City OKs drainage contract, HUD projects

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Pearland City Council on Monday moved forward on drainage improvements in the Old Townsite and approved projects for an annual federal housing grant.

Council on Monday approved a $400,000 contract with Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam, Inc. for engineering services for the Southeast Quadrant of the Old Townsite Drainage Improvements. The action also authorized use of $175,000 from the city’s fund balance.

“We’re looking to work with Baker’s Landing for some of this detention,” City Manager Clay Pearson said of an ongoing drainage project undertaken by the city.

The eastern portion of Old Pearland has significant drainage issues, council members agreed.

“You’ve got to remember that the Old Townsite was built in the late 40s and 50s and added on later,” Mayor Tom Reid said. “Construction and permitting requirements were not what they are today.”

Looking ahead to building a surface water treatment plant, council approved a $376,000 contract with Ardurra Group LLC for professional services to begin the process.

Described by Pearson as a “complex, highly regulated, multiple-year project,” the plant would be done in phases, with the final one to be completed in 2029 to 2032 when the city approaches build-out. With its estimated capacity of 20 million gallons in the final phase, Pearland would meet the 70 percent surface water eventually required by the Harris County Subsidence District, a special purpose district created to regulate the increasing amount of groundwater withdrawal and reliance.

The city this year received seven nonprofit applications for a $325,431 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grant program, which can be used only for specified purposes. Five of those projects were forwarded to the city with a recommendation, one of which was a request from Forgotten Angels, which is working on a 4,000-square-foot facility for vocational training for adults with disabilities. The recommendation for funding for Forgotten Angels was $118,150.

This year’s grant is about $6,000 more than the city usually receives, grants coordinator Joel Hardy said.

Also recommended and approved by council for the program are a “Meals on Wheels” program, counseling services for low-moderate income Pearland residents, emergency utility and rent assistance, and a youth health/fitness initiative offered by a new local agency that provides similar services for police/fire public safety officers and military veterans. Approximately $93,000 will be dedicated to code enforcement and housing repair.

Story by Nicole Jones

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