Rise and Shine, Park Cities (7-26-11)

1. First off, a couple congratulations are in order.

First in line is HPDPS Sergeant Lance Koppa, who just returned from a trip to Greece. No, we’re not celebrating his luxurious vacation. Rather, Koppa represented Texas at the Law Enforcement Torch Run, a fundraiser for the Special Olympics. The run raises tens of millions of dollars for the group each year.

During Monday’s Highland Park Town Council meeting, Koppa showed a slideshow of his trip, which included a bunch of shots of the Special Olympians. Well done, sergeant.

The city was also awarded the Texas Comptroller’s Gold Leadership Circle Award for achievement in online transparency. What sounds like one of those before-the-Oscars-actually-start awards is actually an award for posting all the town’s financial information on its website. The town has won the award two years in a row, the only two years its been awarded.

Last but not least is the Distinguished (!) Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association. The award was presented to Bill Pollock, director of finance.

Pollock is no spring chicken to the award; the town has now won it 22 times.

2. If you’re ever feeling ill in Highland Park, maybe it would be best to drive yourself to the hospital. The town approved an increase in its ambulance fee Monday, from $500 to $800. Some services could cost up to $900.

The fees are an attempt to standardize rates across the region; Dallas and University Park already charge $800.

The move is expected to generate an additional $55,000 annually.

3. At last Tuesday’s UP City Council meeting, Legacy Hillcrest officials defended their right to redevelop the Chase Bank building site. On Friday, they hedged their bets.

The group applied for a building permit to construct a four-story parking garage on the site; the current redevelopment plan calls for underground parking.

Look for more in this week’s paper.

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