Friendswood Council discusses blvd project, hurricane, pandemic

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By Karolyn Gephart

Friendswood Lakes Boulevard Project was discussed at the Friendswood City Council meeting June 1, 2020.

The project was part of the 2017 Bond Program. Designed by the county engineer in Galveston County, the final design was completed for the extension of Friendswood Lakes Blvd (also known as Friendswood Parkway) from North Eagle Creek to the final point in West Ranch.

According to City officials, the project although designed, has not been put out for bids due to drainage coordination, to approval needed by several agencies; and to account for the multiple developments immediately adjacent to the project.

Friendswood Lakes Blvd is set for bid advertisement and award this summer, with construction scheduled to start this fall.

  A Hurricane Harvey Update was also provided for Council at the meeting.

The City Manager reported that in regards to the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program – Buyouts/Acquisitions, 24 properties were included in the initial application, 3 properties have closed, 7 properties are under negotiations and were sent final offer letters and 14 properties declined offers.

The Request for Proposal (RFP) for demolition and removal services on the June agenda Texas Water Development Board – Flood Mitigation Assistance Grant has 4 properties included in the initial application, 2 properties closed/soon to be closed upon, one property under negotiation and one property declined offer.

The RFP for demolition and removal services on the June agenda for the CDBG-Disaster Recovery (Harris County) had a Kick-off meeting with Harris County held for the Blackhawk Facility (old Food Lion), finalized contract for the Forest Bend Detention.

The Project CDBG-Disaster Recovery (Galveston County) is working with the GLO to finalize program contract for: (1) Frenchman’s Creek and Deepwood acquisitions; and (2) Deepwood and Utility Line Crossing flood mitigation projects.

In separate funding Interlocal Agreement with GCCDD on the June agenda will be to acquire 9 properties along Clear Creek and in the final review for the Deepwood/Shadwell damage costing/project efforts.

    Also given at the meeting was a COVID-19 update.

Friendswood city staff has implemented and continues to follow the Continuity of Operations and Pandemic Plans by monitoring the pandemic; cancelling some public gatherings and events; working on alternative services for Concerts in the Park/Movies in the Park, disinfecting workspaces and vehicles; ramping up communications, both internally and externally, of CDC advisories, and; reopening almost all City facilities to the public with safety measures in place.

The City is evaluating modifications to the 4th of July celebration, and pursuing Coronavirus Relief Funding via the CARES Act.

A Public Health Event Declaration has been made in accordance with the Pandemic Plan.

Regarding upcoming elections, the Street Maintenance Reauthorization Sales Tax measure has been moved to November. City staff is working with State legislators about changes to the code to allow for Friendswood to fall into the 8 or 10 year cycle for Street Maintenance Sales Tax periods.

Friendswood Public Library will house the County Primary Runoff Election in July according to city officials.

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