Houston-Galveston Area Council Newsletter        March 2020
February Board of Directors Meeting
During the February Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) Board of Director's meeting, the board considered and approved several items of regional significance.

The board voted unanimously to conduct a Livable Centers study for the city of Angleton. L ivable Centers planning studies reimagine auto-focused infrastructure and help create quality, walkable, mixed-use places while encouraging multi-modal travel choices that promote economic development and housing choices. Also in February, t he board authorized a partnership agreement with Houston Metro of Harris County to use funds to enhance marketing efforts and to support a 20 percent fare subsidy for local bus and rail for the Base Reduction Encouraging Action to Help the Environment (BREATHE) pilot program.

The board authorized an agreement with the Houston Endowment to coordinate a 2020 Census outreach campaign in hard to count areas. April 1 is Census Day.

The next board of directors meeting is March 17, 2020, at 10 a.m. at the Houston-Galveston Area Council located at 3555 Timmons Lane in Houston. For more information on H-GAC's board of directors, past meeting agendas or minutes, or to find dates for future meetings ,  visit H-GAC's website.
Trash Bash: Participate in Texas' Largest Waterway Clean up March 28
Every year, thousands of volunteers gather along Texas waterways to do their part in cleaning up the environment by participating in the largest single-day waterway clean up in the state of Texas. This year's  River, Lakes, Bays 'N Bayous Trash Bash  will be from 8 a.m. to noon on March 28. Our fantastic volunteers will receive a complimentary t-shirt, lunch, cleanup supplies, chances to win door prizes, and opportunities to learn more about preventing water pollution.

Watch a  30-second promotional video  or visit the  Trash Bash website  to find out how to volunteer at one of  16 locations , donate online to support the cleanup, and much more!

Groups of 10 or more can complete a  group reservation  to let the site coordinator know in advance. Individual registration on the day of the event is still required for each member of the group. 
Draft 2021-2024 Transportation Improvement Program Public Meetings
The Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) is a program of funded transportation projects that are scheduled for implementation in the next four years. This includes transit, bicyclist and pedestrian, highway, air quality projects and programs that will start in 2021-2024 in Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, and Waller counties.

In addition to providing project information, the TIP must also be balanced with proposed programming and the anticipated available revenue. This public meeting is your opportunity to comment on the projects that have been identified for funding. The public comment period ends on March 29.

Thursday, March 5, 2020
1:30-3 p.m. and 6-7:30 p.m.
Houston-Galveston Area Council, 3555 Timmons Lane, Houston, TX, 77027
Second Floor, Conference Room B
Meetings will be livestreamed on H-GAC's website .

For more information about the TIP and the upcoming public meeting, visit the TIP website .

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Announces Availability of
$1 Billion to Upgrade Infrastructure
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) published a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to apply for $1 billion in the Fiscal Year 2020 discretionary grant funding through the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation Discretionary Grants program.
As the current administration looks to enhance America’s infrastructure, FY 2020 grants are for planning and capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure and are to be awarded on a competitive basis for projects that will have a significant local or regional impact. BUILD funding can support roads, bridges, transit, rail, ports, or intermodal transportation.  
Projects will be evaluated based on merit criteria that include safety, economic competitiveness, quality of life, environmental sustainability, state of good repair, innovation, and partnership. 

To better address the needs of rural America, DOT intends to award half of grant funding to projects located in rural areas that deliver positive benefits for these communities. For this round of grants, the maximum award is $25 million, and no more than $100 million can be awarded to a single state. The deadline to submit an application is May 18, 2020 at 5 p.m. Eastern.

For more information visit the DOT's BUILD Grants website .
Overcoming Recycling Challenges in Our Region
Operating a recycling program today is challenging. A successful recycling operation requires a high volume of materials and proximity to a market to sell the materials because trucks, fuel, and staff can be expensive. Recycled materials are a commodity, and commodity pricing is determined by supply and demand. The downturn in global markets, especially China, and more stringent contamination standards have led to lower prices.
Despite the current challenges, a recycling program can still provide important economic and quality of life benefits to a community. The Houston-Galveston Area Council provides a resource for communities facing these challenges. The resource includes reasons why recycling programs should continue and what communities can do to weather the storm. H-GAC can answer questions and provide technical and educational assistance. For information, contact Erin Livingston at 832-681-2525 or Erin.Livingston@h-gac.com .
Caney Creek and Linnville Bayou Watershed Bacteria Reduction Public Meeting   - March 17
The Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) invite area stakeholders to help finalize a plan that will reduce high concentrations of bacteria found in the Caney Creek and Linnville Bayou Watershed at a public meeting on March 17. 

High concentrations of bacteria have been observed in certain portions of Caney Creek Tidal and Linnville Bayou. H-GAC and TCEQ representatives have been meeting regularly with communities, interest groups, and local organizations in developing an implementation plan to improve the area’s water quality and protect it for recreational uses. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2020
5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Caney Creek
2426 Oak Circle
Sargent, TX 77414

For more information visit the project's website .
Every 10 years the census is used to determine how much funding and representation will be distributed based on population. These dollars support everything from school lunches to medical benefits to disaster recovery to programs that help your family right now.

The Houston-Galveston Area Council is a proud partner of the 2020 Census. If you'd like to learn more about the Census and how you can help, please contact H-GAC's director of communications, Meagan Coughlin , and m ark your calendars for Census Day on April 1, 2020.
H-GAC is Hiring!
Home to more than 7 million people, the Houston-Galveston region is one of the fastest-growing and most diverse regions in the country. Making sure the region remains one of the nation’s leading places to live, work, and prosper doesn’t just happen—it takes planning and partnerships. If you are looking for a career where you can help make a difference in urban, suburban, and rural communities, the Houston-Galveston Area Council has exciting opportunities for you. For more information or to apply for a job, visit the careers page on H-GAC's website .