CHRIS DUQUE — Plenty to be thankful for and look forward to in Nederland

Published 12:06 am Sunday, November 5, 2023

In November, we celebrate Thanksgiving — a time of giving thanks. As the City, we want to share what we are thankful for.

We are thankful for our country’s veterans. There are no words to adequately describe our appreciation, respect, and gratitude for the men and women who have served in the U.S. military to defend, protect, and ensure our country and its freedoms. God bless you and thank you! And thank you to your families who supported your service! Please join us at Veterans Park on Veterans Day (Friday/Nov. 10) at 10 a.m. as we honor these men and women.

Nederland City Manager Chris Duque

We are thankful for our local businesses that have faced a challenging year due to the impacts of supply chain issues, inflation, and an unsettled economy, but these businesses continue to support our schools, youth recreation teams, etc. Please continue to support our local businesses, especially on Small Business Saturday (Saturday/Nov. 25).

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We are thankful for the Nederland Police Department, Nederland Fire Department, dispatchers, and all other first responders who work diligently.

We are thankful for the Nederland Public Works Department; their staff have had an incredible workload since July due to the impacts of the on-going drought.

We are thankful for the positive efforts at the Nederland Independent School District. The school bond project construction is nearly complete. The students at NISD continue to excel. The students participating in extracurricular activities (athletics, band, cheerleading, Westernaires, choir, etc.) continue to bring prestige to NISD.

We are thankful that the City reduced the tax rate for the fifth consecutive year and has the lowest municipal tax rate in Jefferson County.

We are thankful for the sense of community in Nederland. Local non-profit organizations, churches and clubs have had challenging year helping the elderly, indigent, ill, etc.

We are thankful for all of our City employees who have dealt with new challenges this year. I am proud of the men and women who work for the City of Nederland. We are thankful for the opportunity to serve our amazing community.

We are thankful for the Parks & Recreation Department, Chamber of Commerce, Nederland Heritage Festival, local churches, etc. that hosted Halloween events for the community in October.

We are thankful for the Christmas events scheduled for December: Christmas on the Avenue on Saturday/Dec. 2 from noon to 7 p.m. along Boston Avenue (from 13th Street to Tex Ritter Park), the Nederland Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Lighted Christmas Parade on Tuesday/Dec. 5, and the Nederland Economic Development Corporation’s “12 Days of Christmas” event.

We are thankful for the many businesses and organizations that will be organizing toy, food, blanket, and jacket collection events to assist the needy this holiday season.

And we are thankful for our family and friends, our faith and beliefs, our furry friends, our hometown and all the other blessings in our lives.

The City begins accepting applications for the “City of Nederland 101” program or the citizens academy later this month.

One of the most common requests of all levels of government is greater transparency and sharing more information. In that spirit, town hall meetings (online and in-person) were held after hours starting in 2021; topics discussed were taxes, infrastructure projects, etc.; unfortunately, attendance and participation was minimal.

Rather than stop trying to engage our citizens, we went back to the drawing board. In late January, the “City of Nederland 101” program will start. 20-25 Nederland residents or property owners will attend a six-session program that covers topics including the City government, finances, public safety, quality of life, infrastructure, zoning/development, etc.

Staff is finalizing the curriculum and program.

The Inclusive Playground at Doornbos Park is now open; the City has dedicated this playground to the memory of former City Clerk Gay Ferguson. This is the first of four significant projects at Doornbos Park.

The City has awarded bid for the Doornbos Park Pond Rehabilitation project; this month, work will commence with construction scheduled for completion by spring. The City plans to replace the large pavilion near the new playground; installation should be completed by April 2024.

The City also plans to resurface the tennis courts, including making some pickleball accessible and repairing the lights.

If there are any questions regarding City operations, please contact the City Manager’s Office at 409-723-1503 or you can email cityinfo@ci.nederland.tx.us.

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