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THE TOWN WITH A LAKE ATTITUDE A comprehensive overview of 2017 activities in the Town of Little Elm and the progress made towards the master plans.



The Town With A Lake Attitude



CONTENTS History & Core Values


Mayor & Council


Safe & Welcoming Environment


Ensures Strong Relationships


Operational Integrity


Excellence in Public Service

14 -15

Lakefront Identity


Recreation & Leisure




ABOUT LITTLE ELM The population of Little Elm continues to climb. In 2000, Little Elm was still a small town, with only 3,646 people. However, the population is roughly 38,194 currently. Through this explosive growth (948%), the Town continues to maintain its small-town charm and hospitality. The Town of Little Elm strives to meet the needs of the community and is continually evolving to better serve the residents. Little Elm takes pride in providing a safe environment that is both inclusive and diverse in housing opportunities. This community is built upon a strong identity and neighborhood connection, which relies upon a strong school system. Furthermore, Little Elm has become a destination for recreation and leisure activities like fishing, boating, and kayaking, and beach volleyball. This active lifestyle is also encouraged through a robust trail system that continues to emerge. Most importantly, Little Elm is where people want to be.

2015 Population

2016 Population

2017 Population

34,127 35,960 38,194

Working for a better community

2.93% 8.73%




The mission of the Town of Little Elm is to build on our unique lake opportunities and small town charm, encourage diverse housing options and business opportunities, and provide an unmatched quality of life.

Quality of Life


The Town of Little Elm is a distinct and desirable lakeside destination for all people to live and play while enjoying a safe, vibrant, and welcoming community.

Lakeside Desitination

Core Values

Our culture is built on the philosophy of servant leadership. To fully live as servant leaders, as individuals, and as a Town, we operate under four core values: Customer Service, Integrity, Efficiency, Innovation.

Servant Leadership



DAVID HILLOCK The Town of Little Elm can look back at 2017 and be proud of their strength, resilience, and fortitude. The Town Council focused on the Lakefront identity and saw a great response to the vision of our amazing Little Elm Beach as a destination point in North Texas. We continue to set our town apart from other communities. We do this by keeping the smalltown feel that’s important to Little Elm in the front of our vision. However, the growth of Little Elm is just as important to the Council. We strive to temper the growing pains with accomplishments. I hope you enjoyed Little Elm in 2017 as much as I did.

One of my greatest privileges in life has been the opportunity to serve our community as Mayor.




Neil Blais

Mayor Pro Tem, District 3

Nick Musteen

District 5

James Dominy

Curtis Cornelious

District 2

At Large, Place 1

Chip Norman

Stephanie Shoemaker

District 4

At Large, Place 6




Little Elm will be a community that is safe and welcoming to all who live here and visit. A safe and welcoming environment is accomplished through upholding a strong sense of community with an engage citizenry, maintaining clean and aesthetically welcoming corridors and neighborhoods, preserving a low crime rate, and continuing to ensure that public safety officials are courteous, professional, and ethical while providing equitable service to all.

Little Elm Fire reached out a hand when South Texas was hit by Hurricane Harvey. Multiple crews spent weeks assisting with response and recovery.

The Town believes in Servant Leadership for many reasons, however it’s most obvious in our interaction with residents. All Town employees are here to serve others and create a place that residents can call home. First responders are often the face of a community and Little Elm’s responders are a wonderful example of Servant Leadership. Yet, it’s not just Town employees who can show this trait. Little Elm is blessed to have a community who will lift each other up and show Servant Leadership to each other in times of trial and difficulty. When Little Elm was faced with a devastating loss, it was the community who lifted the first responders up and reminded them they were not alone.

Without a sense of caring, there can be no community


Growth • • • •

Added a Traffic Officer, which makes 51 certified police officers. Created a fourth beat on the 380 corridor to improve coverage. Implemented a drone program to patrol the trail system. Completed a salary survey, which resulted in a market adjustment to bring public safety salaries to a competitive level. Converted hiring and promotional process to a behavioral process, which resulted in identifying candidates that met the core values of the Town. Completed the fifth Citizen Police Academy, resulting in 60 total graduates.

Personal Accomplishments •

Lt. Brad Wilcox completed the FBI National Academy for professional development. Lt. Pat Bartlett completed the Center for American and International Law (ILEA) School of Executive Leadership. Chief Harrison completed the Certified Public Managers Course through the Council of Governments in Arlington. Officers completed the 2015-2017 training cycle with 14,741 hours of accredited training.

Awards •

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Recognized for the second year in the Texas Police Chiefs (Texas Best Practice Program). Named the fourth safest city in the State of Texas by Safewise. Awarded a federal grant for concealable body armor; received state grants for rifle resistant body armor and for body worn cameras. Awarded an MRAP to serve as a rescue vehicle. Detective Walker was awarded the Texas Star Award posthumously.

Responding to Our Growth Externally

As the population in Denton County grows, so does the demand for an increase in emergency personnel. Little Elm and Denton County have seen a large influx along the 380 corridor, and Fire Station 3 is a direct response to that growth. Fire Station 3 began construction in 2017, and is expected to open in early 2018. Along with servicing the northern town limits, the station will also assist with unincorporated Denton County calls.

Responding to Our Growth Internally

The opening of Station 3 required an increase to the department’s staffing by bringing on 18 new firefighters. Nine of these personnel were hired on a Federal grant in 2016. The remaining 9 were brought onboard at the end of 2017 in the anticipation of the January or February opening of Station 3. The new station will house an engine, a medic, and a brush truck. To manage the growth internally, the Fire Department restructured operation staffing to create Battalion Chiefs and reclassified station officers to Captain. Along with the restructure three Captain and driver positions were created, which allowed for the absorption of the third engine that joined the fleet.



STRONG RELATIONSHIPS Little Elm will strive to maintain positive relationships within the community and region. Strong and positive relationships are accomplished by conducting business with a high level of integrity, promoting open communication, transparency, partnership, and displaying a high level of courteousness in all of our communications. We will operate with a partner mentality with all entities with which we share a common interest.


Communication is the sister of leadership Social Media & Marketing • •

Town uses social media as a main channel of communication for the public. Facebook is the main focus, although Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat are used with varying frequency. A new Town website design launched in April 2017. Each department was responsible for updating their pages and Increase in Facebook consolidating the information so the resident could find likes from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31. information easier. Awarded the SAVVY Award of Excellence from 3CMA for Social Media – Best use of Facebook; Facebook during a Town tragedy. Awarded the SAVVY Silver Circle from 3CMA for Digital The average Facebook user is an English Interactive – Electronic Newsletter; Strategic Report for Town speaking woman in her late 30s or early 40s. of Little Elm.


Little Elm Library Public Outreach

Little Elm Library Friends

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The Library hosted 547 programs and events. The Library’s collection has 53,785 print, digital, and audio-visual titles. A new Library program offers free wifi hotspots to check out. There are currently 11 hotspots, which have been checked out 159 times. Increased the bilingual books thanks to the Texas Book Festival Grant. The Library offers 42 computers, laptops, and tablets, which resulted in 19,270 sessions.

Library Visitors

Funds supported the Seed Library and new adult chairs for Children’s Area. Little Elm Library Friends raised $23,785 at the 2017 19th Annual Trivia Night, which will be used for technology and productivity upgrades and equipment for the Library’s Maker Space. Little Elm Library Friends funded Library’s Mobile Hotspot Lending Program and new staff computers at Circulation Desk.

Total Circulation





The number of people who enjoyed the Library.

63% were Children’s Material

The number of reference questions and transactions.


Leadership starts with understanding responsibility


INTEGRITY Little Elm will ensure the integrity and long-term viability of the Town’s financial and operational process. Little Elm’s operational and financial soundness will be ensured by maintaining a competitive tax rate, aggressively recruiting retail and small business economic development prospects, planning for long-term financial obligations, and maintaining a level of operational efficiency. As stewards of taxpayer money, the Town is committed to acting responsible in all aspects of using that money. That’s why a strong finance department is so critical to the Town’s success. Their added level of expertise and transparency are vital to maintaining trust between the Town and the residents.



Fuzzy’s Taco Shop • CokerLegal


Family DDS • Arby’s • Cowboy Nails


Spirits & Wine • Smoothie King • One

La Azteca Meat Market • Precision

New Businesses

ReMax • Domino’s • SOI Brow • AJ’s

for One Reflexology • Choice of India Schlotzsky’s • Calliber Collision • Cork

The businesses to the right all obtained certificates of occupancy this fiscal year, 2016-17.

& Growler • Brake’s Plus • Allen Insurance • Cook’s Children Hospital

For the Residents Projects & Accomplishments •

Awards •

Accounting received GFOAT Excellence in Financial Reporting on the 09/30/2016 CAFR for the seventh year. Purchasing received 2017 NPI Achievement in Excellence Procurement Award for the third year. Accounting received GTOT Certificate of Distinction for the Town’s Investment Policy for the third year. Named leanest government in North Texas by the Dallas Business Journal.

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Completed Single Audit requirements and management oversight of $750,000 in grants. Bond Rating increased to AA. Updated Purchasing and Procurement Card Policy. Updated Code of Ordinances for Utility Office and Meter Services. Created a five year balanced budget. Issued 11.83 million in Utility Bonds for Wastewater Treatment Plan Expansion and Meter Project. Refunded 2008 and 2009 General Obligation Bonds.

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Began upgrading water meters to a fixed network system that will enhance the customer service experience, increase operational efficiencies in the field, and enable customer convenience and transparency. Implemented paperlight Court in October 2016. Implemented electronic signature for the judge to allow for operational efficiencies in conducting judgements. Streamlined processes and standing orders for court clerks to increase efficiency. Upgraded online payment portal for Utility Customers.



Maintain Little Elm’s distinctive look and high development standards that provide vibrant, highquality neighborhoods and development. Create a sense of place and brand identity that extends beyond our borders

IDENTITY Awarded the 2017 Planning Excellence Award by the American Planning Association


Establishment of the Lakefront Zoning District

The Lakefront Zoning District was approved in the first quarter of 2017, which was an expansion of the former Town Center Zoning District. The expansion consisted of approximately 76 acres of commercially-zoned property. Under the Lakefront Zoning District, the associated commercial properties can take advantage of Form Based Codes, urban-form/mixed-use development, flexible building materials and architectural design in order to achieve the Town’s desired “lakeside character.”


Establishment of the Lakefront Residential Overlay District

Much like the commercial Lakefront Zoning District, the Lakefront Residential Overlay District (proposed and written in the context of and desire for redevelopment) will extend an urbanform style of zoning which will provide greater flexibility in building materials and architectural design. The Overlay is a long term strategy implemented by the Town in order to expand upon the Lakefront District’s desire to provide a mix of housing opportunities that is unique yet compatible to the overall District.


New Zoning Ordinance Rehaul

Staff completed a total revision to the Town’s Zoning Ordinance. Adopted by Town Council on August 15, 2017, the new Ordinance was reorganized with the outside user in mind. Staff’s goal was to create a document that was better organized, more intuitive, and compatible to other documents and ordinances the Development Services Department uses in guiding development projects within the Town.


THE OUTDOOR LIFE The Town really turned its focus to the outdoors this year. Parks were expanded, trails were created, and plans for more were made. “We believe that it’s our duty to be good stewards of the land. We always aim to create welcoming open spaces for the residents to enjoy,” said Chad Hyde, Parks and Recreation Director. The Lakefront Trail formally opened in the fall. It boasts nearly 4 miles of crushed granite trails, which are excellent for runners, bikers, and walkers. It connects Beard Park to McCord Park, and allows for users to plan longer distance outings while surrounded by beautiful scenery and the lake nearby. The Harts Branch Trail will connect to the Lakefront Trail and be over one mile long once it’s finished; it was designed in 2017 and will be constructed in 2018. Additionally, Cottonwood Park Master Plan began to create a vision of the future of that park. McCord Park expansion phase two began as well in 2017 and will include a splash pad, additional parking, and public restrooms. “The public has been asking for Splash Pad for a long time, and we’re really excited to be able to offer that to them. We wanted to make sure this water feature was well thought out and truly integrated into the design of McCord Park. It will be an anchor for that park expansion,” said Hyde. These trails and expansions are setting Little Elm apart from other communities for the active lifestyle and outdoor opportunities they promote.

Stay close to nature’s heart. -John Muir Awarded the TRAPS North Region Park Design Excellence Award for Beard Park



IN PUBLIC SERVICE Important Projects •

FM 720 N. from Martop Road to US 380

FM 720 S. from Eldorado Parkway to Martop Road

Dickson Lane rehab

Old Witt Road from FM 423 to King Road

1 million gallon Waste Water Treatment Center expansion

Water Meter Upgrade to 4G Meters

Manzell Pump Station rehab

Began new Hill Lane Lift Station

Shell Beach and Cottonwood Lift Station rehab

Began new Valencia Lift Station #2

Little Elm will ensure that high quality public services are maintained by addressing growth needs in infrastructure, and by attracting, retaining, equipping, and empowering a workforce that delivers excellence service for excellent value. Little Elm Public Works received accreditation through the American Public Works Association. The purpose of the accreditation program is to provide a means of formally verifying and recognizing public works agencies for compliance with the recommended practices set forth. “We were so thrilled to be accepted into this elite group of public works professionals. Little Elm works hard to provide the residents with the absolute best quality possible, and this accreditation is another level of transparency and excellence,” said Kevin Mattingly, Public Works Director. This accreditation process is a voluntary, self-motivated approach to objectively evaluate, verify and recognize compliance with the recommended management practices. The objectives of the accreditation program are to: • Create impetus for organization self-improvement and stimulate general raising of standards • Offer a voluntary evaluation and education program rather than government-regulated activity • Recognize good performance and provide motivation to maintain and improve performance • Improve public works performance and the provision of services • Increase professionalism • Instill pride among agency staff, elected officials and the local community APWA serves professionals in all aspects of public works, a fact that sets it apart from other organizations and makes it an effective voice of public works throughout North America. APWA continues in its rich tradition of making a difference both on an individual and professional level.



• Water Division Achieved the Superior Water System Rating from the TCEQ • ASE Blue Seal Certified Fleet Shop – 5th year • 2nd Place in Keep Texas Beautiful Governor’s Community Achievement Award for 2017. • Racheal Green Sustainability Leadership Award • Keep Little Elm Beautiful – Achieved Gold Star Affiliate status with Keep Texas Beautiful American Public Works Association Accreditation

Outreach & Community Engagement

• Fall 2017 Lakefront Trail Trash Bash had approximately 138 of 175 registrants show up & 30 unregistered volunteers signed in the day of the event. • Major Comprehensive Trash/Recycling/Bulk Route Change - January 2, 2017 • Improved Residential Recycling Opportunities • Clean & Green Events totaled 61,338 lbs or 30.669 Tons of HHW & Recyclables collected from LE residents in 2017 • Implemented a monthly educational newsletter with topics covering recycling, harmful household waste, littering, stormwater runoff and beautification efforts. • Partnered with LEISD - Installed underground drainage system behind LEISD Zellars Building

For a sustainable future

2017 Quick Facts 1,352,103,000 gallons of water produced

985,205,000 gallons of wastewater treated

10,943 total meter connections




Special Events

Athletics & Fitness

The Rec Center expansion was the highlight of 2017.

The Town of Little Elm can be set apart by the quality and quantity of large special events. Little Elm Park and Beach are the perfect backdrops for the events.

Little Elm focuses on being active. Get active, stay active, be active. It’s about being a part of the community at large.

The expansion included two new fitness rooms with new audio, and equipment. A new child watch area provides a kid-friendly space for children to play and learn while parents workout or attend classes. This entire area also doubles as a storm shelter. The fitness area is an impressive 7,000 square feet and holds nearly 50 cardio machines, machine weights, free weights, and a functional training room. The Senior Center also saw a 13% increase in membership.

The Town hosted nine large events, and ten smaller ones. These events brought in an estimated 77,000 people, a 29% increase. All events brought in nearly $200,000 in revenue, a 23% increase. No other event can compare to July Fourth, which had a record 30,000 people. The Little Elm Brew and Que festival showcases the Little Elm Lakefront identity by bringing in amazing bands and delicious beer and bar-b-que.

Life Must Be Lived As Play. -Plato

The community continued to be involved in athletic leagues, which max out every session. The third Mayor Fitness Challenge had 243 participants, a 153% increase. Participants were placed on teams for support and team challenges. Everyone lost a grand total of 517 pounds. Group Fitness classes grew 35% in participation and there was a 367% increase in personal training sessions.


Little Elm will maximize recreational and leisure activities for the region, which will provide for a broad range of socio-economic and interest groups with the focus set on maximizing the unique lake front recreation opportunities that exist on Lewisville Lake.

Get in touch

100 W. Eldorado Parkway | Little Elm, Texas 75068 www.littleelm.org | www.lakefrontlittlelm.com

Profile for Town of Little Elm

Strategic Report 2017  

Strategic Report 2017