Monthly Newsletter
April 5, 2018  Issue 63
Residents of District E,
  
Last week, Mayor Turner directed the lowering of Lake Houston from its normal pool elevation of 42.5 feet to 40 feet in advance of a predicted multiple day rain event. The Lake quickly dropped due to the lack of rain in our region from 42.5 feet on the evening of Monday, March 26 to 39.9 feet by the evening of Thursday, March 29. Overnight on Thursday, areas in the San Jacinto Watershed received between 3 inches to 6 inches of rain, quickly filling many areas that were bone dry just the day before. The rate that the river, lake, channels, and inlets refilled is astonishing. By the afternoon of March 30, water had surpassed the normal pool elevation of 42.5 feet and continued to rise until it reached its peak at 44.34 feet on the afternoon of Sunday, April 1. This trend can be followed by looking at the Coastal Water Authority Website.

Earlier this week, the District E Office assisted the Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce conclude t he "Plea to See" by providing an aerial and boat tour of the Lake Houston Area to Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick. He had a unique perspective on the river as it was still swollen from rain that the region received last week. The Lake Houston Region received 15 inches of rain collectively across four of the tributaries that feed into the San Jacinto Watershed in about a day. I've said since the day after the water receded post-Harvey that we could flood again tomorrow if we did not do anything quickly. Nothing has made the urgent need for dredging more apparent than the way our waterways reacted to this most recent rain event.

Dredging is on the horizon and I am committed to accomplishing this goal before the end of the upcoming hurricane season. There have been many meeting s moving this ball forward , and with the continued help of State Officials like Governor Greg Abbott, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, Land Commissioner George P. Bush, State Senator Brandon Creighton, State Representative Dan Huberty, Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, and Mayor Sylvester Turner , this will get done through their assistance removing cumbersome red tape so that we can have the peace of mind in the Lake Houston region to sleep at night.
 
It is important to note that dredging will not just occur once . Just like with storm debris pickup , multiple sweeps will continue for an extended period until we restore the capacity of the West Fork of the San Jacinto River, the East Fork of the San Jacinto River, and Lake Houston. Dredging will not solve our problem which is why the City of Houston has also submitted applications for approval of flood control infrastructure to be added to the Lake Houston Spillway Dam. The plan does not stop there , we, the City of Houston, are working with the San Jacinto River Authority, Harris County, and Harris County Flood Control , on a plan to add flood control measures throughout the watershed to slow down and store water before it reaches the Lake Houston region. We have the state's attention and I am committed to keeping their attention until our issues are resolved, permanent plans have been created, and projects are in motion. Together our region has proven to be resilient and continues to stand together in the face of adversity.

Sincerely,

Dave Martin
The District E Office
900 Bagby, First Floor
Houston, TX 77002
 
Contact Information
  Phone: (832) 393-3008
Fax: (832) 393-3279
 
District E Team

Jessica Beemer
Chief of Staff & North
Sector Manager

Katherine Cunningham
Deputy Chief of Staff

Jordan McGinty
South Sector Manager

Javier Gonzalez
District E Intern

City of Houston Contacts
 
City of Houston 3-1-1
(713) 837-0311
 
 
Mayor's Citizens
Assistance Office
(832) 393-0955
 
Kingwood Community Center
(281) 348-2570
 
  Community Contacts
 
   Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce

 South Belt-Ellington Chamber of Commerce
 
 
 
 
Kingwood Super Neighborhood Council
 
   
  
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Elected Officials Visit the Lake Houston Area

Last month, Council Member Martin met with several elected officials, including  Governor Abbott and Texas Land Commissioner  George P. Bush. These visits provided an opportunity for the officials to tour the Kingwood and Lake Houston areas by air, land, and water, to gain a better idea of the impact to the area, as well as the importance of dredging, and desperate need for added capacity on the Lake Houston spillway. 

During his visit to Kingwood, Governor Abbott announced a number of important and specific steps the state will be taking to help prevent future flooding. These actions include:
  • Using Hazard Mitigation Funds, the Texas Department of Emergency Management (TDEM) has authorized $3 million to jumpstart the engineering and permitting process to determine where dredging should on the San Jacinto River.
  • Using Hazard Mitigation Funds, TDEM has authorized $2 million for a regional study focused on the San Jacinto River watershed to prevent future flooding.
  • Using Hazard Mitigation Funds, FEMA has approved over 900 voluntary buyouts in Harris County.  
  • Instructing the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to investigate and take action against sand mining operations violating regulations.
  • Directing the San Jacinto River Authority (SJRA) to immediately identify what can be done to prevent flood events along the West Fork of the river.
  • Directing the SJRA to implement immediate and long-term solutions to protect lives and property of Texans living in the watershed.
  • Directing the SJRA to identify funding to implement a long-term plan that better protects areas downstream of Lake Conroe.


Clear Lake/Southeast Houston CIP Town Hall

Several District E residents gathered at the Lone Star Flight Museum on Thursday, March 22, for the Spring 2018 Southeast Houston/Clear Lake Capital Improvement Project Town Hall. Residents had a chance to hear city updates from Mayor Sylvester Turner, as well as form other city departments and other local agencies such as the City of Houston Public Works Department, the Chief Recovery Office, the Houston Police Department, Harris County Flood Control District, Harris County Precinct 2, and Clear Lake City Water Authority
 
Council Member Martin thanks all the residents for taking the time to attend the meeting to hear about the updates, and also thanks Mayor Sylvester Turner and fellow At-Large Council Members David Robinson and Amanda Edwards for attending the meeting and showing their support.
 
To view the event in its entirety click  here.
Kingwood Town Hall Meeting

On Tuesday, March 6, over 700 District E residents and City of Houston staff members gathered at the Kingwood Community Center for Council Member Martin's Spring Capital Improvement Plan Town Hall. It was a great honor to have Mayor Sylvester Turner in Kingwood to give remarks and brief residents on the City's Harvey Recovery Efforts. Additionally, attendees heard post-Harvey updates from Neil Golightly with the Chief Recovery Office, Stephen Costello with the Chief Resiliency Office, and from Carol Haddock with Houston Public Works.
 
Additionally, Harris County Flood Control District briefed residents on current and upcoming assessments and projects within the major drainage channels in and around Kingwood, and San Jacinto River Authority Board Member, Mark Micheletti, provided updates from the Lake Houston Area Long Term Recovery Task Force. Finally, Chairman of the Lake Houston Redevelopment Authority, Stan Sarman, briefed District E residents on Northpark Drive Expansion Project.
 
To view the event in its entirety click  here
Clear Lake B.O.P.A.

On Saturday, March 24 Council Member Martin and the Solid Waste Management Department (SWMD) hosted the Clear Lake Batteries, Oil, Paint and Anti-Freeze (B.O.P.A.) Collection Event at the Ellington Airport Recycling Center. Approximately 12,000 pounds of recyclable materials were collected from residents over the course of the event. Volunteers from the Clear Lake area aided in the effort, which ended up yielding  801 pounds of batteries, 384 pounds of used motor oil, 7420 pounds of latex paint, 145 pounds of antifreeze and 725 pounds of scrap metal. 
 
Council Member Martin thanks the Solid Waste Management Department for coordinating the successful event and all the hard-working student volunteers who helped collect the recyclable materials. 
Save the Date! Kingwood B.O.P.A

Council Member Dave Martin and the City of Houston's Solid Waste Management Department are holding a Batteries, Oil, Paint (latex only) and Antifreeze (B.O.P.A.) Collection event on April 28, 2018. The event will take place from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Kingwood METRO Park and Ride  located at Highway 3210 W. Lake Houston Parkway.  

The event will be free and open to all City of Houston residents. A valid Texas driver's license or other proof of residency will be required. Business waste will not be accepted.

In addition to the B.O.P.A, residents may drop off scrap metal and large appliances. Large appliances include stoves, refrigerators, freezers and air conditioners.

Many common household materials are considered hazardous and need special disposal. When Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) is disposed of in the trash, it can contaminate landfills and subsequently our groundwater. This event provides a free and safe alternative for residents to rid their homes of potentially dangerous materials. Below is a list of acceptable and non-acceptable items for the April 28 collection event:
  • ACCEPTED ITEMS: only residential waste, rechargeable household and automobile batteries, motor oil and filters, LATEX paint, antifreeze, large appliances and scrap metal. Used motor oil will be limited to 15 gallons. All liquids are required to be in sealed, non-leaking containers that are labeled as to contents.
  • ITEMS NOT ACCEPTED: business, medical and agricultural waste; oil-based paints, solvents, flammables, pesticides, herbicides and other similar hazardous materials and electronic waste.

For more information about the City of Houston Solid Waste Management Department and its services, residents may check online at   www.houstonsolidwaste.org,    Facebook, follow on twitter   @houstontrash or call 3-1-1, the City of Houston's Customer Service Hotline.
 
The Solid Waste Management Department provides solid waste service to the citizens of Houston through the collection, disposal and recycling of discarded material in a manner that is safe, efficient, environmentally sound and cost-effective.
Safe Sidewalk Projects in the South Sector of District E

In April 2018, the Houston Public Works Department will complete 3 Safe Sidewalk Projects in the South Sector of District E. These sidewalks are located along Sea Liner Drive, Hickory Knoll Drive, and Allendale Road. These projects benefit the many students of Whitcomb Elementary, Armand Bayou Elementary, and Cesar Chavez High School.

Sidewalks and ramps within the public right-of-way help ensure the safety and welfare of the citizens of Houston. The Department of Public Works and Engineering (PWE) constructs sidewalks as an independent public improvement through the Safe Sidewalk Program. Council Member Martin supports this city program as it improves community public safety. 

If you are aware of any sidewalks in need of repair in your neighborhood, please reach out to our office. To learn more about the Safe Sidewalk Program, please click here

Insperity Adaptive Sports Complex 

On Saturday, March 24 Council Member Martin attended the dedication of the brand new Insperity Adaptive Sports Complex. The Complex, a collaborative partnership between the YMCA of Greater Houston and the Humble Independent School District, will give ALL children in our community a chance to benefit from the exercise, energy, stress-release, and the pure enjoyment of friendships built by playing sports.  

The Lake Houston Family YMCA will operate its Miracle League baseball and other adaptive programs at the complex, which will also serve as a hub for Humble ISD's integrated athletics programs. Council Member Martin could not be more proud to have a facility like this serving residents of District E and surrounding communities. 

Edgebrook Road Work

In the Fall of 2017, the Houston Public Works Department (HPW) began construction on the medians on Edgebrook Drive at Interstate 45 as a part of their Citywide Intersection Redesign and Safety Improvements Program. The program is a part of the Street and Traffic Division's program to meet City of Houston standards as well as improve traffic signals, mobility and safety at selected intersections.
 
Following the project, Council Member Martin's office received several emails and phone calls from residents frustrated with the new alignment along Edgebrook, between Interstate 45 and Rodney Street. Council Member Martin has heard these public safety concerns and asked HPW to return to the roadway to make further improvements to the area, beginning the week of March 26. Crews will be narrowing the median along the 1100 block of Edgebrook to allow more room for those merging with the center, eastbound lane. Work is anticipated to be complete by the end of May 2018.
Kingwood Intersection Improvement Updates

The Lake Houston Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ 10) began conducting intersection improvements at Northpark Drive and West Lake Houston Parkway in Fall of 2017. The road work at this location is finished and striping is complete. The crews have moved to the intersection of Kings Crossing and West Lake Houston Parkway, where they have completed the pouring of the turn lane. Crews continue to work on sidewalks and are waiting for the traffic signals to come in so they can be installed. Work is expected to be complete by the end of this month, weather permitting. 

LHACC Teacher of the Year Luncheon

On March 27, staff from Council Member Martin's office attended the Lake Houston Chamber of Commerce Teacher of the Year Luncheon , which was a wonderful tribute to those dedicated to educating the youth of the Lake Houston community. Congratulations to all of the award recipients for the 2018-2019 school year! Council Member Martin's staff was honored to be able to present the teachers with certificates commending their service to their students and communities on behalf of the council member.
 
Council Member Martin extends his gratitude to Dr. Watson of Spring ISD, Dr. Fagen of Humble ISD, and Dr. Persson of Lonestar College Kingwood for their recognition of outstanding service within their respective districts. During the luncheon District E staff had the special opportunity to thank Humble ISD for their efforts assisting HPD-Kingwood during Harvey. Thank you to our educators for all you do for not just our students but our community. 

SJRA Appoints Director of Flood Management

The San Jacinto River Authority is pleased to announce that Charles R. "Chuck" Gilman, Jr., P.E., is joining the Authority as their first Director of Flood Management. Chuck has over 20 years of experience in the field of civil engineering and public administration and is highly-respected among his peers for his knowledge, leadership, and integrity.

Chuck comes to the Authority from the City of College Station where he served as the Deputy City Manager and was recently elevated to the role of Interim City Manager. During his time at the City, he also served as the Assistant Director of Water Services, Director of Capital Projects, and Director of Public Works. Over the last ten-plus years, Chuck has held positions of responsibility covering every aspect of municipal administration, including utilities, transportation, drainage, emergency planning and response, planning and zoning, and legislative and governmental affairs. Prior to his time at the City of College Station, Chuck served in the private sector as an engineering consultant, overseeing the design and construction of a variety of civil engineering projects.

As Director of Flood Management for the Authority, Chuck will report to the General Manager and serve as an integral member of SJRA's senior management team. Chuck will be responsible for developing and leading the Authority's new flood management initiative.

Chuck is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Texas and holds a Project Management Professional Certification from the Project Management Institute. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Texas A&M University.


Lake Houston Area Grassroots Flood Prevention Initiative

Please mark your calendars to attend the next meeting of the Lake Houston Area Grassroots Flood Prevention Initiative from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. April 17 at the Kingwood Community Center.

Kaaren Cambio, Kingwood Representative on the San Jacinto River Authority Board, will be providing an update on SJRA's role in flood prevention.  Additionally, updates on many significant flood prevention matters occurring since the Group's last meeting will be given.
The Group consists of local residents dedicated to ensuring the Lake Houston Area does not flood again.  The Group's aim is to provide a voice for of the concerns of the local citizenry.  It seeks to identify flood risks and their solutions and to work closely with local, state and federal officials in identifying appropriate measures and appropriate implementation to avoid future flooding events.

 A few key issues advocated by the Group:
  ·       Dredging of both the West and East Forks of the San Jacinto River and Lake Houston
  ·       Installing additional gates at Lake Houston to increase release capacity
  ·       Controlling sand mining activities to eliminate the ongoing blockage of both forks of the San Jacinto River by sand deposits
  ·       Ensuring any bond proposed by the Harris County Commissioners includes dredging of the West and East forks of the San Jacinto River
  ·       Changing procedures by the San Jacinto River Authority to better protect residents downstream from Lake Conroe

On a final note, the Group would like to formally announce a new website designed and maintained by noted Kingwood community activist Bob Rehak. The site is named Reduce Flooding - Now  http://reduceflooding.com , and is designed to be a repository for all issues related to flood awareness and the ongoing efforts to prevent future flooding events. Everyone is highly encouraged to visit, bookmark and refer back to the site regularly to get the most up-to-date news on flood prevention matters, as Bob will be keeping the site continuously updated.
 
All residents are eagerly welcomed-whether flooded or not-who share the Group's goals.  Please send an email to Bill Fowler at txwil43@yahoo.com and you will be added to the Group's distribution list.   Additionally, please feel free to send email with your questions or comments to the same address.  
Mayor Announces National Honor Society's Award to Houston

Mayor Sylvester Turner  announced that the City of Houston will receive the Arts & Sciences Cities of Distinction Award from the Phi Beta Kappa Society in recognition of the quality, depth, range and vibrancy of its community engagement with the arts and sciences.

Debbie McNulty, director of the Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs, will accept the award on the city's behalf during a ceremony at the Midtown Arts and Theater Center Houston on April 17, 2018.

The national award acknowledges the outstanding contributions of the Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs and local organizations to this cultural vitality.

The award ceremony will include the presentation of $5,000 grants to four exemplary local organizations that serve as national models for building creative exchanges with diverse audiences in the arts, humanities, social sciences, natural sciences or mathematics.

Mayor Turner congratulates the recipients:The Harvey Arts Recovery Fund, Multicultural Education and Counseling through the Arts, the Cougars and Houston Area Math Program at the University of Houston and Rice University's Houston Asian American Archive.

As the nation's most prestigious academic honor society, Phi Beta Kappa is best known for inducting outstanding undergraduate students across the nation. It launched the Arts & Sciences Cities of Distinction Award in 2016 to spotlight cities or metropolitan regions for their exceptional artistic vitality, cultural vibrancy, and scientific engagement. Previous recipients of this award include the cities of Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Portland, Oregon.
Houston 3-1-1

Council Member Martin reminds all District E residents to continue to report storm debris by calling 311 or (713) 837-0311. Residents can also use 3-1-1 to report traffic signal problems, potholes, missed trash pickups and any other city-related concerns one may have. 

Mayor Turner and the Solid Waste Department have announced that City Junk Waste/Tree Waste crews has resumed regularly scheduled Tree Waste and Junk Waste collections effective March 1, 2018.
 Remember odd months are Tree Waste and even months are Junk Waste. 

Once reported, individual requests can be tracked through the city's 311 website, accessible  here,  or through the city's 311 mobile application available on smart phones. As always, should further follow up be needed, the public is encouraged to contact Council Member Martin's office as well. 


Upcoming Events

Please refer to Council Martin's District E  website for location, time and more event details. Email the District E office if you would like us to include your upcoming event in future newsletters! 

City Wides

 April 14
Mayor Sylvester Turner's Family Fun Day in the Park


Kingwood 

April 5
Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce Kingwood BizCom

April 7
Kingwood Electronic Waste Recycling

April 11
Kingwood Service Assocation's Public Safety Committee

April 13
Humble ISD Education Foundation Gala

April 17
Kingwood PIP

April 18
Kingwood Super Neighborhood Meeting

April 28
Kingwood B.O.P.A. Recycling Event



Southeast Houston/Clear Lake 

April 12
ACLC Crime Watch Town Hall

April 14
Clear Lake Electronic Waste Recycling 

April 17
Clear Lake PIP

April 25
Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce General Membership Luncheon