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CHRIS DUQUE — Get your Nederland tax, school & road work update

In August, the Nederland City Council will begin the process of adopting the fiscal year 2021-2022 budget and the tax rate.

The proposed budget will be formally submitted to the City Council on Monday/Aug. 16. In accordance with the City Charter, a public hearing on the budget will be held on Monday/Aug. 30 at 4:30 p.m.

In July, a budget workshop was held with the city manager and department heads presenting each departments’ budgets. In addition to taking action on the proposed budget, the City Council must take action to set a proposed tax rate; the tax rate public hearing will be held on Monday/Aug. 30 at 4:30 p.m.

The City received the certified taxable values on July 26; the overall increase was over $158,000,000, an increase of 12.78 percent.

The city manager is submitting a budget to the City Council that utilizes the “no-new revenue” tax rate that will result in the tax rate decreasing due to the appraisal increase. It is important to note that the State Comptroller’s Office’s Property Value Study determined appraised values in Jefferson County were substantially below their study’s calculated market value, which resulted in the Jefferson County Appraisal District finding alternate methods to assess properties.

The City is independent of the property appraisal process.

School begins

The Nederland Independent School District’s 2021-22 school year begins Thursday/Aug. 12. The speed limit in school zones is 20 miles per hour; Nederland PD will be patrolling school areas.

Per state law, a driver cannot use their phone while in a school zone so no texting and driving. Each school campus has a drop-off/pick-up system in place for efficiency and safety.

Please obey the school crossing guards’ directions.

Two construction projects will impact the start of the school year. Avenue H between 12th and 14th Streets remains closed as the concrete street is repaired. The street should re-open in September.

The 18th Street bridge remains closed so high school traffic must utilize Spurlock Road or 20th Street. The bridge should be open by the middle of September, weather-permitting.

City crews are attempting to keep up with the potholes on Seattle near the high school; the road was not designed to handle the heavy truck traffic from the new high school construction.

The City plans to address the roads once the construction project is completed. The bridge project will result in a dedicated left-turn lane at the bridge to help the flow of traffic.

Best of luck to the young Bulldogs as they start the new school year.

Storm watch

The 2021 Hurricane Season began June 1, and the latest forecast prediction calls for an above-average 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. who have not already registered, please register for STAN at https://thestan.com or call 844-578-7826.

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.”

Town Hall

The City is hosting another quarterly TOWN HALL meeting on Tuesday/Aug. 17 at 6 p.m. The Town Hall will be broadcast via the City’s Facebook page and will also be open to in-person attendance at City Hall.

This is the third meeting this year. The focus of the Town Hall will be the proposed budget and taxes, but the forum is open for questions, comments, etc. on City business.

I want to thank the people who participated or watched the videos, but overall attendance/participation has been minimal.

Vaccine

Finally, the City is strongly urging all eligible individuals to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The federal government, state government and leading medical experts all recommend vaccinations and recognize vaccination is the strongest tool to contain the pandemic.

Citizens are urged to wear a mask and social distance as much as possible.

Local hospitals are gravely concerned with the impact this latest surge will have on the services they provide and how it will impact medical professionals.

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.