses we will not need to ever consider
raising taxes. The only area that may need a look is
to help the AISD with a TRE and let the people
decide how much we can help. Eliminating
teachers and programs is nothing good for our kids.
We may have to take steps to help the schools if
there are no other options. Hopefully the State will
work out their issues.
Development: If elected, I will continue to bring
businesses and restaurants to Allen. We have a
great foundation to build from. We need to make
sure we are doing all we can. My plan includes
being proactive in working with the Allen Economic
Development Corporation and to use my training,
experience and skill set to market the great assets
of Allen. Bringing new businesses and restaurants
to Allen will lessen and stabilize property taxes. We
have to find ways to help all business thrive and
when we can do that and increase sales tax
revenue that is a win for everyone.
Homelessness: Allen is a forward-thinking
community, and everyone who calls Allen home is
blessed to have a safe, secure place to live. We
have several area resources that have kept this
issue at a minimum in Allen.
Other Issues: The main theme will be the
economy. A very critical area will be our
transportation corridor. Growth and development is
now and will be a continued topic. At times these
topics require some hard decisions but if you
approach each of these topics in a fair, unbiased
way with no regard for special interests and
collectively listen to the voice of the community you
will find the solutions that work best. Getting the
community involved and hearing all segments of
the community’s voice has to be a part of our future
and will lead to success.

Jim Gauch – Candidate for Allen City Council Place 2
Contact Information:
Background: 27 years in the
service / restaurant industry;
small business owner in Allen,
TX; serve on the Green & Story
Elementary Campus
Improvement committees; faithful members of our
local congregation supporting community & mission
outreach programs along with traditional family
Finances: That said, the best way to deal with an
economic downturn is to create incentives for
home-grown local businesses through fair tax
abatement programs similar to those offered to
larger businesses along with active participation of
our economic development program meeting the
needs of our small business owners through
education and mentorship. This will widen our tax
base and lessen the burden on individuals. Also,
we need improved water management with an
emphasis on an increased usage rate for those
who exceed standard water usage using existing
technology to aid our citizens.
Retirement: No. Currently city workers contribute
7% of their pay to their retirement account & Allen
matches that contribution 2:1 There is also little to
no long term health care benefits once they are no
longer employed by the city.
Tax Rate: Tax increases would be the very last
option as long as I occupy a seat on the council;
every line in every budget would be critiqued over
and over for cost savings before a tax increase
would even be an unspoken thought
Development: We are retailed-out meaning too
many resources are being paid to the large power
players in the retail community while very little
emphasis is paid to the local citizen starting a local
business. How many larger restaurant, movie, &
retail chains do we really need before we begin to
see the affects of “for every new business that
opens two small/locally owned businesses close”?
Our economic development forum should help
educate & enhance small business growth from
within Allen.
Homelessness: This is directly related to my faithbased
initiative whereby the City will partner with
faith-based leaders in an effort to continue &
enhance our Allen Beautification efforts as well as
providing adequate aid to the homeless & over-all
less fortunate in our community.
Other Issues: a. Dart Rail System coming North;
at a cost of approx. $70M per mile, the money does
not exist, thereby making it a non-topic of relevant
conversation; this is along with the crime
implications that could follow b. Water
conservation – please see my question 2
comments above c. Infrastructure: Expansion of
Stacy Rd; improved access on Stacy Rd from
Chelsea to Greenville Ave and increasing the
occupancy Allen Station Drive can handle due to
the increase in traffic going to Cabela’s, Top Golf, &
Andrew’s Distributing.

Ross Obermeyer – Candidate for Allen City Council Place 2
Contact Information:
Background: Completing 9th
year of service on the Allen City
Council. Serve on the Board of
Directors of: Allen Parks
Foundation, Connemara
Conservancy, and Community Development
Corporation. On the Advisory Board for Friends of
the Library Endowment Fund. I am the Council
liaison to North Texas Municipal Water District.
Graduate of Leadership Allen Class 3 – 1992.
Served on Parks and Recreation Board 1992-1994;
Appointed to the Planning & Zoning Commission in
1994 and served 8 years, 4 years as Chairman.
Elected City Council in 2002, 2005 and 2008.
Recipient of 2009 “21 Leaders for 21st Century”
Collin County Business Press Award.
Finances: Our council has maintained a very
conservative fiscal position in our budget process,
regardless of economic conditions. We have
worked hard through economic development efforts
to keep Allen well positioned to remain financially
viable. As a result, we continue to see increased
revenue, new retail and businesses opening,
housing starts continue, and our economic status
remains strong. We also continue to budget
millions of dollars toward infrastructure for future
maintenance to allow cash purchases rather than
having to sell bonds and create debt, ensuring we
continue to meet our infrastructure needs while we
maintain our financial strength for the future.
Retirement: No. The City of Allen proactively
reviews our retirement benefits and in a recent
actuary study, it was determined that additional
funds will be needed to meet the retirement needs
in the future. We have initiated a trust fund which
will insure our contributions will be adequate to
meet these needs.
Tax Rate: A tax increase would be the absolute
last option to invoke when addressing a financial
shortfall. If the shortfall was of the magnitude that
would impact public safety (fire and police) or a
significant reduction in critical services or
infrastructure needs, then a tax increase could be
considered. For the record, the City of Allen has
reduced its tax rate the last 18 consecutive years.
Development: None. The City of Allen ranks at
the top of the DFW communities for successfully
attracting both commercial and residential
development. This will remain a priority for our
council, but we have been extremely successful in
the last 2-3 years. Allen is now a destination for
the Metroplex with restaurants, hotels, retail,
hockey and arena football that provide an overall
entertainment experience and equally important, a
strong incentive for businesses to relocate to Allen.
Adding several million square feet of retail and
business increases our tax base and allows for
continuing the quality of service and amenities the
city provides.
Homelessness: Providing for the homeless is a
complex issue that would be best addressed at the
county level with ALL cities in Collin County
participating in a common solution. The problem
cannot be effectively addressed by one city. There
is a broad mix of homeless people including
transients, individuals that move from shelter to
shelter and only in bad weather, single parents with
children, mental and physical dependencies, and
families that want a stable place with an opportunity
to find a job and move to their own residence.
Other Issues: The development of the SH121
corridor between Custer Rd. and US75 will be
critical to the landscape and economic vitality of
Allen. We have a very solid comprehensive plan to
guide us and this development will be a major item
as we approach final build-out. We must also
continue to be proactive in our approach to water
conservation and regional transportation issues
and maintain our high level of quality public safety
and municipal services we provide our citizens.

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