CHRIS DUQUE — Nederland street, drainage improvements outlined; check out these upcoming special events
Published 12:06 am Friday, March 31, 2023
As we start the month of April, the City of Nederland continues to be busy with a number of projects and issues.
The City was awarded a Hurricane Harvey CDBG Disaster Recovery Grant through the Texas General Land Office to address drainage issues. To meet the grant guidelines, drainage improvements were targeted in the following areas:
• Hilldale/Hill Terrace: Intersection of Hill Terrace and Ave H to the intersection of Hill Terrace and Highway 365; and the intersection of Ave M and South Hilldale to the intersection of North Hilldale and Hill Terrace;
• Nederland Avenue: intersection of 5th Street & Gage to the intersection of Gage & Boston Ave; intersection of Nederland Ave & 3rd St. to intersection of 3rd St. & Boston; intersection of Nederland Ave & 1st St. to intersection of 1st St. & Boston; intersection of Nederland Ave & Texas to intersection of 1st St. & Boston; intersection of Gage & Chicago Ave to intersection of Chicago & 1st St.; intersection of 3rd St. & Gage to intersection of 3rd St. & Nederland Ave; intersection of 2nd St. & Chicago to intersection of 2nd St. & Nederland Ave; and intersection of 1st St. & Chicago to intersection of 1st St. & Nederland Ave
LJA Engineering was selected as the project engineer, and in October, the City Council awarded the bid to Environmental Allies in the amount of $2,244,583.66. Construction commenced in late December. The contractor made considerable progress on the Hilldale/Hill Terrace component of the project; it is now approximately 60 percent complete. However, progress has been delayed while work is done to resolve franchise utility relocation issues (electricity, gas, phone, etc.).
Unfortunately, progress on the Nederland Avenue component of the project has stopped and the contractor is no longer on-site. A design issue with the proposed box culverts must be resolved by the project engineer; they have been aware of this since February. City staff has repeatedly met with the project engineer and contractor to expedite resolving the design issues and conflicts to resume work. At this time, the project completion date remains the same due to the contractor’s prior progress.
The 2023 Concrete Street Rehabilitation project is scheduled to commence in early April. The project includes concrete street repairs of Avenue H from 29th Street to the frontage road and South 21st Street from Helena Ave to Detroit Avenue. The bid was awarded to Brystar Contracting in the amount of $1,395,135.52 that shall be paid via the Street Improvement Fund.
The City has engaged Soutex Surveyors & Engineering for engineering services related to the 2023 Hot Mix Overlay project. The planned road projects are Helena Avenue from 11th St. to the Little League entrance, Gary Avenue from 27th St. to the concrete by West Chicago, 30th St. from Gary Avenue to the concrete on 30th St., Memphis Avenue from 34th St. to Verna, Avenue F from S. 14th St. to S. 15th St., S. 5th St. from Nederland Avenue to Avenue H (this project will require coordinated sewerline repair work), S. 7th St. from Avenue E to Avenue H, Avenue E from S. 6th St. to S. 7th St., and West Chicago from 27th St. to Gary. The plan is for the road work to start later this summer.
QUALITY OF LIFE
Construction has commenced at Doornbos Park; the swimming pool parking lot has been torn up and will be replaced; and concrete repairs of the Recreation Center parking lot have also started. Due to funding limitations, continued parking lot improvements will be completed over the next several budget cycles.
The City Council authorized the purchase of a new inclusive playground that will be built at Doornbos Park near the tennis courts. The project is scheduled for completion in late October. The City Council held a public hearing regarding the planned Doornbos Park Pond project. The scope of work includes dredging 24” of silt buildup and any debris in the pond, maintaining the shoreline, installing concrete cap to the shoreline and installing a floating aerator fountain at the rear of the pond.
The City bid the project out last year, and the low bid was over $1.2M, which was over double the project estimate and allocated funding. The project engineer, C.T. Brannon Corporation, has developed a series of methods to reduce the project cost including utilizing a fiberglass product for the wall and dredging the island and other areas along the pond. A public hearing was held to solicit public input; the only input received addressed the possibility of seeking federal grant funding.
At this time, the parks director is working toward starting construction in late summer or early fall.
The 2023 Pool Season is quickly approaching. The City has contracted with the YMCA of Southeast Texas to again operate the Nederland Swimming Pool. The Pool Season starts May 31 and runs through Labor Day in September.
Pool party reservations will start at 10 a.m. April 10; all pool party reservations will be made at the Nederland Recreation Center.
This year, the City of Nederland will hold an election for two positions on the City Council – councilmember ward 1 and councilmember ward 3. The incumbent Councilmember ward 1, Talmadge Austin, decided not to run for re-election; three individuals have filed to run for this office.
The incumbent Councilmember ward 3, Randy Sonnier, filed for re-election and is running unopposed. In addition, a special election will be held to re-authorize the Streets Sales Tax. First approved in 2007, the Streets Sales Tax is a quarter-cent sales and use tax exclusively for the maintenance and rehabilitation of existing public streets; the Streets Sales Tax is not an additional sales tax.
The City’s May 2023 election will be held May 6. All voting will be held at City Hall (207 North 12th Street); there are no other voting locations. Early voting begins April 24 and ends May 2; April 25 and May 2 are the 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; the polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. all other early voting days; and there is no weekend voting.
First Baptist Church is hosting their annual Easter Fest April 8 at Doornbos Park from 9 to 11 a.m. The event is open to the public. The event will include an Easter Egg Hunt (with 20,000 candy-filled eggs), crafts, trackless train, hot dogs, dunk tank, games, face painting, cupcake walk, inflatables and door prizes.
The National Day of Prayer is May 4 in front of City Hall.
In May, the City will start the fiscal year 2023-2024 budget process. Any suggestions, concerns or interests in adding, amending or eliminating City services should be addressed to the City Manager’s Office as the budget preparation begins.
We hope everyone had an enjoyable time at the 2023 Nederland Heritage Festival.
The NHF director, board and volunteers did an incredible job. The City employees (police officers, firefighters, public works employees, etc.) who worked the event did a great job as well.
We look forward to next year’s NHF!
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.