During the Mayor’s report at the beginning of today’s council session, Mayor Turner released the most current homicide data for the City of Houston as of September 5. He proudly proclaimed that Houston was not the most dangerous city in America, but in fact was the third most dangerous city in America. Houston (308) stands behind Chicago (465) and Philadelphia (373) in the number of homicides committed to date this calendar year.
Council approved final payment of $3.2 million for the Kress Street Drainage and Paving Improvements project. The project consists of 72-inch storm sewers, inlets, concrete pavement, curbs, and five-foot wide sidewalks with wheelchair ramps. The construction also involved water and wastewater lines adjustments to accommodate improvements. The project area is located in east Houston along Kress Street between Larimer and Clinton Drive.
Council approved spending $36.6 million to construct a 72-inch water line for a major drainage and street project along Kipling, Woodhead and Branard from Mt. Vernon to Greenbriar. This project consists of rehabilitation and replacement of water, sewer, storm sewer utilities, traffic signals replacement, roadway reconstruction, sidewalks, wheelchair ramps, and tree protection. The project is scheduled to be completed in early 2025.
Council approved the creation of the Houston Music Advisory Board. The Board will be responsible for advising and making recommendations to the Mayor, Council, and the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs to address issues, opportunities, and challenges to advance the local music community and provide recommendations for improvement. The Board will consist of nine members and three alternates. These members will be Houston residents who are active in the music industry and will serve a term of two years.
Council approved the purchase of 225 police vehicles of which 21 will be hybrid. This contract is part of an ongoing multi-year process to replace older city vehicles which have outlived their useful life and are beyond repair.
Council approved spending $5.4 million for the Permitting Center’s IT permitting and inspection system. The new system called HouPermits will be a workflow driven application providing a new customer portal, back-end comprehensive web-application and mobile application for Field Inspector use. This system is scheduled to go live in 2024.
Council approved a ten-year $310 million project to develop the Buffalo Bayou East project. With funding from the City, County, Buffalo Bayou Partnership, and a generous $100 million gift from the Kinder Foundation, the east side of Buffalo Bayou from Jensen Drive to the Port of Houston Turning Basin will be transformed with parks, new area streets, and hike and bike trail trails.
Council approved funds to assess the feasibility of two possible sites to be used for flooding detention. These two sites are located in west Houston just east of Beltway 8. The federal government is supplementing the cost to perform this study. Once it is determined if one, or both, of these sites are viable options for detention locations, the City, in coordination with TIRZ 17, will take the next steps in working with the property owners to access/acquire these sites to build the detention.
Council approved a contract with WorkQuest Janitorial Services to provide janitorial work at Houston Public Works facilities. This contract is for five years at twelve smaller Public Works facilities that were not included in HPW’s full-service maintenance contract. WorkQuest is a state program that provides employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
Council approved spending $3.8 million to reconstruct Windfern Road from Clay Road to Wingfoot Road. This street reconstruction also includes stormwater, fire hydrants and sidewalk improvements. This project, located in northwest Houston, is expected to begin in January 2023 and take approximately one year to complete.
Council approved holding three public hearings to present and discuss the City’s upcoming bond propositions. The three hearings will be held: Wednesday, October 5 at 6:00pm; Wednesday, October 12 at 6:00pm; and Wednesday, October 19 at 9:00am. All of these public meetings will be held in the Houston City Council Chamber located at 901 Bagby, Houston, Texas, 77002. The public is encouraged to attend and make their voices heard.