Community news from the City of La Marque and La Marque Economic Development Corporation.
Park Plans Help us decide the future of La Marque’s parks. Hurricane season is here. Be prepared. Larry E. Crow, Jr. has a deep and decorated connection to the La Marque Police Department.
Contents RON CROWDER Chairman La Marque EDC Board ALEX GETTY Executive Director La Marque EDC COLLEEN MARTIN, MA Public Relations La Marque EDC email@example.com 409-938-9255
SHINE ON LA MARQUE Shine On La Marque is a video spotlight series featuring local businesses. Catch our next episode on YouTube. Please shop local. It matters! Visit shine.LMEDC.com to see all the episodes. To nominate your favorite biz, call 409-938-9255 or text 409-795-0165. ON THE COVER Kameron Melvin-Henderson, Kashmeer Melvin-Henderson, Mya Jamison Photo by Colleen Martin Summer family fun under the shady oaks of Mahan Park along the banks of Highland Bayou.
FOLLOW US TO STAY UPDATED ON IMPORTANT CITY OF LA MARQUE NEWS.
INTERIM CITY MANAGER NAMED Chaise Cary was named Interim City Manager by La Marque City Council on July 1, 2021.
PARKS MASTER PLAN The Parks Plan will help Council set priorities and look at funding options for updated community amenities.
CITY NEWS Budget cycle, Emergency Medical Service expansion, zoning updates and more.
EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT Detective Larry E. Crow, Jr. has a deep and decorated connection to the La Marque Police Department.
MESSAGE FROM MAYOR BELL
Hello again friends,
I hope this letter finds you in the throws of a great summer! Coming off of summer 2020, we surely deserve rest, relaxation and fun. We can achieve all of these activities in our City parks. One can enjoy fishing, kayaking, bird watching, and other activities at our flagship park Mac McGaffey Highland Bayou Park. If you’re more interested in an outdoor safe place for your children to play, we have several pocket parks around our great city. Please visit parks.cityoflamarque.org for addresses to the parks nearest you. As City Council looks forward to our summer season, we are embarking on several exciting things. By the time you are reading this, we will finally have a full Council again as our District A runoff race will be completed. Council will immediately go into a retreat to get to know each other better and to set priorities for the coming year. We will also enter the budget workshops at the end of July, which is a critical planning time for our community. Each year, the Council approves the budget for the fiscal year that begins October 1 and ends September 30.
3 Message from Mayor Bell 4 Economic Development 5 From City Hall 6 Parks Master Plan 8 City News 10 Business Brief
We encourage citizens to speak up as it relates to what we want for our community. We want to hear from you as we decide our priorities for the coming year. Budget time is the most critical time for citizen participation, and we look forward to hearing from you in July. Have a great summer!
Mayor Keith Bell
11 Employee Spotlight
Inside La Marque Summer 2021
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES HEAT UP FOR LA MARQUE
ALEX GETTY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, LA MARQUE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
As the weather continues to heat up, so do the opportunities in La Marque. The recent announcement about Amazon has helped create a wave of activity and opportunity for commercial development in our community. Just as the walls of Amazon’s facility seemed to rise out of the ground overnight, opportunities for business owners are on the rise in all corners of La Marque. Our City has more potential and possibility than most communities in our region. La Marque has been going through a residential boom for more than a decade. Our 30 percent population increase during that time makes us one of the fastest-growing communities in the area, making us more attractive to commercial developers. Sales tax generation is up roughly 85 percent year over year since 2012. That level of sales tax growth also helps us attract commercial developers. The point is, La Marque is shining in terms of growth and we’re on the right track for developing big grocery, restaurant, retail and entertainment developments.
In order to keep trending in the right direction, please continue to make significant efforts to shop locally. The fact is, when our local businesses thrive, more companies will choose La Marque and ultimately give you more choices as more stores decide to build here. Developers also check the pulse of the communities in which they choose to build. They see neighbors helping neighbors on social media and they see all the ongoing efforts to keep La Marque beautiful. Great job, friends! We do face one temporary challenge that we must be mindful of; the I-45 expansion. As I-45 construction continues, there will be times of congestion and frustration. Patience is a virtue that may be tested over the next year or two (okay three)! So far, our community has shown continued commitment to support local businesses. Companies appreciate it after all they have been through during the last year, and it helps local people keep local jobs. La Marque is on the rise, and we are open during expansion!
FROM CITY HALL WELCOME CHAISE
Chaise Cary was named Interim City Manager by La Marque City Council on July 1, 2021. Before his appointment as Interim City Manager, Cary served as the Director of Public Works, and has been in a leadership position within the City since 2013. Cary has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Houston Bauer College of Business. He completed Texas State University’s Certified Public Manager program earlier this year. The Texas CPM program is a nationally accredited public manager certification through the William P. Hobby Center for Public Service.
“Our commitment to the people of La Marque is stronger today than yesterday,” said Cary. “We are moving forward, focused on the future and the long-term prosperity of La Marque.”
Cary’s appointment came on the heels of a separation agreement with our previous City Manager. Mr. Cary would like to ensure our citizens that there will be no reduction in city services. Patience during this time of transition is greatly appreciated.
HURRICANE SEASON IS HERE The 2021 Atlantic hurricane season officially began on June 1, 2021, and will end on November 30, 2021. Conditions tend to be more favorable for tropical storms toward the end of summer. Now is the time to prepare for a hurricane. Make sure your supplies are ready and have a plan for family and pets. Help us keep ditches and streets free from debris. If you trim your trees, put out debris right before heavy trash day, and please don’t block city roads. If there are limbs near your power lines, request a trim from your energy provider. Keeping roadways and ditches free from debris during heavy rain events helps protect your home and neighbors. We’re all in this together.
For hurricane season resources and tips, visit lmoem.org.
Inside La Marque Summer 2021
PARKS MASTER PLAN BY COLLEEN MARTIN
Most of the parks in La Marque were built decades ago, and were built for the needs of the community at that
time. Today’s citizens are asking for updates at our existing parks, plus new amenities like splash pads and walking
trails. The Parks Plan will help us set priorities and look at funding options.
La Marque has big plans. City leadership is considering ways to improve La Marque across the board—from citizen engagement to underground utilities and street repair. Our City parks are being considered, too. La Marque City Council approved the development of the Parks Master Plan to determine what today’s citizens want and how those needs can be balanced with ongoing infrastructure improvements. According to Mayor Keith Bell, a well-coordinated, functional, and accessible parks system adds to the quality of life for our residents. “Parks are public infrastructure and vital to a healthy city portfolio,” said Mayor Bell. “Many times, other more vital infrastructure take precedence in city budgets. We have unique opportunities now to leverage grant funding by using our Park User Fee revenue to design, install, and improve our parks system.” Beautiful parks make our community more attractive. Nice outdoor areas instill community pride and improve perception, encourage family and youth engagement and offer additional physical and mental health opportunities for our citizens.
Dog parks, splash pads, and walking trails were some of the top requests from citizens of La Marque during the recent public input period. Citizen suggestions ranged from bike trails to new sports facilities, boat launches, and concerts in the park—and they are all being considered. “The most vital investment in this plan is the human investment,” said Mayor Bell. “We need our residents to add to this process by engaging your local officials. We would love to answer questions, and we encourage complete community involvement.” In 2019, the Park User Fee was reinstated to set aside funds for new park attractions and overall recreation facility improvement. To date, nearly $250,000 has been saved. The draft Parks Master Plan should be ready for review later this year. The Parks Board will host public meetings and then make a recommendation to La Marque City Council, which will host additional meetings open for public comment. There’s still plenty of time to let City Council know what park amenities are important to you and your family.
2019 Parks User Fee reinstated
2020 Public meetings were put on hold due to COVID-19
SPRING 2021 Citizen notification and public comment period completed
LATE SUMMER 2021 Parks Master Plan drafted
FALL 2021 Funding options considered
WE ARE LISTENING To track the progress of the La Marque Parks Master Plan, please register for community news at connect.cityoflamarque.org or follow the City of La Marque on social media. Public hearings and upcoming meeting agendas will be posted on the City website. See a list of all our parks at parks.cityoflamarque.org. Inside La Marque Summer 2021
CITY NEWS LET’S PAINT THE TOWN APPLICATIONS DUE AUGUST 13 Let’s Paint the Town is a City of La Marque beautification and home improvement program that provides exterior paint and discount paint supplies to La Marque homeowners. All labor, including preparing the house and garage before painting, must be accomplished or provided by the homeowner. The program launched in May. Applications are due by August 13 and painting must be completed by August 31.
For information, visit beautiful.cityoflamarque.org or call the Code Compliance Division at 409-938-9256.
OPERATION NIGHT LIGHT
While summertime is a welcome reprieve for some professions, it’s a busy time for City employees. It’s budget season. Each year, department directors map out what they think they’ll need for the coming fiscal year. The City Manager’s office, works with Finance to create the draft budget, which is then presented to City Council in a series of public meetings and workshops. Funding decisions for infrastructure projects, equipment, jobs and community events are made during this time.
As part of City Council’s ongoing dedication to the Safe City Initiative, City staff have been working on a plan to illuminate the City at night. Brighter city streets will improve safety for pedestrians, and help create safer neighborhoods.
ity Council Budget Workshops C and Public Hearings
Tax Rate Public Hearings
Budget & Tax Rate Adoption
New Fiscal Year Begins
We have collaborated with HOAs and community members, as well as the energy companies to identify dark areas of town. A map showing new pole recommendations is under review and costs are being tallied. Pole installation can range from $100 to $1000, depending on variables at each pole location and the availability of LED technology. If a new transformer is required, add a one-time cost of $2500. Citizens can help by walking their neighborhoods in the evening. Report inoperable lights or request new light poles, on the city website at concern.cityoflamarque.org or reach out to your Councilperson. Let’s light up the night, La Marque.
LA MARQUE EMS EXPANDING EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICE TO FIRE TRUCKS Effective July 1, 2021, La Marque Fire Department will enhance its level of service by providing Advanced Life Support (ALS) care on Engine 1, allowing firefighters to administer medications and provide advanced care as soon as they arrive on a scene. LMFD is the first fire department in Galveston County to commit to this level of care on fire engines. Upgrading from the required Basic Life Support to ALS requires equipment enhancements, training, and additional certifications. EMS Administrator Barbara Gonzales led these efforts, supported by La Marque City Council.
For more information follow the La Marque Fire Department on Facebook. 8
CITY NEWS REPORT ILLEGAL DUMPING If you see something, say something. If you catch someone in the act of illegal dumping, call LMPD Dispatch at 409-938-9269. Snapping a few photos and recording the license plate number will help build a case against the dumper.
If you find the trash after the fact, please report online at concern.cityoflamarque.org. Together, we can keep La Marque beautiful.
WATER TOWER REDO The water tower near FM 1764 and I-45 is due for an overhaul. City Council approved funds at the June 21, 2021, Council meeting. Project price tag is estimated at $612,000, and these infrastructure improvements are required by the State. Water pressure for citizens west of I-45 will improve and the water tower will eventually get a paint job. Stay tuned for updates.
ZONING UPDATES City Council recently reviewed and approved updated zoning districts in La Marque. The City of La Marque enacted zoning in 2005, and regular review of our ordinances ensures continued smart growth for La Marque. There are 10 zoning types and established processes in place for determining land use regulations.
For questions, visit zoning.cityoflamarque.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
CONNECT WITH US Register for city news flash notifications, agenda notices, and weather alerts at connect.cityoflamarque.org and please follow us on social media. See all our accounts at social.cityoflamarque.org. Inside La Marque Summer 2021
BUSINESS BRIEF NOW OPEN FOR BUSINESS!
A certificate of occupancy is a document issued by officials, certifying a building’s compliance with applicable codes and laws, and indicating it to be suitable for occupancy. See who recently opened for business.
3 NEW BUSINESSES AT 2850 GULF FREEWAY
Choice Analytical, Inc. Jersey Mike’s Subs Kingdom Kare Lendmark Financial Services
1118 1st Street 6608 Gulf Freeway, Ste. 500 600 Gulf Freeway Ste. C 2600 FM 1764 Ste. 175
BUSINESS EXPANSION Industrial Apparatus
4903 FM 1765
• Janke Fit Health and Wellness • Maximus Electric • Mayen Business Services Three businesses share the space, including Janke Fit Health and Wellness, Maximus Electric and Mayen Business Services. See more about this family of entrepreneurs in an upcoming edition of Shine on La Marque.
2600 FM 1764 Ste. 180
AMAZON JOBS COMING SOON Inez Rodriguez outside her newly remodeled building at 2850 Gulf Freeway.
An Amazon Delivery Station is under construction in La Marque and hundreds of jobs are coming to our City soon. Amazon executives say the jobs will be posted late summer 2021. Apply on the Amazon website at amazon.jobs.com.
SUMMER INTERS: DIGGIN’ DEEPER PODCAST
Pictured from left, with their respective departments: Zion Thomas, Police Department; Leslie Zuniga, Development Services; McKinsey Criss, City Clerk; Daniel Love, Fire Department; Jeffery Marquess, Public Works; Jaivyance Gillard, Administration; Sundas Nofal, EMS; Landen Garner, Public Works; Chaniya Richardson, Library; and Amaurie Captain, Police Department.
La Marque City Council funded 10 internships with a $10 hourly wage for six weeks, from June 14 to July 23, 2021. The jobs are 40 hours per week, and the interns will spend time in different departments and see how municipal government functions. Stay tuned for the Diggin’ Deeper Podcast. Our interns are partnering with KHEA Radio to produce a series of 10
podcast-style interviews with different City officials and employees highlighting how working in a municipality affects a person’s mental health. Follow us on social media for updates.
EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT DETECTIVE LARRY E. CROW, JR. Family Legacy, Professionalism, Kindness Larry E. Crow, Jr. has a deep and decorated connection to the La Marque Police Department. His dad, Larry Crow, Sr. started with LMPD in September 1966. In 1997 retired as Chief of Police and began to serve on La Marque City Council, working his way up to Mayor Pro Tem and then to Mayor. Crow, Jr. found his passion for criminal investigations throughout his career and has earned top designations in fingerprint examination and scene reconstruction. He holds a Master Peace Officers certification. Crow, Jr. decided to retire from Texas City PD and come back to work for La Marque in 2018, bringing all that experience, knowledge and passion for the community along with him.
LARRY E. CROW, JR.
DEPARTMENT: LA MARQUE POLICE DEPARTMENT JOB TITLE: ACTING PATROL SERGEANT, EVIDENCE ROOM CUSTODIAN, CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATOR STATE DATE: JUNE 4, 2018 PROUDEST WORK MOMENT: When I was asked to serve as Acting Patrol Sergeant. FAVORITE JOB ASPECT: Helping people when I can. Following in the footsteps of his father, Larry E. Crow, Jr. began his journey of civil service at the age of 20. He was a LMPD Reserve Officer (non-paid position) for several years before he was hired at Texas City Police Department, where he served proudly from 1991 to 2018.
ADVICE FOR NEW HIRES: Come to work with a good attitude and give 110 percent. WHY LA MARQUE: I’m back home. I started my law enforcement career here. I’ve come full circle and I have the best job ever. I get to help with every aspect of the City.
Inside La Marque Summer 2021
1111 Bayou Road La Marque, TX 77568 1111 Bayou Road La Marque, TX 77568
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 16
Mac McGaffey Highland Bayou Park Please save the date and join us. La Marque Bayou Fest is presented in partnership with Texas City–La Marque Chamber of Commerce.
• Galveston County Triple Crown BBQ Cook-off • Free Kids Fishing Tournament • Pumpkin Carving Contest • Mutton Bustin'
• Kids Zone • Craft Vendors • Food Trucks • Live Entertainment • Free Family Fun