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Busy workshop, agenda set for Tuesday's council meetings

Written by Bobby Vasquez. Posted in News

2015 City Hall SmallIN NEWS
Deer Park City Council will have its next regular workshop and agenda meeting Tuesday evening. The workshop begins at 6 p.m., followed by the regular meeting at 7:30 p.m. Both meetings take place inside council chambers at City Hall, 710 E. San Augustine St.

Tuesday’s Deer Park City Council meeting will open at 6 p.m. with an executive session regarding potential litigation involving the city.

When the workshop reconvenes, council will hear a presentation on the dedication of Cottonwood Park. Also during the workshop, council will discuss the schedule of events for the sale of certificates of obligation; and a contract between the city for architectural services for the pre-design, programming and planning phases of the Deer Park EMS annex. Both of these items appear on the evening’s regular agenda.

Council will also discuss a proposed contract between the city and the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston for medical director services. For many years, Dr. Don Metz has served as the City’s Medical Director at no cost. Hehe recently informed the city other obligations prevented him from continuing in that capacity. Council then authorized staff to seek professional Medical Director services, ultimately selecting Dr. Richard Bradley with the Texas Health Science Center. Dr. Bradley serves as Chief of Emergency Medical Services and Disaster Medicine at the UT Health Science Center medical school and as Medical Director for the City of Pearland. The fee for his services is $24,000 annually, and the proposed contract runs from October 1, 2017 through September 30, 2020. Council will take action on this item during the regular meeting.

During the workshop, council will also discuss the city’s investment program and the review of the city’s investment policy. This item is also on the night’s regular agenda.

The workshop’s agenda also includes discussion of the city’s Emergency Preparedness Guide; the city’s redesign and usability study; and a potential zoning ordinance amendment to allow heliports/helistops in the highway district zones.

Regarding the heliport/helistop item, local developer Randy Stockwell recently approached City staff regarding his interest in opening a short-term emergency care clinic on property he owns in Deer Park located near the northeast corner of East Boulevard and 13th Street. This property is zoned Highway District (HD). Officials with the clinic indicated they would like the property to have a heliport (also referenced in Code as a helistop). They have even offered to allow the city and Deer Park Volunteer Fire Department to utilize this heliport for emergency medical air lifts when necessary. This was mentioned to DPVFD Fire Chief Don Davis, and he expressed his support of this mutual shared use of the proposed heliport at this new clinic.

The City’s Zoning Ordinance allows heliports and helistops only by specific use permit in the M-1 or M-2 zoning districts. A hospital is allowed in HD zoning, but a heliport or helistop which serves as an accessory use to the hospital presently is not allowed. With this item, Stockwell would like to discuss this issue with Council to see if there is interest in seeking a change to the Zoning Ordinance to allow heliports/helistops in the HD zoning district. Staff recommends if so, this only be allowed as an accessory use, and it be permitted only through a specific use permit. Should Council desire to seek this Zoning Ordinance change, the formal process begins by having the matter referred to the Planning & Zoning Commission for their recommendation.

The agenda also includes an evaluation of the golf course bridge and monument signs in the wayfinding program.

While the historic bridge at The Battleground Golf Course, located between the No. 18 green and the No. 1 tee boxes, is structurally sound after its rehabilitation in 2012, its superstructure (the top section) is in very poor shape.

That portion of the bridge was built more a century ago. Its aesthetical value remains, but the ironwork is full of rust and decay. The Golf Course Committee recently heard a presentation from RPS Engineers (formerly Klotz Associates) which recommended conducting a study of the bridge to evaluate its options. These could include repairing the existing superstructure; removing and rebuilding the superstructure; or removing and not replacing the superstructure. They propose analyzing these options from an engineering perspective, as well as conducting historic research on the bridge to ensure it is properly preserved. The fee for these services is $10,590.00, and may be funded through Hotel Occupancy Tax proceeds. This item will be on the night’s regular agenda.

Council will also hear a presentation regarding park monument signs within the Wayfinding Program. This includes a discussion on the status of our wayfinding signage program, giving particular attention to alternative sign concepts for retrofit and new signs. Many of the monument signs which have been installed to date have been repeatedly vandalized, causing the city to re-think the design for future signage.

During the regular meeting, council will also take action on the ratification of a public assistance grant application through FEMA. Following Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey, President Donald Trump declared a major disaster in Harris County. This allows the City of Deer Park eligibility to seek certain categories of public assistance reimbursement funds from FEMA. With this action, Council is ratifying the City of Deer Park’s Public Assistance Grant Application through FEMA. The city anticipates receiving 100 percent reimbursement in the category of Emergency Protective Measures, and 90 percent reimbursement in the category of Emergency Debris Removal.

Council will also take action on restricting a portion of unrestricted net assets in the Series 2002-Texsas Water Development Board Fund. The city has two private placement bonds held by the TWDB. Each year, the city is obligated to restrict a portion of its Interest and Sinking Fund to assure its ability to service the year’s debt, which will be $146,541.64.

The agenda also includes a resolution to transfer $5.35 million from the 2016-17 unassigned fund balance of the general fund to the capital improvements fund. For the past several years, the city has set aside monies for future capital needs by transferring unassigned fund balance from the General Fund to the Capital Improvements Fund.

In other business, council will also take action on amending the Water & Sewer Fund Budget in the amount of $7,250 for emergency repairs to a turbine pump; adopting the fiscal year 2017-18 budget; salary classification scales; the reappointment of Associate Judges Cari Brownlee and John Morgan to additional two-year terms and the appointment of David Froneberger to Associate Judge for a two year term; calling a joint public hearing to allow the use of external shipping containers under certain conditions for Oct. 17 at 7:30 p.m.; adopting the Standards of Care for the All Star Activity Program for 2017-18 DPISD school year; and to award a bid for the Sidewalk Improvement Project to J.A. Costanza & Associates in the amount of $288,233.75.

Notable areas includes Pasadena Boulevard, with smaller sections of 8th Street, 13th Street, and Spencer Highway.