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Published on March 03, 2024
Allen City Council Greenlights New Police HQ, Roadway Upgrades, and Cybersecurity InitiativesSource: City of Allen

Big changes are afoot in Allen, where the council's latest meeting turned out to be a real boon for the city’s infrastructure and safety. The Allen City Council gathered on February 27, with a busy agenda that would lay the foundations, quite literally, for a new police headquarters and bring updates that aim to keep the community safer on the streets and online.

Set to rise in the Downtown District, the new Allen Police Headquarters received the green light after councilmembers approved a zoning change. As reported by the City of Allen, this move comes after voters gave the thumbs up in the 2023 bond election. Slated to be nestled between Allen City Hall and the post office on Century Parkway, the headquarters promises to be a key piece in Downtown Allen's Civic Overlay District. The change includes guidelines on minimum and maximum lot sizes and clarifies what kind of buildings can sprout up in the area.

Water utilities are getting a high-tech boost too. Allen’s City Council approved $240,061 for new digital test equipment to keep a watchful eye on those smart water meters that cropped up around town last year. This isn't just about buying gear; the deal includes a full suite of services from delivery and installation to calibration, plus a five-year package of annual inspections and the necessary training.

On the roadway front, residents can expect smoother rides and safer crossings thanks to a collaboration with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). TxDOT is pitching in to upgrade three major intersections – including adding new traffic signal heads and pedestrian crossing features. The city's pocketbook can breathe a sigh of relief as it's on the hook for only 10% of the construction costs, a sum that comes out to approximately $100,106.94.

Cybersecurity wasn't left off the meeting's agenda either. The Information Technology Department snagged four grants from the Department of Homeland Security to fortify Allen against digital threats. These grants spell a 90% coverage for initiatives to test the city’s network, shore up firewalls, transition to a .gov domain, and further train IT staff to combat cyber threats, with a mere $15,215 chipped in from the city's general fund.

Finally, Allen's roads will be getting some new stripes. The council approved a $450,000 annual contract for pavement marking, ensuring the city remains navigable and neat – a direct response to issues flagged in a street assessment survey from the previous year.

All in all, it was a productive evening that will see Allen upgrading across the board, ensuring that it remains a leading model of municipal efficacy. Allen City Council holds court twice a month, with the full schedule and meeting details up for grabs at the city's website, for those looking to stay in the loop.