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A general obligation bond is a form of borrowing that provides government entities with funds to finance large capital improvements. This debt can be compared to a home mortgage that is repaid over time. The bonds are repaid with property taxes and therefore require voter approval. The city’s good credit ratings (AA- from Standards & Poor’s and Aa2 from Moody’s) allow the city to pay lower interest rates on bonds.
Whenever possible, the city pays cash for capital improvements. However, more costly improvement projects are financed. This allows the city to complete the improvements sooner. If the city did not finance more expensive projects, the improvements would be deferred for several years during which time costs are likely to go up.
The city projects that property owners will not see a tax rate increase to pay for the bonds. As existing debt is paid down, the city is able to take on new debt and stay within its budget. Similar to your own budget, when you pay a loan off, the monthly payment can be shifted to another priority.
In 2012, voters approved the issuance of $48 million in bonds and a 4-cent increase to the property tax rate to fund construction of the new city hall, which opened in 2016. As property values have increased and new properties have been added to the tax rolls, the city has been able to pay down the debt while decreasing the property tax rate by 3.8 cents.
In February 2003, the voters authorized $37,210,000 for street and other improvements. The bonds were issued with no increase to the property tax rate. All of the 2003 bond-funded projects were completed as planned except for the widening of Boulevard 26, which was a joint project with TxDOT. Unfortunately, due to statewide funding shortfalls and other priorities, TxDOT has been unable to proceed with the project. The city’s $3 million for the project remains unspent. In addition, there was $860,000 in savings from other 2003 bond projects.
The city is planning to use the $3,860,000 in remaining 2003 bonds to reconstruct Glenview Drive East (Boulevard 26 to Flory). In addition to having a poor pavement condition rating, Glenview was identified as the street most in need of improvement in recent citizen surveys. Reconstruction of Glenview Drive West (Honey Lane to the city limit) is one of 27 street projects proposed for the 2020 bond election.
In September 2019, the North Richland Hills City Council established a 2020 Capital Program Advisory Committee to review street and other infrastructure needs and make recommendations for necessary improvements. The committee included 35 residents from across North Richland Hills. The committee met from October to February to review and prioritize projects. They considered more than 100 streets that are in poor condition, the estimated cost for reconstruction and how much the city can afford without a tax rate increase. Committee members felt that a majority of proposed bond funding should be dedicated to improving heavily traveled streets such as Glenview, Iron Horse and Bedford-Euless, and the remaining to residential streets that carry less traffic. To stretch the funding further and improve more residential streets, the committee recommended that residential streets which are currently asphalt be reconstructed with asphalt, rather than more expensive and time-consuming concrete construction.
To prioritize the improvements, the committee considered numerous factors such as existing pavement conditions, traffic volumes, maintenance records, input from citizen surveys, whether or not the roadway is a primary public safety response route and estimated costs. While there are additional streets in need of reconstruction, the committee limited its recommendation to what the city can afford without increasing the property tax rate. The committee’s recommendation was presented to the City Council on January 27 and the City Council called for the bond election at its February 10 meeting.
The 2020 Capital Improvement Advisory Committee and City Council have indicated the desire for a rapid implementation of voter-approved bond-funded projects. It is anticipated that engineering and design work would begin immediately after the May election and construction of the first projects would begin in FY 2020-2021.
The committee ranked major streets and residential streets in order of priority. To the greatest extent possible, construction will take place in that order. In some cases, projects in close geographic proximity to each other may be bid and constructed together for cost savings. View the ranking here.
The biggest factor considered in ranking streets was pavement condition, followed by traffic volume. In 2019, the city contracted with Fugro, a geo-data collection firm, to independently and objectively assess the condition of every street in the city. Fugro used an Automatic Road Analyzer Vehicle with high tech sensors and imaging to collect pavement and subgrade conditions for each NRH street. Using this data, Fugro assigned each street a condition rating from 100 (best) to 0 (worst). This is the first time the city has utilized an independent, in-depth and objective assessment of street conditions. In previous years, city staff visually inspected streets and assigned condition ratings.
Project limits were determined by pavement condition rating. On Lariat Trail for example, two segments are rated in poor condition and proposed for reconstruction, while another segment (Riviera to Circleview) is in good condition and does not need improving.
High-traffic streets like Glenview, Iron Horse and Bedford Euless Road will be reconstructed as new concrete streets. Residential streets will be reconstructed as new asphalt streets. Curb and gutter will also be repaired where needed.
On high traffic streets, plans are for sidewalks to be added to any sections where there are none. In order to stretch dollars further and improve more streets, plans for residential streets are to focus only on repaving the roadway.
Project durations will vary depending on the scope and complexity of the reconstruction. If the bond is successful, the city will keep the public informed via the city’s website, newsletter and social media as each project progresses from design through construction.
Steps will be taken to ensure that the city has legal recourse through the construction contracts to prevent a contractor from failing to complete the work in a timely manner.
The east section of Glenview Drive, from Boulevard 26 to Flory Street, is being planned for reconstruction with funding remaining from the 2003 bond election.
Meadow Road will be repaved this spring in a joint project with Tarrant County Precinct 3, which reduces costs and allows the City of North Richland Hills to stretch street maintenance dollars further. The work on Meadow Road is expected to begin in March.
If the 2020 bond proposal is approved and costs come in lower that anticipated, any remaining funding could be used to reconstruct additional streets.
As the city continues to pay down its debt, it is anticipated that another bond election for streets could be held in 5 to 7 years.
The NRH Public Works Department maintains more than 543 lane miles of city streets. Through the department’s ongoing Preventive Street Maintenance Program, pavement sealing, patching and overlaying work is performed on numerous streets each year to preserve and extend the life of the streets. 163 streets are included in the Preventive Street Maintenance Program this year. You can find a map and more information on the Preventive Street Maintenance Program page.
The city plans to continue annual funding for the Preventive Street Maintenance Program whether or not the 2020 bond proposal passes.
Committee members appointed by the City Council included:
Scott Turnage, ChairSuzy Compton, Vice ChairGeorge AcostaCarol AndersonJeanne ArnoldBryan BeckLauren BirkesKit BuschmanJennifer ChildsGreg CliftonJohn CopeRobert CopelandBobby (Robert) CoulsonCole CoulsonTracey DriverPatrick FaramLeslie GarvisGayle HaleGreg HoffaKathy HudsonScott MazeRussell MitchellMindy MonroeDavid NewhouseSarah OlveyJim SchoolerHenry SealAmy SteeleTracye TippsMarc TrevinoJeremy VaughanLen WadeJustin WelbornJason WinansBonnie Woody
Questions related to the 2020 Bond Election may be directed to the North Richland Hills City Manager’s Office at 817-427-6003 or by email.
The City of North Richland Hills has adopted the 2018 I-Codes as published by the International Code Council. The adopted codes include the 2018 International Building, the 2018 International Residential Code, the 2018 International Plumbing Code, the 2018 International Mechanical Code, and the 2018 International Fuel Gas Code. Other codes used by the city include the 2017 National Electrical Code and the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code. Please note that the city has amended the published codes in several areas utilizing the North Central Texas Council of Governments Recommended Regional Amendments, as well as a number of specific local amendments. All regional and local amendments can be found under Chapter 98 of the North Richland Hills
The building codes the city uses are copyrighted documents and are not located on the city's website. Copies of the I-Codes can be found at the North Richland Hills Public Library; or they can be purchased from the International Code Council at www.iccsafe.org.
Every contractor performing construction work requiring permits and inspections must be registered with the City. Registration is completed in person at the Planning & Development Department located at City Hall, 4301 City Point Drive. There is no annual registration fee for all contractors.
Basically any new, remodeling, enlarging, altering, addition or demolition to buildings and structures will require a permit. Trade work, such as plumbing, mechanical/HVAC and electrical, require their own permits and must be obtained by state licensed personnel. Many construction repairs also require a building permit depending on the extent of the repair. There are some miscellaneous type projects that will require permits which include, but are not necessarily limited to fencing, driveways, decks over 30 inches in height, sheds exceeding 144 square feet, lawn irrigation systems, retaining walls taller than 24 inches, and some portable buildings. For clarification, please check with the Customer Service Assistants by calling 817-427-6300.
The following attachment is an unofficial version of the current permit fees (updated June 2019). Permit Fees (unofficial)
In general, the following items must be submitted for permitting of a new home. Additional items may be needed depending on location, zoning, or unique circumstances, etc.:
CD or Flash Drive containing all documents listed
Copy and verification that Residential Fire Sprinkler Affidavit has been filed with Tarrant County (Click here for form)
Construction Plans: Floor Plan, Exterior Elevations, MEP’s, etc.
Wind-Bracing / Shear Wall Plan
Foundation Plan & Engineer’s Foundation Letter
Additional support documentation (i.e. engineer’s eyebrow, brick-on-wood, special structural conditions, etc.)
2018 Energy Code Compliance Report (i.e. IC3 Report, HERS Report, RES-Check Report)
Grading / Drainage Plan
Please Note: Plans must be collated and assembled into identical sets when submitted.
Submit 2 complete sets of plans for residential projects and 3 sets of complete plans for commercial projects. Commercial projects with food sales require 4 sets of plans. Please note that all new commercial buildings, remodels, and additions must be accompanied by a digit copy (PDF) of the plans and specifications. Plans must be collated and assembled into identical sets when submitted.
RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS - One & two family dwellings do not require a permit to replace shingles only. Permits are required for re-roofing projects that include the repair or replacement of roof decking. All re-roofing projects, including those that do not require a building permit, must meet the provisions in Chapter 9 of the International Residential Code. Flashings and drip edges are required.Roofs containing two or more layers of shingles must be completely removed before installation of new shingles. Underlayment must also be replaced when re-shingling a roof.
All citizens are encouraged to use roofing contractors who are registered with the city and are members of the North Texas Roofing Contractors Association. A searchable website is available at https://www.ntrca.com/
The 2018 International Residential Code (IRC) adopted by the City of North Richland Hills requires roof structural panel sheathing (OSB and plywood) to meet Table R503.2.1.1(1) and typically requires a minimum of 7/16 inch thick sheathing. Table R803.1 is used for solid lumber sheathing (such as 1 X 8’s) and requires a minimum of 5/8 inch decking where rafters are spaced 24 inches on center. Additionally, section R905 of the IRC requires asphalt shingles to be applied in accordance with the applicable provisions of the code AND the manufacturers installation instructions (which ever is the most stringent).
Please know that the city does not require citizens to replace 3/8 inch plywood roof panels if it is still in good condition; and presumes that the panels met the code at the time it was originally installed. In fact, the IRC still allows appropriately rated 3/8 inch roofing panels on rafters spaced 24 inches on center to this very day; however, this product has been difficult to locate. Please be advised that there are occasions where the shingle manufacturer’s installation instructions are more restrictive than the IRC by mandating that their shingles be installed on 7/16 inch or thicker roof panels in order to honor their product’s warranty.
In most cases a garage cannot be converted into a living area. According to the city's zoning ordinance, a home must provide at least two 9' X 18' covered parking spaces behind the front building line. As such, this requirement cannot be met when the garage is converted into a living space.
Occasionally, a property has enough room to build a replacement garage or a new carport behind the front building line without encroaching on other required side and rear building setbacks. In these scenarios, it may be possible to convert an existing attached garage with the proper construction permits. Please contact the Planning and Inspection Departments at 817-427-6300 for all of the requirements if you're thinking about converting a garage.
The city's zoning regulations do not normally allow carports and garages to encroach the required building setback established by the zoning district of the property. In most scenarios, there is insufficient room to construct a carport and still honor minimum setbacks.
Republic Waste Services is the City of North Richland Hills' garbage hauling vendor. To set up service for your business, or to arrange a temporary roll-off container for a construction project, please contact Republic Waste Services at 817-317-2000. The use of other vendors is prohibited.
There are certain requirements to run for NRH City Council. Those requirements are outlined by the City Charter and Election Code and can be found here.
Two forms are required to run for City Council: (1) Appointment of Campaign Treasurer and (2) Application for place on the ballot.
The City Charter requires a candidate application must be accompanied by a filing fee of $150.00 or a petition containing the valid signatures of at least 150 registered voters in the City of North Richland Hills.
Your appointment of campaign treasurer form and application are filed with the City Secretary’s Office during the filing period. The filing period begins January 15, 2020 and the last day to file is February 14, 2020.
The forms can be obtained from the City Secretary’s Office during business hours. The forms are also available on the City’s website.
• Contact Republic Waste directly by calling 817-317-2450.
• Contact the City of North Richland Hills water office at 817-427-6200 and they will call Republic Waste on your behalf.
After the hole, or wellbore, is drilled a process called "fracturing" takes place. Fracturing requires dozens of trucks with large pumps to send water down the well to make cracks in the Barnett Shale, which allows the gas to flow. The fracturing process can be noisy and may take 5 to 6 days to complete. The City regulates the hours of operation during the fracturing process and inspects the site to make sure all regulations and safety requirements are met. The water that is used for fracturing is hauled away for safe disposal.
When the fracturing is completed and natural gas finally flows up the wellbore, the initial gas to rise up will be burned off, or flared. This can be seen as bright flames from vent stacks, even when the well is a good distance away. These sights and sounds are normal and temporary. Once this is completed - usually in just a few days - everything will return to normal and production begins.
Equipment is installed to allow the gas to flow safely from the well to nearby pipelines and then on to power plants, factories and even homes. During the production phase the site is quiet and has a minimal impact. Production sites will be monitored daily by the production company and will be inspected regularly by the City. An 8 foot tall masonry wall and landscaping will surrounding the wells for safety and to screen them from the public view after they are put into production.
In communities where drilling is already taking place, the most common complaints during the drilling process are about noise and lighting. The City will monitor noise levels and can require additional sound muffling devices if noise exceeds the levels specified in the Gas Well Drilling and Production Ordinance. Lights at the gas well sites will be directed downward and shielded to prevent illumination of public roads, dwellings and buildings within 600 feet.
The City of North Richland Hills has a gas inspector on staff who makes regular inspections throughout this process to ensure that ordinances and safety standards are being followed.
Juvenile Appearances: According to State Law, persons 16 years of age or younger MUST appear in person with a parent or legal guardian before the Municipal Court Judge. PLEASE DO NOT MAIL YOUR FINE PAYMENT; payment cannot be accepted prior to the court appearance.
Minor Appearances: According to State Law, minors under age of 18 with alcohol or tobacco violations must appear with a parent or legal guardian before the Municipal Court Judge. Minors ages 18 to 21 with alcohol violations must appear in person before the Municipal Court Judge.
These dismissals have terms and are not always a defendant's right. These dismissals are offered only if the defendant appears on or before the required appearance date and meets specific terms. Fees for compliance dismissals are payable immediately by cash, check, money order or credit card.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Police Department provides fingerprinting services for the public each Wednesday and Friday, between 9 a.m. and 12 Noon. Note: the Police Department does not offer fingerprint services for gun license renewals and for Immigration and Customs Enforcement. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 817-427-7000.
Property taxes, along with other funding sources, fund your city services including police, fire and ems, streets, drainage and traffic control, animal services, code compliance, building and health inspections, parks and recreation, and library services. The following chart shows the change in the city's property tax rate since 2010. The 4-cent increase in 2012 was due to the voter approved bonds for the new city hall.
The city property tax rate for 2019 is $0.572 per $100 property value. This is the third year in a row the property tax rate has been reduced.
The City Council sets the property tax rate each year. The annual city budget and tax rate are proposed each August and adopted in September following required public notices and public hearings.
This year, public hearings were held on Monday, August 26, 2019 and Thursday, August 29, 2019 in the City Council Chamber on the third floor of City Hall.
The city's fiscal year begins October 1.
Your city taxes fund the services and infrastructure you depend on every day, such as good roads and the police, fire and emergency medical services that respond in a crisis and keep our community safe. These funds also provide for innovative library programs that encourage life-long learning, as well as superior park and recreation amenities that promote active lifestyles and provide beautiful green space for recreation and play. In 2019, the average NRH homeowner paid $1,148.35 in property taxes to the city. The following chart shows how the tax payment was distributed to provide city services.
* General Government includes financial management, information technology, planning, communications and other administrative services.
Property taxes make up about 39% of the city's General Fund revenue, with sales tax contributing about 21%. Franchise fees, permits, fines, charges for service, grants and other sources also help fund the city's daily operations.
In 2019, the average NRH home has a taxable value of about $200,761. At the tax rate of $0.572 per $100 property valuation, the city tax bill for this home will be $1,148 annually or $95.67 per month.
As a reminder, the taxable value of your home is significantly less than the market value of your home, due to appraisal caps and the exemptions offered by the city.
The Market Value is the amount the Tarrant County Appraisal District believes your home is currently worth.
The Appraised Value is the value of your home after state-mandated limitations on value increases for residential homesteads is factored in. This value is set by the Tarrant County Appraisal District. In Texas the appraised value of a homestead may increase no more than 10% per year.
The Taxable Value is the Appraised Value minus Exemptions. The tax rate is applied to the Taxable Value to determine your tax bill.
To lower your home's taxable value and your tax bill, the City of North Richland Hills provides the following exemptions:
With the tax rate of $0.572, the average annual city property tax bill will increase $72.61 over last year, an increase of 6.7%. It is important to note for homeowners who have a senior/disabled exemption in place, property taxes are capped and will not go up. In NRH, 27.4% of homes benefits from the senior/disabled exemption.
Please use our online calculator.
The $0.572-cent tax rate will generate $1,939,300 or 6.1% more in revenue from property taxes for FY 2019-20 compared to FY 18-19. Of that amount, $462,347 is tax revenue generated from newly constructed properties added to the tax roll this year. The additional funding will help city departments keep up with growth, increasing costs and increasing demands on services. It also offsets the reduction of around $500,000 in fees that the city previously collected each year from red light cameras and telephone service providers. Both of those programs were cut by the Texas Legislature.
Each decrease in the property tax rate by a penny would reduce the average NRH residential tax bill by $20.08 annually or $1.67 per month.
However, each decrease of a penny on the tax rate would reduce revenues to the city's general fund by $472,482.
The tax you pay to the city equals around 22% of your overall property tax bill. Over half of your property taxes, 55%, goes to the school district, with the rest going to county agencies.
While it does not collect property taxes, the State of Texas collects around $2,000 in sales and other taxes per person per year. (Year: 2015, Source: State)
The federal government collects more than $10,000 per person per year in income taxes. (Year: 2015, Source: Federal)
Property values are set by the Tarrant Appraisal District (TAD) and may decrease, increase or remain the same from year to year. Property values are based on a number of factors including current housing market conditions. Overall, existing property values decreased from 2009 to 2011 and it was not until 2014 that they returned to pre-recession levels. There was essentially no increase in existing home values in 2015. While property values have increased since 2016, it is important to note that the taxable value has not increased as much as the market value due to state mandated limitations on value increases for residential homesteads and exemptions offered by the city. While senior and disabled residents may see their property values increase, their tax bill will not increase above the amount they paid in the year that they qualified for the tax ceiling, unless they buy a new home or add to on to their home. The chart below shows the change in both the average taxable value and average market value for single family homes in North Richland Hills.
Property tax rates vary by city, as do property values. Some cities may have a lower tax rate, but a significantly higher average home value. Also, they may offer no homestead exemption or a lower homestead exemption. Some cities have much higher sales tax and hotel/motel tax revenue that help fund city services, enabling the city to maintain a lower property tax rate. The following shows the 2019 average annual city property tax bill in NRH compared to the average city property tax bill in neighboring cities. (Please note, this reflects city taxes only and does not include property taxes levied by school districts or county entities.)
North Richland Hills residents can receive a 15% homestead exemption, plus a $36,000 exemption if they are a senior citizen (65 and older) or disabled.
We will use a home valued at $200,000 as an example, which was the average Appraised Value of a single family home in North Richland Hills in 2017. The homestead exemption (15% of the Appraised Value) on this property equals $30,000. This is subtracted from the Appraised Value, making the property's Taxable Value $170,000.
When the homeowner turns 65, they can fill out an application through the Tarrant Appraisal District and receive the senior exemption. This is not in lieu of the 15%, but rather in addition. If a home with the average Appraised Value of $200,000 has both the 15% Homestead and the $36,000 Senior Exemption on the property, the owner would receive total exemptions of $66,000 ($30,000 + $36,000). This reduces the property's Taxable Value to $134,000.
The current tax rate is applied to the Taxable Value of the property. In this example, at a 59-cent rate, the resident would pay $1,003 in city property tax if they have the homestead exemption or $790.60 in city property taxes if they have both the homestead and senior exemption.
To verify if you have the homestead and / or senior exemption in place, contact the Tarrant Appraisal District at 817-284-0024.
The senior / disabled tax ceiling (also known as a tax freeze) ensures that a senior or disabled person will not have a city tax bill any higher than what was paid in city taxes in the year the homeowner turns 65 or becomes disabled, even if there are increases to their property value or the tax rate.
The amount a senior or disabled homeowner pays in city taxes can decrease if changes to the appraised value and tax rate equal an amount lower than their frozen amount. However, if in subsequent years the value increases and/or the tax rate increases, the homeowner can pay more in property taxes but not more than the amount previously frozen. The cap does not reset.
If improvements are made to the home (such as an addition, not general maintenance type improvements), then the tax bill can go up by the amount of taxes related to the improvement. This amount added to the previously frozen amount would then become the new ceiling on the amount of taxes a homeowner would pay.
If a homeowner benefits from the freeze, sells their home and buys a new home of higher value, the freeze will apply to the new home at the same proportion as the freeze applied to the home they sold.
The tax freeze may be passed on to a surviving spouse if the surviving spouse is 55 years of age or older at the time of the eligible homeowner’s death and continues to reside in the residence.
A senior / disabled tax ceiling is in place for 1 out of 4 homeowners in North Richland Hills. This number continues to grow each year. To verify that you have the senior / disabled tax ceiling in place, contact the Tarrant Appraisal District at 817-284-0024.
• 0 demerits = perfect score• 10 demerits = meets expectation and no critical violations• 15 demerits = satisfactory inspection score with no critical violations• 25 demerits = requires a re-inspection of the establishment• 30 demerits or more = indicates serious conditions State law indicates that when total demerits exceed 30, "the establishment shall initiate immediate corrective action on all identified critical violations, and shall initiate corrective action on all other violations within 48 hours." Depending on the severity of the violations, immediate closure may be warranted.
• Low Priority (inspected 1-2 times per year minimum): A food establishment that sells only prepackaged foods; prepares and/or serves only beverages or foods with minimal handling. This may include some convenience stores or commissaries.
• Medium Priority (inspected 2-3 times per year minimum): A food establishment that prepares, serves, or sells foods from precooked ingredients with limited handling. Examples include as a retail grocery store, sandwich shop, seasonal fast food, produce market, ice cream shop, bakery or candy store.
• High Priority (inspected 3-4 times per year minimum): A food establishment that prepares or sells foods from raw meats or seafood, extensively handles foods, and serves a highly susceptible population. Examples include a full service restaurant, fast food restaurant, seafood market, fresh meat market, delicatessen, caterer, hospital food service, or nursing home food service.
Ground-mounted systems cannot exceed 8-feet tall and have the same setback and size standards as a permanent accessory building. Maximum sizes depend on the size of the lot and the presence of any existing permanent accessory buildings. The total area of permanent accessory buildings and ground-mounted solar systems will range between 500 and 1000 square feet.
Roof-mounted systems cannot extend beyond the roof’s edges or ridges and must have a maximum 8-inch separation between the system and the roof. Size is otherwise not restricted.
Lastly, a detailed sketch depicting the roof framing members; including rafter size, rafter spacing, rafter direction, purlin locations, purlin bracing locations, decking thickness, type of roof material, and the number of layers of shingles, must be provided for adequate structural assessment. Roofs that do not meet minimum building code requirements may require an engineer’s design and professional seal.
As a train approaches the Smithfield Station heading east to Grapevine, the crossing gates at Smithfield, Davis and Main all go down. If it is a freight train or the Grapevine Vintage Railroad, the train will continue through and the gates at each crossing will come up as soon as the train passes. If it is a TEXRail train, it will stop at the station and board passengers. The gates at Davis and Main usually stay down while the train is boarding. The crossing gates on Davis and Main are down for about 3 to 4 minutes for each eastbound TEXRail train. Once the crossing gates go up, traffic on Davis gets a green light first, followed by Main Street. Trinity Metro TEXRail is in the process of reviewing crossings to determine what changes can be made to minimize interruptions to traffic flow while still maintaining federal safety requirements.
As a train approaches the Smithfield Station heading westbound to Fort Worth, the crossing gates at Smithfield and Holiday all go down. If it is a freight train or the Grapevine Vintage Railroad, the train will continue through and the gates at each crossing will come up as soon as the train passes. If it is a TEXRail train that stops for boarding at the station, the gates at the crossings may go back up while the train is stopped. Then they go back down when the train leaves the station again. Trinity Metro TEXRail is in the process of reviewing crossings to determine what changes can be made to minimize interruptions to traffic flow while still maintaining federal safety requirements.
Train horns are required by federal law to be sounded at all public crossings, 24 hours a day, to warn motorists and pedestrians that a train is approaching. A quiet zone is a stretch of track where the Federal Railroad Administration has agreed that trains are not required to routinely sound the horn at each public crossing except in emergencies, such as someone on the track or workers within 25 feet of the track or at the discretion of the crew, as appropriate.
Quiet Zones have been established for all 10 railroad crossings in North Richland Hills. The Quiet Zone became effective when TEXRail service began on January 5, 2019. Residents should now be hearing far fewer train horns than before. Keep in mind that a train engineer may still sound the horn in emergencies such as a vehicle or person on the track, workers within 25 feet of the track or at the discretion of the crew as needed for safety.
While horns are no longer routinely sounded at each crossing, bells do begin to sound when the crossing signal is activated and continue until the train completely passes through the intersection. The bells are required by federal law to warn those who may be visually impaired.
At the rail stations, train operators also use bells to alert passengers of an incoming/outgoing train to/from the station.
There are different options available to make a railroad crossing eligible for the quiet zone designation. All ten of NRH’s crossings received safety improvements and equipment necessary to qualify them for this designation. In most crossing locations, a median is included, but is not always required. The alternative to a median is to include a “quad gate” design, which means that there are gates across the roadway on both sides of the tracks. With raised medians, the railroad is only required to provide gate arms on one side of the tracks since the median would prevent a driver from crossing into the oncoming lane to avoid the gate.
Both Eden Road and Holiday Lane have the quad gate design with no median. Browning, Rufe Snow, Iron Horse, Mid-Cities, Main Street, and Smithfield have medians with two gated roadway legs. Finally, Davis and Precinct Line have both medians and quad gates. Again, all crossings in NRH are part of the quiet zone.
Iron Horse Station is located at 6351 Iron Horse Blvd. This is just north of Loop 820 near the intersection of Iron Horse Boulevard and Boulder Drive. The station has 386 parking spaces and 3 loading zones.
Smithfield Station is located at 6420 Smithfield Rd. This is about one block north of Smithfield Road and Mid Cities Boulevard. The station has 549 parking spaces and 3 loading zones.
Trinity Metro allows up to 20-hour free parking at the TEXRail stations in North Richland Hills, so if you work a night shift or a double shift, or plan a day trip, you will be able to park in the TEXRail station lot. If you are planning to be out of town for two or more days, you should get a ride to the station and use the easy drop-off lanes.
The issue regarding long term parking is that if the rail station lots fill up with travelers who are gone days or weeks at a time, then there will not be enough space for daily commuters to park. Options for long term parking are being explored and could be added at a later date.
Starting July 28, 2019 TEXRail service increased with 30 minute frequency during peak times. During off peak times trains continue to run once an hour. Passengers should consult the online schedule prior to departure. The daily service schedule can be found at https://ridetrinitymetro.org/texrail/schedules/.
Depending on each location and the speed of the train when crossing, the train clears most intersections in about a minute, generally less time than is required by a normal traffic signal cycle. Some crossings are a little longer due to unique circumstances at that particular crossing.
Median barriers are a safety enhancement that restrict driver access to the opposing lanes and prevent vehicle drivers from driving through or around lowered crossing gates. These barriers have shown a significant reduction in the number of vehicle violations at crossing gates. For railroad crossings to be designated as a Quiet Zone, safety enhancements such as the median barriers must be in place.
Studies have shown that this DMU type of train creates 72% less pollution and 75% less noise than a standard locomotive. The TEXRail Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) shows that the sound level for these trains at full throttle is under 75 dBA at 50 feet (equivalent to the sound of a household vacuum cleaner) and below 50 dBA at 100 feet (equivalent to the sound of a normal level conversation). In addition, the railroad bed is being reconstructed and new concrete rail ties installed. This will reduce the sound and vibration coming from the track itself.
The City of North Richland Hills has established “Transit Oriented Development” (TOD) districts around both station locations to allow mixed use development that will be accessed by the transit stop in a walkable environment.
Developments in the Smithfield area include:
Developments in the Iron Horse area include:
Given the limited amount of vacant land remaining in NRH and the continued desirability and attractiveness of our community, the Iron Horse and Smithfield areas would have developed in one form or another even without TEXRail. The rail station provides an opportunity for more efficient, higher quality and higher value development in these areas.
The North Central Texas Council of Governments and regional transportation authorities have been planning for more than a decade to extend passenger rail service to many communities in Tarrant, Dallas, Denton and Collin counties with connections to the existing transit systems in Dallas and Fort Worth.
In 2007, North Richland Hills was designated for future TEXRail stops by the North Central Texas Council of Governments and Fort Worth Transportation Authority (now known as Trinity Metro) and the city updated its Comprehensive Land Use Plan to incorporate the two commuter rail districts.
In 2009, the city held public hearings and adopted zoning codes and development regulations to guide future development in the Iron Horse and Smithfield stations.
In 2015, the City formalized an agreement with the Fort Worth Transportation Authority (Trinity Metro) for the two rail station locations.
Please review the additional FAQs located on the TEXRail website: https://ridetrinitymetro.org/texrail/about-texrail/faqs/. You are also welcome to contact NRH Planning & Development at 817-427-6330 with any questions that you have.
It is not necessary to raise the lid on the meter box to read the meter as the meters are read electronically through a device called a "Transponder” located on the top of the meter. Readings are then transmitted to the computer in the meter reading truck. The meter is read manually if the computer is unable to read the meter due to a tamper code or malfunction and generates a missed read error message.
Bills increase for variable reasons, listed below are some of the most common:
If you would like to have your meter read again or its devices checked, contact the Water Department at 817-427-6200.
The amount of water irrigation systems use depends on a lot of factors including the number of and type of sprinkler heads the system has, and the amount of minutes that they are on. The only way to know for sure how much water you are putting on your lawn is to read your water meter.
1. Open your meter box lid and take a picture of the dial prior to starting irrigation.
2. Run your irrigation system for the amount of time you normally do.
3. Once your irrigation cycles are completed, take another picture of the dial.
4. Subtract the first reading from the second reading to calculate the amount of water used. This is how many cubic feet of water are going through your irrigation system for one watering. Multiply the amount by 7.48 to convert the amount of water used to gallons.
5. Multiply by the number of days to you water your lawn each month to see how much your irrigation system use is adding to your monthly water bill.
Most homeowners catch indoor leaks quickly, but outdoor leaks and problems can be harder to find, especially with your irrigation system. Performing irrigation troubleshooting checks to determine if you have a leak or malfunctioning system can help you conserve water and save money. Irrigation systems should be checked and fixed on a regular basis. We recommend you visually inspect your sprinkler system once a month and have it checked by an irrigation specialist at least once a year. Here's what to look for:
Look at the controller is to make sure the programming is reasonable. Sometimes an irrigation controller loses its programming due to loss of power, and goes on default, which may be the totally wrong schedule for your lawn. Routinely checking your controller’s programming and time clock can ensure you are watering at the appropriate time of day, times per week and for the a reasonable amount of time.
Locate and check each of your valve boxes. Are they flooded or dry? They should be dry. If they’re wet, and it hasn’t been raining, check them carefully for worn parts, loose wiring, or water leaking out between fittings.
Turn the stations on one by one and look for these indications of wasted water:
Keep in mind, if there are any breaks or loose fittings underground, the water loss may not be visible. Because water naturally flows in a path of least resistance and gravity pulls it down, many underground leaks do not appear on the surface of the ground. If your water usage has been unusually high, and you suspect an underground irrigation leak, consult an irrigation specialist.
Visit http://www.savetarrantwater.com/ to find a DIY video library of common sprinkler repairs.
Listed below are steps to follow to test your meter to find out if you have a water leak:
1. Test should be conducted for a thirty minute period, during which time no water is being used on the property.
2. Find your water meter. It is usually located in the front of the house in a covered box near the street.
3. Write down the numbers indicated on the meter at the start of the test.
4. Return to check the meter reading after 30 minutes have passed.
5. If the numbers have not changed, you do not have a water leak. If the numbers have changed, continue with the following steps:
6. Shut off the valves under all toilets in the house, and repeat steps 1-4.
7. If the numbers have not changed, you may have a running toilet that should be serviced. If the numbers have changed, this indicates water consumption even though water was not being used during the test. A plumber may be required to locate and repair the leak.
This is a quick estimate of cost and will vary depending upon the minimum volume included in your base rate which is not included in the above calculation. View the current rate schedule by clicking the link below for more information. Rates
Cycle 11 - First TuesdayCycle 12 - First FridayCycle 13 - Second TuesdayCycle 14 - Second FridayCycle 15 - Third TuesdayCycle 16 - Third FridayCycle 17 - Fourth TuesdayCycle 18 - Fourth Friday
The billing date will vary according to the day of the month that the above schedule falls on.
Water customers may notice a cloudy appearance to their water from on occasion. This is merely due to air trapped in the water which can occur when repairs are made to our water mains. The repair process traps air in the water lines, giving the water a cloudy or milky white appearance when it is drawn from the tap. After sitting for a few minutes, the cloudiness will dissipate as the air bubbles break apart. The water remains safe to drink. If the cloudiness persists for more than a day or two, contact the Public Works Utility Division at 817-427-6440.
The City’s drinking water meets all Federal (EPA) standards and is safe to drink. Our water is supplied by the Fort Worth Water Department and the Trinity River Authority. According to Fort Worth and TRA, the taste and odor of the water may change from time to time because of an increase in the water supply of a naturally-occurring organic compound called geosmin. While the presence of geosmin may be easily detected by the average person, it is not toxic or harmful. The water remains safe to drink.
When geosmin levels are high, Fort Worth and TRA do make adjustments to ozonation levels and other treatment processes in an effort to improve the taste and odor. Customers may also improve the taste of their drinking water by refrigerating the water in an open container or adding a slice of lemon or lime.