Inside La Marque Fall 2017

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Fall 2017

For help with Hurricane Harvey disaster relief and recovery visit or call 409-938-9202. The City The Cityy off La Marque Marq Marqu ue aand nd La Marq Marque Econ Economic conom nomic mic icc D Develop Development elopment ent nt Corpo Corpo Corporation oration ation tion on are pa partn partne partnering art ering ring with business busin inesss leaders, lea rs, school s ool dis distr districts, stricts cts, the Chamber Cham Ch amber mber ber off Commerce, Comm Com C merce, erce local vol volun volunteers v unteers rs and a com commu community mun unity ty advocate advocates d es to delive deliver er rele releva relevant levant ant stories,, timelyy announcements announc ouncem ceme ment n and a d i important updates to resident residents esidents ts and and businesses businesse sinesses inesses es in i ourr city city limits llimits. im mits. Welcome to Inside La Marque. Marque Marq arque.

Happy Fall Y’all

As I write this welcome message, City of La Marque is in full Emergency Operations mode at City Hall dealing with Hurricane Harvey. During times of emergency, the true nature of a person becomes crystal clear. I’d like all our citizens to know that the City’s leadership team, Emergency Management and first responders are some of the most hardworking, dedicated folks I’ve ever known. At a time of emergency, they are here, away from their families, working around the clock to make sure our citizens are safe and informed. By the time you read this, the rain will have subsided and cleanup will be in full swing. We ask for continued patience and I encourage everyone to go out and help your neighbors and rely on the city for information and resources. As we enter the fall season, I am excited about all of the positive activities in our great city. My personal favorite is the smell of popcorn and the sound of the band playing as I walk in to Etheredge Stadium for Friday Night Lights. We hope this year’s “Run with the Coogs” is extra special because City of La Marque employees plan to attend, set up a photo station and hand out Cougar gear. Go COOGS! Then, our sights will be set on La Marque Bayou Fest, our free family-friendly day of fun scheduled for October 21 at Highland Bayou Park. We’ve stepped up the talent this year with Pee Wee Bowen Band, Mark Chesnutt and Kevin Fowler, but the show is still free! Please plan to attend and follow us on Facebook for updates.

LA MARQUE EDC 1130 1ST STREET (409) 938-9258 LMEDC.COM




As pumpkin spice blends into glitter and glam of the holiday season, we hope you visit Gulf Greyhound Park for the majestic Magical Winter Lights festival. There is an extra-special lantern this year featuring #iloveLa_Marque. Last year, the festival gave us a spike in sales tax revenue, which helps us fund muchneeded projects throughout the entire year.


Please make plans to attend our annual Christmas Parade, scheduled for December 6. Our hope at City Hall is that you and yours have a joyous fall and blessed holiday season.


- Mayor Bobby Hocking





Looking for some family entertainment and fall fun? La Marque Bayou Fest is the place to be October 21. City of La Marque and Texas City - La Marque Chamber have teamed up once again to deliver this family-friendly festival at Mac McGaffey Highland Bayou Park, 1991 Getty Road in La Marque. Admission is FREE! Families can enjoy daytime activities including a fishing tournament, pumpkin carving contest, mutton busting, bounce houses and plenty of room to play. Vendor booths, food trucks and fair food are all on site, as well as a visit from the Chick-fil-A cows. “COWBOY” JONES CHILDREN’S FISHING TOURNAMENT The first 200 children 12 years old and younger to register will receive a free t-shirt and lunch. Participants must provide their own rod and reel but bait will be provided by Boyd’s One Stop. Registration starts at 8:00 a.m. and kids can fish from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. with parent or guardian supervision. Rusty Hook Fishing Club is sponsoring the tournament. La Marque Lions Club will provide ten first place awards. Door prizes, sponsored by the Texas City - La Marque Chamber of Commerce, will be given by drawing throughout the tournament. PUMPKIN PATCH AND DECORATING CONTEST Pumpkin decorating is very popular with the kiddos! Pick a pumpkin for FREE and find a spot under the pavilion. Age divisions are 5 years and under, 6-10 years, 11-14 years and15-19 years. Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by a parent. La Marque Lions Club will present awards for first, second and third place. LA MARQUE MUTTON BUSTIN’ Move over, County Fair! We’re bringing mutton bustin’ to Bayou Fest! Dress up your little cowboys and cowgirls and meet us near the pavilion. Registration is at 1:00 p.m. and the fee is $20. There are two age categories, 2-5 and 6-7. Belt buckles will be awarded for Grand Champion and Reserve Champion in each age group. The weight limit is 65 pounds and a waiver must be signed by parents at registration. Can your little one hold on for eight seconds?

A series of concerts kicks off around 4:00 p.m. with local legend Pee Wee Bowen Band, followed by Mark Chestnutt, then Kevin Fowler closes out the show. Attendees are encouraged to bring chairs or blankets and dance the night away at this free community concert. No coolers please. Beverages sold on site. Proceeds go to La Marque Lions Club and Kiwanis Club of La Marque. Both organizations support La Marque youth. BBQ COOK-OFF SPOTS GOING FAST On Friday, October 20, the BBQ Cook-off ramps up as teams compete for $10,000 in prize money. Secure one of the 120 BBQ spots while you still can! The Bayou Fest Cook-off will be part of Galveston County’s Triple Crown beginning in 2018. Please contact Leanne Post at 409-935-1408 or for information. AMOCO FIREWORKS SHOW Stay until 10:00 p.m. to watch the spectacular Amoco Federal Credit Union Fireworks Show. Bayou Fest is presented by City of La Marque and Texas City - La Marque Chamber of Commerce. The VIP Experience is presented by Miller Lite. Partners include Amoco Federal Credit Union and Associated Credit Union of Texas. For information, follow us on Facebook at or contact the Chamber at 409-935-1408.



WELCOME DR. RATHBURN, EDC DEVELOPMENT CONSULTANT BY ALEX GETTY, LA MARQUE EDC EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR As we enter the fourth quarter of 2017 and the first quarter of football season, there are a great deal of positive things happening in La Marque. New commercial projects are under construction and Bayou Fest is just around the corner. In fact, I could write this entire article about the musical talent at Bayou Fest and how the cook-off has recently been inducted into Galveston County Triple Crown. Those in the know will tell you -- the Triple Crown is a big deal! Another positive is the recent hire of C.B. “Bix” Rathburn, Ph.D as a consultant for several La Marque Economic Development Corporation (EDC) initiatives. Dr. Rathburn most recently served as Galveston County’s Economic Development Director. Prior to that, he served as the Executive Director of the Galveston County Economic Alliance and as a college president for roughly 18 years at several institutions of higher learning, including Galveston College. One of his priorities is to assist in outreach strategies for the redevelopment of La Marque’s historic central business district. Going forward, the area will be known as the Renaissance District. Maps and renderings should be available soon as we hope to break ground in early 2018. Dr. Rathburn will provide consultation on zoning and building guidelines that will support the desired look and feel of the district. He will also identify state and federal programs that could potentially provide capital for the project.


Another top priority relates to TxDOT’s Interstate 45 widening project that is set to begin in 2019. TxDOT turned 100 years old in 2017. Over those ten decades, they have overseen expansion projects countless times. However, for La Marque property owners, this will likely be an experience that happens only once in a lifetime. La Marque EDC is an advocate for our property owners and businesses. So, in an effort to smooth out the process, Dr. Rathburn will develop a communication stream to ensure business owners in the impact zone are engaged and informed regarding the project. Nearly 20 acres of right-of-way are required, resulting in several commercial displacements. We are particularly concerned with keeping those impacted businesses open and able to operate efficiently during construction. If they have to move or rebuild, we want to keep them in our city. The common goal for City of La Marque, La Marque EDC, Dr. Rathburn and TxDOT is to have the least interruption to business as possible, all while providing a necessary service that will serve the citizens of Galveston County. Rathburn will also work directly with TxDOT to promote project enhancements that will ensure the best longterm outcome. La Marque has more I-45 frontage than any city in Galveston County, and upon completion of the expansion, we intend to have safe sidewalks, cross walks, bike trails, landscaping and beautiful new overpasses, similar to what our cities to the north have. This project will change the landscape of our city forever, and if we are strategic, it will change for the better. We are fortunate and excited to bring Dr. Rathburn on board. His unique skill set will help us achieve these initiatives and others. Stay tuned for updates regarding his progress.

Magical Christmas parade December 6

City of La Marque’s Magical Christmas Parade is at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, December 6, 2017. The parade route starts from Bobby Beach Park on Westward. The procession will head south, turn left on Cedar, left on Bayou, right on First, left on Laurel and finally end on Bayou. The Tree Lighting Ceremony will be held at Walter Feigle Park immediately following the parade. Mayor Bobby Hocking invites all La Marque citizens and the surrounding communities to come have pictures taken with Santa, have a hot dog provided by Snow King and enjoy popcorn and hot chocolate provided by La Marque Lions Club. To enter a float, call 409-935-1408 or email For information about the parade visit, or find our Facebook event.

La Marque Renaissance District A NEW VISION FOR DOWNTOWN LA MARQUE

For the past several years, residential and commercial expansion has been concentrated on the west side of town. New neighborhoods and business developments in the Wal-Mart complex have resulted in sustained growth for La Marque. But, the historic heart of the city lies on the east side where City Hall, the Fire Station, Economic Development Corporation, Police Department and Public Library thrive. La Marque is experiencing a Renaissance. The city’s leaders are committed to city-wide revitalization projects, one of which is revitalization of our historic Central Business District located on Laurel Street, from Bayou Road to Yupon Drive and 1st Street, from Bayou Road to Highway 3. This area of town has been dubbed the Renaissance District. After months of careful planning, focus groups and studies, the first of many construction projects is scheduled to begin in early 2018. The building at 401 Laurel is getting a face lift. This project is the first step in creating an attractive destination for La Marque residents, and is intended to refocus business development toward the City’s urban core. This effort will be driven by the principles of place making, walkability and accessibility and is designed to draw coffee shops, boutiques, restaurants and entertainment. Visit


Investing in Youth is investing in La Marque BY COUNCILMAN CHRIS LANE, LA MARQUE TIGER, LA MARQUE COUGAR AND YOUTH ADVOCATE As a child growing up in La Marque, spring was ushered in by the sounds of smells of little league baseball. Bobby Beach was a vibrant gathering place, where different facets of the community came together to contribute and create the best experience of our youth. Every team in the league had a corporate sponsor displayed on the back of team uniforms. Parents doubled as coaches, team moms, concession stand managers, league officials and other roles that needed to be filled. Many of the older kids were able to umpire as a first job. Citizens came together on an annual basis and maintained a league that our community could be proud of. As summer gave way to fall, Mahan Park was transformed from a quiet park on the outskirts of town to a central location where young football players’ dreams would take center stage for the next four months. Community leaders worked together in harmony to make sure our youth had everything they needed, subscribing to the old adage “One can tell a lot about a society by the way it treats its youth.”

Football was utilized as an instrument to teach life lessons, and some of those lessons became forever stitched on the pupils’ hearts. The same formula that made our youth sports so successful and impactful was duplicated in many different organizations, including Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, faith-based groups and the local Boys and Girls Club.




But, when I moved back to La Marque after college I found a different town with a different culture. Changes that plagued our youth engagement also plagued the rest of the city. Corporate sponsors were once the life blood of our youth organizations. That was no more. Influential families had moved and individuals that were active in youth activities ceased to volunteer once their kids came of age. Now it’s standard practice to have activities with no type of participation from any corporate sponsors. Youth organizations that were once busting at the seams with volunteers now have dwindled down to a couple of individuals wearing multiple hats. A once proud organization, the La Marque Tigers football team now ceases to exist due to a lack of participation from kids and the community. Parks where leagues once called home are now relics that tell a story of what once was. The Boys and Girls Club stopped operating, leaving a huge void that has not been filled. We need to make a change. The youth of La Marque


need opportunity and engagement. Our kids should be offered the same supportive, encouraging childhood we had growing up. We can create the city that we want and there is no time like the present. I challenge the parents and businesses of La Marque not to aim at old standards, but to aim at new heights. There will be opportunities throughout the year to get involved with youth organizations and I will personally work with the City of La Marque to circulate those opportunities. Take some responsibility for getting engaged and find out how to stay connected with city notifications. Corporate sponsors will be contacted, as well, and I challenge you to step up to the plate and support La Marque’s youth. COUNCILMAN CHRIS LANE REPRESENTS DISTRICT B. AFTER COLLEGE, HE RETURNED TO LA MARQUE AS AN ADVOCATE FOR YOUTH PROGRAMS IN HIS HOMETOWN. TO CONTACT HIM, EMAIL C.LANE@CITYOFLAMARQUE.ORG.

La Marque, it’s time to Rethink Recycling

Did you know recycling just one aluminum can saves enough energy to:

Education update by tcisd superintendent Dr. Rodney Cavness For the last three months, I have been getting to know people throughout the District. The people have been very welcoming and I am excited to be a part of the Texas City-La Marque community. The people I have met are passionate that our students receive the best education and have the best experiences. I want to assure you, I want that for all of our children also. I want you to know that Texas City ISD has the right people in place to do what we need to do so that we continue to advance our District in all levels. We have thousands of things that are going right academically, artistically and athletically. But we also have things that need improvement. We are going to get to work on those. One of those things is discipline. We will not allow one student to keep a classroom of students from learning. There are going to be challenges along the way. One of our biggest challenges is school finance. Between falling property values and the loss of ASATR, Texas City ISD is going to have to really tighten up the budget. We are expected to continue to do more for students who need more; however, we are now expected to do it with less funding. We will continue to fight for our students and what is financially fair. Right now, we are expected to receive less money per student than other area districts because of the way school funding is set up. It’s a broken system and Texas City ISD will continue to advocate for a new one. I am a visible leader so you will see me not only at school events, but also community events. Feel free to say hello. My door is always open so don’t hesitate to contact me. GO COOGS! - Dr. Rodney Cavness PAGE 8

Run a TV for two hours?

Power a 14-watt CFL bulb for 20 hours?

We’re Proud to Serve the City of La Marque Starting October 2, 2017, the City of La Marque will have twice-a-week pick up for trash, once-a-week pick up for bulk, and every-other-week pick up for recycling provided by Waste Management. For more information call 800-800-5804.

Š 2017 Waste Management, Inc.


MAINTENANCE OF DITCHES IS A HOT TOPIC in cities across the state, and La Marque is no different. If ditches are full of weeds, tall grass, sticks and trash it could cause culverts to plug during a heavy rain and, subsequently, cause structures to flood. Most citizens think it’s the City’s sole responsibility to mow easements and ditches. Simply put – that is not the case. La Marque is a small, but fast-growing city made up of 14.3 square miles, 16,000 citizens and about 6,800 homes. La Marque’s Street Maintenance Crew is made up of five men, and they are responsible for maintaining streets, culverts, potholes, traffic signs, ditches and school zones. They are also called on in times of emergency, often fighting strong currents to remove debris from culverts during heavy rains. The Street Crew doesn’t have the resources to mow every ditch in our city limits so citizens are expected to step up and help out. Homeowners are responsible for their entire lot – from the back fence to the edge of the road. CUT THE CONFUSION • Many cities, including La Marque, regulate the maintenance of city easements on private property. • The City does not usually gain ownership of the property itself, but only easements to use the property. Underlying property ownership is most often retained by the property owner, and the property owner is responsible for maintaining the easement. • Ditches are drainage easements.

• Cities can require landowners to keep weeds and trash from the street, sidewalk or gutter in front of the person’s premises. • The abatement, or removal, of nuisance and weeds is intended to protect safe use of easements by the general public. SPREAD THE NEWS La Marque’s blight-reduction efforts led to structure demolition, which resulted in vacant lots. Our streets are safer and more beautiful now, but City of La Marque is maintaining vacant lots all over town. It is within a municipality’s authority to require maintenance of a property owner’s land, to charge fines, and to charge the property owner for cutting the grass. That means, if a city has to maintain your lot or ditches, a fine can be charged and a lien can be placed on the property. If you have a lawn service, let them know your property line goes all the way to the street or curb. While the maintenance of yards and ditches ultimately falls on property owners, renters and lessees should consider it a priority, as well. Not only does it protect you from flooding, it’s part of being a good neighbor. City Council approved the purchase of a slope mower this year, which is used for steep easements and ditches that are more than four feet deep. This machine is not designed for shallow residential ditches but citizens requests for help are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Citizens mowing lawns and cleaning ditches helps keep La Marque beautiful. Thank you!

QUESTIONS ABOUT MAINTAINING EASEMENTS? Check the Texas Local Government Code, Texas Health and Safety Code, Texas Transportation Code and Texas Municipal League guidelines.


Stay Safe:

Stay Away From Power Lines Even if you don’t touch a line, getting tools or equipment too close can be deadly.

We are fortunate to have wide open spaces in our city. La Marque means the mark or the spot in French. The space between “La” and “Marque” reminds us of our rich heritage. Today, our city boasts green space and plentiful parks. For families, it means freedom to run and play and opportunity for community engagement, youth sports and family entertainment. For business, open space means room for expansion and growth. The available space along the I-45 corridor, FM 1764 and FM 2004 creates opportunity for new businesses, hotels, restaurants and retail locations. Every new development creates jobs and generates sales tax revenue. Gulf Greyhound Park boasts 9,000 parking spaces – which have paved the way for world renowned events ad experiences. It all adds up to opportunity. As development slowly creeps south from Houston and north from Galveston, La Marque is strategically situated and bracing for a boom. We’re ready and we’ve got the space. #iloveLa_Marque

Available 24 hours Traditional funeral services Cremation specialists Pre-need arrangements Monuments Headstones

Locally owned and managed by the Crowder Family since 1959.

409-935-2401 PAGE 11

401 Texas Avenue, La Marque

• Keep tree-trimming saws or other tools far from lines. • Always look up, then set ladders well away from lines. A power line that’s down still can be energized and deadly, even if power is out nearby. • Call 911 if you see a downed power line. • Keep kids, pets – and adults – far away. • Avoid water on the ground near a downed line.

Report power outages or get updates: 888-866-7456

How you can prepare: • Medical equipment users should evacuate and return after power has been restored. • Don’t try to power your entire house with a portable generator and read all manufacturer safety warnings before operating. • Before the storm, unplug unnecessary or sensitive electronics. • Electric garage doors won’t open without power; don’t forget a key.

Prsrt Std US Postage PAID Permit No. 15 La Marque, TX

1111 Bayou Road La Marque, TX 77568

to postal customer

The world’s largest lantern festival is back at Gulf Greyhound Park. Don’t miss the magic from November 10, 2017, to January 2, 2018. Tickets go on sale in October at Ticket giveaways and contests for La Marque citizens coming soon. #iloveLa_Marque