In this week's roundup of Dallas news, the Dallas City Council gave away $2 million of our money to a corporation that didn't need it. An affordable housing complex is being built by the city and a new partner. There's a fun-sounding driving clinic for new drivers. And a job fair at Paul Quinn College.
Here's what's happened in Dallas this week:
The Dallas City Council inexplicably gave Kroger $2 million in tax breaks to build a grocery store at 1913 N. Hall St., right outside downtown, an area surrounded by six grocery stores nearby including another Kroger store that's about a mile away. Only three city council members voted against the handout: Carolyn King Arnold, Omar Narvaez, and Cara Mendelsohn.
Voting in favor of giving Kroger money: Chad West, Adam Bazaldua, Jesse Moreno, Gay Donnell Willis, Jaynie Schultz, Paul Ridley, Jaime Resendez, Tennell Atkins, Adam McGough, Casey Thomas, and Paula Blackmon.
There was some falderal about affordable housing thrown in to make it more alluring. The store will be at the base of a 356-unit apartment complex; of those, 76 will be lower-income "affordable units."
Affordable housing complex
A new mixed-income housing complex near the Camp Wisdom DART rail station broke ground Monday in Southern Dallas. Located at 2101 Crouch Rd., Ridge at Lancaster will comprise 300 units, 270 of which will be reserved for families earning up to 60 percent of the area median income (AMI). The rest of the units will be available at market rate pricing. The apartment complex will have up to four-bedroom units available. Features include spacious floor plans, upgraded flooring, granite countertops, fitness and business centers, and a large swimming pool.
The development is a partnership between the city of Dallas and LDG Development, which a release says is the country's largest developer of affordable workforce housing, with more than 20,000 units across the country, including 7,500 in Texas. The Ridge at Lancaster will be LDG's first property in the city of Dallas. The Dallas Housing Finance Corporation issued $50 million in bonds to fund the project and will own the project in partnership with LDG. Additional funding is from Red Stone and Enterprise Community Partners.
Teen driver clinics
New drivers are invited to take a free hands-on driver training class at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend. "Ford Driving Skills for Life" is on an eight-city U.S. tour, and one of those cities is Dallas-Fort Worth. The program pairs newly licensed and teen drivers with professional instructors during free, hands-on driving clinics. Skills taught include hazard recognition, vehicle handling, speed and space management, distracted driving, and impaired driving. Newly licensed drivers or teens who hold a valid learner's permit or license can participate in the free program. Parents/guardians are encouraged to participate with their teen because of the significant role they play in shaping their child’s driving habits. The clinics are being held on Saturday October 30 and Sunday October 31, with two sessions, from 7:30 am–12 noon, and from 1–5:30 pm at Texas Motor Speedway, 3545 Lone Star Cir., Fort Worth (bus lot on south side). Registration is now open at www.drivingskillsforlife.com/training/hands-on-training.
Paul Quinn job fair
On Monday, November 1, Paul Quinn College will host a community job fair and open house featuring interviews and hiring on-site by area companies and campus tours with a look at the school’s new additions over the last 18 months. There will be information sessions on enrollment, academics, special programs, athletics, and community engagement programs. Representatives from DISD's Dr. Frederick D. Hanes III Global Academy, KIPP Academy, and The City of Dallas will share what's happening in District 8 and the Oak Cliff area and opportunities for community members and students. It takes place from 5:30-7:30 pm; register online to attend.
Dallas Municipal Court will celebrate Municipal Courts Week with various events from November 1-5. Municipal Courts Week is an annual celebration to show appreciation to municipal judges, court clerks, court administrators, bailiffs, and warrant officers who comprise the Texas municipal court. This celebration recognizes the important role that local courts play in the criminal justice system and their contributions to keep communities safe. There will be traffic safety displays at the courthouse and municipal court staff available to answer questions about the court’s role in the community and services provided. Traffic safety materials and giveaways will be available at the courthouse. There's doughnuts & coffee for DPD officers, brown bag speaker series, citizen appreciation days with free candies and more. All events are free and open to the public.
Spay/neuter is back
The SPCA of Texas has reopened both of its spay/neuter and veterinary clinics, offering low-cost spay and neuter and veterinary services for dogs and cats. Beginning November 3, the SPCA of Texas' Myron K. Martin Spay/Neuter & Wellness Clinic will do spay/neuter surgeries for dogs on Tuesdays-Wednesdays and cats on Fridays. Appointments can be made at www.spca.org/clinicservices or by calling 214-742-7722. The Spay/Neuter and Veterinary Clinic at Village Fair remained open during the pandemic, and is now offering walk-in wellness appointments Monday-Friday from 9 am-2 pm, including vaccinations, microchips, wellness exams and more. Walk-in appointments are first-come, first-serve.