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CHRIS DUQUE — Public works shines, summer options available, budget looms

The week of May 16–22 was “National Public Works Week;” a week to recognize the hard work and efforts of public works employees and how their efforts are vital to making a community better.

Unfortunately, that week was marred by another weather emergency, as the men and woman of the Public Works Department had to respond to the heavy rain event.

Over the past nine months, the Public Works employees have had to respond to three natural disasters, as well as smaller, yet severe weather events.

The Nederland Public Works Department is divided into several divisions: Streets, Water Treatment, Wastewater Treatment, Water & Sewer Distribution, Solid Waste and Animal Control.

The Streets employees work to make sure that City streets are repaired and prepared for re-surfacing, repairing potholes, fixing/replacing street signs and traffic lights, clearing culverts and skimming ditches, etc.

Water Treatment employees manage the City’s water treatment plant on Canal Avenue and ensure the City’s water is treated properly.

Wastewater Treatment employees manage the City’s wastewater (sewer) treatment plant on Hardy Avenie and lift stations.

Water & Sewer Distribution employees are responsible for ensuring the water and wastewater lines are in proper condition.

The Solid Waste employees are responsible for timely emptying of your garbage cans and collecting the trash by the curb.

Animal Control is responsible for making sure loose dogs are picked up (and not potentially run over), working to get those dogs returned to their owner or to a new home, etc.

So, THANK YOU to the men and woman of the Nederland Public Works Department for their hard work and dedication to our community; your efforts are sincerely appreciated and respected.

Congratulations to the Class of 2021 and to the students who completed a difficult school year!

This summer, the City has several options available to keep our youth and community busy.

At the Parks Department, the Nederland Swimming Pool is open; Open Swim is from 1 to 7 p.m. on Wednesdays through Sundays. The rockwall and new waterslide are available this pool season.

The Recreation Center is open to the public. New exercise stations have been installed along the walking trail at Doornbos Park, which is well-lit at night. And the Parks staff is preparing for the 2021 Fireworks Extravaganza on Sunday, July 4th; details on the event are being finalized.

At the Library, the Summer Reading Program is starting. Information on the Library’s programs can be found at ned.lib.tx.us.

This month, the City staff began the fiscal year 2021-2022 budget process. In early July, the City Manager will hold a budget workshop with the City Council, and in August, the proposed budget and proposed tax rate will be discussed.

These meetings are open to the public and offer citizens and taxpayers an opportunity to address any concerns they have or to ask for more information.

The City plans to continue hosting in-person City Council meetings but will offer a virtual option due to the higher participation level with the virtual option.

In August, the City Manager will host the third Town Hall meeting that will focus on the proposed City budget and tax rate; a time and date are pending.

June 1 was the start of the 2021 Hurricane Season. Communication is vital during an emergency. The City utilizes the Southeast Texas Alerting Network (STAN) and our social media pages to push emergency notices.

If you have not already registered for STAN or have family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc., register for STAN at thestan.com.

And follow the City’s Facebook pages: “The City of Nederland, TX,” “Nederland Police Department,” “Nederland Fire Rescue,” “Nederland Recreation Center,” “Marion & Ed Hughes Public Library” and “Nederland Animal Shelter.”

If there are any questions regarding City operations, please contact the City Manager’s Office at 409-723-1503.

 

Chris Duque is city manager for Nederland. He can be reached at CDuque@ci.nederland.tx.us.