News from District G
 March 2, 2016

Houston City Council Member Greg Travis

Contact Information:

900 Bagby, 1st Floor
Houston, TX 77002

P.O. Box 1562
Houston, TX 77251-1562

Phone: (832) 393-3267

Fax: (832) 393-9571


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In This Issue
Dear Friends,

It's RODEO time! The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo offers a wonderful opportunity to showcase our beautiful city and Texan roots. I had a great time last Saturday riding a horse in the parade and seeing the kids lining the streets in their cowboy hats and boots. I sure hope you'll get into the spirit and head over to NRG Park to experience some rodeo fun over the next few weeks.  
I also hope you are able to join me at the annual District G Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) meeting this Thursday night March 3rd. More details on this meeting are listed below. This is my first time to host a CIP meeting, and I'm very eager to meet you and your neighbors and get your input on capital projects in your area. I want to hear from you about scheduled projects, ongoing projects and projects you want to see happen. Please make every effort to join me and my staff on Thursday night.
I hope you enjoy this edition of News from District G. I welcome this opportunity to bring you up to date on issues and happenings at City Hall and in the district. Thanks for letting me serve you.
Greg Travis
Important Upcoming Meetings
Annual District G CIP Meeting to be Held March 3
A reminder the annual District G Capital Improvement Plan meeting will be held on March 3, 2016, at 6:30 p.m. at Stratford High School Auditorium, 14555 Fern Dr., Houston, TX 77079.   Mayor Sylvester Turner will be in attendance to discuss some of his important initiatives as well as issues important to District G residents.
A number of the Public Works & Engineering Department's community outreach team will be in attendance starting at 6:00 p.m. If you have questions about an ongoing construction project (streets, drainage, water, sanitary sewer) or a future CIP project, you are invited to visit one-on-one with a member of the outreach team before the meeting.
Capital Improvement Plan meetings are held every year to inform citizens of upcoming projects scheduled in their respective communities. The meetings also afford citizens the opportunity to address their council representative and city officials about project planning and delivery.
To view the current Adopted FY2016-2020 CIP, visit:
The proposed FY2017-2021 CIP will not be released until after the final district CIP meeting has been conducted.


Houston Housing Authority to Host Public Meeting Regarding the Proposed 2640 Fountain View Project



A reminder the Houston Housing Authority will hold a public meeting regarding the proposed four story 233-unit low-income housing tax credit project to be located at 2640 Fountain View. The meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 9, 2016, at 6:00 p.m. at Briargrove Elementary School Auditorium, located at 6145 San Felipe St., Houston, TX 77057. All interested residents are invited to attend.
Council Member Travis opposes this project, as does Congressman John Culberson, State Senator Joan Huffman, State Representative Jim Murphy, and HISD Trustee Harvin Moore. Each has written a letter outlining their objections to this project that can be viewed on our homepage:
HHA Contact Information:
Telephone: (713) 260-0705
HHA has created a project-specific website for this proposed development which contains elevation views of the proposed building, conceptual renderings, FAQs, and contact information

Army Corps of Engineers to Provide Addicks and Barker Construction Update
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District will hold a public meeting March 9, 2016, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Bear Creek Community Center, 16001 Clay Road, Houston, TX 77084, to update area residents and business owners about the Addicks and Barker Dam Safety Program, the 2016 Addicks and Barker construction plans and the proposed Section 216 Study.
The USACE Galveston District awarded a contract in the amount of $71,902,340 to Granite Construction Company in 2015 for construction of new outlet structures at the Addicks and Barker Dams in west Houston.
For those who are unable to participate in the public meeting but wish to provide feedback, log on to Keep apprised of construction updates at
For additional information about the Addicks and Barker Dam Safety Program, please visit; email or call 409-766-3004 or find them on Facebook at

Memorial Drive Reconstruction Project Public Engagement Meeting Scheduled for March 24
The Memorial Drive Reconstruction Project (Kirkwood to Eldridge) will begin in the next two weeks.  In order to share the schedule, plans and other important information with interested residents, PWE will host a public engagement meeting on March 24, 2016, at 6:30 pm at BridgePoint Bible Church youth activity room, 13277 Katy Freeway, Houston, TX 77079.
This project was approved by the Texas Transportation Commission in the 2013-2016 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). The State of Texas will refund the city eighty percent of the construction costs up to a maximum of $12,647,308.00, which will be reimbursed through monthly billings as costs are incurred.
Construction is scheduled to begin on March 15, 2016, and to continue through July 23, 2018.

Draft Houston Bike Plan Released for Public Comment
The Planning & Development Department has released the Draft Houston Bike Plan. Interested residents are encouraged to submit their comments on the draft plan by April 11, 2016.
To view the plan: Representatives of the Planning and Development Department will have a table at our March 3 District G CIP meeting and will be available to answer questions, provide additional information, and receive your comments.
The bike plan begins with existing conditions, 495 miles of existing accessible Houston roads and bikeways (221 miles of off-street, 109 miles of dedicated on-street, and 165 miles of shared on-street):
Next are additional bikeways that can be accomplished in the short term (including many of the projects by Bayou Greenways 2020, linking our bayou hike and bike corridors:
Finally there is the long-term vision, or additional bikeways that can be added over the long term with significant additional funding, and some key concepts, including utilization of the CenterPoint Energy transmission line rights-of-way:
To provide comments online or fill out the survey, visit the support and feedback page:

The Energy Corridor District 2015 Master Plan 
The Energy Corridor District 2015 Master Plan is a concept of "what could be" in the Energy Corridor, a possible future featuring major park transformations, redefined transportation centers and thoroughfares, even a revamped Grisby Square. It includes Focus Area Plans (The Energy Corridor Transit Center, Terry Hershey Park, and Grisby Square) as well as Street Design Projects (Eldridge Parkway/Enclave Parkway realignment concept, Park Row extension and improvement, Memorial Drive redesign between Eldridge and State Hwy. 6 including the additional of dedicated bike lanes, Briar Forest Drive bike lanes, and Grisby Road extension).
A representative of the Energy Corridor District will have a table be at the March 3 District G CIP Meeting and will be available to provide additional information and answer your questions regarding the Master Plan.
You can view and provide on-line comment separately on each of these eight concept plans here:

2016 Census Test Beginning Soon
The U.S. Census Bureau plans to conduct a 2016 Census Test in selected areas of Harris County, including all of District G outside of the 610 Loop (see the map). The test is aimed at researching modern and cost-efficient methods for counting residents for the 2020 Census. Of the 1.6 million people living in this test area, the Census Bureau will select 225,000 households to test, which will begin March 21, 2016. Selected residents will receive a packet in the mail from the Census Bureau asking them to participate in the test. The test will allow residents to respond to the questionnaire in a variety of languages by mail, internet or telephone. If you receive a census questionnaire, please go online and complete it or fill it out and mail it in or call the number provided to give your responses over the phone. As with the actual census, those that do not respond via the internet, phone or mail will receive a visit from an enumerator who will attempt to obtain answers to the questions.
The test questionnaire from the Census Bureau will only ask the same questions typically on the decennial census: how many people live in the house, and for each person the name, sex, age, relationship to the respondent, Hispanic origin, race, whether the housing unit is owned or rented, and the telephone number.
Unlike the actual 2020 Census, the data you submit on the test will not be tabulated. They are only testing the response. Representatives of the Census Bureau told us during our briefing that if everyone went online to respond to the actual census and we got to where we were not sending out enumerators to collect responses, we could save $5 billion.
In connection with this test, the Census Bureau is hiring 600 enumerators and local supervisors. Enumerators will earn $22.25 an hour, and supervisors will earn $25.25 an hour. Preference will be given to applicants who live in the test area (which includes all of District G outside of the 610 Loop). Those who speak Spanish, Vietnamese, Hindi, Urdu, Tagalog, Korean or Chinese are encouraged to apply. If you are interested in a temporary full-time job, call 1-800-361-6891 and sign up for a 30 minute pre-employment test. Applicants must have a valid driver's license and a car, be a U.S. Citizen and be at least 18 years of age.


City Hall News

Proclamation Awarded to the USS Houston
On Wednesday, February 24, 2016, Council Member Travis was honored to present his first mayoral proclamation to sailors of the USS Houston (SSN713), a nuclear-powered attack submarine being decommissioned later this year. Since World War I, sailors of four vessels carrying the USS Houston name have served our nation with honor, dedication and courage.
The current warship Houston has served for more than 30 years. The name USS Houston has a proud place in the history of the U.S. Navy. From 1917 to 1921, the first Houston (AK 1) transported vital supplies and equipment across the Atlantic to support the war effort. The second Houston (CA 30) served our nation in World War II, from 1930 to 1942, and is the most famous of the Houston legacy. The heavy cruiser was a favorite of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's and was nicknamed "the President's Yacht" because he traveled on the ship so often. In February 1942 during the Battle of Sundra Strait, the USS Houston was sunk after a heroic battle against a Japanese force. The 368 crewmembers who survived the battle were captured by the Japanese soon after and placed in forced labor camps. In March 1942, 1000 sailors were sworn into duty in downtown Houston. "The Houston volunteers" replenished the ranks of those feared to be lost after the Battle of Sundra Straight, and in October 1942 a light cruiser was renamed Houston (CL 81). The third USS Houston served in the Pacific in WWII until she was struck by several Japanese torpedoes.

New Police Chief Selected
Houston's Police Chief Charles McClelland has retired after 39 years of service to the city. Chief McClelland served as chief over the past six years managing a budget exceeding $800 million and staff of 5200 sworn officers and 1200 civilian employees. Chief McClelland is known for lowering the overall crime rate in the city, dedicating the force to community policing and instituting reforms aimed at increasing professionalism and transparency.   Mayor Turner named Martha Montalvo as McClelland's interim successor to lead the Houston Police Department (HPD). Montalvo is a 35-year veteran of the force who has progressed through the ranks of sergeant, lieutenant, captain and assistant chief. Most recently she served as McClelland's chief of staff. A nationwide search is being conducted for a permanent HPD chief.

Budget Cuts Ahead
With declining sales tax revenue and increasing debt and pension costs, the city faces a budget deficit in Fiscal Year 2017 ranging from $125-$165 million. Fallout from low oil prices is taking its toll with December sales tax receipts down 7.6 percent over last year. Both the mayor and controller have indicated in order to balance the upcoming fiscal year budget (beginning July 1, 2016), layoffs are inevitable. With 63 percent of the tax-supported general fund going toward personnel costs (including pension costs) and another 19 percent dedicated to debt service and required transfers, it's difficult to make the cuts needed to balance the budget without impacting staff. Mayor Turner has directed each city department to submit scenarios based on five and seven percent budget reductions. The mayor has stated the only group immune from possible layoffs is police officers. Budget planning is underway and the proposed 2017 budget will be released mid-May.

Update to Parks Ordinances
City Council recently passed changes to Chapter 32 of the Code of Ordinances governing park use. The code has not undergone a comprehensive update in 25 years, so changes were made to better reflect current park issues such as dog parks and food vendors. Further, park permits will now be required for group events with 75 or more participants. Until a new fee structure for group permits is developed, permits will be issued under the current commercial event rate of $127 for events up to 125 people ($83 for nonprofits). The parks director has indicated the permits will allow him to know where the large groups are so park staff resources are better allocated on a daily basis.

Recycling Contract
City Council is currently considering approval of the city's curbside recycling contract. The city provides single-stream curbside recycling to 376,000 homes via its contract with Waste Management. With this contract expiring, council is now considering a restated agreement with the same company. The current contract has a "zero floor," meaning the city pays nothing if Waste Management can't cover its processing fee with money made from the sale of recycled materials. The restated agreement, however, removes this provision and requires the city to pay for any negative balance. In today's current low commodity price environment, this presents additional cost to the city. The city's costs under the new agreement could reach $18.3 million over the next six years. The vote on this contract has been delayed until March 9, 2016.
Out and About in District G
Volunteers Needed at Chain Reaction Ministries
Chain Reaction Ministries began in 2009 at Memorial Drive Christian Church. This unique ministry takes old bikes in any condition and fixes them up to provide reliable transportation for those in need. Working with local homeless providers, Chain Reaction identifies people who just need a way to get around, whether to a job or to the store, and matches them with newly recycled bicycles. Volunteers are always needed, so if you'd like to join Council Member Travis and get involved in this worthy effort, please visit

Grady Middle School
Council Member Travis judged the school spirit contest at Grady Middle School on January 29, 2016. Always paying attention to detail, the council member had his portable decibel reader on hand to judge each grade's school spirit. Eighth graders barely pulled out a win with over 91 decibels! The sixth and seventh graders were close behind with around 85 decibels each. All the students were cheering so loudly the gym walls were practically shaking. Go Gators!

West Houston Teen Leadership Summit
On Saturday, February 20, 2016, Council Member Travis attended the West Houston Teen Leadership Summit hosted by State Representative Jim Murphy. The event brought together local high school sophomores and juniors to help develop their leadership skills by connecting them with local executives, politicians, and community leaders. Council Member Travis provided advice on introducing oneself and networking in a business environment. The event was a huge success with 200 students attending.
Among the many panelists taking part in the summit was Mayor Sylvester Turner, former Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, former Mayor Bill White, University of Houston President Dr. Renu Kahtor, former Texas Secretary of State George Strake and longtime KPRC news anchor Linda Lorelle.
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