CHRIS DUQUE — Nederland outlines construction projects, COVID recovery fund, upcoming events

Published 12:34 am Sunday, February 6, 2022

Things are very busy at the City of Nederland right now.

Construction projects are underway or preparing to move forward; the City is finalizing plans to spend its Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery allocation and we are planning upcoming community events.

Nederland City Manager Chris Duque

CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS

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In regard to construction projects, the City awarded bid for the 2021/2022 Concrete Street Rehabilitation project. Repairs are being made to 30th Street from Nederland Avenue to West Atlanta and to Avenue H between 14th Street and 29th Street.

In addition, a new concrete parking lot is being built at Babe Ruth park; this will be utilized by the Babe Ruth league and Adaptive Sports for Kids.

The City has awarded bid for drainage improvements at the Avenue N/17th Street intersection. In addition, the City is out for bid on the 2022 Flexible Pavement Rehabilitation project (hot mix overlay) of Boston Avenue (railroad right-of-way to 9th Street), Hardy Avenue (Avenue A to Avenue H), 33rd Street (Hardy Ave to Avenue H), South 25th Street (Nederland Avenue to Avenue H), 9th Street (Helena to Nederland Avenue), 10th Street (Helena to Boston Avenue), and Beauxart Garden Road (Holmes Road to Shelly).

Later this year, the City will also address the concrete street repairs of 21st Street (Detroit to Helena), and utilizing Harvey Disaster Recovery Program funds ($4,259,659), drainage improvements will be completed in the Hilldale/Hill Terrace area and the areas near 3rd Street, Texas, and 1st Street between Nederland Ave and Boston Ave.

In terms of quality of life, the City is moving forward on the new play features at 5th Street Park – a new swing set and another play feature. After this, the City plans to move forward with the half-court basketball court at Cropo LeBlanc Park.

The Parks Department is finalizing the addition of a new playground at Doornbos Park. Later this spring, the Marion & Ed Hughes Public Library will be closed for several weeks while the 15-year-old carpet is replaced; the Library plans to provide curbside service during this period.

RECOVERY FUND

There have been two public hearings to discuss the City’s Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund allocation of $4,304,289.72.

The American Rescue Plan specifies the funding may be spent for the following purposed:

  • To respond to the public health emergency with respect to COVID-19 or its negative economic impacts, including assistance to households, small businesses, and nonprofits, or aid to impacted industries such as tourism, travel, and hospitality;
  • To respond to workers performing essential work during the COVID-19 public health emergency by providing premium pay to eligible workers of the State, territory, or tribal government that are performing such essential work, or by providing grants to eligible employers that have eligible workers who perform essential work;
  • For the provision of government services to the extent of the reduction of revenue of such State, territory, or Tribal government due to the COVID-19 public health emergency relative to revenues collected in the most recent full fiscal year of the State, territory, or tribal government prior to the emergency;
  • To make necessary investments in water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure.

The City is working on several programs with the funds. The first program is the City of Nederland Non-Profit Partnership Grant Program. A non-profit may be eligible if it can demonstrate decreased revenue, financial insecurity, increased costs, capacity to weather financial hardship, and/or challenges covering payroll, rent, or mortgage and other operating costs.

This Program would focus on non-profits providing specific services to the community (including economic development, emergency food assistance, public health, mental health support, family violence and child abuse prevention, services, and support for victims, after-school programs for kids, technology access, residential assistance programs for seniors, food preparation and delivery services to people in need, job training and placement, revenue replacement, shelter/prevention of homelessness, and long-term care), but this list has not been finalized.

The City Council plans to move forward with this Program at its Feb. 14 meeting.

The second planned program is investing in water and sewer infrastructure. Other planned programs being discussed are a vaccination incentive/small business assistance program and utility bill assistance; both of these programs are in the draft stage and will be discussed at a later city council meeting.

EVENTS

Later this month, the Nederland Rotary Club will hold its annual HOOKED ON FISHING, NOT ON DRUGS event at Doornbos Park. It is scheduled for Saturday/Feb. 26 starting at 8:30 a.m.

The following Saturday, March 5, the City is holding its annual TRASH BASH event; volunteers help clean and beautify City parks and other high-profile areas.

Any organization or individuals who would like to volunteer can do so by contacting the Parks Department at 409-724-0773.

Next month, the Nederland Heritage Festival plans to resume during Spring Break week.

MISCELLANEOUS

The City has launched the Spay and Neuter Program to provide financial assistance to help control the pet population.

The application can be downloaded from the City’s website at ci.nederland.tx.us.

This month, the City plans to resume the Military and Veteran Banner Program; the application will be posted on the City’s Facebook pages and website.

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.