Bay Area Edition | February 2020

BAYAREA EDITION

VOLUME 2, ISSUE 7  FEB. 7MARCH 5, 2020

ONLINE AT

ELECTION GUIDE Primary 2020

IMPACTS

TODO LIST

LIBRARY UPGRADES

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Makingwaves In a boat-shaped building along the Houston Ship Channel in La Porte sits San Jacinto College’s new Maritime Technology and Training Center. San Jacinto College maritime program lling needs BY JAKE MAGEE themon an operating vessel for up to 60 days, said John Stauer, the college’s associate vice chancellor and superin- tendent of maritime.

SAN JACINTO COLLEGE’S

MARITIME TECHNOLOGY TRAINING CENTERHAS SIMULATORS FOR STUDENTS TOUNDERSTAND HOWTOOPERATE BOATS.

On the water outside, ships large and small move up and down the channel. Vessels carry liquid cargo such as oil and petrochemicals, and captains operate tugboats and towboats responsible for pushing barges loaded with dry and liq- uid cargo. Inside the center, students learn the skills required to operate such machin- ery and succeed in the maritime indus- try. They learn through classroom instruction, realistic boating simula- tions and hands-on internships that put

“From a strategic standpoint, it couldn’t be a better place,” he said of the center’s location. “It’s on the water. Our customers are out there.” Ocials said the center is needed. J. J. Plunkett, port agent for the Hous- ton Pilots, a group of master mari- ners responsible for navigating ships through the Houston Ship Channel, said the maritime industry is as important as the medical and energy industries to Houston’s economy. The maritime eld CONTINUED ON 24

COURTESY SAN JACINTO COLLEGE'S MARITIME TECHNOLOGY TRAINING CENTER

Each day, up to 25 million gallons of water rush through League City’s 521 miles of water lines to reach the city’s more than 106,000 residents and many businesses. However, city ocials have known for several years that 25 million daily gallons is not enough for future growth, and so they began their quest to secure more. League City City Council in October signed an League City securesmore water for future growth BY JAKE MAGEE

agreement with the city of Houston to reserve an additional 20 million gallons of water per day at an annual cost of $530,000 to start, but the city’s work is far from over. To acquire the reserved water, the city needs to replace the infrastructure that transports it and expand the plant that treats it—projects that will take years and have costs that will lead to water rate hikes for residents. Additionally, ocials have to be sure they do not overrely on groundwater in the meantime because League City is in a subsidence area that has seen land sink several feet since the early 1900s due to over- pumping of groundwater, ocials said. “Water has become the new black gold, like we CONTINUED ON 26

44M GALLONS PER DAY

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As League City grows, it needs more water for its incoming residents. Ocials in October signed a deal to secure an additional 20 million gallons per day. SOURCE: CITY OF LEAGUE CITYCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

O U R S P E C I A L T I E S

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BAY AREA EDITION • FEBRUARY 2020

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

THIS ISSUE

CONTENTS IMPACTS

HIGHLIGHTS FROMTHISMONTH

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Now Open, Coming Soon &more TODO LIST

PUBLISHERS AND FOUNDERS John and Jennifer Garrett PUBLISHERHOUSTONMETRO Jason Culpepper ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Kristina Shackelford GENERAL MANAGER Cathy Turner, cturner@communityimpact.com EDITORIAL EXECUTIVE EDITOR Joe Lanane MANAGING EDITOR Marie Leonard EDITOR Jake Magee REPORTER Colleen Ferguson COPY CHIEF Andy Comer

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Local events and things to do TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES 11 GOVERNMENT 13 Helen Hall Library options CITY& COUNTY 14 News fromHarris County, Clear Lake, League City and Clear Creek ISD PrimaryElectionGuide2020

FROMCATHY: One of our most popular features each month are the Impacts that start on Page 6. Lately, we have more closings listed than usual, and my hope for 2020 is that our readers will shop local so we don’t have to list any more! Cathy Turner, GENERALMANAGER

FROMJAKE: This month, we added to our team our rst full-time reporter: Colleen Ferguson. She is excited to start reporting on important stories in the Bay Area. If you see her in the community, be sure to say hi.

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WHO REPRESENTSME?

COPY EDITORS Ben Dickerson, Kasey Salisbury STAFFWRITERS Beth Marshall, Adriana Rezal CONTRIBUTINGWRITER Alex Grant ADVERTISING SALES DIRECTOR Tess Coverman ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Lara Estephan DESIGN CREATIVE DIRECTOR Derek Sullivan ART PRODUCTIONMANAGER Tessa Hoee GRAPHIC DESIGNER Justin Howell STAFF DESIGNER Anya Gallant BUSINESS GROUP PUBLISHER Traci Rodriguez CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER Claire Love ABOUT US John and Jennifer Garrett began Community Impact Newspaper in 2005 in Pugerville, Texas. The company’s mission is to build communities of informed citizens and thriving businesses through the collaboration of a passionate team. CONTACT US 245 Commerce Green Blvd., Ste. 200 Sugar Land, TX 77478 • 3463682555 communityimpact.com PRESS RELEASES baynews@communityimpact.com SUBSCRIPTIONS communityimpact.com/subscriptions © 2020 Community Impact Newspaper Co. All Rights Reserved. No reproduction of any portion of this issue is allowed without written permission from the publisher.

Jake Magee, EDITOR

THIS ISSUE BY THE NUMBERS

Local sources 30

New businesses 10

Community events 11

Water-related stories 2

BUSINESS FEATURE

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BAY AREA EDITION • FEBRUARY 2020

IMPACTS

Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon, relocating or expanding

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ARMOND BAYOU NATURE CENTER

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services and styles and cuts women’s and men’s hair, performs facial waxing ser- vices and more. Walk-ins are welcome. 281-967-7940. www.facebook.com/thehueleaguecity 5 Fajita Pete’s opened a League City location at 201 S. Egret Bay Blvd., Ste. 300, in December. Fajita Pete’s, which first opened in 2008, offers and delivers handmade fajitas and other Mexican cui- sine. The business has several locations across Houston alone. 832-536-1300. www.fajitapetes.com 6 Originally reported to be opening in October 2019, Moon Valley Nurseries opened a League City location at 402 FM 646 in January. The business, which began in Phoenix, Arizona, grows and maintains trees and other plants custom- ers can buy for landscaping and other purposes. Moon Valley Nursery has loca- tions across west Houston, including in Katy and the Woodlands. 713-588-5408. www.moonvalleynurseries.com 7 NASA Family Medical Clinic opened in mid-December at 804 W. NASA Park-

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NOWOPEN 1 Webster Animal Shelter had a grand opening Dec. 7 at 855 Magnolia Ave., Web- ster. The $1 million facility, which is next door to the previous shelter, will hold 16 dogs and 15 to 30 cats, has an office, and is 3,000 square feet. The previous facility was only 900 square feet and had room for only nine dogs and 10 cats, officials said. 601-605-4729. www.cityofwebster.com

2 Seaside RV Resort opened in October at 4001 Old Hwy. 146, Seabrook. The resort features 90 spots for recreational vehicle parking and another 37 spots that have access to cabins. The resort includes two swimming pools, a spa, a fitness room, a laundromat, showers, a business center, a dog washing station and an outdoor kitchen. 888-472-4240. www.seasidervresort.com 3 Tiff’s Treats opened Nov. 13 at 593 W.

Bay Area Blvd., Webster, and had a grand opening event Nov. 16. The popular des- sert business has 10 other locations and opened a Bay Area location after several requests on social media for a location to serve southeast Houston. Tiff’s Treats bakes and delivers cookies and brownies on demand. 346-278-5800. www.cookiedelivery.com 4 The Hue Salon opened in November at 828 W. FM 646, Ste. C, League City. The business specializes in hair-coloring

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

BY JAKE MAGEE

13 By the summer, College of the Mainland will convert the League City United Methodist Church at 1411 W. Main St., League City, into an education facility to replace the college’s existing League City location at FM 518 and Parker Road. The 27,570-square-foot facility will house general education and dual-credit classes for students in League City, Friendswood, Dickinson, Kemah and other cities in

way, Webster. The business’s goal is to provide affordable health care to those who are uninsured. The clinic aims to pro- vide quality care and customer service. 832-905-4990. www.facebook.com/nfmc2019 8 Clear Creek ISD officials on Dec. 13 celebrated the grand opening of the CCISD Learner Support Center at 2903 Falcon Pass, Houston, previously the Clear Lake High school ninth grade center. The center will provide homes for district programs that have outgrown their space or did not have a location, such as the Bay Area Alliance for Youth & Families. Additionally, it will allow com- munity members to meet. 281-284-0750. www.ccisd.net 9 Workforce Solutions in Decem- ber held an open house for its recently opened office at 1300 Bay Area Blvd., Ste. A, Houston. The new location, located in the United Way Center, offers a range of career-building and job-finding services. It also acts as a space for local employers to host meetings and recruitment drives. 346-230-7018. www.wrksolutions.com COMING SOON 10 Women’s clothing store Charming Charlie is making a comeback this year. After filing for bankruptcy and shuttering its more than 260 stores in 38 states, the business will open at the Baybrook Mall, 700 Baybrook Mall Drive, Friendswood, in March. Other store openings are planned in Sugar Land, Chicago and Iowa. www.charmingcharlie.com 11 Dollar Tree plans to open a location at the site of the closing Palais Royal at 2000 Bayport Blvd., Seabrook. The national chain sells $1 items in many de- partments, including kitchenware, party supplies, makeup, toys and more. www.dollartree.com 12 Seasons Memory Care at South Shore is planning to open at 600 En- terprise Ave., League City, some time in 2021. The facility will provide memory care for seniors living with Alzheimer’s, dementia and other memory-affecting diseases. The community will be laid out in four neighborhoods, and the facility will include activities and amenities for residents. 503-675-3925

northern Galveston County. 409-938-1211. www.com.edu RELOCATIONS

D-Bat offers indoor baseball training. (Jake Magee/Community Impact Newspaper)

FEATURED IMPACT FIRST LOOK Indoor baseball training facility D-Bat opened Jan. 6 at 20251 Gulf Freeway, Webster. General Manager Kari Crumley said the new facility will meet the needs of a community that suers from a lack of available practice spaces. League City is in the process of planning new elds for children to practice and play baseball and softball, but in the meantime, D-Bat will help ll the shortage, Crumley said. The 27,000-square-foot building includes 17 batting cages, six of which have machines capable of throwing baseballs and softballs at various speeds and locations. Athletes will be able to use touch screens to easily tell the machines which type of throw to pitch to eciently practice hitting, Crumley said. Instead of parents having to drive their dierent-aged children to separate locations to practice, D-Bat will provide a

14 Mediterraneo Market and Cafe at 18033 Upper Bay Road, Houston, plans to relocate in Nassau Bay by the end of 2020. The restaurant’s existing location will be demolished to make room for the expansion of the nearby Houston Meth- odist Clear Lake Hospital. The owners are looking for a suitable location in Nassau Bay. Mediterraneo is a Greek restaurant that sells hummus, gyros, kebabs and other Mediterranean food. 281-333-3180. www.mediterraneomarket.com 15 Outriggers Seafood Grill & Bar could be making a comeback in 2020. The restaurant closed over the summer due to the widening of Hwy. 146, but Seabrook officials said it could reopen soon, potentially across the street from Boondoggle’s, 4106 E. NASA Parkway, El Lago. Owner John Schafer said things are quiet right now, and there is much work to be done before the restaurant could 16 Dine-in movie theater Star Cinema Grill at the Baybrook Mall, 702 Baybrook Mall Drive, Friendswood, in December completed major renovations to create the old Hollywood decor and ambiance of new and upcoming Star Cinema Grill locations in Dallas and Richmond. The renovations include a hotel-style central bar and lounge and new options for guests, including heated seating, blanket service, and priority food and beverage open. www.facebook.com/ outriggersseafoodgrillbar RENOVATIONS

single location in which all ages can hone their skills. The business also provides strength and agility training, training simulators, a retail shop and more, Crumley said. Additionally, the business includes a lounge for parents who want to watch their children practice, an event room for parties and meetings, and more. “We are a complete one-stop place for ...

baseball players,” Crumley said. 713-360-3228. www.dbat.net

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NAME CHANGES 17 O2 Bistro, 1002 Aspen Road, Clear Lake Shores, in November changed its name to Schafer’s Coastal Bar & Grille . The change came with an updated menu of new items while retaining some old favorites. 281-532-6860. www.schaferscoastalbarandgrille.com CLOSINGS 18 Omaha Steaks at 937 Bay Area Blvd., Houston, officially closed Feb. 2.

An employee said sales had reduced to the point that the business was forced to shutter. Omaha Steaks, which has loca- tions across the United States, sells meat, seafood, barbecue and desserts. 281-557-8099. www.omahasteaks.com 19 Randalls is closing five stores in the Houston area, including the Bay Area lo- cation at 2323 Clear Lake Blvd., Houston. The stores will be closed by Feb. 15. The closures will leave 13 stores in the Hous- ton area. Randalls is a supermarket that sells food, health and beauty supplies, pet supplies and more. 281-280-3100. www.randalls.com

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BAY AREA EDITION • FEBRUARY 2020

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TODO LIST

February and March events

COMPILED BY COLLEEN FERGUSON AND JAKE MAGEE

FEB. 1415

GOONA CRUISE KEMAH

FEB. 29

VISIT THE TEXAS GOURMETMARKET LEAGUE CITY

(Courtesy Mardi Gras! Galveston) MARDI GRAS EVENTS FEB. 9: Get your parade on in Kemah Krewe du Lac and the city of Kemah will host the 20 Years of Fun Mardi Gras parade beginning in the city of Kemah parking lot between Sixth and Seventh streets. T-Bone Tom’s will host a Mardi Pardi afterwards. All ages welcome. 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Free. 281-334-1884. www.visitbayareahouston.com/events FEB. 14 THROUGH 25: Celebrate in Galveston Mardi Gras! Galveston, the third- largest Mardi Gras celebration in the United States, is expected to draw more than 300,000 attendees for the 109th annual celebration. Activities will include concerts, parades, balcony parties and masked balls. All ages welcome. Tickets start at $15, children 12 and under are free. The Strand Galveston, 102 20th St., Galveston. www.mardigrasgalveston.com FEB. 15: Festive decorated boats will travel by the boardwalk to celebrate Mardi Gras in the country’s largest Mardi Gras boat parade. All ages welcome. 7-10 p.m. Free. Kemah Boardwalk, 215 Kipp Ave., Kemah. 713-882-4040. www.yachtygras.com Watch the Yachty Gras Boat Parade

Board a yacht and take in views of Clear Lake and Galveston Bay for either a family-friendly brunch or romantic dinner. Each cruise will include a DJ. All ages welcome. 7-10:30 p.m. (Fri.), noon-3 p.m. and 7-10:30 p.m. (Sat.). Tickets start at $49.99. Boardwalk FantaSea, 215 Kipp Ave., Kemah. 281-538-9600. www.boardwalkfantasea.com/cruises-public.asp

The monthly pop-up market returns, featuring an array of local food and small-business vendors. The market aims to be a celebration of food, farm and family. All ages welcome. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Free (admission). Associated Credit Union of Texas, 1095 W. League City Parkway, League City. 281-910-7286. www.facebook.com/texasgourmetmarket

COURTESY BOARDWALK FANTASEA

COURTESY TEXAS GOURMET MARKET

13 SHOP FOR A LASTMINUTE VALENTINE’S DAY GIFT The Boldthouse will host a Valentine’s Sip & Shop, with vendors on both oors selling items from baked goods and clothing to jewelry and makeup. Drink specials will include $3 sangrias, $3 champagne and $3 Shiner products. The restaurant and wine bar oers wines from around the world as well as craft beer. All ages welcome. 5-8 p.m. Free (admission). The Boldthouse, 2234 E. NASA Parkway, Seabrook. 281-942-9776. www.theboldthouse.com/events-cal 14 ENJOY A ROMANTIC DINNER Valentine’s Day diners can enjoy a three-course meal and open bar at the South Shore Harbour Resort & Conference Center, with musical entertainment by local pop artist Cindy Thomas. 7-11 p.m. (dinner starts at 7:30). $89 per person. South Shore Harbour Resort & Conference Center, 2500 South Shore Blvd., League City. Reservations can be made at 281-334-1000 ext. 2022. www.sshr.com/hotel-events 14 SAIL INTO THE SUNSET Pack a picnic dinner to bring

FEBRUARY

MARCH on board and share champagne and chocolates with a loved one during a two-hour group sail hosted by the South Coast Sailing Club. Reservations are encouraged. Those interested can add a berth to their reservation and spend the night aboard one of the club’s boats. All ages welcome. 4:30 p.m. (check-in), 5-7 p.m. (sail). $95 per person or $180 per couple (nonmembers), $80 per person or $150 per couple (club members). South Coast Sailing Adventures, 502 Texas Ave., Kemah. 281-334-4606. www.southcoastsailing.com 01 LEARN THE BASICS OF KETTLEBELL TRAINING The National Exercise Trainers Association will host an introductory course that teaches the basics of kettlebell training, including its history, safety techniques, body positioning, alignment and appropriate starting. All ages welcome, with parents’ permission for age 18 and under. 8 a.m.-3 p.m. $199. University of Houston-Clear Lake, 2700 Bay Area Blvd., Houston. 800-237-6242. www.netat. org/workshop/kettlebell-specialty- certication-houston-tx-3-01-20

07 DANCE AT A FATHER DAUGHTER EVENT The annual League City Daddy Daughter Dance returns. Girls and their fathers can attend the event, which includes a sit- down dinner, goodie bags, opportunities for professional portraits and, of course, plenty of music and dancing. This year’s theme will be princesses. All ages are welcome. 6:30-9:30 p.m. $27.50 per person (residents), $41.25 per person (nonresidents). Hometown Heroes Park, 1001 E. League City Parkway, League City. 281-554-1180. www.leaguecity.com 11 ATTENDA CHARITY GALA Seabrook Rotary Club will host the Men Who Cook XXVI Annual Charity Gala. The gala will benet the Seabrook Rotary Foundation and the Seabrook Police Ocers Association. The event will include live music and a rae. All ages welcome. 6:30-10:30 p.m. $50. Lakewood Yacht Club, 2322 Lakewood Yacht Club Drive, Seabrook. 281-413-3369. www.seabrookmenwhocook.org

Find more or submit Bay Area 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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BAY AREA EDITION • FEBRUARY 2020

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PARKS AND REC

Learn more about the westside sportsplex and renovations and additions coming to League City’s parks and recreational facilities Hometown Heroes Park, 1001 E. League City Pkwy.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES

BY JAKE MAGEE

development and create an alternative route for traffic as Hwy. 146 is widened over the next five years. If necessary, the project could be expanded to include a new road segment that would go south to Hwy. 96. The project is nearing com- pletion. Timeline: February 2019-early 2020 Cost: $1.37 million Funding sources: Galveston County ($800,000), city of Kemah ($570,000) 3 I-45 and League City Parkway inter- section work As a part of the I-45 widening project between FM 518 and FM 517, the Texas Department of Transportation will recon- struct the intersection of I-45 and League City Parkway. The work will happen in four phases. First, the eastbound side of League City Parkway and outside lanes of the I-45 north- and southbound frontage roads will be reconstructed. During Phase 2, the north and south U-turns and the in- side lanes of the north- and southbound frontage roads will be built. The intersec- tion will then be closed for a weekend to reconstruct the westbound League City Parkway pavement in the middle of the in- tersections at both frontage roads. During Phase 4, the westbound side of League City Parkway will be reconstructed. Timeline: fall 2019-spring 2020 Cost: $850,000 Funding sources: Texas Department of Transportation 4 Turner Street and Butler Road im- provements Turner Street will be rebuilt from the new roundabout on Calder Road to where it intersects with Butler Road to the west. Butler will be reconstructed from that intersection north to where it intersects with League City Parkway. The roads will be widened to three lanes to match the configuration of Calder Road. Anoth- er roundabout will be installed where Turner Street and Butler Road intersect to improve traffic flow. Since the council approved a contract for the project Oct. 8, the Texas Department of Transporta- tion has started work on the intersection of I-45 and League City Parkway, causing more vehicles to use Turner as a cut-

through road, making it difficult to close roads in the area to improve Turner and Butler. Instead, for $150,000, the city will expedite two lanes of the new Ervin Street extension to Hobbs Road, which will allow for two-way traffic in and out of nearby subdivisions by April 2020. The Turner and Butler project will be done in phases without lane closures until the Ervin Street project is done. At that time, the intersection of Turner and Butler will be closed, and Butler between Turner and League City Parkway will be closed. Timeline: December 2019-August 2020 Cost: $4.04 million Funding sources: city of League City 5 Red Bluff Road widening About 1.5 miles of Red Bluff Road be- tween Hwy. 146 and Kirby Boulevard will be widened from three lanes to five. The existing road will be converted to one- way westbound traffic, and two new one- way eastbound lanes will be constructed. A new bridge over Taylor Lake will also be built south of the existing one to allow for more traffic to create an alternative evacuation route during emergencies. The project began at the end of last year. Timeline: December 2019-March 2021 Cost: $15.1 million Funding sources: $12.08 million (Texas Department of Transportation), $3.02 million (Harris County) UPCOMING PROJECTS 6 Grissom Road widening About 5,600 feet of Grissom Road between Abigail Lane and West NASA Parkway will reconstructed from a two- lane, rural, open-ditch roadway into a four-lane, divided, urban roadway. The project includes the addition of a side- walk, drainage improvements and about 5,000 feet of a 12-inch water line. City staff has reviewed about 60% of plans for the project, and design is proceeding. Timeline: early 2021-early 2022 Cost: $12.2 million Funding sources: city of League City

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COMPLETED PROJECTS 1 Park Avenue reconstruction Despite reopening to two-way traffic in early October after road work was completed, the Park Avenue reconstruc- tion project did not finish until after December. Comcast relocated overhead connections underground, and Texas New Mexico Power removed overhead lines and wood power poles. Afterward, con- tractors finished sidewalks, landscaping, road striping and electrical tie-ins for new street lights. Miscellaneous tasks were still being completed in January. The project’s full scope included widening the roadway and reconstructing it from asphalt to concrete curb and gutter. The

project is the first of three to enhance the aesthetics of downtown. Timeline: April 2019-February 2020 Cost: $1.13 million Funding source: Community Develop- ment Block Grant Program ($591,000), League City ($534,000) ONGOING PROJECTS 2 Ralph Gordy Avenue construction A 2,000-foot road will be constructed to create a new access point for residents and visitors who want to access retail and entertainment businesses. The new road will open up land for future commercial

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BAY AREA EDITION • FEBRUARY 2020

UTMB Health Clear Lake Campus Hospital 200 Blossom St. Webster, TX 77598 utmbhealth.com/BayArea

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C L E A R L A K E • L E A G U E C I T Y • G A L V E S T O N • A N G L E T O N D A N B U R Y

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

GOVERNMENT

LIBRARY OPTIONS The Helen Hall Library board of trustees is in the process of considering four recommendations from consultants of how to address library needs. OPTION 1

OPTION 3 Estimated cost: $106.6million Total library square footage: 172,000 Number of libraries: 1

OPTION 2 Estimated cost: $157.45million Total library square footage: 244,000 Number of libraries: 3

OPTION 4 Estimated cost: $105million Total library square footage: 170,000 Number of libraries: 1

Estimated cost: $131.65million Total library square footage: 204,000 Number of libraries: 3

2043: Expand east side library by 40,000 square feet

2025: Build 122,000-square-foot central library

2028: Build 42,000-square-foot east side library

2033: Build 80,000-square-foot central library

2038: Build 42,000-square-foot east side library

2030: Expand central library by 50,000 square feet

2023: Build 42,000-square-foot west side library

2020

2030

2040

2045

SOURCE: CITY OF

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2023: Build 42,000-square-foot west side library

2025: Build 170,000-square-foot central library

2033: Expand west side library by 40,000 square feet

2028: Build 80,000-square-foot central library

LEAGUE CITY/ COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

League City officials considering library options

BY JAKE MAGEE

said. “It’s something that’s been needed for years.” Knowing League City’s library needs, PGAL and 720 Design came up with four options to address the problems. The first option would include building the first city’s first west side library at 42,000 square feet by 2023, building the city’s first east side library at 42,000 square feet and expanding the west side library by 40,000 square feet by 2028, and building a new 80,000-square-foot central library to replace Helen Hall by 2033. The total cost is estimated at $131.65 million. The second option would include building a 42,000-square-foot west side library by 2023, building a new 80,000-square-foot central library by 2028, expanding the west side library by another 40,000 square feet by 2033, building a 42,000-square-foot east side library by 2038, and expanding the east side library by 40,000 square feet by 2043. The total cost of this option is estimated at $157.45 million. The third option would include building a new 122,000-square-foot central library by 2025 and expanding it by 50,000 square feet by 2030. The total cost is estimated at about $106.6 million. The final option would include building a new 170,000-square-foot central library by 2025 at a cost of about $105 million.

The options sound enticing, but Frankovich knows they are not possi- ble at this time, he said. “We know we’re not gonna get $150 million,” Frankovich said. “That is a dream of what may come in another many years. We need to know what we need right now.” The library board is in the process of considering the consultants’ options and will likely come up with a hybrid option that is cheaper than the consul- tants’ recommendations. Right now, members favor a west side library and upgrading Helen Hall, Frankovich said. Once a consensus is reached, the board will present a recommendation to League City City Council, he said. Part of the library’s first floor flooded in December, which could influence what recommendation the board makes. “With this flooding … we’re having to remodel the whole thing anyway,” Frankovich said. Whatever is chosen, the matter could come to a referendum next year or possibly earlier. Some council members and Frankovich believe the decision should go before voters if the cost is likely to raise property taxes. Either way, Frankovich is happy the library is getting some attention. “People don’t think a library’s still needed … but a lot of people still like to have a book in their hand,” he said.

City officials agree: The Helen Hall Library is inadequate for League City’s constantly growing population, and it is about time something is done to improve it. In early 2019, the city hired design firms PGAL and 720 Design to research League City’s library needs. The consultants found that the Helen Hall Library is too small for League City’s size when compared to similar cities. Built in 1985, Helen Hall Library’s footprint is about 29,000 square feet, which equates to about 0.25 square feet per capita for League City’s population of about 106,000. The state standard for library size is 1 square foot per capita, and the average for a city of League City’s size is about 0.51, which means Helen Hall Library is at least half the size it should be for today’s residents, said Maureen Arndt with 720 Design. Furthermore, League City is expected to cap at a population of about 200,000 once build-out is com- plete, which will make the library’s existing size even more inadequate, officials said. Additionally, the library lacks many of the amenities of modern libraries that residents have expressed inter- ested in, such as study rooms and collaborative areas, Arndt said. “We need to expand a lot,” library board Chairman Tommy Frankovich

13

BAY AREA EDITION • FEBRUARY 2020

CITY& COUNTY

News from Harris County, Clear Lake, League City and Clear Creek ISD

League City City Council shoots down south side residential development proposal on FM646

NUMBER TOKNOW of survey respondents said they are satised living in League City. 91% City Manager John Baumgart- ner said the survey results are a testament to the investments the city makes. The responses related to trac concerns are not taken lightly, he said. LEAGUE CITY According to the rst randomly sampled survey done in League City in nearly a decade, residents have an above-average perception of the city compared to state and national averages. Dawn Davis of ETC Institute, which conducts community surveys across the country, said during a League City City Council meeting Jan. 14 that residents rated the city at or above U.S. averages in 70 of 79 areas that were measured, including quality of life, leadership of elected ocials and satisfaction with city services. About 91% of respon- dents said they are satised living in League City, and only 2% said they were dissatised, according to the survey. One area in which the city scored below state and national averages was trac. On average in the U.S., about 51% of survey respondents are satised with the overall ow of trac and conges- tion management in their cities, and the average for the state is 48%. In League City, the satisfac- tion rate is 32%, Davis said. Davis said it makes sense residents are experiencing trac issues in an area growing as quickly as League City. Respondents listed improving trac congestion as the highest priority for the city, according to the survey. Council Member Andy Mann said he was impressed by the results of the survey. “By and far, I was amazed at howwell we did,” he said. Survey: Residents viewLeague City positively BY JAKE MAGEE

not a good thing, Tressler said. Not all council members were opposed to rezoning, however. Mayor Pat Hallisey and Council Member Todd Kinsey both voted in favor. Kinsey was on the council when the property was zoned from residen- tial to commercial. The people telling the council not to rezone the prop- erty then were the same ones telling the council to not rezone it now, he said. Kinsey said he is in favor of the rezoning with the restrictions the developer said would be put in place to mitigate trac and drainage concerns. The vote to rezone failed with two in favor and ve opposed. Council Member Nick Long was absent.

BY JAKE MAGEE

property to residential. FM 646 improvements are in the state’s transportation improvement plan, and building new houses that will butt up against the road before construction begins is “a recipe for trouble,” Millican said. Council Member Hank Dugie said neighbors are usually in support of rezoning nearby land from com- mercial to residential because more people do not want to live near com- mercial development. In this case, Dugie had not heard one comment from any neighbor who supported rezoning the land to residential, he said. Council Member Chad Tressler said the land was originally zoned residential but was rezoned in 2005 to general commercial, and now the developer wants to reverse course. Giving up commercially zoned land is some of that history but also use it to inform the future so that people will know the contributions of African Americans in Harris County.” Founded in 1889 by freedman Harrison Barrett, Barrett Station is currently facing challenges in preserv- ing the town’s history and culture due to recent growth, according to Barrett Station resident and descendant Melanie Fontenot. Fontenot said a commission dedicated to African American heritage would help the town deal with those challenges. “Growth is a really good thing, but ... it’s critical now that we [ramp] up our eorts in preserving [Barrett Station’s] heritage,” Fontenot said. “The way we do that is to be a part of commissions such as the one that we’re asking [Commissioners Court] to support.” Supporters also advocated cultural tourism as a potential source of funding for the proposed commission. Dolores Rodgers, who serves on the Emancipation Economic Development Council board, said Harris County’s rich historical heritage could be fur- ther utilized by the African American Cultural Heritage Commission in attracting outside visitors. “We have a lot of jewels in our community,” Rogers said. “Preserving

LEAGUE CITY League City City Council agreed with residents Dec. 17 by voting down a proposal to rezone land near a busy intersection from general commercial to residential. With the council’s vote, the 33-acre property on the south side of FM 646 and just east of Caroline Street will remain poised for commercial use. Neighbors who live near the prop- erty said rezoning it to residential would create more trac and drain- age problems in the area. Residents already are dealing with both issues and do not want to see them become worse with the creation of several residences in the area, they said. Council Member Larry Millican said the city is trying to promote commercial development and does not understand why, then, the city would want to rezone commercial Harris CountyOKs AfricanAmerican commission HARRIS COUNTY In a unanimous decision, Harris County Commission- ers Court supported the formation of an African American Cultural Heritage Commission during its Jan. 7 meeting. The commission will serve as an advisory board to aid in the identi- cation, recognition and preservation of African American cultural heritage in Harris County. Tanya Debose, the executive director of the Independence Heights Redevelopment Council, said an entity is needed to take stock of the county’s cultural and historical assets as they pertain to African American heritage. “In every one of the precincts that the commissioners cover, there are places where African Americans set- tled after the Civil War, places people don’t even know about,” Debose said. “Our families came [from] out of those areas. [The Harris County African American Cultural Heritage Commission wants] to ... preserve BY ADRIANA REZAL

646

3436

N

QUOTEOFNOTE “PRESERVING THE HISTORY, CULTURE, INOUR COUNTY IS AN ECONOMIC ADVANTAGE THATWE NEED TO TAKE BETTER ADVANTAGE OF.” DOLORES RODGERS, EMANCIPATION ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL MEMBER “Part of the beauty of this is [the African American Cultural Heritage Commission] has really been driven by [community members], which is important, and ... that’ll lead to an even better result,” Hidalgo said. the history, culture, in our county is an economic advantage that we need to take better advantage of. A commis- sion focusing on that, and leveraging that history, is very important.” Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said the next steps for the commis- sion’s formation will include a review by the Harris County attorney. Further discussion on its feasibility and creation will follow.

14

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

Harris County Commissioners Court 1001 Preston St., Ste. 938, Houston Next meetings: Feb. 11 and 25 at 10 a.m. Houston City Council 901 Bagby St., Houston Next meetings: Feb. 12, 19 and 26 at 9 a.m. Clear Creek ISD board of trustees 2425 E. Main St., League City Next meeting: Feb. 24 at 6 p.m. League City City Council 300 W. Walker St., League City Next meetings: Feb. 11 and 25 at 6 p.m. MEETINGSWE COVER always agree, they have the ability to work through their dierences and collaborate to achieve great projects,” the release reads. Martin thanked his fellow council members for the opportunity to be mayor pro tem. He also congratulated District K Council Member Martha Castex-Tatum for her new role as vice mayor pro tem, according to the release. Martin replaces outgoing Mayor Pro Tem Ellen Cohen.

Clear Creek ISDboard approves design plans forWhite Elementary School revisions

DaveMartin to serve as Houston mayor pro tem

BY JAKE MAGEE

it can handle more cars during the pick up and drop o of students. Board member Scott Bowen ques- tioned why the driveway project was not included in the original bond proposal voters approved. He said the district should not be using bond savings to do work the voters did not originally OK. Paul McLarty, deputy superin- tendent of business and support services, said the bond measure voters approved included language that allows the district to reallocate bond savings to other projects. Bowen was the sole member to vote against spending the $3.3 million on the additional project.

CLEAR CREEK ISD With the Clear Creek ISD board’s approval Dec. 16, design plans for an improvedWhite Elementary School are underway. The bond voters passed in 2017 included spending $16.6 million on improvements to the school. The vot- er-approved improvements included the addition of a new administration wing, converting the existing administrative area into classrooms, creating a STEM classroom and more. Contractors will nalize design by April, and construction will go July 2020 through July 2021, ocials said. “We’ve been working on this for quite some time,” Director of Facility Services Paul Miller said. In addition to greenlighting the original voter-approved improve- ments, the board on Dec. 16 also approved spending an extra $3.3 mil- lion in bond savings for other White Elementary School projects, namely extending the school’s driveway so

BY JAKE MAGEE

HOUSTON For his nal term repre- senting District E on the Houston City Council, Dave Martin will also serve as mayor pro tem. After a Jan. 2 inauguration cere- mony—during which Houston City Council members, the city controller and the mayor were sworn in—Mayor Sylvester Turner made a recommen- dation for Martin to serve as mayor pro tem. The council voted in favor. As mayor pro tem, Martin will serve as acting mayor when Turner is unavailable. Martin also serves on the Budget and Fiscal Aairs Com- mittee. He looks forward to providing insight on issues such as budgets, ood risk reduction and infrastruc- ture in his new role, according to a press release fromMartin’s oce. “Council Member Martin hopes to show the city of Houston that even though Mayor Turner and he do not

146

LOCH LAKE DR.

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BAY AREA EDITION • FEBRUARY 2020

EDUCATION BRIEFS Candidates and information for the March primaries GUIDE

WHERE TO VOTE

Important dates

Where can I vote?: Voters in Harris and Galveston counties can vote at any vote center on election day and at any vote center open for early voting. Precincts: A voter is registered in the county election precinct that contains the voter’s residence address. Each election precinct established for an election shall be served by a single polling place located within the boundary of the precinct.

GUIDE ELECTION Primary 2020 COMPILED BY JAKE MAGEE AND BETH MARSHALL

Feb. 18: rst day of early voting Feb. 21: last day to apply for early voting by mail Feb. 28: last day of early voting March 3: primary election day Voters can vote in the Republican or Democratic primary, but not both.

Follow along for election night coverage at communityimpact.com.

Visit communityimpact.com to see a full list and map of where to vote during early voting and on election day.

SAMPLE BALLOT

R: Republican D: Democrat *Incumbent

R: Kathaleen Wall R: Joe Walz

D: Kayla Alix State Board of

D: Christian Dashaun Menefee D: Ben Rose D: Vince Ryan* Harris County Sheri R: Joe Danna R: Paul Day R: Randy Rush D: Ed Gonzalez* D: Jerome Moore D: Harry Zamora Galveston County Sheri R: Henry A. Trochesset* D: Mark Salinas Harris County tax- assessor collector R: Chris Daniel D: Ann Harris Bennett D: Jolanda “Jo” Jones D: Jack Terence Galveston County tax- assessor collector R: Cheryl E. Johnson* R: Jackie Peden

FEDERAL U.S. president R: Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente Guerra** R: Bob Ely R: Zoltan G. Istvan R: Matthew John Matern R: Donald J. Trump* D: Michael Bennet D: Joseph R. Biden D: Michael R. Bloomberg D: Cory Booker D: Pete Buttigieg D: Julián Castro D: Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente** D: John K. Delaney D: Tulsi Gabbard D: Amy Klobuchar D: Deval Patrick D: Bernie Sanders D: Tom Steyer D: Elizabeth Warren D: Robby Wells D: Marianne Williamson D: Andrew Yang R: Joe Walsh R: Bill Weld

STATEWIDE

DISTRICT U.S. House of representatives District 14 R: Joshua Foxworth R: Randy Weber* D: Sanjanetta Barnes D: Adrienne Bell D: Eddie Fisher D: Robert “Puga” Thomas D: Mikal Williams U.S. House of representatives District 22 R: Pierce Bush R: Jon Camarillo R: Douglas Haggard R: Aaron Hermes R: Greg Hill R: Diana Miller R: Troy Nehls R: Brandon T. Penko R: Shandon Phan R: Bangar Reddy R: Howard Steele R: Matt Hinton R: Dan Mathews

U.S. senator R: Virgil Bierschwale R: John Anthony Castro R: John Cornyn* R: Dwayne Stovall R: Mark Yancey D: Chris Bell D: Michael Cooper D: Amanda K. Edwards D: Jack Daniel Foster Jr. D: Annie “Mama” Garcia D: Victor Hugo Harris D: Mary “MJ” Hegar D: Sema Hernandez D: D.R. Hunter D: Adrian Ocegueda D: Cristina Tzintzun Ramirez D: Royce West Railroad commissioner R: Ryan Sitton* R: James "Jim" Wright D: Roberto Alonzo D: Chrysta Castañeda D: Kelly Stone D: Mark Watson

Education District 8

D: Sri Preston Kulkarni D: Nyanza Davis Moore D: Carmine Petrillo III D: Derrick A. Reed U.S. House of representatives District 36

R: Audrey Young D: Sharon E. Berry COUNTY Galveston County commissioner Precinct 1 R: Darrell Apel* Galveston County commissioner Precinct 3 R: Lori Deangelo R: Mary Human R: Lloyd Wayne Oliver D: Carvana Cloud D: Audia Jones D: Kim Ogg* D: Todd Overstreet Harris County county attorney R: John Nation D: Stephen D. Holmes* Harris County district attorney

R: Brian Babin* R: RJ Boatman D: Rashad Lewis Texas Senate District 11 R: Larry Taylor* D: Susan Criss D: Margarita Ruiz Johnson Texas House Of Representatives District 24 R: Greg Bonnen* D: Brian J. Rogers Texas House Of Representatives District 129 R: Ryan Lee R: Dennis Paul*

**ROQUE “ROCKY” DE LA FUENTE RUNNING IN THE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY IS THE SON OF ROQUE “ROCKY” DE LA FUENTE GUERRA RUNNING IN THE REPUBLICAN PRIMARY. * INCUMBENT

NEWSPAPER THAT’S GROWING We ’ re the

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