Inside La Marque Winter 2019

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Winter 2019

Stay Connected New HQ: Industrial services Biz Relocated to La Marque KHEA Kickstarting Community Engagement Honoring an American Hero Friday, January 25 I-45 expansion and downtown progress reports Plus Library news and city happenings

La Marque’s Quarterly Community Newsletter Read and share at

from Mayor Bobby Hocking What a whirlwind 2018 was! A spectacular total lunar eclipse took place with a super-blue moon. NASA sent an unmanned space probe to Mars and Meghan Markle married Prince Harry in a real-life fairy tale. The COM bond passed. Texas City ISD and Santa Fe ISD announced new schools. The La Marque Renaissance Downtown project is well underway and east side residential revitalization efforts are coming to fruition after 10 years of planning. We had a phenomenal Bayou Fest, even with rain and mud! Last year was also marked with its fair share of heartache. Floods, hurricanes, volcanoes and fires rocked our nation. We lost both Barbara and George H.W. Bush and we still mourn for our friends and neighbors in Santa Fe after the terrible school shooting that shook us to our souls. Life is about balance, as is managing city government. As your Mayor, I work with City Council and city staff to offer a balanced budget and to balance the wants of our citizens with the need to save for future infrastructure improvements. We work to find the right balance of public safety, road projects and beautification efforts. I encourage all the citizens of La Marque to get engaged and learn more about our process. We need dedicated volunteers and community leaders now more than ever as we continue to grow and redefine La Marque. Reflection is important, especially during this joyous time of year. My wish for you is to find your balance and be surrounded by people who make your heart happy in 2019.

Happy New Year, La Marque!








#iloveLa_Marque PAGE 2

714 Highway 3 La Marque, TX

New HQ Moves to the Heart of La Marque By Alex Getty, La Marque Economic Development Corporation Executive Director

Industrial Commissioning Consultants International,

(ICCI) recently acquired 714 Highway 3 in La Marque, moved their headquarters to town and hit the ground running with a flurry of property improvements including signage, fencing, landscaping and interior build-out. ICCI has 16 employees and is rapidly growing. The administrative team, which consists of CEO Steve Quinn, CFO Bill Bogar, COO Mark Elliott, and VP of Operations Josh Phelps, anticipate significant business expansion over the next several years. This industrial service business was formed in 2002 and is a specialist provider of pre-commissioned cleaning services for new construction of power plants, petroleum refineries, liquefied natural gas and petrochemical facilities. Over the years, ICCI has developed proprietary equipment and cleaning methods that have allowed them to compete for business not only in the United States but also globally. According to CEO Steve Quinn, La Marque’s location and proximity to clients helped solidify the decision to move.

“ICCI is excited about the purchase of our property in La Marque,” said Quinn. “We want to thank the community for the warm welcome we’ve received. Many of our clients are regional industrial clients easily accessed from our new location. The ICCI team includes a number of La Marque and Galveston County residents, and we will be adding more as we continue to grow.” One of ICCI’s trademark services is called Low Deciblow, an advanced steam-blow cleaning service that protects workers and neighboring businesses from high decibel noise typically associated with steam-blow methods. By limiting the noise level, cleaning operations can be conducted whenever the client chooses, therefore increasing flexibility and efficiency. Innovations such as Low Deciblow keeps ICCI on the cutting edge of this business sector. The La Marque Economic Development Corporation is proud to have ICCI in our city. This is a growing, civic-minded company, offering well-paying jobs. Job growth is the backbone of economic development and ICCI will have a measurable and positive impact on our economy.

FUN FACT: Every year these gentlemen, each in their own way, spend time and resources helping disabled veterans. They also seek to hire veterans. Go to for information. FYI from COO Mark EllioTt: Two of our partners live close by. One of them, Joshua Phelps, is a long-term resident of La Marque. He found the property. La Marque is going to be our base for US and international operations, so logistics are important. From here, it is very convenient to get on Interstate 45 and we’re close to a major airport. Dealing with the City of La Marque has been an excellent experience. We’ve all been involved in other business starts in other parts of Houston. The access, attainability and speed of La Marque’s staff impressed us greatly. It’s a blessing to find local authorities willing to help when they can. Over the coming months we hope to add some staff in operations, administration and perhaps warehousing. Right now, we are still very much moving into the facility and getting used to our surroundings.


Say Hello to Sussie Sutton Department of Development Services assists homeowners, business owners and contractors during the build, demolition, remodel or construction process. Led by Sussie Sutton, the department ensures compliance with applicable City of La Marque ordinances and building codes. Everything from multi-milliondollar retail developments and new neighborhoods down to residential kitchen remodels and driveway extensions is permitted by Development Services. La Marque’s residential and commercial construction is at an all-time high. This office stays busy. Sussie Sutton supervises the department, which currently has three employees with a fourth planned in 2019. She is staff liaison for La Marque’s Planning and Zoning Commission, and Board of Adjustments. She facilitates pre-development meetings for new projects, works with the city engineer on infrastructure projects, coordinates plan reviews and helps people who want to rezone their properties. What are 3 words to describe City of La Marque? Really nice people. What advice would you offer recent new hires? Volunteer for everything. You’ll learn more that way and will become a valuable asset. That goes for anybody, in any job. What does your typical workday look like? It depends on the season. If it’s construction season, we hit the ground running. Our department gets 90-100 calls a day. We proudly say we return all calls and voice mails the same day. In the slower season, we catch up and work on updating the street files. What is a street file? A street file is a paper file for every address assigned within the City of La Marque. Paper files make some people cringe but they are vital when we have a mass electrical blowout (think power outage from a major hurricane). Plans, inspections, permits and any records from Planning and Zoning or Board of Adjustments are included in the street file. There is also a street file for every road in La Marque, which helps when utility companies need to work in easements. What do you like most about your job? I love talking to people and helping customers. I like looking at the big picture and figuring out how to help developers meet their goals.

What is a new skill you’d like to learn? Something crafty! I already know how to do stained glass, water color and photography. I think learning to blow glass would be fun. People would be surprised if they knew: I’m a great grandmother. My three little Bandidos are 10, 7 and 6. How do you define success? Creating a goal, developing a plan to achieve the goal and seeing the plan come to fruition.

Employee Spotlight

Job Title - Development Coordinator Start Date - Started as a temp employee in December 2016 and was hired full time in March 2017.


2018 Development

Facts and Stats

From January 1 - November 30, 2018, 504 development permits were issued totaling $74,408,698.91 capital Investment.

From January 1 - November 30, 2018, La Marque’s development team scheduled 65 pre-development Meetings.

268 new homes were built with an average value of $227,426.

37 existing businesses pulled permits for business remodels or upgrades.

NEWS By Colleen Merritt, La Marque Public Relations

As the Texas Department of Transportation I-45 expansion project continues south, City of La Marque officials are preparing for the impact this project will have on our city. La Marque has 14.3 miles of I-45 frontage, more than any other city in Galveston County. The expansion will impact businesses and residents in several ways. Yes, drivers will have to navigate construction zones and road closures, but this widening project will also have a long-term positive impact on the city. Once completed, hurricane evacuation routes will be more efficient. Exits will be safer and access to busy intersections will be improved. Additionally, beautification projects are planned along the entire I-45 corridor. With all their projects, TxDOT budgets for aesthetic improvements and landscaping. Features like brick sidewalks at intersections, new street signs and native tree planting are included. TxDOT works with municipalities and allows customization and enhancement of these basic offerings. Think about the murals on the NASA Road 1 overpass, the stars on Beltway 8 near Sugarland or the lighted bridges near Montrose in Houston. City of La Marque is working with TxDOT to create a plan for the overpasses in our city, monument signage, city identification, lighting options and landscaping improvements along our stretch of interstate. The first intersection within our city limits is FM 1764 and I-45. Roadwork isn’t expected until early 2020 and aesthetic improvements will not begin until construction is complete. As construction timelines are provided by TxDOT, updates will be shared at and sent by e-notification. Another TxDOT project is planned on State Highway 146 from FM 518 to State Highway 3. Construction of a new bridge will be completed in phases and will require temporary closure of SH 146 south of FM 519. A detour will impact commuters coming to and from Galveston. This project is expected to begin in 2020 and take one year to complete. It will vastly improve hurricane evacuation and mobility in the vicinity of Texas City Wye. To keep up with TxDOT news, register for free Community News Flash emails and text messages at or call 409-938-9255. PAGE 5

La Marque Library staff book reviews Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay REVIEWED BY TOM HANSEN, REFERENCE LIBRARIAN Seven year old Wen is on vacation with her parents in New Hampshire. While playing outside their secluded cabin, she is approached by Leonard, the biggest man she has ever seen. Leonard is a kind, gentle and patient man. He has come to prevent the end of the world and believes only Wen and her parents can stop it from happening. Leonard tells Wen, “The three of you will have to make some tough decisions. I wish with all my broken heart you didn’t have to.” The fate of one family, if not the entire world, hangs in the balance and makes for a haunting and suspenseful read. Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay REVIEWED BY SANDY HOFSTATTER, LIBRARY ASSISTANT Ten year old Sarah is arrested by the French police in the Vel’ d’Hiv’ roundup, but not before she locks her younger brother in a cupboard in her family’s apartment, thinking that she will be back within a few hours. On Vel’ d’Hiv’s 60th anniversary, journalist Julia Jarmond stumbles onto a trail of secrets that connect her to Sarah and retraces the girl’s ordeal, from that terrible roundup, to the camps, and beyond. I found this novel brilliant, heartbreaking, and so beautifully written that I was emotionally transported to France in 1942. I’ve recommended Sarah’s Key to many others, all of whom agreed that it is one of the best books they’ve ever read. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens REVIEWED BY AMY MILLER, LIBRARY DIRECTOR

For years, Barkley Cove residents have talked about the “Marsh Girl” who lives alone in a cabin off the desolate coast of North Carolina. Kya is her real name and she is an independent, sensitive and intelligent young woman. With the help of a few kind people, Kya has survived for many years in spite of being abandoned by her family at a young age. When popular Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya and she is suddenly on trial for murder. This novel pays tribute to the wonders of the natural world while also being a compelling coming-of-age story and a suspenseful murder mystery all at once. The ending is so surprising that I still can’t stop thinking about it.


Not since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows have I this anxiously awaited the next book in a series. Zèlie is a teen girl who has been stripped of her mother, use of magic and any chance of having pride in her identity at an early age. She is also the one destined to bring magic back. How can anyone accomplish a task like this, especially when the king himself wants to kill you? Book two in the series, Children of Virtue and Vengeance, is set to release in March of 2019, and this YA reader cannot wait. Available 24 hours Traditional funeral services Cremation specialists Pre-need arrangements Monuments Headstones


Join our Pride Open for membership



Locally owned and managed by the Crowder Family since 1959.

409-935-2401 401 Texas Avenue, La Marque

We meet at noon on the 2nd Tuesday of every month at the ACU of Texas La Marque Branch: 920 First St. | La Marque, TX 77568 Service-minded men and women working together for a better community!




Rocks Project

WEEKLY EVENTS Storytime, Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. LIT Club, Wednesdays at 4:30 p.m. Practice your reading skills or help a friend practice theirs. Followed by a guest speaker or hands-on activity. MONTHLY EVENTS Family Game Night, first Thursday at 4:00 p.m. Homeschool Group, second Tuesday at 2:00 p.m. Come network with other homeschool families in the La Marque area. Teen Advocacy (TAG), second Saturday 1:00 p.m. All area teens welcome to come share ideas on how to be effective leaders at the library and in the community. Light lunch is served. Family Movie Night, third Thursday at 5:00 p.m. The feature movie is Christopher Robin. Afternoon with an Author, presented by Friends of La Marque Public Library Come meet a local author and learn about their books and the creative process that goes into them. Check lamarquepubliclibrary for updates.

FOR INFORMATION: La Marque Public Library 1011 Bayou Road La Marque, TX 77568 409-938-9272

February 9-15, 2019 La Marque non profit organization Khambrel Foundation is organizing Mainland Kindness Rocks Project, which is scheduled for February 9-15, 2019, and celebrates National Kindness Week. Khambrel Foundation’s volunteer group, Righteous Acts of Kindness, will be painting and delivering rocks or creating rock gardens filled with inspirational messages. Khambrel Foundation is seeking partnerships with libraries, local parks, churches, organizations, companies, businesses and hospitals. Their goal is to turn our communities KIND, one rock at a time. La Marque Economic Development Corporation has partnered with Khambrel Foundation for a rock garden in the Renaissance District, La Marque’s downtown revitalization project. Want to know how you can help? Here are some ways you can ROCK this local kindness effort! • • • • • •


Contact Tonia Rene Griffin for information at 409-655-5630 or PAGE 7

Please join us as we

Honor an American Hero January 25

Operation FINALLY HOME along with City of La Marque, Lennar, Friendswood Development Company and Greater Houston Builders Association, surprised U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 3 Matthew Uran and his wife, Jennifer, with the news they are receiving a custom-built, mortgage-free home in the Delany Cove community on Friday, August 10, 2018. In October, the Urans visited La Marque for a second time and got a special tour of their future home. Upon arrival they found Notes of Love throughout the entire house, written by friends, family and future neighbors. Now, construction is nearing completion. A patriotic dedication and ribbon cutting celebration will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, January 25, 2019. All citizens of La Marque and friends from across Galveston County are invited to join us as we welcome this American Hero home to our city. Enter 430 Havenstone Lane on GPS and follow the signs. Arrive by 9:45 a.m. U.S. Army CW3 Matthew Uran humbly served his country for more than 13 years before he was honorably discharged in 2007. Matthew was inspired to join the military after visiting his cousin in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He enlisted, quickly excelled at his work and was promoted twice before being accepted to the Warrant Officer Flight Program after just four years of service. Warrant Officers make up the technical foundation of the U.S. Army. Throughout their careers, they specialize in a technical area like intelligence, aviation, or military police. Although they make up less than three percent of total Army strength, Warrant Officers have a great job responsibility that includes training Soldiers, organizing and advising on missions, and advancing within their career specialties. In January of 2005, Matthew was critically injured in a helicopter crash. He suffered a severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), which will never improve, his back and pelvis were fractured. He suffered from amnesia for seven months due to TBI and still has little memory of the accident. Matthew still lives with TBI among several other conditions such as weakness on the right side of his body, headaches and difficulty breathing. He uses LEGOÂŽ activities to help regain some of his fine motor skills and also enjoys riding horses with Jennifer. He was awarded the Army Commendation Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korea Defense Service Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon and several others. Operation FINALLY HOME provides mortgage-free homes to service members and their families who have become wounded, ill, or injured as a result of their service in the defense of our country. Get updates at, on city social media profiles or by registering for Community News Flash notifications at


Local Morning Show Kickstarting Positivity and Community Engagement

KICKSTART WITH GARDY AND CURT ON AIR MONDAY – FRIDAY FROM 9:00 TO 11:00 A.M. By Colleen Merritt, La Marque Public Relations

TUNE YOUR RADIO DIAL TO FM 99.5 FM and there’s a good chance you’ll be delighted by the shenanigans of Gardy Garcia and Curt Casper, local morning radio show hosts working to radiate positivity and support local businesses. In this Business Spotlight, discover the men and motivation behind this mission. According to Gardy, the dream has always been spreading positivity from their studio at 601 Delany Road in La Marque, Texas, and broadcasting it around the world. Gardy and Curt pride themselves on being a radio station for La Marque, but also for the entire Bay Area and beyond. Listen live on 99.5 FM, or the Tune-in app. They also stream on Facebook and YouTube. Q: WHAT MAKES THE MORNING SHOW SPECIAL? CURT: Spotlighting the community is an important part of our mission. There are four local TV stations in town, but they mostly cover Houston. We want to highlight organizations that are doing the right thing here in Galveston County and Bay Area Houston. We partner with organizations like the Khambrel Foundation, who are spreading a message of kindness. We look for businesses that are family owned and people who are doing great things in our community. We want to have them in the studio and give them the opportunity to tell their stories. GARDY: We especially want to support La Marque! That’s who we are. Our station is here. I grew up here. My parents still live in La Marque. My sister lives here. I live in League City now, but my son is spending time in the house I grew up in, right off Exit 10 in La Marque. We understand small businesses can’t always come to us, so we will come to you. Just call us!

Q: WHEN DID THE SHOW GO LIVE? GARDY: KHEA launched in 2014, we got the radio license in 2015 and in 2016 the format was all music. When Hurricane Harvey happened, Abundant Life became a distribution center for recovery. CURT: We had deliveries of baby diapers, Galveston Food Bank, Houston Food Bank, even a meat truck! We started telling people to dial in to 99.5 FM and listen for updates. It worked great and in November, we launched the show. GARDY: Sometimes people don’t realize we are a ministry of Abundant Life Christian Center. We are staff members of the church. We serve as community outreach. Abundant Life has been doing this for more than 30 years - feeding people who are hungry, helping recovering addicts, and leading to healing. Our goal is to spread positivity. If you listen to our station, you could potentially hear something that will change your life.

Q: WHAT IS YOUR INSPIRATION? CURT: We have one of the greatest jobs! We have fun. I’ve sat in a pregnancy simulator, I’ve gone skydiving and I eat at the best restaurants, all because of this opportunity. God has been really faithful to us. That’s where my passion is. I want to have fun and bring joy to everyone. GARDY: I get inspired by hearing stories. I want to know how people got started in business and how they’ve managed growth. Having the opportunity to grow with local businesses is inspiring. We were at a restaurant the other day and people recognized us. They decided to try it because of a video we made. To me, that creates success for the business and allows the station to grow as well.

Q: FAVORITE MEMORIES FROM 2018? GARDY: There are so many! It is really hard to choose. CURT: For me, it had to be when Wonder Woman came to talk with us about Keep La Marque Beautiful Commission. Kathy was awesome. The Birthday Joy Program show was the most significant for me personally. I had no idea they provide birthday parties for 1,500 local children residing in homeless shelters and group homes every year. GARDY: Partnering with local businesses for giveaways is one of my favorite things. Recently, we were able to give away a $500 Furniture Zone gift card. The money helped a lady from Santa Fe buy a bed and mattress for her daughter. It was special experience that I’ll never forget.



Chat with

the Chief Abby Cash with CHief Jackson.

by Kirk Jackson La Marque Police CHief

Abby Cash moved to La Marque from Wichita Falls with her husband, Hugh, in June of 2015. Once settled, they started looking for ways to get engaged in the community and decided to sign up for La Marque Police Department Citizens’ Police Academy (CPA). Abby and Hugh graduated from Class 9 in June of 2017. Following CPA graduation, they joined the La Marque Citizens’ Police Academy Alumni Association. Abby quickly became a valuable member and helped the Association with several events. Abby’s interest in helping the La Marque Police Department and CPA Alumni Association developed into a desire to serve the city in other ways. In 2018, she served on the City of La Marque’s Parks Board as well as Building Standards Commission.

Abby says, “ "I love my job but CPA is my passion!"”

Her dedication continued to deepen. This past summer, Abby decided to apply for a full time job as La Marque Police Department Records Specialist. She was hired and has proven to be an excellent Records Specialist. Abby has taken it upon herself to reach out to several nearby law enforcement agencies, learn her role and find ways to increase efficiency. Through it all, her love for CPA Alumni Association has not waned. She is currently serving as President for the La Marque CPA Alumni Association and was recently elected to the Texas Citizens’ Police Academy Alumni Association, Region 1, as Treasurer. Both on and off the clock she has a true servant’s heart. City of La Marque and La Marque Police Department are lucky to have her.

The Citizen’s Police Academy is a 10-week course taught by law enforcement personnel to acquaint the citizens of La Marque with their police department. The courses include patrol procedures, investigations, juvenile laws, search and seizure, and traffic enforcement. The next class is scheduled for February. If you are interested in participating contact Lieutenant Spruill at or call 409-938-9224. Are you community-minded? Would you like to help mold the future of your City? Can you spare a few hours once or twice a month? We have several vacancies on various City boards and commissions and we need people like YOU! Visit boards. or call 409-938-9202. PAGE 10


NEW BUZZY BEE ON MAIN - OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW. Owners of Buzzy Bee convenience store at 2605 FM 519 like their La Marque location but wanted a modern building with better parking and space for dining. Contractors began demolition of the old building December 2, 2018. The project brings $800,000 of capital improvement to the city. A shiny new Jack in the Box restaurant will occupy a portion of the 7,416 square-foot space. Grand opening is planned for late spring or early summer 2019. LA MARQUE CROSSING UPS STORE #7035 The UPS Store #7035 opened for business Monday, November 28, 2018. Along with shipping and printing services, the store offers mailboxes, printing, notary services, shredding, passport photos and resources for small business. Visit them today at 6608 Gulf Freeway S, Ste 600 in La Marque, call 281-870-2500 or email

EAST SIDE OF I-45 409 SHINE 409 Shine Detail & Barbershop is open for business at 725 Oak Street in La Marque, promising the best in auto hand-detailing and haircuts in Galveston County. Visit them or call 409-2297275. Open seven days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. #GetYourShineOn

LIVE WELL AT GNC LA MARQUE Live Well, closer to home! GNC offers vitamins, supplements, protein, herbs, natural remedies, digestion, superfood, weight management and personal care solutions. See what they have to offer at 6608 Gulf Freeway S, Ste 500 or online at

BUCKSAVER FILLING STATION ON TEXAS AVENUE Bucksaver Gas Station obtained a permit for their new location at 3001 FM 1765, on the corner of Texas Avenue and Westward. The ground-up project will bring an estimated $754,000 capital improvement to the city and will feature a 5,200 square foot building. More coming soon.

DICKEY’S BARBECUE OPENING SOON Dickey’s Barbecue was announced in spring of 2018. Now, interior build out and the new drive-thru are nearing completion. Stay tuned for grand opening details. The address is 6608 Gulf Freeway S, Ste 700 in La Marque. Now hiring! Call 888-838-6558 or visit for information.

NEW VETERINARY CLINIC DOWNTOWN LA MARQUE We’re hearing rave reviews! Prida Animal Nation opened for business in fall 2018 and they’ve quickly built a name for themselves. Led by Dr. Laura Prida, the clinic offers high quality pet care at an affordable cost. Visit, stop by 1100 1st Street in La Marque or call 409-240-2400.


Weather pushed construction schedules slightly but 401 and 405 Laurel in La Marque’s Renaissance District are under construction! BIRDIES EATERY and ART OF COFFEE will open in spring of 2019.


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

to postal customer 1111 Bayou Road La Marque, TX 77568

Renovation roll call

Mainland Pawn and Jewelry has been in La Marque for 43 years! Have you seen the recent renovations? Beautiful! Visit them at 106 Highway 3 or call 409-935-6673. The store specializes in a unique inventory of new and pre-owned guns as well as new, custom, and pre-owned jewelry. There is a large selection of tools for all types of projects.

Save these Dates! Library Spring Celebration

11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., March 9 At 1011 Bayou Road

Follow the Library’s Facebook or visit Keep La Marque Beautiful Spring Cleanup

Early April. Bulk trash drop-off, street cleanup teams

Follow the City’s Facebook page or visit Annual Crawfish Bash

1:00 p.m. to 6:00 P.m., April 20 at Gulf Greyhound Park

Purchase tickets for All-You-Can-Eat Crawfish at

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