Welcome to The Knox Report – February 2021
HPD Helicopter Dedicated to Memory of Fallen Tactical Flight Officer
On January 27th, Mayor Turner and Police Chief Art Acevedo dedicated the police department’s newest helicopter, an Airbus H125, to the memory of fallen Police Officer/Tactical Flight Officer Jason Knox. The helicopter’s registration number, which uniquely identifies the aircraft amongst all others, incorporates Jason’s badge number, 2374. The new aircraft will provide multi-mission capabilities ranging from violent crimes, homeland security, search and rescue, and firefighting.
City of Houston COVID-19 Vaccinations
As of the release of this newsletter, appointments for Houston Health Department vaccine clinics are full based on current supply. Additional appointments are not being scheduled at this time, including via the Area Agency on Aging (and Aging and Disability Resource Center) waitlist. 
Visit https://houstonemergency.org/covid-19-vaccines/ for updates regarding when appointments will resume and other important information.
Learn about new appointment opportunities through email, text message, voice call, or mobile app push notification by registering for the HoustonRecovers subscription of AlertHouston. 
Second Doses
The Houston Health Department continues reaching out by text message and email with information to schedule second doses of COVID-19 vaccine. The messages contain a survey link for people to self-register for a second dose appointment.
If a person does not receive a message and confirm their appointment 48 hours before Moderna’s recommended 28-day due date, please contact the COVID-19 call center at 832-393-4220.
If contact information has changed since a person received their first dose from the health department, please alert the call center.
Sunnyside Solar Project
Council approved an agreement with Sunnyside Energy for the City to lease a 240-acre site that was previously a former Houston landfill. The landfill ceased operations in 1970 and Sunnyside Energy plans to convert the property into a 50 Megawatt solar farm. Following construction, this solar project will generate enough electricity to power 5,000 homes. The project is expected to be operational within the next five years and the City has the option to terminate the project if Sunnyside Energy does not meet certain milestones, or if the project is not properly permitted and operational.
Frontlines Project
Council approved increasing the contract amount from $365,149 to $953,149 using federal resources for the First Responder Opioid Overdose Naloxone Training and Linkage into needed Evidence-Based Services (“Frontlines”) project. The Frontlines project is a collaboration between the Houston Health Department, Houston Fire Department, the Houston Recovery Center, and Baylor College of Medicine. The project will ensure: 1) All HFD response units are equipped with naloxone opioid overdose kits; 2) Professional and lay first responders are trained in recognition and pre-hospice management of a person experiencing opioid overdose, including proper administration of naloxone; and 3) All opioid overdose victims are offered linkages to treatment services, prevention education, and ongoing case management. The increase in funding will be used to hire additional case managers and peer recovery specialists who will provide wraparound services for persons overdosing and needing referral for care.
Affordable Housing Funds to Construct Single-Family Homes
On January 6th, Council approved programming $15 million from the TIRZ Affordable Housing funds to construct single-family homes around the City for low-income Houstonians. For many years, these funds were typically used to build multi-family properties (apartments). Recently, there has been a shift to building single-family homes rather than large apartment complexes.
Human Trafficking Task Force
The month of January was National Human Trafficking Awareness Month. On January 13th, Council approved an interlocal agreement with the Texas Department of Public Safety to support the Human Trafficking Task Force. The City of Houston has made great strides in its efforts and strategies to combat human trafficking.
HFD Training Academy Burn Building
Council approved the final payment of $1.9 million for construction services to renovate the HFD Training Academy Burn Building. Renovations to the 12,000 square foot facility include: live fire training upgrades; retrofitting a new fire environment technology training system and burn cribs; repaired the shell structure; and installed heat shield tiles throughout the building to protect the structure from fire damage.
Houston Public Works
Council approved the final payment of $2.1 million for water line replacement work in the Binglewood area in council district A. This project consisted of 26,412 linear feet of various sized water lines. This type of project is part of the City’s water line replacement program to replace and upgrade water lines throughout the City to increase the availability of water, improve circulation and fire protection.