Pearland - Friendswood Edition | September 2021

PEARLAND FRIENDSWOOD EDITION

VOLUME 7, ISSUE 10  SEPT. 10OCT. 7, 2021

ONLINE AT

Friendswood to replace all watermeters for $9M

BY JAKE MAGEE

Starting this fall, the city of Friendswood will begin a $9 million project ocials hope will save the city millions of dollars in the long run. The task is to replace each of the city’s more than 14,000 water meters, which are slowly becoming more inaccurate, with new ones capable of staying more accurate for longer. Ocials said they expect CONTINUED ON 20 RISING DIFFERENCE Due to faulty water meters, the city of Friendswood has seen an increasing gap between the amount of water revenue it collects from customers and the amount the city must pay the city of Houston for the water it provides Friendswood. Once new water meters are installed by late 2022, that gap will vanish.

EASING CONGESTION

The extension of McHard Road in Pearland is one of three major projects the city is working on to address trac congestion.

COURTESY CITY OF PEARLAND

Pearland projects aim to reduce east-west trac Road projects across east-to-west thoroughfares in Pearland have city and state ocials hopeful its infrastructure can keep pace with the city’s boom- ing population. thoroughfare for residents to commute between Hwy. 35 and Hwy. 288, the congestion along the street spurred by an over 37% population increase in the last decade has made improving east-to-west travel a focal point, Pearland Public Information Ocer Joshua Lee said. BY ANDY YANEZ

Water revenue

Water expense

*Budgeted

**Estimated

When it comes to east-to-west travel in Pearland, Broadway Street, also known as FM 518, is the bus- iest road for drivers, according to the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. In a 2020 study released by the TTI, Broadway Street between Hwy. 288 and Hwy. 35 was ranked the most congested road in the city and 103rd in Texas. While the four-lane road has been the main

There are three road projects in Pearland aiming to alleviate the congestion that will aect com- muters and businesses: the widening of Broad- way Street and Bailey Road and the extension of McHard Road, all of which are expected to have construction begin within the next ve years. CONTINUED ON 18

FISCAL YEAR

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PEARLAND - FRIENDSWOOD EDITION • SEPTEMBER 2021

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THIS ISSUE

ABOUT US

Owners John and Jennifer Garrett launched the rst edition of Community Impact Newspaper in 2005 with three full-time employees covering Round Rock and Pugerville, Texas. We have expanded our operations to include hundreds of employees, our own printing operation and over 30 hyperlocal editions across three states. Our circulation is over 2 million residential mailboxes, and it grows each month with new residents and developments.

HIGHLIGHTS FROMTHISMONTH

FROMPAPAR: The 2020 census has identied Pearland as the eighth fastest-growing city in the United States among towns of at least 100,000 residents. We have felt that growth the most when it comes to mobility in the city, specically east-to-west mobility. This month’s front-page story reports how the city has addressed the need for improved trac ow in various thoroughfares in Pearland. Papar Faircloth, GENERALMANAGER

Community Impact Newspaper teams include general managers, editors, reporters, graphic designers, sales account executives and sales support, all immersed and invested in the communities they serve. Our mission is to build communities of informed citizens and thriving businesses through the collaboration of a passionate team. Our core values are Faith, Passion, Quality, Innovation and Integrity.

FROM JAKE: Friendswood is about to undergo a monthslong $9 million project to replace every water meter in the city. That means every resident and business will soon have a new water meter that is more accurate and has more features for tracking water use in real time. Read our front-page story to learn more about what this means for you and the city. Jake Magee, EDITOR

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PEARLAND  FRIENDSWOOD EDITION • SEPTEMBER 2021

IMPACTS

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NOWOPEN 1 Belong Gaming Arenas opened its first gaming center in the U.S. at 11200 Broadway St., Ste. 1440, Pearland, on Aug. 6. The 4,800-square-foot facility features 48 gaming stations equipped with PCs and access to both PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X installations, according to a news release. The business will host daily competitive programming and other social activities. Locals will be able to watch, play and compete across popular games. 713-965-7670. http://us.belong.gg 2 Action Behavior Center opened Aug. 2 at 2941 Broadway Bend Drive, Ste. 108, Pearland. Action Behavior Centers provide applied behavioral analysis therapy, which includes one-on-one sessions that focus on the specific developmental needs for children on the autism spectrum. 281-223-5070. www.actionbehavior.com

3 Scooter’s Coffee at 2401 Main St., Pearland, had its soft opening Aug. 9. The shop offers a diverse drink menu including hot and iced drinks, smoothies and teas. Scooter’s Coffee also offers burritos, croissants, sandwiches and sweets, among other items. 281-406-8122. www.scooterscoffee.com 4 BLCK Market opened Sept. 4 at Pearland Town Center at 1200 Broadway St., Pearland. The business is a market- place where residents can shop Black- owned small businesses and vendors selling fashion, skin care, hair care and food. This is BLCK Market’s first brick-and-mortar store. www.blckmarkethouston.com 5 Galaxy Automotive and Tire on Aug. 16 opened at 6834 Broadway St., Pearland. Galaxy Automotive and Tire services include air-conditioning and

cooling services, brake services and repair, check engine light and diagnostics, and oil and filter changes. 832-328-5311. www.galaxyautomotivepearland.com 6 1 Body MedSpa opened July 12 at 3220 Kirby Drive, Ste. 140, Pearland. The business offers several services, includ- ing fillers, Botox, lip injections, chemical peels and permanent makeup. The spa also offers postoperative healing services and services for men. 832-981-2639. www.1bodymedspa.com 7 Specialty Smiles opened at 1875 CR 101, Ste. 150, Manvel, on Aug. 17. The business provides dental and orthodontic services for adults and children, such as restorative procedures, sedation and laser dentistry, and emergency care. 281-607-5155. www.specialty-smiles.com 8 Pearland Canine Resource Center on July 5 opened at 3939 Allen Road,

Pearland. Pearland Canine Resource Center offers vaccinations, heartworm prevention, microchips, nail trims and ear cleaning. 832-637-7233. www.pearlandcanineresourcecenter.com 9 Black Rock Coffee Bar at 702 Bay Area Blvd., Webster, opened July 16. The business offers hot and cold specialty coffees; noncoffee beverages, such as tea and hot chocolate; and blended drinks, such as smoothies. The business has locations in Katy and the west side of Houston. www.br.coffee 10 Cycle Gear opened in late July at 1201 W. Bay Area Blvd., Ste. 104, Webster. The shop sells motorcycle equipment and gear, including jackets, jeans, gloves, helmets and tires. The business offers in-store shopping, curbside pickup, online item reservations and the option to ship online-ordered items to the store.

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COMPILED BY COLLEEN FERGUSON, JAKE MAGEE & ANDY YANEZ

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Black Rock Coee Bar

Mikki’s Soulfood Cafe

COURTESY BLACK ROCK COFFEE BAR

COURTESY GREATER HOUSTON FRONTIER’S CLUB

346-358-3559. www.facebook.com/ cyclegearwebstertx COMING SOON 11 Brookside Village Farmer’s Market will open at E.A. Lawhon Elementary School, located at 5810 Brookside Road, Pearland, beginning Oct. 10. The farmers market will be held every second Sunday of the month and will focus on local food producers and area backyard gardeners, said Alex Hancock, the treasurer for the Brookside Village Farmer’s Market. For the Oct. 10 launch, the farmers market will also feature a pumpkin patch, kids activities, live music and more, she said. 512-844-3504. www.brooksidevillagemarket.com RELOCATIONS 12 Alliance BJJ Houston , now located at 8498 S. Sam Houston Parkway East, Ste. 1800, Houston, moved to its new location Aug. 2. The martial arts academy was pre- viously located at 10555 Pearland Parkway, Ste. U, Houston. Alliance BJJ Houston is a martial arts academy that specializes in jiujitsu and fitness but also offers programs including fight fit camps, boxing, wres- tling, yoga, meditation and law enforce- ment classes. Alliance BJJ Houston will celebrate its grand opening Sept. 11 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. and will offer signup specials and other activities. 832-509-0255.

in Pearland all September. Pearland’s largest music academy offers music les- sons and programming, according to its website. Allegro will be giving away free music bags to all students in September and launching the Allegro Music Achieve- ment Program. Students will also have the opportunity to play music for the first time in the U.S. from pianist and Allegro faculty member Ruslan Bayazitov’s new music book, Allegro Director Heather Scharbor said in an email. 713-322-2700. www.allegroacademypearland.com IN THE NEWS 14 Space Center Houston , 1601 E. NASA Parkway, Houston, announced in early July that tours of Johnson Space Center’s Mission Control had returned. Tours of the historic room had been off limits for months at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Space Center Houston is a museum that allows visitors to learn more about NASA, including through tours of the next-door Johnson Space Center. 281-283-4755. www.spacecenter.org 15 Mikki’s Soulfood Cafe owner Craig Joseph on June 1 was presented with a corporate sponsorship appreciation award for the restaurant’s 2021 contributions to the Greater Houston Frontiers Club, a nonprofit organization that provides edu- cational and monetary assistance to local minority students. Mikki’s Soulfood Cafe, located at 9603 Broadway St., Ste. 108, Pearland, was recognized for its com- munity support of scholarship recipients through the nonprofit. 281-919-1506. www.mikkiscafetx.com

Vanessa Wyche became director of the Johnson Space Center in May.

COLLEEN FERGUSON/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

FEATURED IMPACT IN THE NEWS Johnson Space Center , 2101 E. NASA Parkway, Houston, named its rst Black female director over the summer. Vanessa Wyche had been serving as acting director at the center since May, according to a June 30 news release from NASA. She is a 31-year NASA veteran and served as deputy director for nearly three years before stepping into the director role. The South Carolina native and Clemson University alumnus also previously worked as director of the center’s Exploration Integration and Science Directorate and served as a ight manager for multiple space shuttle missions, per the release. As director, Wyche will lead a center that is central to NASA’s human spaceight missions and home to the nation’s astronaut corps, International Space Station mission operations and the Orion Program. “Vanessa is a tenacious leader who has broken down barriers throughout her career,” NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy said in the release. “In the years to come, I’m condent that Houston will continue to lead the way in human spaceight.” Wyche expressed optimism about the future of the space industry in Houston at a Bay Area Houston

Economic Partnership event Aug. 18. Of the more than $5.5 billion the center had in its budget for scal year 2020, more than $2.2 billion was spent in Texas, Wyche said. “To go to the moon, it’s going to take all of us,” she said Aug. 18. “It’s going to take government; it’s going to take academia; it’s going to take industries.” 281-483-0123 www.nasa.gov/centers/johnson

Vanessa Wyche

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PEARLAND - FRIENDSWOOD EDITION • SEPTEMBER 2021

TODO LIST

September & October events

COMPILED BY BETH MARSHALL

25 RUNWITHA FOURLEGGED FUR FRIEND In celebration of National Dog Week, Pearland Parks and Recreation will host Ru Runner, a pet-themed race that invites participants to run with their pets. While a 5K option is available, only the 1K and 3K options provide the opportunity for pet inclusion. Post-race, a Yappy Hour will take place along with a presentation of race medals for all registered participants. Online registration is open. 7-10 a.m. $15 (1K fun run/walk for children age 14 and younger), $20 (3K fun run/ walk, 5K run). Independence Park, 3449 Pearland Parkway, Pearland. 281-412-8900. www.parks.pearlandtx.gov/ special-events/ru-runner-yappy-hour 28 JOINA TRUE CRIME BOOK CLUB A monthly virtual event hosted by the Friendswood Library, True Crime Book Club is for those intrigued by serial killers, heists, cold cases and forensics. This month’s session will cover “Who Killed These Girls?: The Unsolved Murders that Rocked a Texas Town” by Beverly Lowry. The book covers the 1991 murder of four girls who were found in a frozen yogurt shop in Austin. Registration is required, and space is limited. Once registration is complete, Zoom connection details will be sent. 7-8:30 p.m. Free. 281-482-7135. www.friendswood.lib.tx.us

SEPTEMBER 10 THROUGH 12

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS High school football season is underway in Pearland and Friendswood ISDs. Here are some upcoming games scheduled for Pearland and Glenda Dawson high schools in PISD and Friendswood High School in FISD. Pearland Oilers Sept. 10: vs. Oak Ridge (home) Sept. 24: vs. Strake-Jesuit (home) Oct. 1: vs. Alvin (Memorial Stadium) Oct. 8: vs. Alief Elsik (home) Dawson Eagles Sept. 11: vs. George Ranch (home) Sept. 23: vs. Hastings (Crump Stadium) Oct. 1: vs. Shadow Creek (home) Oct. 8: vs. Taylor (Crump Stadium) Friendswood Mustangs Sept. 10: vs. Pasadena Dobie (home) Sept. 24: vs. Baytown Lee (Stallworth Stadium) Oct. 1: vs. Baytown Sterling (home) Oct. 8: vs. Beaumont United (Beaumont ISD Memorial Stadium) Shadow Creek Sharks Sept. 10: vs. Cypress Woods (Cypress) Sept. 24: vs. Alief Taylor (home) Oct. 1: vs. Dawson (Pearland) Oct. 8: vs. Strake Jesuit (home)

GO TO THE THEATER Pearl Theater presents “Daddy’s Dyin’ Who’s Got the Will?” Written by Del Shores and directed by Je Merriman, the play takes place in a small town in Texas where a family reunites for the imminent death of their patriarch. A story of the strengthening of a family unit, the show includes lighthearted moments among its serious overtone. 8 p.m. (Fri.-Sat.), 3 p.m. (Sun.). $16 (students and seniors), $18 (adults). Pearl Theater, 14803 Park Almeda Drive, Pearland. 713-340-2540. www.pearl-theater.com 14 DANCEWHILE GETTING FIT A dance tness class hosted by Purple Box Theater initially kicked o Sept. 7 and is held every week on Tuesdays. The class is open to all ages, and registration is required as space is limited to 12 people. Participants will get in cardio workouts through dance. 6:30-7:30 p.m. $45 (monthly). Purple Box Theater, 1309 W. Parkwood Ave.,

BROWSE ARTS AND CRAFTS PEARLAND TOWN CENTER

OCT. 910

Pearland Arts & Crafts on the Pavilion is back this year, featuring abstract art, handcrafted jewelry and pottery. The juried art show is presented by the Pearland Convention & Visitors Bureau. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (both days). Free (admission). Pearland Town Center, 11200 Broadway St., Pearland. 281-997-5970. www.visitpearland.com/2021artshow

Friendswood. 818-642-4665. www.thepurpleboxtheater.com

COURTESY PEARLAND CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU

Find more or submit Alvin, Friendswood or Pearland events at communityimpact.com/event-calendar. Event organizers can submit local events online to be considered for the print edition. Submitting details for consideration does not guarantee publication.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES NewHwy. 288 northbound frontage road fromMagnolia Parkway opens

COMPILED BY ANDY YANEZ

ONGOING PROJECTS

The Texas Department of Trans- portation partially opened the new Hwy. 288 frontage road between Magnolia Parkway and Broadway Street in Pearland on Aug. 12. Once fully complete later this fall, the road will be three lanes wide. In addition, the Hwy. 288 north- bound entrance ramp fromMagnolia Parkway also opened. As of press time, only one lane of the frontage road is open. Once fully complete this fall, the frontage road will be three lanes fromMagnolia to Broadway heading only northbound and include a U-turn lane under the Magnolia overpass to provide access to Hwy. 288 main lanes. Pearland funded 100% of the design, construction and additional costs of the project while TxDOT han- dled the bidding and management, TxDOT public information ocer Danny Perez told Community Impact Newspaper in an email. The project was originally approved in 2015 by the

FEEDING 288 The new Hwy. 288 northbound frontage road run from Magnolia Parkway to Broadway Street.

MCHARD RD.

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Pearland Parkway trac circle improvements

The purpose of the project is to turn the Pearland Parkway trac circle into a traditional roundabout that will keep existing lanes as bypass lanes to let vehicles avoid the roundabout and reduce conict points. Drivers going from Pearland Parkway north to McHard Road and vice versa can do so at a controlled speed, and the city avoids putting trac signals that impede trac ow, Pearland Director of Engineering Robert Upton said. Timeline: mid-2021-mid-2022 Status: $3.2 million Funding source: city of Pearland

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The road's three lanes will fully open this fall.

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ANDY YANEZCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Houston-Galveston Area Council Transportation Improvement Program, but it was not scheduled to go to bid until 2025, according to city documents. By accelerating the project, Pearland was able to cut costs below what HGAC projected. The construction of the frontage road began in October, and the project aimed to improve the access to surrounding businesses and residences, reduce congestion and

reduce waiting times at adjacent intersections along Hwy. 288, accord- ing to the city of Pearland. The construction contract was awarded for $4.9 million to SER Construction Partners, a rm based in the Greater Houston area, Perez said. TxDOT expects to be complete by late September or early October, he said. According to Pearland’s website, construction was estimated to be complete in February 2022.

ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF AUG. 27. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT PLFNEWSCOMMUNITYIMPACT.COM.

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PEARLAND  FRIENDSWOOD EDITION • SEPTEMBER 2021

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

EDUCATION Tomask or not tomask: Local districts dier on 202122 COVID19policies

Pearland, Friendswood and Alvin ISDs are taking varying approaches to public health and safety protocols for the 2021-22 school year amid the ongoing pandemic. None of the three districts have imposed a mask mandate for 2021- 22, although other Houston-area school districts have chosen to do so in deance of Gov. Greg Abbott’s order prohibiting mandates. Harris County Public Health issued a mask mandate Aug. 12 for the county’s schools and facilities. PISD highly recommends masks for all students, sta and visitors while indoors. While PISD is not enforcing mask-wearing, all district nurses have access to rapid COVID-19 tests for stu- dents if a parent gives consent, said Larry Berger, the district’s assistant superintendent of support service. PISD Superintendent John Kelly said the district is also limiting visitors and using a COVID-19 dashboard to track cases. The district recommends people maintain 3 feet of distancing from each other. As the PISD board met in closed session Aug. 16, PISD and AISD community members demonstrated in favor of mask mandates outside of PISD’s administration building at 1928 N. Main St., Pearland. The group aims for PISD and AISD to implement universal mask man- dates from kindergarten to 12th grade and for the mandates to remain until the recent COVID-19 surge gets under control. The group’s other goal is for BY COLLEEN FERGUSON & ANDY YANEZ

PISD to fund remote learning. “I don’t want to be scared when I leave the house and go to school,” Pearland Junior High West student Amanda Barsan said. PISD board member Toni Carter said Aug. 16 she had received 78 parent emails regarding masks, 10 of which were from those opposed to a mandate and 68 of which were in favor of a mandate. Other districts Meanwhile, FISD’s facilities will not be modied to allow for social distancing. In regard to face coverings, families and employees are encouraged “to make the best decision for themselves, and we expect all sta, students and visitors to respect the choice of others,” health mitigation protocols state. Several parents, including those with immunocompromised students as well as a pediatrician, voiced con- cerns about the use of face coverings during the public comment portion of the board’s Aug. 9 regular meeting. No one who spoke at that meeting was opposed to mask-wearing. FISD board members David Montz and Tony Hopkins said Aug. 9 they expect the protocols to be revisited frequently based on pandemic trends. “I think we’re going to see some uidity [because] this has ramped up,” Montz said of the virus and its recent spread. “We need to just do what our constituents want us to do.” AISD students and sta will maintain social distancing whenever

Helen Shih, a scientist and Pearland ISD parent, spoke in favor of a district mask mandate during a rally outside of PISD’s board of trustees meeting on Aug. 16.

ANDY YANEZCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

PROTECTIVE POLICIES

Local school districts are taking varying approaches in 2021-22 to safety protocols amid COVID-19. These were up to date as of press time.

Yes

No

Alvin Friendswood Pearland SCHOOL DISTRICTS

WILL DISTRICT FACILITIES…

Be modied for social distancing?

Require masking indoors?

Strongly or highly recommend masking indoors?

SOURCES: FRIENDSWOOD ISD, PEARLAND ISD, ALVIN ISDCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

possible, and masking indoors is strongly recommended for most, AISD Director of Communications Renae Rivas said. The district on Aug. 25 implemented a temporary face covering requirement for all sta members that work with children in elementary or junior high schools.

The district has heard from stake- holders both for and against requiring a mask, but no formal survey was conducted, Rivas said. “In Alvin ISD, we are obligated to follow the law,” she said via email. “Therefore, we will strongly recom- mend masks.”

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PEARLAND  FRIENDSWOOD EDITION • SEPTEMBER 2021

GOVERNMENT Petition aiming to change Pearland’s alcohol rule deemed to be invalid

FALLING SHORT

A petition that would have allowed Pearland’s alcohol rule to appear before voters to possibly be overturned has failed.

About 18,000 total signatures were submitted to the city July 20. A total of 15,050 signatures were required for the petition to succeed. A total of 11,325 signatures were reviewed. The city determined 4,613 signatures to be invalid, making it mathematically impossible to meet the required amount of signatures. According to the city of Pearland, signatures are deemed invalid if a signer resides outside of Pearland’s city limits, if a signer is not a registered voter for city of Pearland elections or if a signer appeared on the petition more than once. What makes a signature invalid?

BY ANDY YANEZ

a registered voter for city of Pearland elections or appeared on the petition more than once. According to the 1892 Texas Constitution, changes to the 51% rule can be made only through a local election. The law was rst altered in Pearland in 2002 to allow restaurants to serve mixed beverages, according to previous reports. In 2007, Brazoria County held an election to allow o-premise beer and wine sales from grocery and con- venience stores. When that passed with 75% in favor, it changed the law in Pearland. Again in 2016, Pearland held an election to allow o-premises liquor sales, which again passed with 66% in favor, as previously reported. If the petition had been successful, it would have created a ballot item for Pearland residents to vote on the existing 51% rule in Pearland. Had the rule been overturned due to the election, the move would have paved

A citizen-led petition that aimed to change Pearland’s alcohol rule had over 4,000 signatures deemed invalid, meaning the petition has failed, the city announced Aug. 6. Known as the 51% rule, the ordinance requires city businesses make at least 51% of their prots from non-alcohol-related sales, according to the city. The law dates back to the prohibition era in Texas, and because it exists, businesses that mostly or exclusively sell alcohol, such as bars, are not permitted. According to the city, of about 18,000 total signatures submitted, 11,325 were reviewed, and 4,613 were determined to be invalid, making it mathematically impossible to meet the required 15,050 signatures to bring the 51% rule to ballot consid- eration in November. Signatures are deemed invalid if a signer resides outside of Pearland city limits, is not

SOURCE: CITY OF PEARLANDCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

and Beverage Coalition, told Community Impact Newspaper the coalition and the city of Pearland were still reviewing the petition. The coalition is the political action committee created to circulate the citywide petition. However, Aug. 23, Pearland City Council accepted the city secretary’s determination that the petition failed to meet the signature requirements.

the way for bars to come to Pearland. Various Pearland City Council members have voiced support for the matter going before voters, including Alex Kamkar, Adrian Hernandez and Luke Orlando. Still, others have expressed concerns about an increase in crime should the petition and ballot measure pass. In early August, Seth Thompson, chair of the Pearland Entertainment

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

PARKS&RECREATION

Playground perks People will be able to enjoy the following amenities and activities at the all-inclusive park.

Wheelchair swing

Sensory tunnel

Music area

Bird-themed hut

Gallery walk

Friendship swing

We-go-round

Highback swing bay

RENDERING COURTESY FOREVER PARKS FOUNDATION

SOURCE: FOREVER PARKS FOUNDATION COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

The inclusive playground will be constructed by spring. Ocials hope to break ground on the project in January.

RENDERING COURTESY FOREVER PARKS FOUNDATION

Local nonprot close to donation goal for Pearland’s rst all-inclusive playground

BY ANDY YANEZ

“It’s been heartwarming to us howpeople have heard this story and heard the need for such a play- ground and really stepped up to donate,” Kamkar said. An inclusive playground allows children of all abilities and developmental stages to play in the same space and creates a nurturing environment for all, state Rep. Ed Thompson, RPearland, wrote in a Facebook post. Thompson helped Forever Parks Foundation secure the TPWD grant, Kamkar said. If Forever Parks Foundation can reach its $960,000 goal, the plan is to break ground in January 2022 and nish by spring 2022.

Some of the features the inclusive playground will include are a wheelchair swing, a sensory tunnel, a music area, a bird-themed hut and a gallery walk with 3D images. The playground can even be used for physical therapy, Kamkar said. Once the playground is built, there will be a wall near the entrance recognizing all the donors who contributed $500 or more, Kamkar said. “I think this is going to be one of these … things that make Pearland so special,” Kamkar said. To donate, visit http://forever-parks-foundation. constantcontactsites.com.

As of Sept. 3, nonprot Forever Parks Foundation is about $95,000 shy of reaching its fundraising goal to bring Pearland an all-inclusive playground. The fundraising eorts, which began in May, received a huge boost in July when the nonprot received a $750,000 grant from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. Forever Parks Foundation aims to raise $960,000 to begin the next steps in bringing the inclusive park to Pearland at the Sports Complex at Shadow Creek Ranch, said Nikki Kamkar, board member at Forever Parks Foundation.

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PEARLAND  FRIENDSWOOD EDITION • SEPTEMBER 2021

EDUCATION BRIEFS

News from Pearland, Friendswood & Clear Creek ISDs

QUOTEOFNOTE “IT’S GOING TO TAKE EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US TO EXPLAIN THESE QUESTIONS ANDWORK TOGETHER TOGET THIS THINGACROSS THE FINISH LINE.” CRYSTAL CARBONE, PISD BOARD MEMBER, ON THE VATRE DISTRICT HIGHLIGHTS CLEARCREEK ISD The board approved Clear Creek ISD’s fiscal year 2021-22 budget Aug. 23. The budget includes a proposed $1.1897 tax rate, which is a $0.0862 drop from the previous rate. CLEARCREEK ISD The board on Aug. 23 approved a virtual learning program for kindergarten through sixth grade students for this year. The program is contingent on legislative funding through the pending approval of Senate Bill 15 by Sen. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood. Pearland ISD board of trustees will meet at 5 p.m. Oct. 12 at 1928 N. Main St., Pearland. Meetings are streamed at www.youtube.com/ user/thepearlandisd. Friendswood ISD board of trustees will meet at 5:45 p.m. Oct. 11 at 402 Laurel Drive, Friendswood. Alvin ISD board of trustees will meet at 7 p.m. Oct. 12 at 10855 Iowa Colony Blvd., Iowa Colony. Meetings are streamed to the district’s YouTube channel and posted at www.alvinisd.net. Clear Creek ISD board of trustees will meet at 6 p.m. Oct. 25 at 2425 E. Main St., League City. Meetings are streamed at www.ccisd.net/boardmeeting. MEETINGSWE COVER

Pearland ISD sets proposed tax rate; voterswill get final say

POSSIBLE TAXRATES Pearland ISD’s fiscal year 2021-22 property tax rate will depend on what voters decide Nov. 2.

BY ANDY YANEZ

PEARLAND ISD The board of trustees for Pearland ISD approved a proposed tax rate of $1.3152 per $100 valuation for fiscal year 2021-22 at its Aug. 16 meeting, triggering a voter approval tax rate election, or VATRE. The election Nov. 2 will determine whether the district receives an additional $7.4 million in state and local funds. “If the VATRE doesn’t pass ... it is going to reduce our maintenance and operations,” PISD board Vice President Jeff Barry said. Maintenance and operations accounts for salaries, capi- tal improvements and even allowances to campuses, Barry said. The second component—the interest and sinking fund—is used to pay for debt on construction, equipment or both, according to agenda documents. If approved, the total district tax rate would decrease by $0.0033 compared to the rate from FY 2020-21, which is $1.3185. The savings equate to $3.30 per $100,000 of property value. If the VATRE does not pass, the tax rate would be

FISCAL YEAR 2020-21 $1.3185 per $100 valuation

IF VOTERS APPROVE FISCAL YEAR 2021-22

$1.2852 per $100 valuation IF VOTERS DISAPPROVE

$1.3152 per $100 valuation

SOURCE: PEARLAND ISD/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

$1.2852, the district confirmed in an email. PISD taxpayers would save $33.30 per $100,000 property value compared to the previous rate, but the district would lose out on the additional $7.4 million in funding, Carter said. “It’s going to take every single one of us to explain these questions and work together to get this thing across the finish line,” PISD board member Crystal Carbone said.

Friendswood ISD trustees approve FY 2021-22 budget, tax rate

BY COLLEEN FERGUSON

we’re headed into this next year,” Petree said Aug. 23. The total projected expenditure budget for FY 2021-22 is approxi- mately $56.6 million, up 0.8% from the previous fiscal year. FISD’s projected revenue total about $54.1 million for FY 2021-22, which is a 3.3% decrease from the previous year. Revenue is based on a total enrollment of 5,809 students, down 185 from the previous year, per board documents presented Aug. 23. Local tax collections will increase 5% from the previous year’s adopted budget, per board documents. About 85% of the FY 2021-22 budget will fund educators’ salaries and benefits.

TAXRATE COMPARISON Friendswood ISD’s property tax rate will drop $0.02 compared to the previous rate. FISCAL YEAR 2020-21 TAX RATE $1.2594 (per $100 valuation) $0.9835 $0.2759 FISCAL YEAR 2021-22 TAX RATE $1.2394 (per $100 valuation) $0.9344 $0.305 Maintenance and operations Interest and sinking

FRIENDSWOOD ISD The board of trustees of Friendswood ISD approved a $0.02 decrease in the tax rate for fiscal year 2021-22 as well as the district’s FY 2021-22 budget at an Aug. 23 board workshop. The proposed tax rate of $1.2394 is a $0.02 drop from the previous rate. The district is expected to have a $2.5 million budget deficit for FY 2021-22. Chief Financial Officer Amber Petree said in early August the district is on track to spend 98% of its budget in the upcoming fiscal year, which would lessen the deficit slightly to $2.26 million. “I’m feeling better about where

SOURCE: FRIENDSWOOD ISD/ COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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