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Council approves all items at Tuesday meeting

Written by Bobby Vasquez. Posted in News

2015 City Hall SmallIN NEWS
Deer Park City Council passed all the items on its Tuesday regular agenda. The items included a zoning amendment to allow for a heliport for emergency medical services. Council also approved items relating to the Maxwell Center renovation project after mold was found in the building.


APP ChicagoMembers of the Art Park Players perform "All That Jazz" from their production of "Chicago" during Tuesday's city council meeting. The production opens Friday and runs through the end of the month. Photo by Bobby Vasquez.

City Council unanimously passed all items on its agenda at Tuesday’s meeting.

During the meeting, Council and the Planning and Zoning Committee held a joint pubic hearing regarding the request of City of Deer Park to amend the Code of Ordinance to allow Heliports or Helistops as an accessory use for medical facilities in the Highway Zoning District and requiring a specific use permit.

Local developer Randy Stockwell was the only person to speak in favor of the amendment.

“The ordinances did not allow for a heliport, even in a medical facility, which we are planning to build on East Boulevard just north of Thirteenth Street,” Stockwell said.

He said the heliport would be available for the facility’s use as well as the city should Life Flight be needed.

No one spoke against the amendment and it was later approved in the meeting.

Council also approved change orders and contingency modifications to the Maxwell Adult Center. During the renovations, the contractor found several issues which must be addressed, including mold removal, needed foundation repairs, an improved electrical service connection, and sheetrock replacement.

Parks and Recreation Director Charlie Sandberg said the issues were found during the demolition process. As the renovation process continues, contractors are warning him of potential problems with roof and duct work issues with the building.

Councilmembers Rae Sinor and Thane Harrison asked about the city’s contract with a roof inspector and why these issues were not found during their inspections.

“We have a waterproofing contract with a company that makes sure that the roofs are not going to leak and are water tight,” said Public Works Director Bill Petersen. “This (situation) is under the roof, the original structure of the building.”

Petersen said the roof is only guaranteed up to a 55mph wind load if anything is attached to it.

The building will require a 140mph wind load. The ratings are from the original construction of the building years ago, he said.

“In order to get up to par with the wind code, we would have to take all that deck up and replace it with new deck,” he said.

City staff will discuss internally its next steps before presenting recommendations to council.

During the workshop, City Manager Jay Stokes announced city staff should begin moving into the new city hall facility the first full weekend of April. To accommodate the move, Stokes said city hall may close either the Friday of that weekend or the Monday immediately after, or possibly both.

Should the construction schedule maintain its current pace, the final city council meeting in the current city hall building will be the second regularly scheduled meeting in March. The first meeting in April will probably be in a different location as the council chambers will be used for staging furniture during the move-in process.

Stokes said shortly after the move, the current city hall building will be demolished. After that process, he would like to schedule a series of open houses so that the public can tour the new building.

When the regular meeting commenced, council approved a purchase from Vaught Services to perform Sanitary Rehabilitation of Deer Meadows Section 3, Green Way Plaza, and Meadows Village Subdivisions.

Council also approved an ordinance calling for the May 5 general election for three council members. At the May 5 election, Council Positions 3, 4 and 5 will be on the ballot. Those seats are held by Bill Patterson, Ron Martin and Rae Sinor, respectively.

Also, council approved a request from Healing Ministries of the Lord Jesus Christ to refer to planning and zoning a specific use permit for a church to be located at 5014 Luella Ave.; and the purchase of bleachers for the Girls Softball complex project.

During the meeting, council also took action on an ordinance regarding school zone signs on Luella Avenue near Deer Park Elementary. According to a memo from the city manager’s office, the flashing school zone sign for southbound traffic on Luella rests 50 feet away from its prescribed placement within city code. The new ordinance states for the sign to be located at its present location.

Council also appointed a member to the board of Crime Control and Prevention District. Former board member Shannon Burke moved out of the city, creating a vacancy. This vacancy is to be filled by the appointee of Councilman Ron Martin, who recommended Smokey Mather to fill the remainder of the term expiring Aug. 31 of this year.

In other business, council approved a resolution authorizing the city’s participation in NPPGov, the government division of National Purchasing Partners, a national cooperative procurement organization; awarding the bid to Vortex USA for a fiberglass waterslide at Dow Park; a budget amendment for the Bayou Bend/Claude Burgess Center restroom addition; the second reading granting a pipeline franchise to FLST LLC for a 16-inch Ethane pipeline; and an ordinance amendment regarding stop signs. According to the memo regarding this item from the city manager’s office, a staff committee led by the Police Department worked throughout 2017 to clean up various formatting and verbiage inconsistencies in City Code. This first ordinance, which addresses the correct placement of all stop signs within the City, now is ready for council approval.