Manvel residents will soon see amended school zone times in the city. Member Larry Akery requested council consider a change after hearing from several citizens on the matter. Specifically he requested changing the evening time from 5PM to 4PM, which he considered more reasonable, and perhaps eliminating the zone on Cemetery Road altogether. Presently the city has one school zone time for all three campuses even though they have staggered start times and are not in close proximity to each other.
Member Melody Hanson was the only council member serving when the present times were decided some five years back. She recalled council wanted to come up with a uniform school zone time to be simple for drivers to remember. But Hanson feels now that “the schools are so far apart that it doesn’t make sense when Rodeo Palms is in session that someone over near the high school or elementary school should be driving 20 miles per hour. Hanson was in favor of addressing the matter saying “it just bogs everything down.” She favors implementing three separate times around the individual school “that the child is getting in or out of at that time.”
Mayor Delores Martin recalled the thinking at the time was “if we put up three separate school zones we would be a ticket monger, or trying to catch people as they changed from one school to the other.” But now with the junior high school no longer in operation at Lewis Lane and the elementary school set a good distance back from Hwy 6 that Martin feels it is no longer necessary to have a unified time.
City Manager Kyle Jung recommended two zones, one for EC Mason Elementary and another for the junior high and high school. He reminded council that a new junior high will be opening behind Manvel High School in August 2015 and that it should be taken into account now so that the time would not have to be amended again when the school begins operation next year. Jung also condoned the elimination of the zone along Cemetery Road. EC Mason would see zones between 7 and 9 AM and 2:30 to 4 PM. The junior high and high school zones would end ½ hour sooner in the afternoons at 4:30 PM.
Council ultimately agreed to eliminate the Cemetery Road zone and to amend the school zone times as follows: EC Mason Elementary from 7 to 9 AM and 2:30 to 4 PM, Rodeo Palms Junior High from 8-9 AM and 2:30 to 4:30 PM, and Manvel High School from 6:30 to 9 AM and 2:30 to 4:30 PM. The new times will go into effect once new signage is able to be installed.
In other council news, the city’s Code of Ordinances was amended to prohibit saltwater, injection, and disposal wells from being located within the city limits or the city’s extra territorial jurisdiction (ETJ). The purpose of the change is to protect the water supply serving city residents. Mayor Martin said “water is out lifeline and any contamination that is put below the ground can ruin our supply.” The amendment was unanimously approved.