July 2014

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Aaron Bell partners with God to rebuild a home

981 acres finally annexed

Comp Plan committee to look at lot sizes

AISD appoints interim superintendent

Water/sewer construction nears commencement

Council tables lot size revisions

West side schools continue expansion

Mayor tackles illegal dumping

 

 

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Aaron Bell partners with God to rebuild a home

July 2, 2014

 

In August 2013, Manvel’s former fire marshal Aaron Bell learned of a 71-year old Manvel man being threatened with eviction from his home by Adult Protective Services. Upon investigation he realized the house was indeed “falling in around him” and was not fit for habitation. The house saw a tree limb fall through its roof during Hurricane Ike. With no insurance coverage and insufficient funds to fix the damage, tarps have been the sole barrier to the outdoor elements. As Bell described it: “tarp after tarp after tarp. You can imagine. It was in pretty bad shape.”

The couple moved to Manvel in 1944 and lived in the house since 1968. Adult Protective Services was contacted after the man’s wife was transported to the hospital and found to have "bed sores". His wife has battled cancer for more than ten years and currently resides in an assisted living home. What money he did have was drained in the effort of providing care for his wife’s illness. Bell explained that rather than receive a monthly payout of his retirement fund the man accepted a lump-sum payment; those funds have been exhausted and any income he receives is a modest amount of social security.

Bell could not say with clarity what prodded him to take on the cause of helping a man who was a total stranger before that day last August. “I have no idea,” he said. He decided to get churches and businesses involved in an effort to repair the bedroom and bathroom so that it would be sufficiently livable to satisfy Adult Protective Services and halt an eviction. Once his effort began and everybody started getting involved it grew to a larger plan to renovate the entire house. Bell explained that he would make contact by phone to explain the project and most everyone he has contacted has donated something, “from as little as $300 to thousands of dollars.”

Bell did not want to get the city involved and he tried to get the area churches to bond together to get the job done. He said that volunteers would work on the house “almost every Saturday.” It is still in progress today though Bell expects it to be completed soon. Every bit of the effort has been donated by businesses, individuals, or churches. “It’s been a crazy outpouring of people helping this guy.” Bell says he has not had a chance to do a detailed accounting of the effort and could not venture a guess on how much value has been donated as so much has been in materials and labor. He guesses cash contributions are between six and eight thousand dollars. In thinking about the value of the non-cash contributions, he said “we have almost built him a whole house.”

Not one dollar has been spent on labor and he has not had to contact any outside vendors to do any work. Manvel’s ProBuild has donated all the lumber and while Bell was reluctant to provide many contributors he did feel ProBuild deserved special recognition for the generosity they have extended to the project. Bell indicated that he could call them and request specific needs and they would not only supply it but would also deliver it to the jobsite. “It didn’t matter if it was one 2x4 or one hundred fifty 2x4’s.”

A company from Dallas donated a complete HVAC system. Bell explained that the aunt of Manvel police officer Anthony Meshell initially agreed to provide a system at cost but when it was to be picked up it was learned that it was already paid for. Custom Air Systems of Pearland donated the labor to install the system. “Another company that has done a lot and been there every weekend is AAA Gutter Company from Alvin. They put gutters all the way around the house and provided tools that everyone would use.” A Houston company contributed roofing shingles and labor for a new roof. A new septic system was donated, a water pump and tank installed, custom built kitchen cabinets were added, furniture and flooring will be given, the list of contributions is too lengthy to note in this story. So many have been vital contributors and while all deserve acknowledgement there persists a common sentiment that is well embodied by Bell himself; namely that they are not giving for recognition.

Bell is loath to receive publicity on his efforts. When asked if it was primarily him responsible he hesitated for a moment before modestly replying that “God did it; I had nothing to do with it at all.” It was ultimately agreed that he would accept the contention that God worked through him to get it done. “I’ve never done anything like this and it has been amazing how everything has fallen into place. One weekend there were as many as 65 volunteers helping. It was freezing cold outside and people were showing up to work. One weekend we were going to do installation of sheetrock. We were supposed to have some cash come in but it didn’t happen that way so all we had was the insulation to put inside. We were going to do just what we could. Three people got together and went and bought every piece of sheetrock, all the mud, all the tape, the screws, the doors, every bit of it was delivered that day. That is the way the project has gone.”

Bell says the last major system to complete is the bathroom. As he attributes the credit to God that the project has gone along as it has he remains confident that prayers will be answered and someone will come forward to meet that need.

Bell worked for the City of Manvel for sixteen years before accepting a position as an assistant fire marshal with the City of Pasadena last May. He originally served in the police department, eventually earning the rank of captain. In 2010 he was appointed the city’s first fire marshal/code enforcement officer. Bell is married to Manvel’s city secretary, Tammy Bell.

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981 acres finally annexed

July 9. 2014

 

In a specially called meeting of the Manvel City Council this week members finally approved the annexation of approximately 981 acres into the city limits. The annexations have been in the works since early March when city manager Kyle Jung asked council to authorize city staff to consider significant annexations of territory currently outside the city limits. As Jung described it at the time, “with the exception of the south entrance on 288 coming in, the other four accesses into the city on Hwy 6 on both sides, 288 from the north, and 1128 are all outside the current city limits.” He went on to describe how Manvel is landlocked by Pearland on the north and northwest, Iowa Colony on the southwest and south, and by Alvin on the south and east. He proposed the annexations so the city could control what kind of land uses are applied within the city limits and to benefit from future development that will generate both property and sales taxes.

City staff initially determined eleven areas for proposed annexation that comprised approximately 5.75 square miles or approximately 3,750 acres. Jung explained that staff was “looking for areas that held major access points, possible commercial areas, major thoroughfares, and beginning to square off the remaining parts of the city.” The areas under original consideration amounted to about 21% of the city’s land area.

Council approved the authorization which served only to direct staff to develop a service plan that would be brought back to council for an ultimate endorsement of public hearings. Regardless of the fact the action did not ensure any annexations, many affected residents took it as such and the resultant discord revealed itself in two contentious public hearings that were held in April. The city manager, mayor and council members were all little spared from the group’s resentment as some in attendance employed insolent language in expressing opposition to any annexation plan.

Large crowds easily filled the sanctuary of Manvel’s Church of the Harvest to voice displeasure with the annexation idea. One speaker well summarized the crowd’s state of mind by telling council simply to “leave us alone.” Some related their preferred lifestyles of country living; such things as shooting firearms, discharging fireworks, and raising livestock, that would be disallowed if annexed into the city. Threats of lawsuits and diligent efforts to unseat any council member who votes in favor of an annexation were repeatedly expressed. Many in attendance considered the plan as little more than a money grab for the city while a common theme voiced from affected property owners was that the city is unable to provide services in return for the taxes that will be borne. Many expressed a view that the city is barely able to maintain its infrastructure on current residents, let alone taking on another 5.75 square miles.

Council ultimately took an objective look at the future and considered two primary reasons to consider annexations. One was to turn back Brazoria County ESD #3’s anticipated effort to impose a sales tax throughout their entire district which would leave Manvel unable to collect sales taxes in future city limits because the maximum allowed sales tax rate of 8.25% would have been tapped. Manvel city manager Kyle Jung projected an eventual loss to the city of millions of dollars each year, adversely affecting the city’s ability to provide essential services like police protection, road maintenance, and drainage work. Another reason council supported annexations was to control future land use in areas along current and proposed major thoroughfares, thereby allowing city planners the ability to implement zoning regulations in the annexed areas to control both development and traffic flow. With no zoning restrictions future land uses would be uncontrolled and traffic management would be reactionary to growth rather than planning proactively for it.

In all council approved seven ordinances with each including unique areas. The vote on each ordinance was 4-2 with Mayor Delores Martin and Council Member Adrian Gaspar voting no. Member John Cox was not in attendance as he has abstained from the annexation debates citing concern for its effect on his family’s various business interests. Gaspar said that he has learned one thing while serving on council: “it’s very hard to please everybody but it is very easy to tick everybody off.”

Member Lew Shuffler reminded that council did consider excluding a lot of residential homes and ultimately approved just 981 acres from the originally proposed 3750. “I hope they understand that,” he said referencing those in opposition. Larry Akery said that when citizens approved a city charter and made Manvel a home-rule city, “a majority of the people knew this was going to happen.”

The affected areas became part of the city once the ordinances were passed. The next step in the process council will take on is to designate zoning classifications on the annexed areas. As Kyle Jung explained, a joint public hearing between city council and PD&Z will be conducted on July 28 where input will be received from the public. Jung said he will make recommendations for consideration: “most of them will probably be open single family because there is nothing at them, the ones along Hwy 6 are going to be recommended as light commercial and about four tracts will be recommended heavy commercial because there are current uses on them that are consistent with that classification.”

Jung explained that current land uses of the annexed areas will remain in effect as “they are grandfathered as long as they continue using the property for those land uses they can continue for as long as they want to. If there is a break of six months or more the zoning classification assigned may limit the future use of those properties.”

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Comp Plan committee to look at lot sizes

July 9, 2014

 

City council at a recent meeting addressed the issue of lot sizes and how it could affect the city’s development. Mayor Delores Martin fears a requirement for larger lots will “go over to the homeowner and if lots are more expensive it could end up being a deterrent to the developers coming here. If we make restrictions on the developers so they don’t come here, we never are going to get that grocery store.” Martin believes a shrewd developer will want a diversity of lots and believes “not everybody wants a big lot. Some of our senior citizens do not want any lot at all. They want a patio home, a postage stamp, they don’t want grass to cut. People want diversity.”

Member Adrian Gaspar feels the comprehensive plan establishes the city as a more rural community and feels people will come here for that. “The cookie cutter homes we do not want. They will bring problems.” He also said that a developer can “come to council for a variance” to request smaller lot sizes. Member Melody Hanson believes the city’s proximity to Houston with its reasonable commute allows the city to be more selective: “People will not want to drive to Houston from Lake Jackson,” she said.

Brian Wilmer is a member of the city’s Planning, Development, & Zoning Commission and he explained the rationale for the commission to take up the lot sizes was not to “penalize developers but for the proximity of homes to each other in case of a fire.” The current ordinance provides just five feet as a side setback. He continued on explaining the Drainage Plan under consideration calls for more open space and going from 1/8 acre per lot to 1/7 acre would allow more permeable ground. And the Comprehensive Plan proposes more open spaces as well. Wilmer says the plan under discussion “met all three requirements.”

Dan Johnson, Manvel’s consulting engineer, told council that “in Friendswood, they had minimum lots of 90 feet with 10 feet side setbacks and the town doubled in size in five years.”

The Comprehensive Plan is currently under revision and a Drainage Plan is under consideration as well. PD&Z and members of council feel the two documents should be shared as many of their provisions overlap one another. Council is expected to receive a recommendation from PD&Z at a soon approaching council meeting to take up the changes shaped by the committee.

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AISD appoints interim superintendent

July 16, 2014

 

The Board of Trustees of the Alvin Independent School District (AISD) authorized the appointment of Tommy King to serve as the district’s interim superintendent while the process moves forward to secure a permanent replacement for Dr. Fred Brent who resigned last month to accept the superintendent position with the Georgetown Independent School District.

King will step into familiar territory having served the district for 26 years before retiring last December. This will be the second time in four years that King has been asked to assume the leadership of the district. In May 2010 then Superintendent Robby McGowen abruptly resigned with little explanation and King provided a “strong and steady hand that got us back to an even keel,” as described by then Board President Pete Vincent.

District officials explained the superintendent search process will be directed by School Executive Consulting, Inc., which is led by Dr. Mike Moses, a former Commissioner of Education and superintendent. The process will include a series of focus group sessions with parents, teachers, community members, business leaders, and principals in an effort to gain input and insight from district stakeholders. The goal of the Board is to have a new superintendent in place by the end of the year.

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Water/sewer construction nears commencement

July 16, 2014

 

The Manvel Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) received an update on the Highway 6 water and wastewater infrastructure improvements at its regular monthly meeting last week. City Manager Kyle Jung explained that the final construction plans have been delivered to city hall and it is expected that the bidding process will return proposals by August 5. After the lowest responsible bidder is identified and accepted it will be necessary for city council to formally award the bid.

A pre-construction conference will then be held to clarify any issues between the city and the contractor. The contract calls for a 120 day construction period. So if dirt sees movement by the end of August, and weather cooperates, the city should see its long awaited and much anticipated infrastructure improvements in place by the end of the year. After the water line is installed, bacteriological tests will be required to ensure the water being provided is free of any contaminants. Then the service will be available for new users to tap into.

The infrastructure project has been in the works since April 2012. The improvements will provide a 12” water line and a 24” gravity sewer line on the north side of State Hwy 6. Businesses wanting to locate on the south side will be able to bore under Hwy 6 and tie into the service on the north side. The cost of the project is expected to be in the range of $800,000 to $1.3 million. MEDC will fund the bulk of that sum with the exact amount yet to be determined. The city will finance the balance.

Mayor Delores Martin has promoted the effort for years and worked hard to secure the required easements that will allow the construction to commence. She considers this infrastructure project as the first step toward expanding business activity in the city and stimulating economic growth.

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Council tables lot size revisions

July 16, 2014

 

Manvel city council approved the first of two readings that will implement changes to several zoning ordinances at this week’s regularly scheduled meeting. The modifications were tabled last month so that council could obtain additional information on policies from neighboring cities on building setbacks and the frequency allowed for citizens to conduct a garage sale. The approval did exclude the contentious matter of lot sizes and side setback requirements as council agreed more time should be given to sufficiently consider that decision.

There was agreement to allow up to six garage sales in a calendar year. The suggestion given by PD&Z called for twelve garage sales per year to be allowed before the property would be considered as a commercial use. Council felt six to be a reasonable compromise. Much of the approved changes are in verbiage and procedure. Among the highlights of the changes include a requirement for a Specific Use Permit (SUP) for educational land uses in all zoning districts. Locations of accessory buildings on single family lots currently are not allowed in front of a house; the revised ordinance will allow it on lots greater than one acre. Parking space requirements were added for schools and buildings housing educational uses. A gun range restriction will be removed from the zoning ordinance and put into another section of the code. Considerable changes will be seen on Open Planned Unit Development (O-PUD) Agreements affecting new subdivision improvements. O-PUD's spell out the terms between the city and a developer of a large subdivision development.

A decision on lot sizes generated considerable debate and a disparity of thought among members. PD&Z recommended that a single family residential district would see the minimum lot size increased to 7000 square feet from the current 6300 square feet. Cul-de-sac lots would require 20’ measured from the street and 66’ measured from the setback line, which is increased from 60’. The side yard setback for both single family and manufactured homes will require the primary structure and any accessory structure to be eight feet, a change from the current five feet.

Mayor Delores Martin favors an ordinance that provides a diversity of lot sizes believing that some people do not want to maintain a yard. Three developers with interests in Manvel expressed a belief that increasing the minimum lot size would be a “big deal.” One explained that Texas is the national leader in master planned communities and claimed that “you don’t find 66 foot lots anywhere and you don’t find 8 foot side setbacks anywhere. You find 5 foot side setbacks and the standard lot size is 60 x 120.” He went on to say that builders spend a lot of money to determine what people want to buy and found the typical homebuyer wants a house that is 50 foot wide and that size house works great on a 60 foot lot. It was posited that buyers should have an option of various size houses on various size lots and not offering that variety would cause developers and buyers to go elsewhere. Developers want to offer mixed communities with a range of product to meet various income levels.

Adding to the side setback requirement reduces the number of lots a subdivision can establish, effectively decreasing the value of land in a community and creating a competitive disadvantage. The homebuyer will ultimately pay a higher price for their home than they would at a competing community not saddled with the larger lot size requirement. It is claimed that adding six feet to the side setback requirement in a larger scale project would sacrifice between 12 to 18% of available lot sales and significantly compromise the realized revenue and profit of the development.

Another point made by a developer in attendance was that if a homebuyer will be forced to pay for a larger lot they would prefer it be in the back yard rather than in the side yard as a side yard is essentially used for little else than the placement of an air conditioning unit.

PD&Z members Brian Wilmer and Dorothy Wynn addressed council during citizen comments and asked them to honor the will of the citizens who elected them to represent their views which they claim favor the maintenance of a more rural and open community. They said their efforts on the establishment of the revisions were based on citizen input that clearly expressed a desire “to not be like every other city, they wanted to be different and not like every other master planned community.”

Council member Adrian Gaspar supports the recommendation of PD&Z for the larger lot size saying he moved here for the rural character of the city and reasons most Manvel citizens feel as he does. He favors a lower density in development and wants the extra room it would provide. He feels council is undermining PD&Z which spent a lot of time on their recommendations and understands what the citizens want far better than council.

Member Maureen DelBello expressed appreciation for PD&Z but does not understand the recommendation for the lot size to increase to 7000 square feet. She feels developers should be able to offer what the home buyer desires and that the city should not limit their options. She does not feel mandating a lower density is realistic and claims some citizens have asked her “why do we want to interfere with subdivisions; they stay in one area, they are their own entity, and that development will bring tax dollars and more businesses to the city that all of us can use.” DelBello feels the city should allow “more diversity, more options, instead of just saying this is how it is and if you don’t like it move to a different city.”

Member Lew Shuffler favors a larger lot size for the cosmetic look of the city. He said the council needs to decide “what kind of city we want to develop, what are we heading for? We have this clean slate, do we want to just follow the lead and go along with others? It is a difficult thing to do because we all have a different opinion on where we want to go.”

Council will debate the issue at a future meeting when all members are present and city staff has put together additional data for them to consider.

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West side schools continue expansion

July 23, 2014

 

The Building Programs department of the Alvin Independent School District (AISD) will remain busy for the foreseeable future as the Board of Trustees authorized funding of on-going projects and approved a contract form for a new elementary school.

Funds dedicated for the Shadow Creek High School were just under $69 million and will complete the scope of work outlined in the originally accepted construction documents and specifications for the campus that will serve the west side of the district. The work will include the building shell, interior and exterior building finishes, and final site amenities. The contract is a construction manager at risk agreement which means the district is guaranteed a price not to exceed the total allocated amount of $90,270,002. The total amount includes previous authorized contract amendments that funded site and civil work in the amount $7,037,956 and structural steel and concrete work in the amount of $14,237,334. Both of the previously authorized contract amendments are well in progress. The guaranteed price is within the budgeted construction dollars allowed for in the November 2013 bond referendum. Jeffery Couvillion, AISD’s director of building programs, told the board that “approval of the final package and the issuance of the final permit by the City of Pearland will continue to maintain the original scheduled completion for the summer of 2016.”

The new high school will be located just south and west of the intersection of Broadway and Kirby in the Pearland city limits. The campus consists of 72 acres and will accommodate 2500 students with a full complement of performing arts and athletic facilities consistent with the districts other high schools. The new facility is needed to provide relief to Manvel High School which has exceeded its design capacity of 2500 students. Significant residential development along the Texas 288 corridor from Pearland and points south have made AISD one of the fastest growing school districts in the state. Growth over the last five years has averaged over 700 students and that number is expected to increase to nearly 900 students by 2017. Total student enrollment approximated 19,000 last school year and is expected to surpass 23,000 by the start of the 2017-2018 school year.

The Board also authorized the district’s Building Programs department to use the construction manager at risk contract delivery method for the construction of a 16th elementary school that will open at the same time as the new high school in the summer of 2016. The site of the new elementary school has not been made public as contract negotiations are ongoing. But according to Daniel Combs, the district’s director of communications, the school will be located in the high growth area of the district, likely in the area between County Road 58 and Broadway and west of state highway 288. Approval of the funding and award of the contract will be brought before the board at a future meeting.

Just completed and ready for occupancy beginning this school year is the new Duke Elementary located on the south side of county road 59 just east of Kirby. The school sits between the Southfork and Southgate subdivisions. The school will ease crowding at nearby elementary schools that have been using portable buildings to meet the ever increasing student enrollment. Erection of the facility began in March 2013 and construction was fast-tracked to be ready for occupancy is little more than one year. The Duke campus cost $17,380,000 and utilizes 13.5 acres in a compact two-story design. AISD elementary school designs provide capacity for 800 students.

Also progressing well is the new Manvel Junior High School that is being constructed on 25 acres of land just north of Manvel High School on McCoy Road and state highway 6. As is the case of district high schools and elementary schools, junior high schools are also being stressed with enrollments above their designed capacity. Recent demographic reports indicate the District will experience a considerable deficit of seats at the Junior High level in coming years with the need primarily on the west side of the District. The new facility will serve to relieve that deficit in serving Manvel and surrounding areas. Manvel’s original junior high school was closed by the district and a new junior high school was opened in the city’s Rodeo Palms subdivision in August 2012. The campus exceeded its capacity in its second year of operation and other west side facilities are utilizing portable buildings to meet the increasing enrollments.

The new Manvel junior high began construction in March 2014 and like Duke Elementary, construction work is on a fast-track to have the campus ready to receive students in August 2015. To meet the aggressive timeline, AISD’s Board authorized the use of the land already owned by the district behind Manvel High School. District officials believe the two campuses located adjacent to one another creates synergy and student/family benefits. Both schools will have the full complement of stand-alone facilities that other district campuses enjoy. Also helping meet the schedule, the property allowed for the same design used in recent junior high facilities, including the new Rodeo Palms campus. Utilizing the same design with only slight modification not only allows the timeline to be met but also serves to save funds that otherwise would be required for design services. A key to meeting the August 2015 date was the Board’s approval of more than $1 million in June 2013 so that partial architectural services and other pre-construction processes could begin before the bond was approved by voters in November.

AISD voters approved a bond referendum in November 2013 that is funding the projects. A total of $252.6 million in expenditures was approved with $212.4 million to be issued as bond indebtedness and $40.15 million coming from a combination of previously approved bond issues, district cash reserves, and current operating funds. With enrollment growth expected of 900 students each year it is expected the district will appoint a facilities review committee next year to consider another bond election in 2015.

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Mayor tackles illegal dumping

July 30, 2014

 

Having become increasingly fed-up with the amount of illegal dumping occurring in the city, Manvel mayor Delores Martin took the initiative to do something about it. Explaining to city council that she attended a seminar sponsored by the Houston Galveston Area Council (HGAC) that focused on the problem, she arranged for the city to install three hidden cameras in the most violated areas of the city in an effort to capture offenders in the act so that their legal prosecution can be pursued. City council was required to approve the interlocal agreement between Manvel and Fort Bend County which will be loaning three cameras to the city.

Martin said she was surprised and disappointed to learn that Brazoria County is not a participant in HGAC’s anti-dumping program. Neighboring counties Fort Bend, Walker, and Liberty do participate in the program and she was able to leverage off of Fort Bend County the borrowing of three cameras for a three month period. She explained that Police Chief Keith Traylor already has selected the best areas for placement where the illegal dumping is most established.

Martin said the cameras will not cost the city except for the batteries required to operate them. The loan period is for three months at which time they are to be returned to Fort Bend County. If there is no one else requesting their use the city can borrow them for another three-month term. The mayor told council that a grant program will become available next February and that the city can submit an application to acquire their own cameras.

In a recent “From the Mayor’s Desk”, a regular message she puts out to local newspapers and various city stakeholders, Martin encouraged Manvel citizens to help: “Illegal dumping is becoming a more daily occurrence. If you see anyone dumping something they should not be, please call the Police Department immediately at 281-489-1212 with a description of the car and a license plate if at all possible. These people have no respect for our city and they need to be reminded this is not allowed. Please, please be on the lookout. The more eyes to see, the better the outcome.” Chief Traylor explained a violator can be ticketed and arrested for illegal dumping and/or littering and could be subject to a fine ranging between $500 and $2000.

The Houston Galveston Area Council describes itself as a “regional organization through which local governments consider issues and cooperate in solving area wide problems. Through H-GAC, local governments also initiate efforts in anticipating and preventing problems, saving public funds. The 13-county H-GAC service region is growing, becoming more diverse, and constantly changing. In order to address the needs of citizens and businesses, local governments are providing leadership to guide regional development wisely and manage change constructively.”

In a study conducted for its member counties, the HGAC determined “illegal dumping as a continuous problem for governments throughout the United States. Illegal dumping occurs in rural, suburban, and urban settings. HGAC has taken a proactive approach and attempted to assist communities within the region in combatting illegal dumping by providing grant funding to local communities to assist in hiring environmental enforcement officers, purchasing surveillance equipment, etc…”

In a light agenda, city council held public hearings on the establishment of zoning classifications on the seven areas recently annexed into the city limits. The majority of the annexed tracts were zoned Open Single Family because there is nothing on them. The next most prevalent classification was Light Commercial on tracts primarily along state Hwy 6. Four tracts were zoned Heavy Commercial because there are current uses on them that are consistent with that classification. Council approved the first of two required readings after receiving a favorable recommendation from PD&Z.

Council also voted to authorize the city’s Public Works department to close to public travel a city right-of-way consisting of a 60 x 300 foot strip of the “unopened” portion of Bissell Road that goes from the end of the asphalt to the C-12 ditch. Prompting the closure is the lack of cooperation from the property owner to discourage trespassers who are drawing police attention most every weekend due to their four-wheeling and fights and such. The plan is for Public Works to close the road and create a barrier on Bissell and also on Kirchner on the south side of the property. A gate will be installed with access available to Police, Fire, EMS, and Public Works. The city also intends to talk with the Gulf Coast Water Authority which also has two access points to the property in an effort to get them to extend their wire fencing to further discourage trespassers to the property. City Manager Kyle Jung considers it a good idea explaining that “for the foreseeable future, until that property is developed, we want to keep vehicles out.”

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