QUARTERLY COMMUNITY FOR THE
THE ISLAND TIMES
CITY INTRODUCES NEW COMMUNITY NEWSLETTER TO KEEP RESIDENTS BETTER INFORMED
TABLE OF CONTENTS 03
City Pilots New
Working Towards A
Waves of Progress
THE ISLAND TIMES
Bond Projects Update
Building A Better Broadway
Water Rates & Recycling
Rubber Wheel Trolleys & Rail Car Restoration
State of the City 2017
Public Housing Returns
To The Island
GFD Promotions & Retirements
Texting 9-1-1 During
Installed on Seawall
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CITY PILOTS NEW DRAINAGE SOLUTION BY DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC WORKS KYLE HOCKERSMITH
The citizens of Galveston have been dealing with flooding issues for well over 100 years. Letters from citizens that date back to the early 1900s tell stories of the same flooding issues we face today. As an island with little elevation change, Galveston faces unique challenges that call for unique solutions. With the help of new technology, we are launching a pilot program we are confident will be successful. The program is focused around a proprietary backflow prevention device. By the first week of August, we will have installed six of these devices in outfall structures of the storm drain outfalls in Offatts Bayou. Our main problem is that when the tide comes up, the saltwater backs into our drainage system. This poses numerous problems for our drainage system, and can become especially problematic when it is raining during a high tide, because the water has nowhere to go. With these backflow prevention devices in place, the tide waters will be kept out of our drainage system, which will increase the amount of rain water they can handle, as well as keeping the sediment that comes with saltwater out of our storm drain pipes. During the pilot period, the test area at Offatts Bayou should show relief for street flooding during rain events for the Ave Q and Saladia areas. Since we have such confidence in this technology, we are already doing the behind-the-scenes work it will take to install these devices citywide. Once these devices are proved successful in the test area, we will install them throughout the island with funding approved in the 2017 Bond Election. Our confidence comes from extensive university testing that was provided to us by the manufacturer and, if it works, we will see a solution to a century-old problem installed within two years. This is one project that we cannot put in the ground soon enough.
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WORKING TOWARDS A CLEANER GALVESTON BY CITY
Earlier this year, the city reactivated the City
private property without the consent of the
Marshal’s office in an effort to combat code non-
owner or manager for more than 48 hours. The
compliance and work toward cleaning up the
City can cite and tow vehicles that have expired
island so that her charm, history, and beauty can
registration, even if they are moved, if still parked
shine through. Citizen complaints often relate
on public property after given 48 hours notice.
to high weeds and grass, abandoned vehicles, and
Please remember to check all vehicle
vehicles that are parked in the City’s right-of-way.
registrations and ensure that inoperable or
Below are descriptions of the violations and ways
unused vehicles are not stored on the public
that you can ensure compliance:
roadway for more than 48 hours.
High Weeds & Grass: While this can be unsightly,
Parking In The City Right-Of-Way: As a
it also causes a host of other problems. High
reminder, any vehicle parked in the city right-of-
weeds and grass are breeding grounds for
way is subject to a $75 citation. This is a common
mosquitoes, as well as rats and other rodents, and
practice on the island, but as we move to
it suggests to criminals that the property is not
creating a more walkable community, it is a
being cared for and could invite criminal activity.
problem that must be addressed. Vehicles
In the City of Galveston, grass or weeds taller than
parked on any portion of the right-of-way prevent
9” are considered in violation and you could be
pedestrians from using the walkway and force
them into the street. Not all rights-of-way have a concrete or “improved surfaces;” however, it is still
Abandoned/Junk Vehicles: Abandoned vehicles
a violation to obstruct or encroach upon any
are described as a vehicle that is inoperable,
portion of the City’s right-of-way designated for
more than five years old, and has been left
pedestrian passage. This violation is supported by
unattended on public property for more than 48
a state law as well as a city ordinance. Please
hours; or a vehicle that has remained illegally on
ensure that vehicles are parked legally in the
public property for more than 48 hours (expired
street next to the curb, or fully onto private
registration, etc.); or a vehicle remaining on
The Marshal’s office has given the City the ability to resolve code enforcement cases in a more timely manner and the change is noticeable across the island. Help us continue that effort by reporting code violations on the City’s website at www.galvestontx.gov/codeenforcement, where you can track a case from opening to close online!
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MAKING SOCIAL MEDIA MEANINGFUL BY CITY
If you're seeing a rise in crime in your neighborhood, call our Police Department. They believe in the value of what you have to say. Calling and voicing your opinion could help them better understand the needs of the community, because they may not see your post on Facebook. Have a question about the way we do business? We are an open book. One phone
These days, social media has become an
call to City Hall would provide you with more
information channel that can at times be
factual information In minutes than you will
overwhelming. In City Government, that is both
receive in hours of commentary on
a blessing and a curse. While it allows us
Facebook. As the City Manager, I feel it is my
transparency, it can also create unnecessary
duty to the citizens to answer every phone
controversy. At one time, residents called us
call and email I receive, and I do it.
with their concerns. Today, we are tagged in posts and texted screenshots of posts in groups
As a municipality, we are required to be
on Facebook instead. Can you imagine how
transparent. When you manage the entity
easily a communication break down can
that keeps a city of over 50,000 residents,
happen using this means? Using this method,
25,000 commuters, and 6.5 million visitors
we miss numerous opportunities to
each year, being transparent helps take all
communicate the facts, which further breeds a
the pressure off. So the next time you see a
lack of public trust. As a fifth generation
post, call us. Let's make social media
islander, I want you to trust the government
meaningful by posting as informed residents
that serves you. We want to hear from you, and
and responsive employees. We promise to
we would appreciate the chance to hear from
monitor it as best we can if you'll commit to
calling us with your concerns.
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WAVES OF PROGRESS CONTINUE AS BOND SALE FUNDS FY 2017 PROJECTS
In June, the City of Galveston successfully sold $22.6 million in tax exempt public improvement bonds, which will fund projects, beginning July, that were promised in the May bond election. Due to favorable market conditions, the sale will raise $25 million for street and drainage improvements across the city. This sale is the first of the City’s general-obligation bonds, which were authorized by voters in the May elections, as part of an overall $62 million bond program. These bonds will fund street and drainage projects including a total of 13 projects outlined above. To read more about this and for regular updates on the bond projects please visit www.galvestontx.gov/bonds2017.
BUILDING A BETTER BROADWAY BY DIRECTOR SERVICES
thorough analysis and recommendations for public right of way enhancements such as multimodal transportation enhancements, implementing public art, holiday displays, upgraded lighting, and elements that will create visual appeal and improve function. This process will run parallel with the process analyzing the possible expansion and creation of historical
City Council is kicking off a plan to improve the configuration and appearance of the Broadway Corridor. The intent of this effort will be to generate a vision for both immediate and long-
FIRST BROADWAY PUBLIC MEETING WHEN: TUESDAY AUGUST 8, 2017 WATCH WWW.GALVESTONTX.GOV FOR TIME AND LOCATION!
term improvement strategies. The Broadway Ad Hoc Committee has been brainstorming enhancements for the Broadway Design
districts. A series of public engagement meetings
Guidelines as they relate to new development.
will be held throughout the summer and fall to
The Broadway Corridor project will not only
obtain feedback from community stakeholders.
include exploration of land use strategies and incentives to assist existing property owners reach
The first public meeting will be held August
improved standards, but will also contemplate
8th, 2017. Time and location will be announced
redevelopment opportunities that market to
soon. The event will be open to everyone
investors. In addition, the plan will provide a
interested in building a better Broadway!
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MEET WALTER! WWW.GALVESTONTX.GOV/MEETWALTER FOR MORE!
Walter, the water conscious dolphin, wants to remind you that as the heat drags on this summer, water use is on the rise! In 2015, the City changed the rate structure, and that change is felt more when your usage jumps up into the next tier. Interested in finding ways to save and keep that usage down? Log on to our website for a wealth of resources about ways you can make every drop count!
RECYCLE TODAY! WWW.GALVESTONTX.GOV/RECYCLE
Galvestonians love to recycle, and our recycling center has never been more accessible than it is now. Open seven days a week, with attendants to help from
THINGS WE ACCEPT: 1-9 Plastics except #6 All Styrofoam (Please remove all food) Refrigerators Air Conditioners Stoves, Washers, Dryers, & all other appliances Bottle Glass Only All Types of Paper Cardboard
8:00am to 4:45pm each day, we hope you're taking
All Scrap Metals Aluminum
advantage of this wonderful community resource. As a
5 Tires per Week*
reminder, we no longer accept fluorescent bulbs, broken glass, or used gasoline. We ask that residents please wash and sort all items before bringing them to the center. We also offer curbside pickup once a month for the elderly and disabled. Log on to our website to find out more!
Used Diesel, Used Oil, and Antifreeze Printer Ink Cartridges Computers and All Electronics* Automotive Batteries and Rechargeable Batteries Cell Phones * Proof of Residency Required
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ROAD TO RESTORATION BY ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER RICK BEVERLIN
A missing piece of Galveston’s charm returned on June 2. While each historic rail trolley undergoes restorations, four rubber wheel trolleys have been introduced, which provides island residents and visitors access from the east end of the island to the west with multiple stops in between. With more than 20,000 riders in the first month, the rubber wheel trolleys have already proven to be a great addition to the island’s transportation system. The service allows visitors to experience beaches, restaurants, attractions, and the Historic Strand without the hassle of moving their personal vehicle Operating with fares waved through Labor Day, the service runs from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
Ridership on both the Downtown and Seawall routes has been consistently growing. As of last month, all three rail cars are with Gomaco Trolley in Ida Grove, Iowa for restoration. The restoration process is expected to take a year and we are looking forward to placing the rail cars back in service in 2018. Once the rail cars return, they will service the Downtown loop to the Seawall and the rubber wheels will travel along the Seawall. To find the maps, schedule and to see the restoration progress, check out our website at www.galvestontrolley.com and hop on a trolley today!
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SEAWALL BEAUTIFICATION PROJECT BY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR DAVID SMITH
Every construction project has its fair share of challenges, but the ones we have faced with the Seawall Beautification Project are problems that only occur in a 179-year-old city. Installing bathrooms on the south side of the Seawall means bringing plumbing across a roadway that has seen generations of development. Since much of the City relies on the protection of the Seawall, making any quick moves could compromise its integrity. Because of this, progress has been far from what we planned. Nevertheless, we have brought in new technology to help get the job done and bring this project to a close. We are within two months of seeing this project through completion, and once it is done, we know it will be worth the wait. We are currently enjoying the 29 lighted bus stops that are complete with benches and bike racks. The seven beautification areas that have been installed from 6th Street to 81st Street will soon be filled with palm trees and greenscaping. Once finished, residents and visitors will have lighted bollards from 19th Street to 29th Street, making a safer environment for pedestrians enjoying the Seawall. The Portland Loo bathrooms are being installed in five locations at 19th, 29th, 39th, 45th and 61st. The single-stall restrooms, which include outdoor showers, have been built to withstand the elements that our island presents. We are working diligently to ensure that this project comes to completion soon. Be sure to follow us on social media to watch the progress!
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STATE OF THE CITY 2017 BY COMMUNICATIONS INTERN CHELSEA GRUNDEN
At this year's State of the City, hosted by Galveston College on June 12, City Manager Brian Maxwell discussed improvements to the city, as well as the path looking forward. These improvements include welcoming several new employees across multiple departments, as well as launching an internship program to connect college students and recent graduates to local government and invest in the future of our team. The city has budgeted more than $212 million over the next five years for Capital Improvement Projects. Maxwell discussed recently completed projects, such as Sea Isle drainage and 69th Street reconstruction; projects nearing completion, such as the Seawall Beautification Project and the Lasker Park Community Pool; and many more projects scheduled to begin this year.
Maxwell thanked the city for the passing of the Bond Measure, which will bring reconstruction and drainage projects for eager island residents. Mayor Yarbrough expressed the importance of setting expectations for the city high, and setting high expectations for the city. For economic development, Yarbrough addressed four big changes he wants to see: working with the Park Board to move toward a higher value tourist, incentivizing existing businesses on the island, improving upon the Port of Galveston, and maximizing opportunities north of Broadway and west of 25th Street. He also wants to see improvements to parks and the airport, as well as areas currently seen as low-end. The mayor addressed questions from residents and encouraged anyone who has questions or concerns about the city to bring them to his attention. Yarbrough stressed that he is with the residents and wants improvements to the island as much as they do. To view the video, presentation, and answers to questions received please visit www.galvestontx.gov/stateofthecity!
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LONE STAR RALLY 2016 BY: PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER JAREE FORTIN
Every year since 2003, Galveston has proudly hosted the Lone Star Rally. Visitors flock to the island to attend bike shows; truck, jeep and classic car shows; and free concerts on two stages. The Lone Star Rally has grown in size and popularity across its 14 years. Most recently it attracted 576,000 visitors to the island in 2016. Today, it is truly one of the premier motorcycle and automobile shows in the United States, having surpassed the Sturgis Bike Rally in Sturgis, SD. In 2016, Lone Star Rally contributed $115.6 million to Galveston’s economy, which included creating and/or supporting 1,308 full-time job equivalents and providing $34.4 million in personal income. These impacts generated an additional $691,300 in local tax receipts, $553,000 in Sales Tax revenues and $138,300 in Hotel & Occupancy Tax (HOT) revenues. On June 22, City Council approved a three-year contract with Lone Star Rally to ensure that the city will welcome the event through 2019. We are looking forward to the Lone Star Rally’s return Nov. 2 to 5 this year! To view the full economic impact report put together by Angelou Economics click here!
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AN OPPORTUNITY TO EMBRACE DIVERSITY BY: PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER JAREE FORTIN
On September 13, 2008, Hurricane Ike made landfall in Galveston and the storm surge crippled public housing on the island. Families who called Galveston home for many years were displaced and scattered across the region and beyond. With the completion of new public housing, the city will see the return of more than 141 families who can once again call Galveston home. The designs for the Villas on the Strand and the Cedars at Carver Park beautifully capture the architecture and flavor of the island. From the classic Victorian feel to the elevated seaside look, these developments provide a place where families of many different backgrounds can come together. As we begin to see families able to move into the housing, we are reminded of how thankful we are that the Texas General Land Office invested in building a more resilient community that can truly weather a storm. With more than $71 million invested in these developments, we have no doubt that these homes will be where many Galvestonians’ stories begin.
PHOTOS FROM THE GRAND OPENING OF THE CEDARS AT CARVER PARK & THE VILLAS ON THE STRAND HELD ON JUNE 22ND, 2017 AND HOSTED BY THE MCCORMACK BARON SALAZAR, GALVESTON HOUSING AUTHORITY, TEXAS GENERAL LAND OFFICE, AND THE CITY OF GALVESTON.
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GFD PROMOTIONS & RETIREMENTS WE ARE PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE SOME RECENT RETIREMENTS AND PROMOTIONS WITH THE GALVESTON FIRE DEPARTMENT.
Assistant Chief/Fire Marshal Gilbert Robinson retired in February with 36 years of service. Captain Richard Rico retired in January with 30 years of service Battalion Chief Mel Rourke Jr retired on June 9 with 34 years of service.
Battalion Chief Chris Harrison, a 17 year veteran,
Engineer Joey Eureste, an 11 year veteran, has been
has been promoted to Assistant Chief/Fire Marshal
promoted to Captain
responsible for all fire prevention, fire investigation
Engineer Kevin Johnson, a 7 year veteran, has been
and public education.
promoted to Captain
Captain William Roy, a 29 year veteran, has been
Firefighter John Fearrington, a 7 year veteran, has
promoted to Battalion Chief.
been promoted to Engineer
Captain Mark Morgan Sr, a 26 year veteran, has
Firefighter Scott Zahara, a 12 veteran, will soon be
been promoted to Battalion Chief
promoted to Engineer
Engineer Cody Anderson, a 13 year veteran, has
Firefighter John Carlson, a 12 year veteran, will soon
been promoted to Captain
be promoted to Engineer
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GPD SUMMER TIPS The summer season always brings a large number of guests to the island, and as such, the Galveston Police Department would like to remind its citizens and guests to remain vigilant against making themselves targets for vehicle burglaries. Citizens and guests should remember to Lock, Take, and Hide!
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as well as an increased number of
NEW MIDBLOCK CROSSWALKS ON SEAWALL BLVD BY DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC WORKS KYLE HOCKERSMITH
pedestrians attempting to cross. These crosswalks are made of a thermoplastic retroreflective material that spans 20 feet across. The areas are complete with numerous safety features to alert drivers, including advanced warning signage, a solid white line as drivers approach, a yield bar, and reflective buttons. There are also no loading/parking zones adjacent to the crosswalks, which provides drivers with a sight visibility triangle. We will also be
With over 6.5 million visitors to the island in 2016, the number of pedestrians on the Seawall has increased exponentially in recent years. In an effort to ensure that they have ample places to cross the Seawall in high traffic areas, the city has begun installing midblock crosswalks. The first two crosswalks have been installed in front of the San Luis Resort and the Holiday Inn Express. These locations were chosen because these areas, both directly across from the beach access stairs, have both heavy vehicular traffic
installing pedestrian activated lighting to help increase visibility and awareness for drivers. Pedestrians do have the right-of-way, and vehicles are expected to yield to them when traveling through these areas. We are proactively trying to find resources and solutions that promote safe and enjoyable experiences here in Galveston and these crosswalks are a great addition to the City.
9-1-1: CALL IF YOU CAN, TEXT IF YOU CAN'T
BY RISK MANAGER ROBERT SIMMONS
When placing a voice call to 9-1-1 is not an option, texting is. 88% of phone calls the 9-1-1 lines receieve are from cell phones, and we want to make sure that residents who need it understand that texting is also an option. For residents who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, speech impaired, or in a situation where sending a text is safer, you can. This is available for all major carriers, however, if you receive no response, please call. Voice calls will always be the fastest, but in an emergency remember your options!
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND: Send your location and what help is needed You will receive a response; If you do not, please call immediately Text in simple words, no abbreviations or slang Keep text messages short You cannot send photos or videos
REMEMBER 9-1-1 IS TO BE USED FOR EMERGENCIES ONLY AND IT IS A CRIME TO SUBMIT A FALSE REPORT THROUGH THIS METHOD .
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UPCOMING CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS WORKSHOPS:
JULY 27, 2017 8:00AM
JULY 27, 2017 1:15PM
AUGUST 10, 2017 9:00AM
AUGUST 10, 2017 1:15PM
AUGUST 24, 2017 9:00AM
AUGUST 24, 2017 1:15PM
SEPTEMBER 14, 2017 9:00AM
SEPTEMBER 14, 2017 1:15PM
SEPTEMBER 28, 2017 9:00AM
SEPTEMBER 28, 2017 1:15PM
VIEW THE AGENDAS & WATCH ONLINE: WWW.GALVESTONTX.GOV/AGENDAS WWW.GALVESTONTX.GOV/GTV
STAY PLUGGED IN Staying plugged in keeps you better informed of all that is happening with the place you call home. Thanks to modern day means, this has never been easier! Stay plugged in using the options below!
SOCIAL MEDIA: WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/CITYOFGALVESTON WWW.TWITTER.COM/CITYOFGALVESTON WWW.YOUTUBE.COM - "CITY OF GALVESTON" WWW.INSTAGRAM.COM/CITYOFGALVESTONTX
GTV: WWW.GALVESTONTX.GOV/GTV CHANNEL 16 ON COMCAST CABLE CHANNEL 99 ON AT&T'S UVERSE
City introduces new community newsletter!