Fix My Road!

Road repair has and probably always will be a hot topic for local communities and Van Alstyne is definitely no exception. We’ve seen that it hasn’t been clear the proper way to report these pot holes and needed road repair. Despite popular opinion, it isn’t Facebook! 😱

In an attempt to not only make it easy to report concerns and get the repairs completed, I’m sharing a map below that the Public Works Department put together to notate which roads belong to which jurisdiction.  There are 4 entities with road ownership in Van Alstyne, City of Van Alstyne, Grayson County, Texas Department of Transportation and a MUD district in Mantua.

For City of Van Alstyne roads, contact 903-482-5426 or fill out the email contact form on our website here.

For Grayson County roads, contact your Grayson County Commissioner. Most of Van Alstyne lies in Precinct No. 1 and you can call (903) 813-4327 or check out the Grayson county website to confirm your commissioner and contact information.

TxDOT has a form on their website here to report road issues, or for immediate attention, call 800-558-9368.

City Council meetings are also a great resource for information on the planned road work as well as opportunity for public comment. These meetings take place on the second Tuesday of every month at City Hall at 6:30pm.

Crystal DeBacker
Media Coordinator
City of Van Alstyne

cdebacker@cityofvanalstyne.us
903-357-1088

Reserve a Park in Van Alstyne

 

Van Alstyne has an incredible Parks and Recreation Department that we are truly proud of! With 5 beautiful parks to choose from, and a new one on the way, there are currently 19 facilities that can be reserved. These facilities range from the pavilions and stage in the Central Social District downtown to the sports fields at McKinney Wilson or Forest Moore Park. Whether having a birthday party or other major celebration, a sports tournament or a stage performance, Van Alstyne has a facility for your needs. Van Alstyne Parks and Recreation has also started using RecDesk to make reserving these facilities even easier for all community members.

On our RecDesk site, you can click Help in the menu for step by step instructions on setting up and account and reserving a facility. On the Facilities page, you can explore each park facility and their calendar, maps, addresses and hours.

If you have any questions about the parks or the facilities, reach out to the Director of Parks and Recreation, Tyler Bark, at 903-482-5426 ext. 2173 or tbark@cityofvanalstyne.us. And for questions on any of the amazing events in Van Alstyne, reach out to Kandi Hessel, 430-262-9439 or khessel@cityofvanalstyne.us.

Van Alstyne parks and facilities include:

Central Social District Park
West Pavilion
• Refundable Deposit 50.00
• Rental Fee for 4 (four) hour block (in city resident) 40.00
• Rental Fee for 4 (four) hour block (out of city resident) 80.00
Main Stage
• Refundable Deposit 50.00
• Rental Fee for 4 (four) hour block (in city resident) 40.00
• Rental Fee for 4 (four) hour block (out of city resident) 80.00
East Pavilion (Farmers Market Area)
• Refundable Deposit 50.00
• Rental Fee for 4 (four) hour block (in city resident) 40.00
• Rental Fee for 4 (four) hour block (out of city resident) 80.00

Dorothy Fielder Park
Gazebo
• Refundable Deposit 50.00
• Rental Fee for 4 (four) hour block (in city resident) 40.00
• Rental Fee for 4 (four) hour block (out of city resident) 80.00

COMING SOON: Eula Umphress and Robert Hynds Park
Pavilion
• Refundable Deposit 50.00
• Rental Fee for 4 (four) hour block (in city resident) 40.00
• Rental Fee for 4 (four) hour block (out of city resident) 80.00

Community Center
• Refundable Deposit 150.00
• Rental Fee for 4 (four) hour block (in city resident) 100.00
• Rental Fee for 4 (four) hour block (out of city resident) 150.00

McKinney Wilson Park
East Field (Big Field)
• Refundable tournament deposit 250.00
• Practice Field Rate, with or without lights, per hour (in city resident) 15.00
• Practice Field Rate, with or without lights, per hour (out of city resident) 25.00
• Tournament Rate with or without lights, per team, per day 50.00
• Field marking, per day 50.00
• Maintenance staff fee, per person, per hour 50.00
West Field (Little Field)
• Refundable tournament deposit 250.00
• Practice Field Rate, with or without lights, per hour (in city resident) 15.00
• Practice Field Rate, with or without lights, per hour (out of city resident) 25.00
• Tournament Rate with or without lights, per team, per day 50.00
• Field marking, per day 50.00
• Maintenance staff fee, per person, per hour 50.00

Forrest Moore Park
North Field
• Refundable tournament deposit 250.00
• Practice Field Rate, with or without lights, per hour (in city resident) 15.00
• Practice Field Rate, with or without lights, per hour (out of city resident) 25.00
• Tournament Rate with or without lights, per team, per day 50.00
• Field marking, per day 50.00
• Maintenance staff fee, per person, per hour 50.00
South Field
• Refundable tournament deposit 250.00
• Practice Field Rate, with or without lights, per hour (in city resident) 15.00
• Practice Field Rate, with or without lights, per hour (out of city resident) 25.00
• Tournament Rate with or without lights, per team, per day 50.00
• Field marking, per day 50.00
• Maintenance staff fee, per person, per hour 50.00
Pavilion
• Refundable Deposit 50.00
• Rental Fee for 4 (four) hour block (in city resident) 40.00
• Rental Fee for 4 (four) hour block (out of city resident) 80.00

Veteran’s Memorial Park (North Park)
Field
• Refundable tournament deposit 250.00
• Practice Field Rate, with or without lights, per hour (in city resident) 15.00
• Practice Field Rate, with or without lights, per hour (out of city resident) 25.00
• Tournament Rate with or without lights, per team, per day 50.00
• Field marking, per day 50.00
• Maintenance staff fee, per person, per hour 50.00
Pavilion
• Refundable Deposit 50.00
• Rental Fee for 4 (four) hour block (in city resident) 40.00
• Rental Fee for 4 (four) hour block (out of city resident) 80.00

Crystal DeBacker
Media Coordinator
City of Van Alstyne

cdebacker@cityofvanalstyne.us
903-357-1088

Work at the City of Van Alstyne

 

Van Alstyne is growing! And with that growth comes not only additional opportunities to work in Van Alstyne, but also additional benefits!

Living and working in Van Alstyne has never been more attractive.  Van Alstyne is located on an interstate highway with easy access to Sherman and Oklahoma, as well as Mckinney and Dallas. Per City-Data.com, the median household income in Van Alstyne is above the state median, and the estimated cost of living is under average, 85.6 to the U.S. average of 100. Per Niche.com, Van Alstyne is the #1 best place to raise a family in Grayson County and a big part of that is not only the incredibly low crime rate, but also the highly rated school district which has a 14-15:1 student-teacher ratio, compared to the national average of 17-19:1.

Van Alstyne is now a quickly growing town, with many exciting developments to come very soon.  With honorable and highly involved city leaders, the growth and development is with a focus on maintaining the highly desirable community that has already been established. Read about the steps being taken here with DADCO consulting to help form a comprehensive plan for development in Van Alstyne.

Opportunities to be involved in a community at this part of its growth cycle are rare and we are excited to have opportunities in several departments as our needs and departments are growing with the town.  Current openings include Permit Technician, Firefighter/EMT-Paramedic, Street Maintenance Technician, Utility Maintenance Worker, Police Officer, and Chief Finance Officer.  The City of Van Alstyne also offers comprehensive benefits to full time employees and those benefits can be found our our Human Resources page on the city website, or linked right here. These include everything from 100% employee coverage on health, dental and vision insurance, to a retirement package that allows for 7% employee contributions with city matching 2:1.

Look into these benefits and employment opportunities on our Human Resources page for more information!

Crystal DeBacker
Media Coordinator
City of Van Alstyne

cdebacker@cityofvanalstyne.us
903-357-1088

Where To Find Information

The City of Van Alstyne has been growing and with that growth comes a lot of information, and sometimes misinformation.  In an attempt to proactively share information with the community , straight from the source, we will be sharing content in a blog post each Monday right here on the city website.  With each blog post will also be a video, linked above, that is posted on our YouTube channel, and then we will share links to these on our Facebook as well.

At the end of each month, these posts will be shared in a monthly newsletter. Soon, you can sign up for this newsletter to be emailed automatically, but for now, please email me and I am happy to send you a copy. We also have printed newspaper versions of this monthly newsletter and you can find them and City Hall, the Van Alstyne Public Library, the VA Senior Center, and more!

If you would like me to share about a specific topic, you can request it here!

 

Crystal DeBacker
Media Coordinator
City of Van Alstyne

cdebacker@cityofvanalstyne.us
903-357-1088

 

Van Alstyne Events Sponsorship

Looking for a way to connect to the Van Alstyne community?

The City of Van Alstyne has many sponsorship opportunities to make some of the BEST activities in the area possible! Some annual events that have open sponsorships for 2024 are the Sounds of Summer Concert series, Splash Bash, Movie in the Park, and Fall Der All.

In addition to these community favorites, exciting new events have been added including the Shop and Sample Saturdays, Downtown Palentines, Margarita Crawl, Cornhole Tournaments, a Salsa and Queso Showdown, Downtown Trick or Treating, Holiday Hangout and the Holiday Decorating contest.

In years prior, these events have attracted thousands of attendees and incredible vendors. With the immense growth in the area and the incredibly successful track record of these events, those attendance numbers are expected to increase dramatically this year and in years to come.

Follow the Van Alstyne Parks and Recreation Facebook page for event updates. And for more information on how to be a sponsor for any of the Van Alstyne Events, please call or email Kandi Hessel, 430-262-9439, khessel@cityofvanalstyne.us.

 

TX DoT Roadwork

There are many road projects actively taking place, and planned for the near future.  The City of Van Alstyne has a extensive plan for improving roads through out Van Alstyne, but we are not the only jurisdiction taking care of the roads we all drive on.  Many roads we use here are the responsibility of Grayson County or Texas Department of Transportation as well.  TXDoT has some major projects being worked on this year and here are those project summaries:

FM 121 Rehabilitation Project

Lincoln Park to 160 – taking it from 24’ wide to 26’ wide and recapturing some right of way from overgrowth. 1 mile is completed now and the second mile is in progress now. The overall project is expected to be complete in January 2026.

US 75 from Collin County Line to FM 1417

The purpose of the project is to add capacity, improve traffic operations by converting frontage roads from two-way to one-way operation, provide frontage road turn around opportunities, and ramp improvements along US 75. The proposed project is 14 miles from Collin County Line to FM 1417 and widens US 75 from two main lanes to three main lanes in each direction.

Replacement of the overpass at County Line Road / Panther Parkway

1 over pass at FM 121/Van Alstyne Pkwy – the existing bridge will not be replaced with the initial project. TXDoT is rebuilding the intersection with concrete pavement with this project.

1 new overpass about a mile north of Van Alstyne Pkwy by Simmons Loop

Reconstruction or modification of existing ramps, where applicable, to support the lane widening and frontage road conversion. Frontage roads will be repaved and restriped for one way conversion.

Construction for this project is expected to begin in early 2025.  This will be a 2-3 year project.

See initial schematics and plans for this project here and fact sheet here.

FM 3133

This summer, FM 3133 will have maintenance touch up and get a seal coat surface similar to what was done on state Hwy 5 north of the High School.

This map shows the ownership of the roads in and around Van Alstyne. And for contact instructions for road issues, please see below.

For City of Van Alstyne, contact City Hall – 903-482-5426 or for more detailed options, check out our Report A Problem page here.

TXDoT roads, you may report an issue here.  For road conditions requiring immediate attention, call 800-558-9368

Grayson County Roadways Facilities Maintenance Office may be contacted here, or you may contact your county commissioner as well.  Precinct 1 County Commission page is here.

 

Crystal DeBacker
Media Coordinator
City of Van Alstyne

cdebacker@cityofvanalstyne.us
903-357-1088

Grayson College South Campus

Did you know Van Alstyne has had an incredible, local college since 2004?  Grayson College South Campus is located on the West side of Van Alstyne, right in front of the new Van Alstyne High School that will open in 2024.

Something that makes this college campus so special, is you do not have to be a full time college student to take classes and benefit from the incredible offerings.  Grayson College South Campus is now offering community education courses with a series of lectures on the history of Grayson County and Van Alstyne, American Heart Association courses and evening Welding courses as well. January 23rd kicks off the new lecture series on the history of Van Alstyne and Grayson County with a lecture on Random Histories of Grayson County. Review and sign up for these programs on the programs registration page here.

Explore all Grayson County South Campus programs, services and more here.

 

Van Alstyne Education Foundation

Did you move here because of the incredible reputation of the school district? If you are, you are one of many who sought out living in Van Alstyne because of the wonderful school district.  One aspect that makes VAISD so special is the Van Alstyne Education Foundation.  It is an organization that is most well-known for senior scholarships and teacher grants, awarding nearly $700,000 since its creation in 2012 including over half a million endowment.

Annual community fundraising events include the Sporting Clay Shoot, the Little Big Town 5k and Family Fun Run, and their Gala coming up on February 22nd.  However you do not have to wait for one of these events. To contribute to this remarkable foundation now, you can donate any amount here.

An interesting fact that was shared with my by VAEF board members is many of the donors on the teachers themselves.

Find out more about the Van Alstyne Education Foundation and how you can get involved on their website here.

Crystal DeBacker
Media Coordinator
City of Van Alstyne

cdebacker@cityofvanalstyne.us
903-357-1088

Downtown Van Alstyne Beautification Project

UPDATE (01/10/2024):
Utilities completed, tested and connected. Concrete pavement has been completed from RR to Preston St. Excavation for drainage and pavement along VA Pkwy will continue west past Preston St intersection. It will be followed with work on Preston south to Cooper.

 

Van Alstyne is in the process of a downtown revitalization.

Phase 1 included the construction of a new parking lot at Main and Marshall.

Phase II addressed drainage issues, a project that is now complete.

Phase III will pave Van Alstyne Parkway from the railroad tracks heading west to Waco Street. This phase will also pave Preston Ave from Van Alstyne Parkway to Cooper St. Concrete streets, curb and gutter, landscaping islands, and the installation of underground chase ways that will enable the city to take overhead utilities underground. Phase III has been awarded to Quality Construction and commenced work October 16, 2023.

Phase IV will be a sizable segment of the project and will cover the paving of Preston Ave starting at Cooper St. heading south to Marshall St. The project will then turn east on Marshall St and pave Marshall to Main before turning north and paving Main St back to Jefferson. New concrete streets, curb and gutter, streetlights, park benchers, landscaping, overhead lighting and underground chase ways. While the renderings depict the railroad tracks on Preston Ave being stamped as they are in the Central Social District, the interurban tracks that are presently on Preston Ave will be saved and reused.

 

 

Get the monthly updates on this project and others straight from City Manager, Lane Jones, is his monthly reports here.

City Manager’s Report – December 2023 Update:
Contractor has completed upgrades to Sanitary Sewer lines and manholes along
VA Pkwy.
Water line along VA Pkwy has been completed, tested and service restored to
residents and the Downtown Park.
Excavation for drainage and pavement along VA Pkwy is expected to commence
soon.
Once complete the contractor will move to installation of electrical and
communications sleeves along Preston St (S) from VA Pkwy to E Jefferson.
Affected businesses will be contacted to coordinate any lane closures.

City Manager’s Report – November 2023 Update:
Contractor has completed field “potholing” for Sanitary Sewer line and manholes
along VA Pkwy. Line will be completed by Nov 10. Manholes will be pour in place.
Water line along VA Pkwy has also commenced and will be installed over the next 2
weeks. Water connections are being coordinated with the residents and businesses.
Excavation for drainage and pavement along VA Pkwy will follow utilities.
Once complete the contractor will move to installation of electrical and
communications sleeves along Preston St (S) from VA Pkwy to E Jefferson.
Affected businesses will be contacted to coordinate any lane closures.
Project will start with Sanitary sewer improvements on VA Pkwy and Water main
replacements on VA Pkwy and N Main.

 

Crystal DeBacker
Media Coordinator
City of Van Alstyne

cdebacker@cityofvanalstyne.us
903-357-1088

Van Alstyne Gets a New Ambulance for the Fire Department

 

Chief Ryan Dockery of the Van Alstyne Fire Department met with me to discuss the brand new ambulance the department ordered as well as the new public safety facility coming to Van Alstyne.

 

This new ambulance brings the Fire Department vehicles to:

2 engines

2 ambulances

2 brush trucks

1 command vehicle

And the current roles at the fire department are 12 full time positions, 9 paramedics, and 3 positions available

When did we move forward to purchase of new ambulance

Chief Dockery knows the lead time for the required chassis can be up to 2 years, so being proactive to stay within the desired equipment replacement plan, early 2022 quotes were requested and the selection was made. A proposal was taken to city council for approval and the order was placed in May of 2022. We anticipate we will get it as early as the last week of October.

 

Focus behind this addition

We know we are growing, not shrinking. But this is replacing older equipment to maintain adequate services within the equipment replacement plan. The new ambulance is replacing our oldest ambulance that was purchased in 2013, which is being traded in.

 

Additional new vehicle plans

The VAFD has also ordered a new fire engine, and this will serve as the new frontline engine and putting the old frontline engine in reserve. The old reserve engine will be sold. The estimated completion date is summer 2024.

This engine is being purchased with funds from the agreement with the Mantua Point development.  There are also funds to order another ambulance. We may order another ambulance soon with these funds to stay proactive with the vehicle replacement plan because of the lead time needed.

 

New Public Safety facility

The new public safety facility will house police, fire and have a community area. FD is being designed to be a double company station, which means it will operate an ambulance, ladder and engine and possibly a brush, and would also house administration.

We currently are a single company station because we don’t have a ladder. We have a fire engine and an ambulance.

A Fire Marshall would be hired when the city grows into that. In planning for this facility, the design allows us to grow into it in the next several years. The plan for this facility is to fit our department for many many years into the future as Van Alstyne continues to grow.

 

New hires

In 2024, 1 new firefighter position will become available in January, and that will bring all shifts to 5 personnel per shit.

Future plans include additional command and administrative staff as well as a Fire Marshall position.

 

Crystal DeBacker
Media Coordinator
City of Van Alstyne

cdebacker@cityofvanalstyne.us
903-357-1088