Monthly Newsletter
July 3, 2019  Issue 78
Residents of District E,
  
The beginning of summer has been busy here at City Hall. City Council passed the $5.2 billion Fiscal Year 2020 Operating Budget last week by a 12 to 4 vote. This budget includes five Houston Police Cadet Classes and fully funds the City's pension obligations, for the third consecutive year in a row. The Fiscal Year 2020 budget does not include any layoffs, demotions, or deferrals.

This year many amendments sent to the administration were approved, including my zero-based budgeting amendment, co-authored with Council Member Knox, to be implemented in Fiscal Year 2021. For the second year in a row, I submitted an amendment to create a Lake Houston Maintenance Fund using permit fees generated from the Lake Houston Area and this year, it passed. Over the next year the District E office will work closely with Houston Public Works and Solid Waste Management Departments to identify measures to continue regular maintenance of the City's tributaries and sediment located in the San Jacinto River's East and West Fork, along with Lake Houston.

Overall, the Fiscal Year 2020 budget maintains a healthy fund balance and includes contingency funds for pay raises and hurricane preparedness. In this budget, $11.1 million was cut in city department spending. This is the fourth year in a row that department budgets have decreased.

Moving forward, I will continue to work hard alongside my colleagues to make fiscally conservative decisions regarding the city's finances and fight for District E residents. To watch the budget discussion, it can be viewed online here.

In addition to budget season, the District E Office has been busy tracking projects including the expansion of Northpark Drive and El Dorado Boulevard, additional dredging on the West Fork of the San Jacinto River by the United States Army Corps of Engineers, kick off of the Bens Branch restoration and conveyance project as well as the Horsepen Bayou Channel Improvement Project in collaboration with Harris County Flood Control.

The District E office has also identified six new District E drainage improvement projects to be completed utilizing the Stormwater Action Team Program during Fiscal Year 2020 in the Forest Cove, Huffman, South Belt-Ellington, and Northshore areas. Keep in mind that all drainage in Clear Lake is under the jurisdiction of the Clear Lake City Water Authority and concerns should be reported to them directly by calling (281) 488-1164.

The post-Harvey recovery process has been steadily moving forward at a pace that while slow has been consistent. I am committed to following through on projects from Kingwood to Clear Lake that will reduce future flooding for residents.  I will continue to work day and night to make sure that we are not forgotten and our concerns are heard. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to serve as your District Council Member.

In observance of Independence Day, the District E office will be closed tomorrow, Thursday, July 4.


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

Katherine Cunningham
Deputy Chief of Staff

Jordan McGinty
South Sector Manager

Clarissa Perez
North Sector Manager

City of Houston Contacts
 
(713) 837-0311
 
 
Mayor's Citizens
Assistance Office
(832) 393-0955


 
 


Kingwood Community Center
(281) 348-2570
 
 
 
 

 
  
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Firework Safety

Council Member Martin would like to remind District E residents the use of fireworks are not only illegal in the City and parts of the County, but they are also very dangerous.

It is illegal to discharge fireworks in the City of Houston. Texas House Bill HB1813 allows for the transportation of fireworks. However, there are restrictions including where the fireworks are located inside the vehicle and if they are opened or unopened.
 
The City will continue to enforce, in compliance with state law, fire and safety regulations within the city.  Harris County residents should also be aware the Houston Fire Department will be enforcing the fireworks ban in the Limited Purpose Annexation Areas.  The fines can range anywhere from $500 to $2,000 for each individual firework.

If a minor is caught with fireworks, the parent or guardian will receive the fine, even if they were unaware of the minor's possession and/or usage.

Even though it is legal to buy, possess, and use consumer fireworks in the unincorporated areas of Harris County, there are some places you cannot use fireworks even in the unincorporated county. These locations include: churches, hospitals, licensed child care centers, or a public or private primary or secondary school or institution of higher education unless the individual receives authorization in writing from that organization.

Although fireworks and celebrations go together, especially during the holiday season, they can be dangerous when used improperly; causing serious burn and eye injuries.

Citizens should report all complaints regarding the illegal use of fireworks directly to the Houston Police Department non-emergency line at 713-884-3131.  For emergencies, please call 9-1-1. 
Freedom Over Texas

This year, guests will celebrate more than America's Freedom at the city's signature Independence Day event, as this July marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing. CITGO Freedom Over Texas has partnered with NASA's Johnson Space Center, to bring an exclusive Space City Experience to all patrons at the event featuring its history and what the future holds for intergalactic exploration and travel. The signature area will include an opportunity to be up close and personal with astronauts, robotic demonstrations, virtual reality fieldtrips to the International Space Station, the Space Exploration Vehicle (SEV), NASA's Destination Station, and other NASA assets and activities.

Houston's annual July 4th event will also feature NEW live music. Headlining the main stage will be multi chart-topping singer/songwriter Jake Owen with special guest country music star Kellie Pickler.  The live performances will be followed by an astronomical fireworks show provided by CITGO.

The Walmart All-American Kids Zone will feature local performances by norteƱo band Los Luzeros de Rioverde, a contemporary performance and aerialist show celebrating space exploration by Aldine Carver Dance Company, and appearances from your favorite storybook characters and superheroes. There will be life size games, carnival rides, a rock wall and obstacle course - something for every age.

Launched last year, the CITGO Freedom Over Texas mobile app provides an accessible tool to navigate through the largest Fourth of July Celebration in the state. Available in the iOS App store or Android Google Play Store, FOT2019 will offer patrons the ability to purchase tickets, view performance schedules and maps, and get parking tips and other helpful hints to enhance the event experience. Guests can check their mobile devices for the latest app updates coming soon.

This year's festivities at Eleanor Tinsley and Sam Houston Parks on Buffalo Bayou (along Allen Parkway) include the Walmart All-American Kids Zone, a children's entertainment area with a stage featuring performances for young and old, alike; the Bud Light Bayou Beer Garden, featuring a fun in the sun good time; the Dr Pepper Zone, featuring Houston professional sports teams, live music and food; Liberty Park featuring US Family Health Plan's Symbols of Freedom, the Space City Experience, and a salute to all five branches of the military; and, an exciting fireworks finale sponsored by CITGO to end the evening.

For more information about this year's event click  here.
Space Month in Houston, Texas

The District E office kicked off Space Month in Houston, Texas on Friday, June 28, as District E staff attended the Apollo Mission Control Center Grand Opening Celebration. The Mission Control Center (MCC) at the Johnson Space Center is home to the planning, command, and monitoring controls, essential to America's human spaceflight program. The restoration project began in January 2017, and has been completed in time for the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing. The MCC is complete with the original paint upholstery and furnishings; restored mission medallions, seating; flags; replicated carpet, wallpaper and ceiling tiles; and recreated content on the summary display screens and mission clocks.  
 
The Apollo Anniversary Celebration will continue through the month of July as NASA will be joining in the City of Houston's Fourth of July celebrations at Freedom Over Texas in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing. Visitors at Freedom Over Texas will have the opportunity to check out NASA's Destination Station exhibit throughout the event, and share special messages throughout the day.
 
Space Center Houston is also participating in this month long celebration, from the anniversary of the Apollo 11 blastoff on July 16 through the mission's conclusion when the astronauts safely splashed down on Earth on July 24. Check out the several events at Space Center Houston scheduled for July 16 through July 24 by clicking here. The biggest celebration at Space Center Houston will be held on Saturday, July 20. Apollo 11 50th Live is an all-day lunar celebration and countdown to Neil Armstrong's first steps on the Moon. Discover an array of space themed experiences including late-night NASA Tram Tours, notable speakers, book signings, an outdoor festival with a concert featuring WALK THE MOON and Phillip Phillips, a family STEM zone and more. Tickets are still available here
Woodland Hills Overlay

The Woodland Hills at Northpark Drive overlay project has been delayed until Wednesday, July 10 to better accommodate traffic in the area. The scope of work includes resurfacing the asphalt street. This process includes milling off an approximate 2-inch layer of old asphalt, repairing the base as needed, spraying tack coat and overlaying 2 inches of new asphalt surface pavement. An overlay at this intersection has not been completed since Council Member Martin has been in office and is well overdue. The cost of the project is $134,415.70.
 
The project is scheduled to begin on the evening of Wednesday, July 10 and will be completed by Sunday, July 14, weather permitting. Crews are expected to work between 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Wednesday through Friday, in an effort to avoid peak traffic hours. Crews plan to work throughout the day on Saturday, July 13. As a result of the construction activities, please be aware of flagmen and orange traffic cones that will be put in place on site to help with traffic flow through the construction zone. Temporary lane closures and traffic delays are expected during construction hours.
 
Residents are encouraged to find alternate routes throughout the duration of the project. For access to the communities north of Northpark Drive and Woodland Hills, the suggested alternate routes are as follows: Glade Valley to Chanay Lane, Forest Bluff, and Bassingham Drive.
Plum Hollow Drive Panel Replacement

Houston Public Works crews will begin a panel replacement in the Clear Lake area, along Plum Hollow Drive, from Brook Forest Drive to Hickory Knoll Drive, on Monday, July 8. The work is expected to be complete within 30 days, weather permitting. 
 
The scope of work includes replacing several panels along the roadway. Crews will be on site from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. As a result of the construction activities, please be aware of flagmen and orange traffic cones that will be put in place on site to help with traffic flow through the construction zone as temporary lane closures are expected. One lane will remain open during the repairs process. Residents will have access to driveways at all times, and may experience an increase in noise levels due to trucks and equipment in the area.
 
For more information, please contact Council Member Dave Martin's office at (832) 393-3008 or districte@houstontx.gov.
Bens Branch Update

Bens Branch, a channel within the Kingwood community stretching from Northpark to the West Fork of the San Jacinto River, was completely inundated with water and sediment during Hurricane Harvey. As a result, a considerable buildup of sediment infiltrated the southern bends of the channel south of Kingwood Drive around Town Center and behind the Lake Houston YMCA. This stretch of Bens Branch Channel from Kingwood Drive to about 1,800 linear feet downstream of West Lake Houston Parkway, is owned by the   Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) . 
 
As property owners of this channel, HCFCD has completed their field survey of the reach to remove sediment accumulations within the system and restore channel conveyance capacity. Conveyance Restoration on Bens Branch is currently in the award phase.  A recommendation to award to Solid Bridge Construction, LLC, has been made, and that recommendation to award is scheduled to be on the Harris County Commissioners Court Agenda for approval on July 9, 2019.  Once the award has been approved by Commissioners Court, the Harris County Purchasing Agent's office will work to obtain the executed contract, and the necessary bonds from the  Contractor so that the project can move forward to construction. 
 
Other channels in Kingwood and the Lake Houston communities within the City of Houston are also being evaluated by HCFCD for projects. Currently, there is one portion of Ben's Branch, between Woodland Hills and Rocky Woods Drive, that is under final review with City of Houston Legal, HCFCD and the Bens Branch Trail Association. Once that final review is complete HCFCD will be the owners of the Bens Branch channel from Northpark Drive to 1,800 linear feet south of the channel's intersection with West Lake Houston Parkway. Eventually most open and natural channels will be maintained by HCFCD while the City of Houston maintains all closed storm sewer systems and drainage. 
Miles Street Public Meeting

Houston Public Works will be hosting a public meeting regarding the upcoming Miles Street Roadway Pavement Replacement Project on Tuesday, July 9 in the multi-purpose room at Woodland Acres Middle School (12947 Myrtle Lane, Houston Texas 77015). There will be an open house portion for residents and business owners to examine exhibits and materials at 6:00 p.m. Houston Public Works will begin their formal presentation at 6:30 p.m. 

The purpose of the meeting is to inform residents and business owners on what to expect during the upcoming replacement of Miles Street, from Market Street to Industrial Road.  The scope of work for the project includes pavement replacement, manhole adjusting, and ditch grading. The work is expected to begin in July 2019, and be completed end of January 2020, weather permitting. 

For those unable to attend, the materials presented will be uploaded to  Council Member Martin's website following the meeting. Additionally, questions or comments related to this project may be sent directly to Houston Public Works by emailing  buildforward@houstontx.gov
Huffman Community Engagement Meeting with HCFCD

Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) will be hosting a  Community Engagement Meeting to discuss upcoming bond projects in the Huffman area will take place on Thursday, July 11, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the May Community Center, 2100 Wolf Road, Huffman, Texas 77336.
 
HCFCD staff will be present to gather public input and ideas from the community regarding the upcoming San Jacinto River, Luce Bayou, and Cedar Bayou bond projects. You can read more about the HCFCD bond projects at this link. For more information, please contact Harris County Flood Control District Hotline by calling 713-684-4000. 
USACE Dredging Update

In a news release on June 10, 2019, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District staff executed a modification to the West Fork San Jacinto River Emergency Debris Removal contract June 7, 2019, to dredge an additional 497,400 cubic yards of material that was deposited in the mouth of the San Jacinto River from Hurricane Harvey.

"This contract modification will ensure a decrease in threats to critical infrastructure and lower the risk to potential loss of life," said Charles Wheeler, USACE Galveston District Project Manager. "This is an ongoing contract that is part of a Federal Emergency Management Agency mission assignment."

According to USACE Galveston District officials, the dredged material will be placed at the existing location referred to as Placement Area 2, located approximately 10 miles upriver. The additional dredging is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2019, with the demobilization of the equipment completed by early 2020.

For more news and information, visit the USACE website, Facebook, or Twitter
Removal of Clear Lake Dynamic Message Signs

Council Member Martin would like to make Clear Lake residents aware the  four recently installed Dynamic Message Signs (DMS) have been removed from the Clear Lake area.
 
On Tuesday, June 4, Council Member Martin was made aware of four DMS signs being constructed near the following intersections:  Clear Lake City Boulevard and Space Center Boulevard, Bay Area Boulevard and Space Center Boulevard, Bay Area Boulevard and El Camino Real, and El Dorado and Highway 3. 
 
Based on overwhelming feedback the District E office received from the community, and Council Member Martin's own concerns with the location of these signs in residential areas, Council Member Martin requested all four signs be removed by Houston Public Works immediately. 
 
Thank you to the residents who have contacted our office regarding this matter. Council Member Martin, with your assistance, was able to coordinate with Houston Public Works to have these signs removed swiftly. 
Lake Houston Area Chamber State of the State Luncheon

On Thursday, June 27, District E staff attended the Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce State of the State Luncheon featuring Representative Dan Huberty and Senator Brandon Creighton. The luncheon was a great opportunity to hear updates from our state leaders regarding the 86th Legislative Session.

As Chairman of the House Public Education Committee, Representative Huberty was vital in the passing of House Bill 3. This was a monumental achievement that will transform public school finance in the State of Texas. As the author of the now passed Senate Bill 7, Senator Creighton established two new funds to address the effects of Hurricane Harvey and prepare for future flooding and disasters. These funds are known as the Texas Infrastructure Resilience Fund and the Flood Infrastructure Fund.

Council Member Martin thanks Representative Huberty and Senator Creighton for their tireless efforts during the recent legislative session.
Harris County Flood Warning System

San Jacinto River Authority (SJRA) recently announced a project resulting from their ongoing partnership with Harris County Flood Control District to provide residents of Montgomery, Harris, and surrounding counties the ability to sign up and receive water level and rainfall alerts. Automated alert notifications will be delivered via text message or e-mail when defined rainfall or water level values are reached at specific rainfall and stream gauges, alerting residents of potential high water threats.

The Flood Warning System (FWS) rainfall and stream gauge alerts are based on information gathered at over 250 gauge locations across the region by numerous agencies, including Harris, Brazoria, Fort Bend, Montgomery, Galveston, and Waller Counties, City of Mont Belvieu, City of Sugar Land, The Woodlands, and SJRA.

"Water level determination is essential knowledge during potential flooding events," said Chuck Gilman Director of Water Resources and Flood Management for the San Jacinto River Authority. "Our collaboration with Harris County Flood Control will take data from gauges across the region and give the public another tool to manage the threat of flooding in our area."

"One of the biggest takeaways from Hurricane Harvey was the need for automated notifications to be delivered in a timely manner and this enhancement will help to accomplish that effort" stated Jeff Lindner, Director of Hydrologic Operations and Meteorologist for the Flood Control District. "Residents can use the new alerts feature to make timely, informed decisions on how to protect themselves, their families, and property." 

The feature allows residents to create customized water level alerts or select from pre-defined rainfall and water level values that have been developed and utilized by local government officials. Create an account and sign up for alerts at www.fwsalerts.org.
HPD Clear Lake School Supply Giveaway

The Houston Police Department Clear Lake Division will be hosting its 2nd Annual School Supply Giveaway on August 3, 2019. The event will be held from 10:00 a.m to 2:00 p.m. at the Grace Community Church, located at 14505 Gulf Freeway. 

The goal of this event is to help lessen the financial burden on families by providing school supplies for students in the area. Last year's event was a success and this years will be bigger and better. Come out with the family for school supplies and fun!
Dylan Duncan Skatepark Ribbon Cutting

Council Member Martin is pleased to announce the unveiling of the newly refurbished Dylan Duncan Skatepark through the use of his Council District Service Funds. The following improvements have been made with the help of Houston Parks and Recreation Department: updated equipment, recoated surfaces, added barriers, power washing and painting, and various other repairs as needed. 

To celebrate these improvements, Council Member Martin together with Houston Parks and Recreation Department will host a ribbon cutting on Tuesday, July 16 at 9:00 a.m. at the Skatepark (3950 Rustic Woods, Kingwood). 
NFIP Flood Claims Workshop

The City of Houston and Montgomery County partnered together to host a flood claims workshop at the Kingwood Community Center. On June 19 the event was held for individuals that were impacted by previous flood damages and had questions about the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) process. The workshop provided an opportunity for residents to discuss their claims one-on-one with FEMA flood claim experts. Information from this meeting has been saved and posted on Council Member Martin's website
 
In addition, information was handed out about the U.S. Small Business Association Mitigation Loans process. Those interested may contact the SBA at (800) 659-2955 or disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Each case is different, borrowers should contact SBA to determine eligibility.
Spaceport Phase One Groundbreaking

On Friday, June 28, staff from Council Member Martin's office attended the Spaceport Phase One Groundbreaking at Ellington Airport. The Phase 1 Expansion is now underway with the construction of streets, water and wastewater, pipelines, electrical power and distribution and communications facilities approved by City Council in October 2018. The construction is anticipated to be completed by May 2020, weather permitting.
 
Friday's Groundbreaking celebration included comments from Houston Airport System Director Mario Diaz, Rob Lowe with the Federal Aviation Administration, Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership President Bob Mitchel, San Jacinto College Chancellor Dr. Brenda Hellyer, and President & CEO of Intuitive Machines, Steve Altemus. Council Member Martin looks forward to the future development of the Houston Spaceport.  
YMCA Grand Reopening

On Tuesday, June 11, District E staff attended the Lake Houston YMCA Ribbon Cutting and Grand Reopening. This was a long-awaited event after the Lake Houston YMCA was devastated by Hurricane Harvey and had to close their doors for renovation.
 
Council Member Martin was honored to present a City of Houston Certificate of Special Recognition to the Lake Houston YMCA for this great achievement. The Lake Houston YMCA has been a staple in the community for the past 37 years and we are grateful to have them servicing the Lake Houston area again.
Community Grant Workshops

Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) will be hosting Community Grant Workshops in District E in the coming weeks. 

The goal of the HAA introductory grants workshop is to create a mutual learning environment where HAA will share information about the City of Houston's grant programs as well as learn the needs of the community through this in-person session.

Residents are encouraged to save the date for the following District E workshops: 

Tuesday, July 30 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Freeman Branch Library
16616 Diana Lane, Houston, TX 77062

August 10 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Kingwood Community Center
4102 Rustic Woods, Kingwood TX 77345

Mayor's Back2School Fest

The Mayor's Back to School Event 2019 will be Saturday August 3.

This event is designed to help economically disadvantaged Houston area elementary school students and their families as they prepare to return to school. With the help of many great partners and sponsors, backpacks, school supplies, health screenings, immunizations, and social service resources are provided to thousands of students, free of charge. 

Due to limited space and supplies, you must PRE-REGISTER to attend this event, by clicking   here.
Upcoming Events

Please email the District E office if you would like us to include your upcoming event in future newsletters! 

City Wides

July 4
CITGO Freedom Over Texas Celebration

July 9
Budget and Fiscal Affairs Committee

July 30
Budget and Fiscal Affairs Committee

Kingwood 

July 6
Kingwood Electronic Waste Recycling

July 10
Kingwood Service Association Public Safety Committee

July 11
Huffman Drainage Meeting with HCFCD

July 16
Dylan Duncan Skatepark Ribbon Cutting

July 16
Kingwood PIP

July 22
Huffman Quarterly Public Safety Meeting

*Kingwood Super Neighborhood Meetings are in recess until August 21


Southeast Houston/Clear Lake 

July 9
Miles Street Reconstruction Public Meeting

July 9
Arlington Heights Civic Club Meeting

July 13
Clear Lake Electronic Waste Recycling 

July 16
Clear Lake PIP

July 20
Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Celebration at Space Center Houston

July 25
Freeway Manor Civic Club Meeting

July 31
Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce General Membership Luncheon