CITY & COUNTY
News from Harris County & Jersey Village
NUMBER TO KNOW approved the guaranteed maximum price for the new clubhouse project at Jersey Meadow Golf Course at an April 17 meeting. $8.72M Jersey Village City Council HIGHLIGHTS HARRIS COUNTY The court case backlog in Harris County is down by 31,000 cases compared to 2021 and stands at 114,242 cases as of April 10, according to District Attorney Kim Ogg’s office. Courts being shut down in 2020 due to the pandemic contributed to the backlog. Harris County Commissioners Court will meet at 10 a.m. May 16 at 1001 Preston St., Ste. 934, Houston. 713-274-1111. www.harriscountytx.gov Harris County Emergency Services District No. 9 will meet at 6 p.m. May 25 at 10710 Telge Road, Houston. 281-550-6663. www.cyfairfd.org Jersey Village City Council will meet at 7 p.m. May 17 at 16327 Lakeview Drive, Jersey Village. 713-466-2100. www.jerseyvillagetx.com MEETINGS WE COVER
Commissioners consider animal shelter changes
96% of homes see property value increases
Harris County approves plans for $7M Swift Water Training Facility
BY EMILY LINCKE
storm to produce [a high-water] environment.”
BY EMILY LINCKE
SHELTER STATISTICS Harris County Pets has seen an increase in its live release rate—the number of animals adopted or returned to owners rather than euthanized—since 2012, but the rate has fallen from its peak in 2020.
HARRIS COUNTY On April 4, Harris County commissioners unani- mously initiated the design and con- struction of a $7 million high-water rescue training facility to be funded by the county’s $100 million public safety bond approved by voters in 2022. The impact: The 9,500-square- foot facility will be used to train emergency personnel for high-water rescue situations, said Sean Williams, program manager of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office’s Flood Res- cue Group. About 1,600 emergency personnel would be trained annually at the space, which is dubbed the HCSO Swift Water Training Facility. What they’re saying: “With the calls of service over the last eight years, we’ve seen a high response rate for high-water rescues,” Williams said during the April 4 Commissioners Court meeting. “It doesn’t take a hurricane or tropical
Harris County Pets live release rates 100% 80%
HARRIS COUNTY The possibility of making Harris County’s Veterinary Public Health division a standalone department was discussed by com- missioners April 4 after members of the public alleged that animals are suffering in the county’s shelter. Quote of note: “Almost every animal that leaves the shelter does so in a worse condition than when they arrived,” said Alexx DeCrosta, a former Harris County Pets veterinarian and county resident. “Animals should not be doing better on the streets of Hous- ton than in the care of veterinarians ... and in a multimillion-dollar facility brought to you by the taxpayer.” How we got here: The county’s vet- erinary department is a branch of the Harris County Public Health depart- ment. HCPH Executive Director Barbie Robinson said her department has been working to improve operations
“I think it’ll help save lives and in the long run, save money, and hopefully we can be training people from around the country,” Precinct 4 Commissioner Lesley Briones said. Dig deeper: According to the Harris County Engineering Department, the Swift Water Training Facility will: • Take about 36 months to build; • Include about 7,200 square feet for the training area and 2,500 square feet for classrooms, facility equipment and locker rooms; • Have a five-year return on invest- ment; and • Be located at the intersection of TC Jester Boulevard and Hugh Road in Houston. What’s next: The design has not been finalized, according to the county’s engineering department, and a con- struction start date has not been set.
The new facility will be used to train emergency responders for high-water rescue situations.
BY DANIEL WEEKS
20% 40% 60% 0
HARRIS COUNTY Single- family residential property values continue to rise despite slowing sales, according to the Harris Central Appraisal District. Chief Appraiser Roland Altinger said in a news release both residential and commer- cial properties are still in high demand with residential values increasing by about 16% on aver- age and commercial values going up just over 21% on average. “If the property owner does not think that value is correct, they should file an appeal and provide information in their protest meeting that could change the value,” he said. Protests can be filed online at www.hcad.org/ifile.
$7M is the estimated cost of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office Swift Water Training Facility. 36 months of construction is the planned timeline. 9,500+ square feet is the expected size of the facility.
SOURCE: HARRIS COUNTY PETS/COMMUNITY IMPACT
*AS OF MARCH 31
at the Harris County Pets Resource Center. According to Robinson: • The shelter’s 273-animal population is closer to capacity, down from December. • The department’s live release rate— in which animals are adopted or returned vs. euthanized—is 95%. Next steps: After hearing public com- ment, Harris County commissioners unanimously voted to:
• Request a presentation April 25 on whether the county’s veterinary department should be separated from HCPH; • Direct the Office of the County Administration to conduct a compensation study and craft an incentive program for animal control employees; and • Ask the Office of County Adminis- tration to assist HCPH in finding a Harris County Pets director.
SOURCES: HARRIS COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE, HARRIS COUNTY ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT/ COMMUNITY IMPACT
Did you know? This facility will be the second of its kind in the U.S., according to the county’s engi- neering department, with a similar facility located in Georgetown.
HUFFMEISTER 8945 Hwy 6 N (281) 859-5879 SPRING CYPRESS 22508 Hwy 249 (281) 379-7383
BARKER CYPRESS 17996 FM 529 (281) 656-4200 JONES ROAD 17414 NW Fwy (713) 983-8827
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