By KAROLYN GEPHART
Drainage was an important topic for 2018 in Pearland. City officials worked with the Brazoria County Drainage District No. 4 to put together a master drainage plan. The city continues to look at flood mitigation improvements.
Pearland Regional Airport was awarded a state grant in 2018 for safety and security updates.
An election for Pearland City Council Position 4 was held in May. Adrian Hernandez was elected to the council position.
In the Pearland ISD election, Crystal Carbone in Position 3 and incumbent Sean Murphy in Position 4 were elected.
In remembrance of fallen Pearland Police Officer Endy Ekpanya, the US Post Office at 2700 Cullen Blvd. was named the Endy Nddlobong Ekpanya Post Office Building, after a bill was signed by President Donald Trump in March.
In May, the dedication ceremony of the Officer Endy Ekpanya Memorial Highway (FM 518) was held. Representative Ed Thompson worked on the passage of HB 938 during the 85th Legislative Session.
Road work was an important area of construction in the city all year. The Fite Road extension project was one example of the areas that were completed. It connects Veterans Drive to McLean Road. A new area of Centennial Park and ball fields now have an access point.
Two new taxing districts were created in Pearland outside the city limits to begin paying for fire protection and emergency medical services. Voters in the areas approved the creation of emergency services districts No. 4 and 5. This occurred after two of three annexations to the city in 2018 were repealed in November.
The City of Pearland held an official reopening ceremony in November for Centennial Park located at 3219 McLean Road, and the trail project that connects it with Independence Park. The $2.2 million trail project was completed along with other improvements to Centennial Park.
Community leader Dale Pillow retired in 2018 after more than 30 years of advocating literacy in the city. She gave her farewell in a keynote speech at the Adult Literacy Luncheon and had many retirement events and a roast as Pearland thanked her for her contributions to the city and her impact on so many.
The Alliance for Art and Culture held its first art walk and open house with Mayor Tom Reid giving the State of the Arts in Pearland address. Reid also had his portrait painted by local artist Vicky Gooch placed in the Tom Reid Library.
In city awards, Pearland and Friendswood are two of the Texas cities that have been recognized as Certified Scenic City Award recipients through the Scenic City Certification Program. The program is a project of Scenic Texas with 15 Program Partner organizations.
Pearland had a great year for having events for its residents. Some of the successful activities include Pura Nava Indian Cultural Fest 2018, Paws in the Park, Talk of the Town Business Showcase, Pearland Bike Rodeo, Pearland Opry on the Square events, Concerts in the Park, MLK Celebration of Unity, Veterans Day Walk, Celebration of Freedom on July 4, the lighted Christmas parade, Tri a Little thon, tree giveaway, spring fishing classic, golf tournaments, style shows, Earth Day events, Pocket Pear Speakeasy party and many other fundraisers by area organizations.
The new year offers great opportunities for Pearland and the City and its residents can look back to a great 2018.