In an effort to provide a quick and easy summary of the status of various policy priorities and projects throughout Jersey Village, I’m going to start providing a monthly update on my website. If you have suggestions on how this particular feature can be more helpful, feel free to contact me. If I have previously written on a particular topic in more detail, I will link to those posts as well.
Golf Course Berm Project
The Jersey Village City Council recently met with the city engineer, Frank Brooks, to discuss his firm’s detailed survey of the golf course and his initial analysis of the golf course berm project. You can watch video of the entire meeting by clicking here.
Based on the data collected from the survey, it is believed that a berm built up to an elevation of 107 feet would detain sufficient water to alleviate the heightened risk of flooding on Wall Street and surrounding areas caused by the low elevations. Part of the plan may include integrating water pumps into the Wall Street storm drainage system to pump water onto the golf course in the event the bayou rises to a point where natural drainage is impeded.
For greater detail on the background of the golf course berm project, click here to read my article on the subject.
Home Elevation Grants
The City of Jersey Village was recently advised that its grant application to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for home elevations was identified for further review. Generally this status means that the project has been tentatively approved pending further verification. This is big news, because it means that the federal government will be providing $3,355,447.63 to fund elevations of 17 homes identified on Jersey Drive west of Lakeview Blvd. The data collected as part of the Jersey Village Long Term Flood Recovery Study was essential to the success of our grant application. The hope is that elevations will begin in the next 3-6 months.
As additional grant funding is made available at the federal or state level, our city manager will identify grant programs for which we would likely qualify and move forward with applications. If this recent success is any indication, our work on the flood study will continue to pay substantial dividends in the form of financial assistance.
White Oak Bayou Channel Improvements
The Harris County Commissioners Court unanimously approved a request by the Harris County Flood Control District to enter into negotiations with an engineering firm to design channel improvements for the White Oak Bayou from West Tidwell to FM 1960, including the segment of the channel that moves through Jersey Village and the bypass channel. While it is not anticipated that the top of the bank will be widened, the city has been informed that the bottom of the main channel will be widened to at least 30 feet and the bottom of the bypass channel will be widened to at least 20 feet. These changes will increase the capacity in the bayou, which will significantly reduce the risk of flooding due to bayou waters breaching the banks.
The county believes that construction on the bayou channel improvements will begin in Jersey Village in 2019 and finish the following year.
In the meantime, the flood control district dredged the bypass channel the week before Easter. The hope is that dredging the channel will improve the performance of the channel in advance of Hurricane season.
The Harris County Flood Control District approved the city’s design for the new dog park to be built near the Jersey Meadow detention basin on flood control district land. If all goes well, the park will open in the next couple of months. I’ll try to provide a more precise date as contractors are retained and construction begins.
Plans for the new splash pad to be located next to the city pool are still on track for opening before summer begins! Once a specific date for opening is known, I’ll be sure to provide an additional update.
Golf Course Clubhouse Rebuild
With the deadline passing on Tuesday, the city received nine responses to our Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for an architectural firm to design the new Jersey Meadow Golf Course clubhouse. This was viewed by city staff as an excellent response, and council will be asked at its regular meeting scheduled for Monday, April 16th to approve opening negotiations with the most qualified firm among those responding.
While I am a major proponent of competitive bid processes (my day job involves oil and gas procurement), under the Texas Professional Services Procurement Act, the city is not allowed to competitively bid out professional services such as architectural services, accounting, engineering, surveying, or appraisals, just to list a few. Therefore, while the city will work to negotiate the best value it can for these services, we are prohibited from using competitive bids for this type of work.
City Council Meeting Streaming
Despite a few technical hiccups along the way, we have successfully streamed three city council meetings to date, including the special session regarding the golf course berm. Click here to view the archived video of those live broadcasts.
290 Construction in Jersey Village Complete by Thanksgiving
To be filed under “I’ll believe it when I see it”, the Texas Department of Transportation has told us they expect to be finished with all U.S. Highway 290 construction activities in Jersey Village by Thanksgiving of this year. If you’re a bit skeptical, I don’t blame you. Let’s hope it’s done even sooner.