Bellaire - Meyerland - West University | Nov. 2020

CITY& COUNTY

News from Bellaire, West University Place & Houston

COMPILED BY HUNTER MARROW

Bellaire City Council meets the rst and third Mondays of each month at 7 p.m. at 7008 S. Rice Ave., Bellaire. Meetings are streamed at www.bellairetx.gov. West University Place City Council meets the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 6:30 p.m. at 3800 University Blvd., Houston. Meetings are available via teleconference. Find details at www.westutx.gov. Houston City Council meets weekly at 1:30 p.m. Tuesdays for public comment and 9 a.m. Wednesdays for regular business at 901 Bagby St., Houston. Meetings are streamed at www.houstontx.gov/htv. MEETINGSWE COVER CITY HIGHLIGHTS Houston The city adopted a tax rate Oct. 21 of $0.56184 per $100 valuation for scal year 2020-21, a 1.07% reduction from the previous year’s rate. West University Place Kevin Davenport was hired Sept. 28 to serve as the city’s new information technology director. He previously managed IT for the city of Texarkana and Bowie County.

Council reluctant to fund business relief

Bellaire seeks grant for wastewater plan BELLAIRE Bellaire City Council unanimously approved an appli- cation Oct. 5 seeking federal grant funding that may help the city decommission its wastewater treat- ment plant and tie into Houston’s system. However, approval by the council does not mean approval of the decommission but rather an openness to explore wastewater service options, according to agenda documents. The cost to decommission the city’s wastewater treatment plant at 4436 Edith St. would be about $65 million, according to interim City Manager Brant Gary, and would include the cost of infrastructure needed to tie into Houston’s Almeda Sims wastewater treatment system, as well as additions and upgrades to that plant to take on additional capacity over ve to seven years. The grant would only require Bellaire to match 1% of the project cost.

fund wouldmean using the money to oset city expenses incurred between March 1 to Dec. 30 to deal with COVID- 19 or were not accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of March 27. Besides small-business grants, other eligible expenses for the money include public safety and public health payroll expenses, personal protective equipment/supplies for COVID-19 prevention and precautions, and possible grant programs for individuals to prevent evictions. In total, Bellaire is eligible to receive over $1 million fromHarris County’s $28.5 million Small City Assistance Pro- gram, funded through the $150 billion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.

BELLAIRE A recovery fund for Bellaire small businesses looking to mitigate the economic fallout of COVID-19 will not be created, at least not how it was presented to Bellaire City Council Oct. 19. None of the council members opted to put forward a motion to establish the program, which could have allocated up to $150,000 of federal COVID-19 relief funding for qualied small businesses in the city of Bellaire, according to the proposed item on the council’s agenda. Key to the decision was a simple policy question fromMayor Andrew Friedberg: “Do we keep that money in the general fund or distribute that into the community?” Keeping the money in the general

Which expenses are eligible?

Public safety and public health payroll expenses

Personal protective equipment/supplies for COVID-19 prevention and precautions

Grant programs for individuals to prevent evictions

Besides small-business grants, other eligible

expenses for the money include:

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