Mayor’s Newsletter – April 2017

March 25, 2017

Fellow citizens,

Welcome to springtime, everyone!  I hope we continue to have a pleasant season.  All of our large-scale residential construction appears to be going well.  A Stonehollow representative told me that they have already sold around 20 lots.  I believe Palladium is still shooting for opening up for leases at mid-year.  D.R. Horton has completed their work on Village Parkway. 

 In a couple of weeks, I believe that a new restaurant, Jalapeños Mexican Grill, will be opening for business in the business center near the Mobil station, just north of the Pizza Hut.  The restoration work on West Marshall on two buildings in our old downtown is also a welcome sight.  We can all look forward to the 1873 Market at Preston and Marshall when it opens, and further east, Stonehollow is building an office.  Great projects. 

Straight from my notes published in the March 24 edition of the Van Alstyne Leader:  There has been lots of discussion and research regarding a city government campus. All of that work and discussion will benefit the city greatly, but financially the city is not ready to jump on that project in a big way yet.  Van Alstyne is definitely growing and we are financially sound, but there is no will on the part of the council or our city manager to overburden our citizens with the cost of a new government campus.  We don’t need the debt.  The study on what we will need in the way of city buildings was worthwhile because it will be valuable information for years yet, but the construction is too expensive for us at this point in time.  There is a step worth taking before we consider building anything, and that is securing some property for the future project.  There are several properties that might suit the city, and who knows what may become available.  We on the council appreciate your patience and will be glad for your thoughts if you want to converse with any of us.  Some thought was given to soon holding a public meeting on this topic, but honestly, there is not enough information at this point to make it worth your while.  There will be public meetings later.  We do want to keep you informed, in print and in meetings. 

On April 18th in the community center, our Chamber of Commerce will sponsor a Meet the Candidates Forum and each of the candidates in contested elections plans to be there.  Questions will not come directly from the crowd, but questions may be provided to the Chamber of Commerce prior to the forum.  Your questions may be submitted via email to, or they may be placed in boxes at Texas Star Bank or the Senior Center.  The questions will be reviewed and compiled so that the moderator will have them ready.  Prior to questioning the candidates, the President of our Economic Development Corporation (EDC), Mr. Randy Uselton, will be making an important presentation regarding questions 1 and 2, appearing on our May election ballot.  While city government may only inform, and not promote any of the options, the EDC however is free to promote as they wish and so this will be well worth hearing.  Please make time for this event.  The doors will open at 6:00 P.M. and the discussion will begin at 6:30. 

God bless you all.



Mayor Larry Cooper

2017 Street Repairs Beginning Now

The city has contracted with Grayson County once again to complete roadway improvements for 2017.  Repairs are as follows:

  • Hopson from Marshall to Van Alstyne Pkwy
  • W. Marshall from Wilkins to Gentry
  • W. Marshall from Gentry to Dallas
  • W. Jefferson from Dallas to Waco (hwy 5)
  • E. Fulton from Sherman to Murphy Way
  • Murphy Way from E. Fulton to Samaria Place
  • Samaria Place from Murphy Way to Ballpark Way
  • Ballpark Way from Murphy Way to E. Jefferson (E FM 121)
  • Tolson Ave from Waco (hwy 5) to the railroad tracks
  • Tolson Ave from the railroad tracks to Pearl
  • Tooley from N. John Douglas Rd to N. Hill St
  • N. Sherman from Tolson Ave to E. Cooper St
  • Wayne from N. Sherman to Moody
  • Lincoln Park Rd from E. Jefferson (E FM 121) to the City Limits (approximately 2,100 ft)

Mayor’s Newsletter – March 2017

Dorothy Fielder Park in Van Alstyne

February 23, 2017

Fellow citizens,

Among notes I wrote for the Van Alstyne Leader a few of weeks ago, I mentioned the issue of a possible conversion of our Economic Development Corporation (EDC) into a different city entity called a Municipal Development District (MDD).  There will actually be two different questions on the ballot effecting this issue:  The first question will allow the citizens of the city (city proper) to dissolve the EDC.  The second question will allow the citizens of the city and our extraterritorial jurisdiction to establish the MDD.  Formation of the MDD will be contingent upon the dissolution of the EDC.  After the voting, we will either have an MDD or we will retain the EDC.  I will begin informing you about this possible change in this newsletter. 

Our EDC is, in fact, a corporation which manages their assets and funding for the benefit of the city.  They seek out industrial or commercial clients to occupy and develop the assets that they manage.  They have a web site ( which describes their mission, properties and board membership.  These board members are a fine group of citizens and great assets to the Van Alstyne.    

The EDC is funded by ¼ of 1% of the sales tax allocation received by the city.  EDCs are governed by Texas Local Government Code, Chapters 501-505, and by the Texas Non-Profit Corporation Act.  The Board of Directors consists of five local volunteer members: a president, vice president, treasurer, secretary and a fifth member who is still called, director.  There is now a sixth person directly involved:  the city has hired an EDC Director, a full-time employee of the city whose salary is paid by the EDC. 

Jodi Carr is the new EDC Director.  Her office is inside the Welcome Center at 228 E. Marshall and her phone number is 903-482-9587.  Being a full-time employee she is more available than the volunteer board members and is charged with seeking out and gathering information from prospective lessees or buyers who will provide local employment and increase the sales and/or property tax base for Van Alstyne. 

The EDC is not a political subdivision of the state or the city.  As mentioned above they are truly a non-profit corporation with obligations to the city.  An MDD, on the other hand, is a political entity with obligations to city government.  An MDD is a political subdivision of the state and city allowed under Chapter 377 of the Texas Local Government Code.  They are allowed to develop certain rules to govern their operations which would probably not be identical to the bylaws of the current EDC.  They may have a larger board of directors.  And a bigger change is that they don’t have to be bound to sales and use tax income from the city limits of Van Alstyne, proper.  Their boundary may include the city’s entire Extra-Territorial Jurisdiction, which would certainly increase the sales tax funds available to them.  Board personnel will not necessarily change; the current EDC board will become the MDD board.  I will write more on this topic.

I hope this letter is informative.  I certainly wish you all well.

Yours truly,

Mayor Larry Cooper

Election Information

The City would like to remind everyone that there is still time to file an application for candidacy on the Special Election Ballot.  As designated by the Election Order passed and subsequently posted on the City website, the deadline to file an application for candidacy on the Special Election Ballot is March 6, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. The deadline to withdraw from the Special Election Ballot is March 10, 2017 at 5:00 p.m.  Write-in designations for any election all share the same deadline of February 21, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. per state statute, therefore the City will no longer accept write-in declarations of candidacy.  The City has recently been made aware of a discrepancy regarding this deadline date on some written materials pertaining to this election, and hopes to immediately clarify this discrepancy.  The due dates for candidacy applications are all controlled by statute and the City is unable to make any waivers, exemptions, or altercations to these dates.  Application packets are available at City Hall for this ballot.

Solid Waste Request for Proposals (RFP)

Dorothy Fielder Park in Van Alstyne

The City of Van Alstyne is requesting proposals for solid waste collection and disposal. The intent of the request and resulting contract is to obtain the services of a qualified entity to conduct a complete citywide refuse collection.

All responses must be received by the City no later than 2:00pm, January 6, 2017 at the following address:
City of Van Alstyne
ATTN: Frank Baker
242 E. Jefferson St
Van Alstyne, TX 75495

Collin County Citizen Prosecutor Academy

Collin County Criminal District Attorney Greg Willis has announced dates for the Citizen Prosecutor Academy’s 2017 Spring Session!

This free, 11-week course begins February 9th and meets on Thursday evenings at the Collin County Courthouse from 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.

The application can be found by visiting the Collin County District Attorney’s website at