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Posted on: October 23, 2017

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS

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Dear residents and business owners of Angleton

 

With over 19,000 residents, the county seat, and located between the port and downtown Houston, Angleton is positioned to experience significant growth in the coming years. The actions or lack of actions we take to prepare for this growth will dictate how Angleton evolves in the coming years. Change can be difficult, and I wish to share a quote with you about change from Deepak Chopra:

"All great changes are preceded by chaos."

When campaigning this spring, I routinely heard citizens express desire for change in the city, and I concurred. With new management, changes are occurring. Many times we may feel caught in the middle when change is occurring. We hear messages that are concerning about the change, but that's typical for any change. I assure you that the initiatives currently being implemented at City Hall will enhance the City of Angleton and prepare the community for the future. The following is a summary of new initiatives taking place today in the City.  

Management

The city for the past decade has had five city managers. We need to examine why we have had a hard time retaining a city manager. Council and I will be conducting a work session in the coming months with a consultant to examine council-manager relations, roles, and responsibilities. This will also include evaluating the city's charter. Our goal is to position the city's top executive with the tools and understanding he/she needs to be successful as the city manager of Angleton.

Development

The city has started talks with a developer to establish a municipal utility district that could include roughly 400 single-family residential homes. Our goal is to have a developer's agreement for a potential MUD by the first of next year.

Infrastructure for Phase II of the Rosewood subdivision has been completed, which includes 18 residential lots.

Construction of streets, water, sewer, and drainage for Heritage Park Phase II with 29 lots has started.

City council recently approved a replat of the Angleton 288 Industrial Park (CR 341). The replat reconfigured three lots into four lots allowing the Clay Development Group to construct four 15,000 square feet spec buildings.

 

In 2017, expansion of the Union Pacific Rail Yard started with Phase I estimated to be completed in late 2018 and Phase II completion date in 2019. Details of the expansion are below:

 

• 9 new Classification Tracks

• 2 Receiving and Departure Tracks

• 3 Lead Tracks

A Storage-In-Transit (SIT) Yard consists of tracks that are used to store loaded railcars of plastic resin while they await transit to the final destination. This allows increased capacity at the customer facility, boosting productivity. Between the years of 2013 and 2019, Union Pacific will have expanded its SIT Network in the Gulf Region by 36% to meet the needs of the growing plastics industry.

 

Texas Department of Transportation (TX DOT) is constructing a new area engineer and

maintenance facility at 18671 FM 523. The entire site will encompass roughly 15 acres.

The Dairy Queen is likely to open at the end of October, and the coffee shop Wakey Wakey’s across from the museum is scheduled to open soon.

Recently, the City applied for a Livable Center grant through the Houston-Galveston Area Council requesting $200,000 to aid the City in developing a vision and guidelines for revitalizing the downtown area and surrounding neighborhoods

This year, staff will research the possibility of establishing a Texas Main Street Department. The goal is to hopefully employee an individual who’s responsible for overseeing the revitalization of downtown and neighborhoods around the downtown vicinity.

Infrastructure

Council is focused on dedicating resources to make infrastructure improvements this year. Next year, we will implement more infrastructure projects in the community than any other time in the city's recent history.

The city recently started construction on a new sidewalk along Northridge Street (from N. Valderas St. to Tinsley St.) and N. Valderas Street (from E. Cedar St. to Northridge St.). The expected completion date of the 5-ft wide sidewalk is around the middle of December.

Keep Angleton Beautiful (KAB) received an achievement award for $180,000 that will be used to landscape areas along our local rights-of-way. The funds will be applied to planting trees within the four largest medians of State Loop 274 and SH 288B as well as improvements around the Angleton Plaza heart, which will include a decorative wall, landscaping, and concrete surface treatments.

The city recently selected a vendor to implement the first phase of a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system for the city’s water system, which will allow staff to monitor and control water operations from a central location instead of having to physically go out to each site. We anticipate awarding a similar contract for the city’s wastewater system within the next 12 months.

Council will soon approve a list of streets for reconstruction next year at a cost between $7 and $8 million. Proceedings to issue debt for this project will take roughly 90 days, and construction should start on the road program late spring or early summer.

The Parks and Recreation Board is working on a design for a new park located off of CR 44 adjacent to Heritage Oaks. The park includes a 45-acre detention area and a preliminary design for the new park should be completed in the coming months.

Services

The City of Angleton will implement a fully automated residential trash and recycling service beginning January 1, 2018. The charge for residential trash service will increase 21 cents ($0.21) for the new automated service from $18.59 to $18.80 monthly starting January 2018. Automated trash service are garbage trucks that use a mechanical technique that lifts and empties carts without drivers leaving the truck. Automation is a faster and more efficient way to collect residential solid waste and recycling materials which will help keep our neighborhoods neat and clean and improve safety on residential streets.

For the past few months, staff has been evaluating various new Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) water meters that will allow staff at city hall to monitor and read water meters instead of having to physically go out and read water meters. AMI enables two-way communication between the meter and city hall. The city currently has roughly 7,000 meters, and our goal is to implement a pilot project in the spring of roughly 1,500 new meters.

One of the biggest catalysts for development is the reduction of barriers-to-entry in the marketplace. The City of Angleton's goal is to have easy-to-understand and consistent processes and policies to streamline development services. In 2018, the city will be evaluating existing processes and policies, and outside consulting services necessary for implementing an Express Permitting Program.

The city recently completed renovations to the pool area at the recreation center and are in the process of installing a new HVAC system at the recreation center.

Finance

On September 19, City Council approved a budget of $41,822,000, which maintains the same tax rate as last year $0.707598. A few of the notable expenditures in this budget include a debt issuance for street improvements, funds to update the city's Comprehensive Plan, an increase of the uniform allowance for police officers, retire debt on the Public Works Service Building, implementation of new automated residential trash service, employing a new water meter reading service, and several other projects.

This year's budget saw the largest annual increase in property values in the city's history. The city's property tax value for 2017 increased by $70,000,000, which includes roughly 38% of new construction added to the city's property tax rolls.

Communication

In November, the City of Angleton will release its first edition of a city magazine called Inside Angleton. The purpose of the magazine is to keep the community informed about on-going and upcoming projects, events, and various other happenings in the community. The city initially plans to release the publication twice a year with an edition in the fall/winter and the other publication in the spring/summer.

City's Response to Hurricane Harvey

Our community did very well during the storm and flood. We had a few events, but the impact was minimal. The city’s handling of this event can be divided into four phases.

 

PHASE I - PREPAREDNESS:

The Monday before the storm, I directed city staff to address our ditches and any debris piled up on our streets and citizens yards. This would prevent any potential blockages and barricades in our drainage system. The city also started to work on plans for our first responders to stay for the event and support the city/county should the need arise. We had discussions with many community partners to check on their preparedness or any unmet needs.

 

PHASE II – THE EVENT:

During the storm, we stood up our city Emergency Operations Center and were in constant communication with our county EOC. We conducted daily briefings with city staff and others. Based on information obtained, we utilized social media and our phone CTY Connect to pass on any relevant information to the citizens. We received many compliments from citizens on the notifications and updates. We also were contacted about several concerns during the storm that were immediately addressed by leadership and staff. Our city was the central hub for all staging and housing of federal, state, and local resources for Brazoria County. The city worked with DPS, FEMA, State, and county officials with many logistical items when it came to housing and addressing concerns for over 300 plus responders and their assets. Thank you to Angleton ISD and Dr. Montgomery in assisting with this and allowing us to overtake several of your campuses.

 

PHASE III - RECOVERY:

With minimal impact, we have applied for FEMA assistance and grants to assist with reimbursements and mitigation enhancements to protect us in the future.

 

PHASE IV - FUTURE:

We will be conducting an after-action review to see what we did well and where we can improve our plans. As you can see, there were a lot of moving pieces, time, energy and effort in response to Harvey. City leadership and staff did an incredible job, and I want to commend them. They were all working hard for you. We should all be proud on how well we were prepared and protected during this once-in-a-lifetime weather event.

 

In closing, although we are developing in new areas of the community, the heart of Angleton is in the central area. We will continue to reinvest and plan for the revitalizing of the core area of Angleton this year and coming years.

I am proud to represent residents and business owners of Angleton and look forward to welcoming new residents and businesses. I hope everyone has found this article informative, and I welcome your input. Please feel free to contact me at my email address perez@angleton.tx.us.

 

Respectfully,

Mayor Jason Perez


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