City News Roundup

Supermarket giant Kroger to open online center and more Dallas news

Supermarket giant Kroger to open online center and more Dallas news

Heights Kroger, tour, October 2012, storefront
Kroger's opening something big on the south side of Dallas. Photo by Whitney Radley

The Dallas City Council took a look at a big staffing study of the Dallas Police Department. There's news of bike trails, and some welcome Kroger activity in South Dallas.

Here's what happened in Dallas this week:

Kroger delivery center
South Dallas is getting a delivery-only grocery warehouse from Kroger, to be built on the northern edge of the Dallas Inland Port at Bonnie View and Telephone Road.

Kroger will be required to deliver to all Dallas ZIP codes, and, combined with satellite centers, will be capable of delivering to customers up to four hours from the city, company representatives said.

The Dallas center will create at least 350 full-time jobs. Each worker will make a minimum of $15 an hour, totaling at least $41,000 in annual earnings. At least 25 percent will be Dallas residents.

At its August 28 meeting, the Dallas City Council approved $5.7 million in tax incentives, including $2 million from the 2012 bond for public infrastructure. Sales tax on all purchases online will be collected in Dallas, a revenue source that Dallas City Council member Tennell Atkins said will recoup the tax breaks in five years.

Kroger agreed to create a proposal for reduced delivery rates in food deserts and education outreach for senior citizens and others new to online shopping.

This will be Kroger's third U.S. online order fulfillment center. The facility will be as large as 10 of its standard grocery stores.

The supermarket chain will begin construction in 2020 and begin grocery delivery by 2023. This is the one of three fulfillment centers in the works out of 20 planned for the U.S.

Happy trails
Lake Highlands is the latest neighborhood to receive new bike trails following the approval of a 2-mile extension to the Lake Highlands Trail by the city council at its August 28 meeting.

The $8.2 million trail extension will connect Lake Highlands Trail to the White Rock Trail running mostly along electric right of way. It will begin at Harry Moss Park in the the east and run westward through Arbor Park ending at Lake Highlands North Park. The Lake Highlands DART Station is less than a half mile from the trail.

As park of the project, streets including Church Road and Arborside Drive, will also get curb and gutter improvements. A boardwalk will divert the trail under Walnut Hill Lane traffic before reaching the power line right of way. The Abrams Road crossing will have a flashing pedestrian signals.

Police staffing report
The Dallas City Council reviewed a study of the Dallas Police Department presented by Chief Renee Hall and KPMG, the author of the study, which offered recommendations on how to improve the organization.

The report identified several weaknesses in the department, including inefficiency in daily operations and the lack of an overall strategy.

"It is evident that the DPD lacks a clear strategy and is more reactive to the issues of the day, rather than working toward a common long-term goal," the report said.

The report avoided pinpointing the department's staffing shortage and instead focused on data-driven decisions to inform department functions, from scheduling to crime reduction.