City manager praises Van Alstyne response to winter crisis

By Joshua Baethge
For the Van Alstyne Leader
City crews clear snow from South Preston Street on Feb. 16

In his monthly report to the City Council March 16, Van Alstyne City Manager Lane Jones praised his staff’s response to the unprecedented February winter storm.

“Most of my professional life I have worked in the service to others industry.  I find a great deal of satisfaction in this field of work and can go home at the end of the day feeling I have accomplished something worthy of doing,” he said.  “Providing a culture of service has been my motto from day one of arriving in Van Alstyne and I am very proud to report that during this last month, your city staff demonstrated that they have adopted this philosophy.”

Power outages brought on by the February freeze caused the city’s water system to fail.  It took every resource the city could muster just to minimize its impact.  The Public Works Department worked 24-hour days for an entire week. Crews slept in their vehicles at well sites to keep utilities going when they actually did have power. According to Jones, there was not one complaint from staff who simply stepped up to get the job done. 

Lane Jones

The fire department handled as many calls during the week of the storm that there would normally do in twice that time. At the height of the winter crisis, they received a week’s worth of calls in just a single day.

In addition to recognizing staff members, Jones also took time to thank the community for all of their efforts as well during that difficult time. He mentioned neighbors helping neighbors, restaurants providing food at no cost to those who needed it, and people posting on the city’s community page about available firewood, services, and other offers of help.

“I want to express my appreciation to all the citizens so of Van Alstyne for continuing to make Van Alstyne a great community,” he said. “The heart of our small-town culture does not count the number of residents we have but does count on the hearts of our citizens.”