June 22, 2017

2-to-1 Partnership with TxDOT Adds Drainage to 610/59 Interchange Project, Renews Focus on Long-Term Needs

The IH-610 drainage system is a major component of our storm water infrastructure.  Unfortunately, its woefully insufficient capacity also makes it a major problem contributing to flooding.  During heavy rainfall events the freeway tends to act as a dam to the general flow of runoff, causing water levels to rise on the frontage roads, rendering them impassable.  As rain continues to fall with nowhere else to go, it backs up into the adjacent neighborhoods.  Simply put, even with some improvements made in 2000 the 50-plus-year-old system is outdated and severely undersized.

The City of Bellaire has for years raised the issue with TxDOT, but without any construction projects to tie it to we’ve not made much progress.  The impending 610/59 interchange project presented just such an opportunity, and we’re very pleased that TxDOT has responded to our renewed requests.  This week the City Council approved an agreement to partner with TxDOT in funding a new 10’ x 8’ box culvert adjacent to the interchange project, running 1,850 linear feet from just south of Westpark down to Glenmont.  Of the $3 million estimated cost, the City will contribute $1 million and TxDOT will fund the rest, including any overages.  By any measure this is a terrific deal for Bellaire.

June 20, 2017

Board and Commission Applications at an All-Time High

We’re fortunate in Bellaire to have a great number of citizen volunteers interested in and willing to serve on our several city boards and commissions.  So many, in fact, that this year we’ve set a new record.  Looking at just the past 10 years we’ve averaged around 31 applicants, ranging from a low of 25 to a high of 36.  This year we fielded 42 applications, exceeding the average by more than a third.  The City Clerk observed that for the first time she can recall, a few of the appointment ballots extended onto a second page.