Council Updates

What's on the Council agenda this week, and how it affects you.

Council Update: Sobering Center; Rail Crossing Improvements; Water Treatment Upgrades

Council Member Melissa Noriega—May 16, 2012 in Council Updates

Council Members approved a resolution to create Houston Recovery Center, LGC (Local Government Corporation) to manage the Houston Center of Sobriety as an alternative to jail. Individuals incarcerated in an inebriated state divert health, medical, police and safety resources away from life-threatening and serious crimes. By creating the Houston Recovery Center, inebriated individuals will be redirected from jail to the center where HPD’s Mental Health Unit and community agencies can provide services and intervention programs to assist in the road to recovery.

In a related City Council action, Council approved a lease agreement with Star of Hope as the landlord, for the site of the new Sobering Center at 150 North Chenevert Street.

City Council approved an amendment to Chapter 40 of the Code of Ordinances relating to Monitoring Wells and the Soil Boring program. The results of a recent comparative study to evaluate the Monitoring Well and Soil Boring Permit program concluded the program was not self-sustaining program. Council adopted an initial schedule of fees to recapture actual expenses for administrating the program. During the last fiscal year, the City of Houston performed approximately 2,300 well site inspections and issued 781 permits to protect the environment and the public water supply.

Council Members approved an advance funding agreement between the city and the Gulf Coast Rail District for reimbursement of construction, design and safety improvements relating to eleven grade crossings along the East Belt Rail Corridor. New additions include concrete curb work, installation of guardrails for low traffic crossings, median devices for high traffic crossings pavement markings, and signs. Funding for this project was made available through the Federal Railroad Administration.

Council approved a contract with LEM Construction Co. Inc. to improve the Imperial Valley Wastewater Treatment Plant, 15500 Cotillion Drive, and Northgate Wastewater Treatment Plant, 303 Benmar Drive, Houston. Updated or replaced items include: airlift pumps, air conditioning, electrical equipment for lift station, motors, piping and wet well, pumps, structural, interior ventilation system projects. Improvements to both plants will ensure more efficient operation.