City Matters Winter 2023/2024

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CITY MATTERS Introducing... League City’s First Visitor Center & Café

Clear Creek Master Plan See What’s in Store for the Creek

VOTE: LEAGUE CITY’S NEW FLAG DESIGN HOW STUFF WORKS: LINE REPAIR

WINTER 2023/2024


MESSAGE FROM THE MAYOR Mayor Nick Long and the recipients of the 2023 Volunteers of the Year Awards, Shari Ferguson (left) and Luba Chua (right). Scan QR code to learn more about Ferguson’s and Chua’s efforts.

Dear Neighbors, It’s hard to believe that 2023 has passed by so quickly, but I am proud of everything we have accomplished as a City over the last year. From the completion of a variety of mobility and drainage improvement projects to the development of new, long-range projects like the Clear Creek Master Plan, the last 12 months have been busy. You can read more about these projects in the pages that follow. One of the things I am most proud of is our efforts over the last year to increase twoway communication with our residents. Over the summer, our Communications and Community Engagement Department launched a new online tool that allows residents to provide their input on City issues and initiatives 24/7. Called “League City Listens,” the platform has been very successful with thousands of views, comments, and questions on a variety of topics—including traffic and mobility, the recently approved 2024 budget, and the City’s Public Art Initiative. Feedback provided on League City Listens is also being included in current efforts to update the City’s master development plans—including the Master Mobility Plan and the Parks and Trails Master Plan. You can check it out and share your thoughts at www. leaguecitylistens.com. This year, the City also worked with a thirdparty consultant on two confidential, randomized surveys to collect resident feedback. The first survey, conducted this spring, gathered feedback regarding the City’s parks and recreational programming. The second survey, which is currently wrapping up, is a Citizen Satisfaction survey. These statistically valid surveys ensure League City’s priorities are aligned with the needs of our residents and the results help me, my fellow

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council members, and City staff make betterinformed decisions. I can’t say it enough: your input and involvement are extremely important here in League City. In fact, one of my favorite things the City does each year is honor and recognize the men and women who volunteer their time for a City department or who serve on a City board or committee. The awards are named after two long-time League City residents—Art Hewitt and Steve Jones—who spent their lives volunteering for the Fire Department and Helen Hall Library respectively. Recently, I was able to honor the 2023 recipients, Shari Ferguson and Luba Chua. Shari received the Steve Jones Inspiration Award for her volunteer efforts with Helen Hall Library’s Read to the Dogs Program and with the LCPD Volunteers in Policing Program. Luba received the Art Hewitt Volunteer Spirit Award for her efforts to start League City’s first ever public garden at Hometown Heroes Park. In addition to creating garden beds filled with vegetables, wildflowers, and native plants, Luba has involved the group Hewitt’s Heroes to take part in an adaptive gardening program for individuals with special needs. Congratulations to both and thank you for everything you do for the City and our residents. If you’re interested in volunteering or getting more engaged in the new year, check out www.leaguecity.com/volunteer. Here’s to a happy and healthy 2024!

Nick Long Mayor of League City

JOIN US AT THE CLEAR CREEK CLEANUP. FIND DATES & MORE INFO ON PAGE 8.


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ALL ABOARD: LEAGUE CITY’S FIRST VISITOR CENTER & CAFÉ

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VOTE FOR LEAGUE CITY’S NEW FLAG

See how a historic home in League Park has been transformed

Learn about the flag design process and meet a vexillologist

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ALL THAT JAZZ New live jazz music events coming to League Park in 2024

ANSWERING THE CALL How LCPD is working to aid the mental health crisis CITY MATTERS | League City 2


ALL ABOARD: LEAGUE CITY’S NEWEST ATTRACTION League City’s very first Visitor Center opened in early November inside the historic Station Master House in League Park. The home—which is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places—has stood in the park for more than a century. The railroad-themed center will provide guests with a warm welcome and a place to grab food and coffee, courtesy of Soulfreak Railroad Café, also now located inside the home. A Historic Home Reimagined

The house dates back to the late 1800s and was originally built as the living quarters for the Station Master of the Galveston, Houston and Henderson Railroad. The GH&H Railroad (also known as the “Old Reliable Short Line”) was the first rail line to connect Galveston to the Texas mainland. The Station Master supervised passenger and freight services, oversaw telegraph operations, and was responsible for loading and unloading mail. Over the last 20 years, the home was used as an office space for Parks Department staff. Prior to that, the property was owned by the Hewitt/Burd family. Now, it will serve a new purpose as it opens its doors to locals and visitors alike.

512 2nd Street League City Business hours Mon–Wed 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thurs–Sat 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sun 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Full Steam Ahead

“The Visitor Center will provide people with a proper introduction to the Historic District and to League City,” said Stephanie Polk, Manager of the Convention and Visitors Bureau. “This location used to be a bustling town center where people would arrive and immediately be immersed in the heart of League City. We are excited that once again, this is where first impressions will be made,” said Polk. At the Visitor Center, guests can place their orders at the café and enjoy the atmosphere while they shop for souvenirs, browse brochures, or participate in scheduled activities. The café plans on hosting live music nights, movie nights in the park, art classes, and more. The Visitor Center will also soon unveil a brand-new printed guide to the Historic District along with an interactive digital experience. “These new resources will help residents and visitors explore the treasures found in this beautiful, historic area,” said Polk.

Did You Know? Funding for the new Visitor Center comes from League City hotel occupancy tax (HOT). HOT fund expenditures are restricted by state law. League City collects a 7% HOT Tax from visitors who stay in city hotels and short-term rentals.

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League City Convention and Visitors Bureau Manager Stephanie Polk sits outside the new Visitor Center located at League Park. The center will have brochures and souvenirs for residents and visitors.


INTRODUCING SOULFREAK RAILROAD CAFÉ &

Owner Amy Albro

While new to League City, Soulfreak has been operating in the Bay Area since 2019, most recently in Clear Lake Shores where it was known as Soulfreak Studio Café. Owner Amy Albro opened Soulfreak as a place to serve the community, as well as local artists. “I had just graduated with my art and design degree and wanted to do something to highlight artists and other creators,” said Albro. She used her passion for art to open a coffee shop that would also serve as an art studio and retail space. “Coffee was the anchor to get people in to take the art classes, and the retail shop helped promote the artists and sell their creations,” she said. Now, Soulfreak has made its home in the historic League Park Station Master House, and Albro and her staff are ready to greet the community. “I want people to come and experience a place where they feel welcome; where it’s their second home. Where they can feel peace and have a great cup of coffee and great service,” she said. “I’m excited about this location because it’s a beautiful atmosphere and there are so many families using the park. We value kids and family, and this is a great space for families to gather,” said Albro. In addition to offering delicious custom coffee drinks and a variety of food items, Soulfreak Railroad Café will remain true to its original mission of cultivating the arts in the local community. “We want to incorporate many forms of art, classes, book signings, author readings, poetry readings, and live music,” said Albro.

“We are looking forward to serving the public. It’s important to serve. It’s more than mass producing—it’s our relationships with our friends and the people who come in every day.” – Amy Albro

Q & A with Amy What does “Soulfreak” mean? A “soulfreak” is an advocate for souls and a freak for a purpose-filled life. Why do you have a skull logo? The skeleton represents unity. We all have the same skeleton underneath. Anyone can identify with it regardless of race, religion, or politics. At Soulfreak, everyone is welcome.

Where do you get your food and coffee? We are a small business built by small businesses. We source all our food and coffee beans from other local small businesses. Must-try menu item? We can make pretty much anything, but a customer favorite is a latte called Paradise on Earth. It’s made with coconut, vanilla, and cinnamon, and you can get it hot or iced. CITY MATTERS | League City 4


Line Repair

HOW STUFF WORKS

Line Repair crews play a critical role in our City, ensuring the safe and reliable operation of water and wastewater systems, which are essential for public health and environmental protection. Their work

HOW STUFF WORKS

safeguards the well-being of the community by helping prevent waterborne illnesses, ensuring sewer

collection systems function properly, maintaining fire hydrants for fire protection, and protecting underground infrastructure. Learn more about how Line Repair crews are working behind the scenes to keep you safe.

Safeguarding Underground Infrastructure

One of Line Repair’s major responsibilities is responding to requests associated with the 811 national “call before you dig” system. These are requests to check an area for underground utility lines and mark them prior to any digging. Accidental damage to underground gas, water, electrical, and other infrastructure lines due to digging can cause severe injury and property damage, along with service interruptions. League City’s Line Repair crews respond to over 7,000 811 tickets annually.

Maintaining Aging Infrastructure

Aging water and wastewater lines need proper maintenance to ensure longevity and peak functionality. Line Repair crews regularly clean, inspect, and maintain sanitary sewer lines—replacing sections when necessary—so all residents experience reliable sewer service. League City also has a very aggressive Capital Improvement Program that prioritizes areas of critical need based off age as well as historical maintenance records. Additionally, fire hydrants are regularly inspected and isolation valves are exercised to ensure they operate properly.

Facing Freezing Weather

When temperatures dip, water pipes can freeze and burst, leading to water supply interruptions. The Line Repair team prepares by wrapping exposed pipes, preparing generators, and coordinating crews to meet urgent resident needs. They also pay attention to vulnerable areas based off historical data, ensuring that your water supply remains steady, even during freezing weather. Pictured to the right, a Line Repair crewmember prepares a generator ahead of bad weather.

Emergencies and Quick Responses

Water line breaks and blockages must be addressed quickly to restore water service. Things like natural ground shifting and aging infrastructure can create weak points and breakages in the distribution system. Sanitary collection lines can get clogged from grease, rags, or roots, also causing disruptions in service. Line Repair crews can detect leaks and other underground waterline problems through a variety of methods, including satellite imaging, acoustic listening devices, and visual reports from customers. Crews are oncall 24/7 so they can quickly repair or replace damaged waterlines and clear blockages in sanitary sewer lines to minimize interruptions.

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Protect Your Pipes & Home During Freezing Weather

LINE REPAIR IS PUBLIC HEALTH PROTECTION

During Winter Storm Uri, Line Repair crews worked around the clock for more than six days and responded to approximately 2,000 customer calls to disconnect water due to frozen pipes. Learn how to protect your home in the event of a freeze.

• Insulate your pipes. Cover exposed pipes with insulating materials.

• Shut off and drain your irrigation system. Find your backflow prevention device and turn off the valve. Drain the water from it.

• Drain outdoor lines, faucets, and hoses. Disconnect garden hoses and drain the water from outdoor faucets and pipes. Insulate hose bibs.

Safe Drinking Water Line Repair workers are responsible for maintaining and repairing over 500 miles of water distribution lines. Their expertise greatly reduces the risk of water contamination and waterborne diseases. Scan the QR code to watch a video to learn how to shut off the water to your house and your irrigation system.

Fire Hydrants Know where your irrigation shut-off valve is located and how to drain it. Also know the location of your home’s water shut-off valve. Both are usually near the hose bib outside.

Maintaining adequate pressure is important for the proper functionality of fire hydrants. The Line Repair Department maintains nearly 5,000 fire hydrants throughout League City. This maintenance is crucial for firefighters to effectively put out fires.

What to do if Your Pipes Burst Inside the home If water is leaking inside your home, you need to shut off the water to your home immediately. Make sure you know where this valve is before a freeze hits. Outside the home If you have a water leak in your yard, call the City at 281-554-1390. This is the 24/7 Line Repair number. A Line Repair professional will come out to your home and shut your water off.

Numbers You Need to Know

Know who to call in the event of a weather-related incident, such as a power outage or flooding due to burst pipes.

UTILITY LINE REPAIR 281-554-1390 (24-hr. main line) UTILITY BILLING 281-554-1335 AFTER HOURS PUBLIC WORKS 281-554-1086

NON-EMERGENCY POLICE 281-332-2566 TEXAS-NEW MEXICO POWER 888-866-7456

Wastewater Management

League City has a network of 415 miles of pipe within the wastewater collection system. Line Repair crews regularly clear blockages, perform inspections, and maintain over 10,000 manholes throughout the city, ensuring that sewage and wastewater are properly transported away from homes and businesses.

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r a e l C eek r C

DEVELOPING ITS TRUE Running along the northern border of League City is Clear Creek—a natural asset that provides a variety of recreational opportunities including bird watching, kayaking, and more. Unfortunately, many residents and visitors do not fully utilize, or even know about the waterway. But that is soon about to change. Developing A Plan

The vision of the Clear Creek Master plan is to transform the creek into a regional destination known for its habitat, preservation, and natural resources, paired with wellconnected, high-quality recreational amenities.

In 2022, the League City Council tasked City staff with creating a “master plan” to develop Clear Creek. After listening and gathering feedback from City stakeholders through public meetings, focus groups, online surveys, and through a random sampling of over 400 residents, one thing became very clear—“developing” the creek does not mean turning it into an entertainment and restaurant venue like other waterfront properties in Texas. Instead, League City residents overwhelmingly expressed that the true nature and beauty of the creek should be further enjoyed by residents and visitors through connectivity, activation, and preservation. After engaging residents and working with a consultant—Halff Associates—a Clear Creek Master Plan was developed. The plan—which was approved by City Council in the fall of 2023—expands the utilization of the nature-centered resource through the creation of boardwalks, gathering spaces, trails, recreational and programming opportunities, more access points, and environmental and natural resource preservation.

Next Steps

Now that the plan is approved and has been added to League City’s overall Master Parks and Trails Plan, work has begun on prioritizing the best project to start with.

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NATURE

GOALS OF THE PLAN

Several projects are outlined in the plan, including three that originate with undeveloped pieces of property along the creek. One of the first projects to emerge to the forefront is the development of the Kilgore-Davis Tract—a section of Cityowned property between Fairview Cemetery and Heritage Park. Over the coming months, more citizen input and feedback will be gathered to inform and shape preliminary design ideas and staff will provide recommendations to Council on a proposed budget to include in the City’s multiyear Capital Improvement Plan. Stay tuned for more details.

iew v o t e d o c R Scan thetiQre Clear Creek the en ster Plan. Ma

ACTIVATION: Continue to activate Clear Creek with safe public access trails, programming, and parkland while minimizing environmental impact. CONNECTIVITY: Improve multimodal access to Clear Creek with additional enhancement to signage and wayfinding signs along the creek. PRESERVATION: Utilize existing natural resources to enhance the biodiversity and viability of the Clear Creek ecosystem for future generations to enjoy.

CLEANING UP THE CREEK In 1998, a group of League City residents got together to clean up trash and debris along Clear Creek. Twenty-six years later, the effort has evolved into an annual event called the Clear Creek Cleanup. The cleanup, which lasts for several weekends in January and one Saturday in February, is organized by the Clear Creek Environmental Foundation and the City of League City.

How can I assist?

Cleanup bags and boat transportation are provided, or volunteers can bring their own boat, kayak, or jet ski and meet at the League City Boat Ramp located off FM 270 starting at 8 a.m. Boats leave at 9 a.m. and drop volunteers at select locations to pick up trash. All ages are welcome, but minors must be accompanied by an adult. There is no need to pre-register; just show up and volunteer on one or more of the dates listed but be prepared for cold or rainy weather.

Cleanup Dates Saturday, January 6

Sunday, January 7

Saturday, January 13

Sunday, January 14

Saturday, January 20

Sunday, January 21

Saturday, January 27

Sunday, January 28

Saturday, February 3 (Final event includes free t-shirts and lunch provided by Esteban’s Cafe & Cantina while supplies last)

ation m r o f n i e r o For m QR code. scan the CITY MATTERS | League City 8


FLAG MAN

Wayne Lovett has a passion for flags. He’s been researching them for over 30 years and is a certified vexillologist—a person who studies flags—and is a member of NAVA—the North American Vexillological Association. So, when the League City resident approached City Council about designing a “proper flag” for the City, the Communications and Community Engagement Department agreed to take on the task.

Vexillology is the study of the history, symbolism, and usage of flags or, by extension, any interest in flags in general. A person who studies flags is a vexillologist, one who designs flags is a vexillographer, and the art of designing flags is called vexillography. Assigned to the challenge was Ashley Vonderhorst, a City employee and graphic designer with nearly 25 years of experience. “At first, I didn’t realize there were so many parameters and rules to follow when designing a city or government flag,” said Vonderhorst. “It’s really an art form all in itself.” Proper government flags that follow the principles of vexillology use only two or three basic colors, have no lettering or seals, and some sort of meaningful symbolism that relates to the flag’s colors or patterns.

Lovett and Vonderhorst worked for weeks coming up with nearly a hundred ideas and even solicited ideas from vexillographers across Texas and the U.S. After feedback from staff and residents who serve on the City’s Public Art committee, the designs were narrowed down to four options. “All four meet the standards of vexillology and all four would be great city flags,” said Lovett. “I have my personal favorite, but I don’t want to influence the vote.”

“A lot of cities, including League City, have flags that break the basic rules of vexillology,” said Lovett. “I wanted to offer my expertise to help design a few correct options that League City residents could ultimately choose from.”

THE FIVE PRINCIPLES OF A PROPER FLAG

• Keep It Simple. The flag should be so simple that a child can draw it from memory.

• Use Meaningful Symbolism. The flag’s images, colors, or patterns should relate to what it symbolizes.

• Use 2 or 3 Basic Colors. • No Lettering or Seals. • Be Distinctive or Relatable.

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Lovett and League City graphic designer Ashley Vonderhorst review different flag options. One way to test a successful design is to fold it in half to get an idea of what it will look like flying on a flagpole.


WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE? DESIGN 1

Help Select the New City Flag

INSPIRATION The yellow star represents our sunny city nestled between two waterways and centrally located between Houston and Galveston. The green on either side represents our ample green spaces.

Which option should fly at City Hall and other city facilities? Vote for your favorite by scanning the QR code or visit leaguecity.com/flag. Voting is open until January 31, 2024 at midnight.

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code R Q n Sca te here! to vo

Tips For Deciding Which Design to Vote For

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INSPIRATION The yellow star represents our sunny city, positioned where sea meets land and makes way for our local creeks. The green shape along the bottom can also be interpreted as the edge of a leaf and represents League City nature and our many trees.

of proper flag design.

• Consider the symbolism •

INSPIRATION The yellow star represents our sunny city nestled between two waterways and centrally located between Houston and Galveston. The green on either side represents our ample green spaces and the leaves are a nod to our beloved oak trees.

DESIGN 3

• Consider the five principles and meaning behind each design and what resonates with you. The green, teal, yellow, and white hues incorporated into each flag choice utilize the City’s new branding and color palette. Learn more about vexillology and designing flags for government agencies by visiting the North American Vexillological Association (scan QR code below for their website).

DESIGN 2

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DESIGN 4 INSPIRATION The lone star is an homage to our Lone Star State and is centered between the blue and green to represent our location; where land meets water. There is also a subliminal LC. The “L” conveys our two creeks and the “C” our sunny city. The green area in between symbolizes our ample green spaces.

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NOT YOUR AVERAGE MEDIAN A $6.6 million landscaping project funded by TxDOT will improve and beautify medians throughout League City. If you’ve driven along some of the roadways on the eastern section of League City, you’ve probably noticed construction work taking place inside and along the medians. The work is part of a Texas Department of Transportation project to provide landscape improvements along the major TxDOT corridors within our City—including FM 518, FM 646, FM 2094, SH 96, and the I-45 feeder road and nearby detention ponds. The improvements, which cost over $6.6 million, are completely funded by TxDOT, and include construction, irrigation installation, and the purchase and planting of a large variety of trees, shrubs, and other landscaping.

League City’s Project Management team, along with Parks Operations Manager Cameron Parker, worked with Pacheco Coke—a third-party consultant—to design the project and select the types of plants to be placed in the medians. It was important to Parker that the design contain anchor, accent, and secondary landscaping that not only contained a mixture of trees and shrubs that could withstand the Texas heat, but also Live Oak and other oak trees that would complement the City’s existing oak population along FM 518 in the Historic District.

“We also needed to take into consideration the heartiness of the plants when it comes to withstanding the exhaust from vehicles,” said Parker. “Not all plants can withstand the flow of heavy traffic day-in and day-out.” The result is a design with a full palette of plantings including Live Oaks, Gulf Muhly, Dwarf Texas Palmetto, Miscanthus, Crepe Myrtle, and much more. The median improvements are expected to be completed in mid-2024 and also includes designated locations for City entryways signs and even public art installations.

HONORING OUR CITY’S HISTORY

A future League City roadway will be named Winfield Parkway, after Alexander Winfield, one of the first African Americans to settle in League City. The roadway—which has yet to be built—will run east to west and connect Landing Boulevard and Maple Leaf Drive, just south of the future Grand Parkway and north of FM 517 in a soon-to-be-developed area.

LEAGUE CITY PARKWAY

MAPLE LEAF DR.

INCOMING GRAND PARKWAY

Alexander died in 1915, but his surviving children and their descendants populated League City, Dickinson, and cities throughout the Bay Area. Alex’s daughter Lucille married Obie Hobbs, whom Hobbs Road is officially named after.

“It means being seen,” she said of the decision. “I don’t think we realize in our society how important it is to be affirmed and acknowledged, and to have a place where your legacy is acknowledged. To have League City acknowledge that means the world to me and my family.”

In 1902, Winfield purchased 40 acres of land in League City for $750 at 8 percent interest. He paid off the land in eight years, never missing payment. The tract of land is now Hobbs Road, and to this day, several members of the Winfield family continue to live along the road. In addition to purchasing the land, Winfield founded a church, Winfield Methodist Episcopal Church, which eventually would merge with another congregation and become the Faith United Methodist Church in Dickinson.

Deborah Konrad, Winfield’s greatgranddaughter, was one of at least a dozen Winfield descendants on hand during the City Council’s Sept. 25 meeting, where the resolution passed unanimously to name a roadway after Winfield.

WINFIELD PARKWAY 517

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documentation shows he had a connection with the Butlers, a prominent cattle ranching family in League City, and that he likely got involved in running cattle when he moved to Texas after leaving the army.

Winfield was born in Virginia and served in the Civil War as part of the Ohio Color Troops, before enlisting in the regular army in 1867. After leaving the service, he moved to Texas and spent time in San Antonio and Austin, before settling in La Grange. Winfield and his wife Rosy raised their 10 children in La Grange from 1879-1902, before deciding to move to League City. Descendants of the Winfields do not have a written or oral account of what brought Alexander and his family to League City, but

LANDING BLVD.


DELIVERING ON DRAINAGE PROMISES

In May 2019, League City voters approved the first general obligation bond in 27 years. Over $70 million of the GO bond funds are designated for 21 drainage improvement projects in neighborhoods across the City—particularly those that flooded during Hurricane Harvey and are prone to flooding during inclement weather. In the last four years, nearly a third of the projects are complete, two are under construction, and the remaining will begin construction in 2024 or 2025. While no major tropical storms or hurricanes have directly impacted our area over the last few years, several heavy rainfall events in 2023 tested the effectiveness of the completed projects as well as those under construction. All showed positive results at improving drainage and alleviating street flooding in the neighborhoods and subdivisions they were designed to impact and mitigate.

PROJECT SPOTLIGHT One of the hardest hit League City neighborhoods during Hurricane Harvey was Bay Ridge. In 2019, voters approved a four-phased, $30 million mitigation project to improve drainage in the subdivision. Phase III of the project, which is completed, added improved drainage and capacity within the neighborhood adjacent to Gum Bayou. Phase II, which is currently under construction, is building a large detention pond that will house the City’s first pump station. Phase I, which includes levee improvements and protection from drainage flows across SH 96, will begin construction in 2024. Final design is underway on Phase IV, which will widen Gum Bayou from SH 96 to the southern city limits. Construction on that phase is expected to begin in 2025.

November 2021

Check out these picture to see the progress of Phase II. Final construction of the detention pond will be completed in early 2024.

November 2022

DRAINAGE PROJECTS UPDATE 6 COMPLETE

• Citywide 2D Hydraulic Modeling • Deer Ridge Overland Flow • Bay Ridge Phase III • Oaks of Clear Creek Detention Pond and Bradshaw Ditch

• Dove Meadows Detention Pond • Magnolia Creek/Cedar Gully Phase I

2 CURRENTLY UNDER CONSTRUCTION

• Bay Colony Area Detention Ponds • Bay Ridge Phase II 5 TO BEGIN CONSTRUCTION IN 2024

• Countryside • Rustic Oaks • Bay Ridge Phase I • Brittany Bay • The Meadows Phase I and II

November 2023

8 UNDER DESIGN OR AWAITING FUNDING/PERMITTING APPROVAL

• Magnolia Creek/Cedar Gully Phase II • Benson Watershed Regional Detention Pond

• Bay Ridge Phase IV • Newport and Ellis Landing • Landing • FM 518 and Wesley Drive • Oaks of Clear Creek North Detention Pond

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ALL THAT JAZZ

Starting in 2024, League City will be hosting “Saturday Night Jazz” at League Park. In addition to live performances from 7:30 to 9 p.m. on February 24, March 23, and April 27, there will be a lecture series from 6 to 7 p.m. taught by Todd Parker, a League City resident and DJ on KTSU 90.9 The Choice. As League City’s Adult Services Librarian, Joanne Turner is constantly looking for inspiration to create a new program or class to offer patrons at the Helen Hall Library. That inspiration can come from anywhere—even music on the radio. “I was listening to jazz on KTSU 90.9 one afternoon, like I have for nearly 50 years, and I noticed the host was not the same,” said Turner. “After listening for a few more days, I discovered the DJ who was filling in for the regular host had a lot of fascinating and

informative things to say, particularly about the songs and music he was playing.” Joanne’s interest was piqued even more when she learned the DJ— Todd Parker—was a League City resident. “I called up the station and left a message for him to call me back, and surprisingly he did,” said Turner. “I was even more surprised when I pitched him the idea for a library lecture series about jazz— with him as the host—and he agreed.” That was the summer of 2022, and since then there have been five jazz lectures hosted by Parker, all of which have been highly attended. “We started with about 40 people at the first lecture and by the fifth there were 200 people,” said Parker. “People traveled from Houston, Katy, and even as far away as The Woodlands to attend the series.” Parker admits that he might have had something to do with the program’s popularity, being a radio DJ with a regular show on KTSU, but he says the topic was one people were clamoring to hear about. “The program got too big to host in the library’s theater, so we had to move it to the Civic Center for the fourth installment and to the Hometown Heroes Recreation Center for the fifth,” said Parker. “We also added live musical performances after the lecture portion of the program was completed.” Based on the program’s success and popularity—particularly with out-of-town guests—the League City Convention and Visitors Bureau is taking over and expanding it in 2024 with live jazz performances at League Park in February, March, and April. The program will still feature a lecture with Parker, for a small fee, but the live jazz under the oaks of League Park will be open to everyone. “I am excited this program has taken on a life of its own,” said Turner. “Even though its moving from the library to League Park, and I am passing on the baton, I am proud of the role I played in getting it started.” Space is limited for the lecture series, which costs a nominal fee of $12 per person. Scan the QR code to sign up or visit leaguecity.com/jazz.

Todd Parker, local resident and radio personality on KTSU-FM, and Joanne Turner, adult services librarian for the Helen Hall Library, teamed up to bring “all that jazz” and more to League City.

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PIECE BY PIECE Elizabeth Hornick has the patience of a saint. As an artist that specializes in glass mosaics, she spends hours each day intricately piecing together glass of different sizes, shapes, and colors to create stunning works of art. In the spring of 2023, Elizabeth approached the City to offer her services for free. She wanted to create glass mosaic murals at City facilities. “After she showed us her portfolio and offered to only charge us for supplies, we jumped at the chance to put her to work,” said Sarah Osborne, who oversees League City’s Public Art Initiative. So far, Elizabeth has created two pieces that are now hanging at the pavilions at the Ghirardi Family WaterSmart Park and Rustic Oaks Park. The three-paneled piece at the WaterSmart Park features the Ghirardi Oak tree that was moved to the park 11 years ago to protect it from being cut down due to a street expansion project. The mosaic at the Rustic Oaks Park pavilion features flora and fauna found around the pond at the park, including water lilies, dragonflies, and wading birds. Response from visitors to both parks has been overwhelmingly positive, and Elizabeth has already been tasked to create more pieces, including one at Heritage Park and another at the City Hall Annex building. “I am grateful for the City giving me this opportunity to showcase my work,” said Hornick. “I am retired and have a lot of time on my hands, so this allows me to keep busy and do something I really enjoy and even find relaxing.”

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Make the most of the New Year in League City with these activities,

New Year,

programs, and events. ATTEND THE HOBBY FAIR

January 20 | 9 a.m. to noon Not sure what class or program to take? Come talk with the instructors, Parks and Recreation staff, and Helen Hall Library staff to get a feel for the classes and programs they offer before registering. There will also be demos for select classes throughout the morning. The Hobby Fair will be held at the Community Center (400 S Kansas Ave.).

NEW YEAR FUN RUN

NATIONAL SEED SWAP DAY

ASTRONOMY IN THE PARK

STATE OF THE CITY

January 6 | Race Times: 9 a.m. & 9:30 a.m. Join League City Parks and Recreation for their 2nd annual New Year Fun Run on January 6. Run, jog, or walk one mile or five. Registration is $30 per person and includes a Fun Run t-shirt for the first 100 participants. For more information and to register, visit leaguecity.com/parks.

January 27 | 1 to 3 p.m. Come and join the Helen Hall Library at their first-ever seed swap event on January 27. Open to all ages, bring your joy and knowledge of seeds, planting, gardening, and a pack of seeds to share with others.

First Sat. of each month | 7 to 9:30 p.m. Become amateur astronomers during monthly Astronomy in the Park events. Spend a fun and educational evening at Rustic Oaks Park (1501 Orange Blossom Ct.) observing the moon, planets, and stars. Telescopes are provided.

January 26 | 8:30 to 10 a.m. Join the City of League City and the League City Regional Chamber of Commerce for the annual State of the City breakfast. Hosted at the Johnnie Arolfo Civic Center, the community is encouraged to attend to hear about the City’s latest ongoing projects, successes, and achievements. Register at leaguecitychamber.com.

NONPROFIT EXPO

March 30 | Civic Center Looking for volunteer opportunities? The Nonprofit Expo will help residents discover the incredible volunteer opportunities they have in League City. Are you a nonprofit organization wanting to sign up for a booth space at this expo? Contact amber.pedigo@ leaguecitytx.gov.

15 League City | CITY MATTERS


New Fun TEEN TALENT SHOW

MARTIAL ARTS CLASSES

January 19 | 5 to 7 p.m. From singing and dancing to magic tricks and comedy, this is a night filled with entertainment you won’t want to miss. Register to be in Helen Hall Library’s Teen Talent Show or to be a part of the audience and show your support! For ages 12–18.

Sessions in January & February Try a new way to stay active with martial arts classes like Modern Arnis (Filipino Martial Arts), Tai Chi, and Laido and Aikido (Japanese Martial Arts). These classes are for ages 15 and up. Fees vary per class. Register online at leaguecity.com/parks.

CRAFTING FOR THE ADULT

Jan. 20, Jan. 27 & Feb. 3 | 1 to 3 p.m. Create a beautiful stained-glass masterpiece with the library’s Stained Glass Basics class. Guided by two professionals, this class is on January 20, from 1 to 3 p.m. Interested in papiermâché? Take part in a two-part PapierMâché series with Ms. Durelle, an art designer. The classes are January 27 and February 3 from 1 to 3 p.m.

HIDDEN GEMS GEOTOUR

New treasures await! Take a geocache tour with League City and explore some of our most scenic spots around town. Discover geocache boxes hiding items like lapel pins, stickers, geocoins, and trinkets of all kinds. We encourage participants to bring little trinkets from home to leave behind in the caches for someone else to find. Start your GeoTour at visitleaguecity.com/geotour.

ENJOY LIVE MUSIC OUTDOORS

Sip a hot cup of coffee and enjoy a baked treat at Soulfreak Railroad Cafe and be sure to stop by the Visitor Center inside. Look forward to acoustic music events on the second Friday of every month from Soulfreak and the last Friday of every month from the League City Historical Society and League City Folk Association.

VISIT A FREE ART GALLERY

Professors from the University of Houston-Clear Lake will be showing off their creative works side-by-side with their students as part of a “Professors and Proteges” exhibit coming in early January. The exhibit will be at League City’s FREE Public Art Gallery located at the Johnnie Arolfo Civic Center, 400 West Walker Street.

CITY MATTERS | League City 16


ANSWERING THE CALL How LCPD is Working to Aid the Mental Health Crisis

As of October 2023, 122 reports have been made by League City police officers responding to mental health-related calls— an average of three calls per week. This number does not include calls where officers show up and an individual is experiencing a mental health crisis that requires a family member or person close to them to transport them to a mental health facility to receive the proper help and care. The sheer volume of local calls, reports, and data surrounding mental health in our state and country has led to LCPD’s decision to better respond to mental health crises in our community. Under the leadership of LCPD’s new Police Chief, Cliff Woitena, a proactive LCPD mental health unit is in the works to be launched in the upcoming year. In April of 2023, the department applied for a $208,000 Implementing Crisis Intervention Teams grant that would help with the costs of resources needed for the new unit, including two unmarked police vehicles, computers, and additional training for the officers assigned. The hope is that the use of unmarked vehicles and civilian or nontraditional clothes instead of police uniforms will help ease the anxiety of individuals experiencing a mental health crisis. “The grant would speed up the process to activate the unit,” said Assistant Chief of Police Stephen Antley. “If we aren’t approved, we will still move forward in the same fashion, but it won’t be as quickly. We would have to plan as to how to budget for the unit.” While the grant is still pending, the department is dedicating time to equip the

17 League City | CITY MATTERS

MENTAL ILLNESS IN THE U.S.

1 IN 5

U.S. adults experience mental illness each year

1 IN 20

U.S. adults experience serious mental illness each year

1 IN 6

U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year

50%

of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24

SUICIDE

is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-14 SOURCE: National Alliance on Mental Illness

City’s officers with proper mental health training. The department currently has 20 certified mental health officers on duty and plans to eventually have all uniformed officers in the department go through the same training. Once the program is a go, the first phase of the team will consist of two mental health officers whose primary mission is to respond and assist residents who are actively in a mental health crisis. Additional responsibilities would include follow-ups on previous calls and repeat calls to see how people are doing, if they are getting the medical assistance they need, if they are taking their medications and prescriptions, and if they need any additional assistance. These proactive efforts are meant to build relationships and keep a line of communication open. With these mental health officers present, it will alleviate some of the resources and time the department and patrol officers spend responding to these crisis calls. As the program progresses, additional personnel will be added onto the team. “League City is experiencing the impact and effects of a nationwide problem,” said Antley. “As a result of the increased demand for police services, we’re looking at a multifaceted approach to deal with this problem. Our goal is to improve our ability to provide exceptional services beyond what has traditionally resulted in officers putting a “band-aid” on a severe health issue. We are continuously advancing our efforts in the ever-increasing area of mental health response.”


CITY COUNCIL Nick Long Mayor 409-927-0856 nick.long@leaguecitytx.gov Andy Mann Mayor Pro Tem 281-554-1221 andy.mann@leaguecitytx.gov Tommy Cones Position 2 409-927-0855 tommy.cones@leaguecitytx.gov Tom Crews Position 3 409-440-5900 tom.crews@leaguecitytx.gov Position 4 *Special Election* Early Voting Dec. 27–Jan. 9 (excludes weekends and Jan. 1) Election Day - Jan. 13 Justin Hicks Position 5 409-204-8944 justin.hicks@leaguecitytx.gov Chad Tressler Position 6 409-218-2916 chad.tressler@leaguecityx.gov Sean Saunders Position 7 713-419-8710 sean.saunders@leaguecitytx.gov

CONTACTS LEAGUE CITY

311 HELP HOTLINE

Have a question, concern or need assistance related to a City service? Call 311 from your mobile or landline phone. Monday-Thursday: 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday: 7:30 a.m. to noon. For police or fire emergency, call 911.

Citizen Request Tracker Is there a pothole on your street that needs to be fixed? An overgrown drainage ditch that needs to be mowed? Request a service from City staff and track its progress by signing up for leaguecity.com/tracker.

Frequently Called Numbers Animal Care 281-554-1377 Building Department 281-554-1429 City Hall 281-554-1000 Code Compliance 281-554-1480 Facility Rental 281-554-1193 Fire Department (non-emergency)

281-554-1465

Fire Marshal 281-554-1290 Helen Hall Library 281-554-1111 Municipal Court 281-554-1060 Parks and Recreation 281-554-1180

SOCIAL MEDIA

Planning and Development

281-554-1080

Police Department (non-emergency)

281-332-2566

Public Works 281-554-1346 Streets, Stormwater, and Traffic

281-554-1086

Utility Billing 281-554-1335 Wastewater 281-554-1320 Water Production 281-554-1041 CITY MATTERS | League City 18


PRESORTED STANDARD US POSTAGE PAID LEAGUE CITY, TX 77573 PERMIT NO. 7

City of League City 300 West Walker Street League City, TX 77573

Saturday

JAZZ Nights LEAGUE PARK

02.24.24 03.23.24 04.27.24 7:30 TO 9 P.M.

More details on page 13.


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