Parks plan, fire station progressing

In News by Reporter News

The long discussed opening of Lake Friendswood to the public is moving closer to reality.

City Council on Monday heard a report on ongoing capital improvement projects, including the plan to convert the largely city-owned lake, also known as Lake Windemere, into public green space.

According to city documents, an agreement has been struck with Friendswood Development Co. for improving access to the lake. FDC reportedly has agreed to allow access through the West Ranch Subdivision, and will build 55 to 60 parking spaces, a restroom and concession pavilion and automatic gate for controlled access.

Design services are under way through a recently approved contract with Wilson McClain to design improvements that include a walking trail, fishing pier and canoe/kayak launch.

Meanwhile, discussions continue regarding another planned project: a trail featuring a pedestrian bridge that would link Stevenson and Old City parks. Modeling effort and final design plans are under way for the bridge, which will span Cowart’s Creek, but staff continues to work with nearby property owners regarding the alignment of a trail system to and from the bridge.

The expansion of Fire State No. 4 and the construction of a new fire station also moved forward with the hiring of a construction manager Monday at risk for the projects.

Six proposals were received and reviewed in November and staff recommended the contract be awarded to Durotech Inc. for $6,500 for pre-construction fees in addition to 3.45 percent of construction cost. The council approved the item unanimously.

The city council voted to approve the first reading of a request for a specific use permit for 108 West Edgewood Drive, allowing New Hope Community Christian Church to proceed with planned expansions.

Council gave final approval of a new ordinance prohibiting the sale and possession of illicit synthetic drugs.

The substances are similar to marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamines – but are often sold “over the counter” at convenience stores, gas stations and tobacco shops. Packaging states the products are not for human consumption, but this is usually inconsistent with their design, labeling and marketing. Because the makers of the drugs change the formulas or packaging slightly, prior state laws banning them have not been effective.
Friendswood Police Chief Bob Weiners says the problem is a nationwide one, and nearby Houston is not unknown for this type of activity.

The city’s ban contains “a definition of illicit synthetic drugs, but does not name specific compounds.” Instead, it relates the substance to its effects on the human body.

Examples of synthetic drugs now banned within the city are “bath salts,” sold as crystalline powder in a small bag with names such as Ivory Wave, Blow, Red Dove, Vanilla Sky, Aura, Zeus 2, Zoom, Bliss, Blue Silk, White Lightning, Ocean, Charge, White Dove and others. Also banned are herbal incense sold under the names Spice, K2 and Mojo.

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