Members of the Houston City Council heard a report on Houston Park Board activities last year, purchased material for its fiber-to-the-home internet system under construction and bought a new truck for the fire department during a short meeting Tuesday.
Brad Evans of the Houston Park Board gave a detailed report on the organization’s activities during the last year. Some of the accomplishments included the launch of revamped pool at the Westside Park, where a new bathhouse, conference room and offices are under construction. Bicyclists also will have 24-hour access to showers. Plans call for adding a half basketball court there.
Evans said while enrollment in some programs had been down due to COVID-19, numbers at a recent basketball league had shown signs of improvement.
Renovations were praised at the Houston Municipal Golf Club east of Houston that was purchased by the city. New software for park program registrations was implemented and may be used to manage members by the use of a scannable tag, Evans said.
Evans also highlighted new basketball courts that were installed at Emmett Kelly Park and north of there near Brushy Creek. He said the board also hoped to hold camps to teach skills to children. He cited a successful one conducted for young golfers.
A long-term project for the board is the addition of ball fields and a recreational center.
In other matters, members:
•Finalized paperwork for a Federal Recreation Trails Program grant that would assist in extending the Village Trail’s Brushy Creek leg. That would allow for a bridge across the stream for a trail expansion in front of the justice center.
•Approved purchasing a new Ford F-250 4 x 4 crew cab truck for the fire department. The cost was $34,283 from Joe Machin Ford in Columbia under a state contract. The city will inquire with Piney River Ford in Houston if it is able to price it similarly. It will be outfitted with several options. There is about $46,000 in the city’s 2021 budget.
•Accepted a transformer quote from Harry Cooper in Springfield for $12,760.
•Authorized spending no more than $82,003 for fiber needed for its internet system that is under construction. Costs continue under budget, it was stated. The council learned that new software has been identified to manage billings and track inventory for the system. A pre-construction meeting with a contractor is slated soon to discuss work on Oak Hill Drive. A test area of about 15 residences is expected to launch around March 11.
•Heard City Administrator Scott Avery give a financial report. Fund balances increased and sales tax collection was good, he said.
•Made plans to attend the March 6 Houston Area Chamber of Commerce banquet.
•Complimented city workers who kept city streets passable during recent winter storms. Several departments pitched in to help on the effort.
•Adjourned into a closed session.