Mayors Desk

FROM THE DESK OF THE MAYOR – MARCH 5, 2014

General Election

As of February 28, 2014, 5 p.m., all candidates who had applied for place on the ballot were unopposed.  The candidates are as follows:

Daniel S. Konyha – Mayor

Charles Goolsby – Alderman Position 1

Vaun Henry – Alderman Position 5

An Ordinance and an Order cancelling the General Election will be presented for formal approval by the Board of Aldermen at the Regular Meeting on March 25, 2014.

Special Election –  City – Reauthorization by the Registered Voters Will Occur

A Special Election is still required in order for the ¼ percent of sales tax to remain in effect for the repair and maintenance of existing city streets, the proposition must be reauthorize by the registered voters of the City of Bayou Vista every four years; therefore, this proposition will be placed on the May 10, 2014, Special Election ballot.

The sales tax revenue is collected by the State from the commercial businesses located within our City limits.  The sales tax charged by these businesses is collected from those residents of Bayou Vista who purchase products from these establishments and is collected from individuals who do not reside within the City limits, but who frequent these businesses.  Currently, our sales tax rate is 8 percent.  Please vote “yes” for this proposition.

MARCH 26, 2014                 County will begin mailing ballots by mail.
APRIL 10, 2014                    Last day to register.

 APRIL 28, – MAY 6, 2014  Early Voting - MUD # 12 – Reception Hall.

Early voting by personal appearance shall begin on April 28, 2014 and continue through May 6, 2014, 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Furthermore, there shall be two (2) weekdays where polls are open for twelve (12) hours during the period of early voting by personal appearance.  The days are as follows:

Monday, May 5, 2014   – 7:00 A.M. – 7:00 P.M.
Tuesday, May 6, 2014   – 7:00 A.M. – 7:00 P.M.
                          
MAY 1, 2014
Last day to accept application for ballot by mail.
Last day to request application for ballot by mail.  Contact:

Dwight Sullivan County Clerk and County Election Officer
P.O. Box 17253
Galveston, Texas 77552-7253
409-770-5108

MAY 10, 2014 – ELECTION DAY

MUD #12 – Reception Hall -7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

 

 FROM THE DESK OF THE MAYOR – DECEMBER 19, 2013

POLICE OFFICERS

The City Council approved the hiring of two (2) new Police Officers at the Regular Meeting, December 17, 2013.  Officer Pamela Matranga will serve as a full-time Bayou Vista Police Patrol Officer and Officer David Newman will serve as Code Enforcement Officer/Patrol Officer.  This position replaces the  part-time Code Enforcement Officer position and will save the City between an estimated $5,000 a year.

IKE DIKE

The City Council approved a Resolution in support of the Ike Dike project which will provide long-term flood protection for all of Galveston County.

CONTRACT WITH GALVESTON COUNTY ELECTION DIVISION

The City Council approved the contract with Galveston County Election Division to conduct the May 2014 General and Special Election.
The General Election will be called for the purpose to elect a Mayor and two Aldermen.  The Special Election will be held for the purpose to reauthorize the existing City’s sales tax of  8% with 1/4 percent to repair and maintain existing street and 1/2 percent to generate additional operating revenue.   This sales-tax will reduce the amount of revenue the City needs from property taxes to operate.

CITY INVESTMENTS

The City Council took action to authorize short-term investment, i.e., Certificates of Deposit to offset lost income due to reduced interest rates.

CONDOLENCES GIVEN

A moment of silence was observed by the City Council in recognition of Greg Harrington who had dedicated many hours to the Bayou Vista Volunteer Fire Department.

HOLIDAY GREETINGS

City Council, City Staff and I wish everyone a safe and enjoyable Holiday Season.

 

FROM THE DESK OF THE MAYOR – NOVEMBER 12, 2013

ROAD CONSTRUCTION:

Forde Construction has completed the asphalt work and will be doing the backfill and cleanup work over the next couple of weeks.

The city is currently in contact with Garner Construction thru Mercer Engineering to finalize the schedule for warranty work that needs to be done on the phase 1 road project.    At this time, warranty work is scheduled to start next week subject to weather, etc.

GRANT WRITING SEMINAR:

I attended a two-day seminar in Beaumont on November 4-5, 2013, as approved by City Council.  I found the seminar to be very informative.  Information was provided concerning the grant process for both private and governmental grants.  One interesting fact learned was that a governmental grant writer will charge between $4,000 and $5,000 per grant application and requires a Request For Proposal (RFP).

The RFP  is a document from the  governmental agency supplying the grant funds for a specific purpose.    This means that the grant must be in place with funds available before application by the grant-writer can be made.   The City Council has authorized funds for a grant-writer should grant funding become available.

FEMA UPDATE:

COMMUNITY ASSISTED VISIT (CAV).  FEMA visited the City of Bayou Vista in June of 2010.  A random audit occurred with FEMA listing nineteen (19)  homes with deficiencies.  In order for the homeowner to continue participation in the National Flood Insurance Program – which is a section of FEMA, the homeowner must correct the deficiency.

During the last City Council Meeting there were concerns voiced over the CAV visit and the city’s response.  Below is a chart of FEMA issues and the documentation sent by the City.  We are waiting to hear back from FEMA.

 

HOUSE  REF

 

IDENTIFIED DEFICIENCY/POTENTIAL VIOLATION

 

DOC. SENT TO FEMA

#1 No venting visible or   documented in permit file Currently working with   owner
#2 No final elevation   certificate in file Elevation certificate
No venting visible or   documented in permit file Documentation of   venting
#3 No venting visible or   documented in permit file Documentation of   venting
#4 No venting visible or   documented in permit file Documentation of   venting
#5 No final elevation   certificate in file Elevation certificate
#6 No final elevation certificate   in file Elevation certificate
No venting visible or   documented in permit file Documentation of   venting
#7 No final elevation   certificate in file Elevation certificate
#8 No final elevation   certificate in file Elevation certificate
#9 No final elevation   certificate in file Elevation certificate
#10 No final elevation   certificate in file Elevation   certificate
No breakaway wall   certificate in file House in   A-zone
Documentation of   venting
#11 No final elevation   certificate in file Elevation certificate
No venting visible or   documented in permit file Documentation of   venting
#12 No final elevation   certificate in file Elevation certificate
No breakaway wall   certificate in file Documentation of   venting
#13 No final elevation   certificate in file Elevation certificate
#14 No final elevation   certificate in file Elevation certificate
No venting visible or   documented in permit file Documentation of   venting
#15 No final elevation   certificate in file Currently working with   owner
#16 No venting visible or   documented in permit file Documentation of   venting
No venting visible or   documented in permit file Documentation of   venting
#17 No venting visible or   documented in permit file Documentation of   venting
#18 No breakaway wall   certificate in file Breakaway wall   documentation
#19 No final elevation   certificate in file Elevation certificate
No venting visible or   documented in permit file Documentation of   venting

 Once FEMA reviews these documents they will advise the city if they require any additional information or documentation. However, at this time, this is the only information FEMA has requested from the city

INVENTORY OF ALL BUILDING FILES:

 The City is currently inventorying all of the building files from lot 1 through lot 1318 for elevation certification, hydrostatic vent documentation, etc.

FEMA FLOOD MAP APPEAL:

Councilman Johnstone has been in contact with various communities around the area concerning FEMA Flood Map Appeal Process.  Some communities decided not to appeal due to the cost, some have filed appeals which they wrote in-house, and  some have hired Engineering firms to handle their appeals.  Mr. Sam Gipson is currently in contact with two Engineering firms which have agreed to meet with the city concerning this issue.

FROM THE DESK OF THE MAYOR – OCTOBER 21, 2013

ROAD CLOSURES:

LING:  Ling will be closed to ALL traffic, Wednesday, October 23, 2013, from 12:00 Noon till 5:00 p.m.

SAILFISH:  Sailfish will be closed to ALL traffic, Wednesday, October 23, 2013, from 8:00 a.m. till 12:00 Noon.

 

FROM THE DESK OF THE MAYOR – OCTOBER 9, 2013

ROAD UPDATE – ROUND TWO:

Today I met with Mr. Mercer, our Project Engineer, and Forde’s Project Manager concerning construction schedule issues.  Results of that meeting were as follows:

Due to the rain last week, Sailfish needs to be re-graded.  Forde Construction will be doing that on October 10th and 11th.  A prime-coat (oil) will be applied by Monday, October 14, 2013.  Please avoid the wet oil as much as possible and drive 5 mph on the fresh oil.

Prime-coat is being applied on Ling at this time.

Chip-seal will be applied to Sailfish first then Ling  Street.  This will be followed by Hot-Mix Asphalt in the same order.

Forde Construction plans to have all road-work completed by mid-November or sooner.

ROUND ONE – WARRANTY:

 Mr. Mercer, our Project Engineer, will be meeting with Garner Paving over the next two-weeks to determine the warranty work required.  The necessary repairs will begin shortly thereafter.

FROM THE DESK OF THE MAYOR – OCTOBER 8, 2013

FLOOD INSURANCE UPDATE:
COMMUNITY ASSISTED VISIT – (CAV)

The city was in contact with FEMA this week regarding the Community Assisted Visit (CAV) conducted after Hurricane Ike. There were nineteen (19) homes identified by FEMA that required corrective action. Seventeen (17) of them have undergone all required corrective action and all related documentation was sent to FEMA.  The final two homeowners have been contacted over the last two weeks and as soon as they have completed the corrective action the supporting documentation will be forwarded to FEMA.

 Ms. Herrera of the FEMA Region VI Mitigation Division confirmed by phone that she was in receipt of the documentation sent on April 27, 2013, concerning the first seventeen (17) homes.   She hopes to start reviewing all documentation that had been previously submitted within the next few weeks. Once this review is completed, the City will be notified of any further information that is required concerning these homes.  We will have sixty (60) days to provide the additional documentation.

Ms. Herrera also confirmed that FEMA has no current plans to conduct another CAV visit any time in the near future.

FLOOD INSURANCE APPEAL:

The city received conformation via e-mail that Mr. Sengebusch, who is processing our appeal, has all the supporting information including information concerning the BNSF railroad tracks elevation.

COMMUNITY RATING SYSTEM (CRS):

The city has received confirmation that our request to join the CRS program was received and we have started to complete the 2013 CRS Quick Application.

TRICK OR TRUNK:

Please come join the fun at the annual trick or trunk.  There will be games and lots of goodies for the children, so decorate your truck car or golf cart put on your best costume and join in the fun.  See you on October 31, 2013 – 6:00 p.m.

FALL FESTIVAL – PLANT SALE:

 The Saltwater Garden Club held their Fall Festival Saturday with lots of baked goods and other items available.  Thanks to all the members of the club for all their hard work and to all the people who came and supported them.  Your efforts really do keep “Bayou Vista Beautiful.”

FROM THE DESK OF THE MAYOR – SEPTEMBER 25, 2013

FLOOD INSURANCE INFORMATION

The city sent a request for enrollment in the Community Rating System (CRS) which if approved could reduce some residents flood insurance rates by five (5) to forty-five (45) percent depending on our CRS score. This discount can be adjusted once a year as the city complies with additional requirements which improve Bayou Vista’s score.

A Comment Letter was sent to FEMA requesting they update their maps to reflect City of Bayou Vista rather than Village of Bayou Vista and to reflect the current city boundaries. This may have some effect on our City Rating System (CRS) score.

The Flood Reform committee prepared the appeal letter and documentation which was submitted on September 19, 2013.  We have received confirmation of receipt of appeal. Additional information will be e-mailed to Mr. Jeffrey Sengebusch, CFM Firm Processing Team Leader, for FEMA pertaining to the elevation of the railroad tracks as soon as we receive it later this week.

Since, the Flood Reform Committee has made the decision to disband, I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the City Council to thank the members as we sincerely appreciate their time and dedication to this project.  They performed a valuable service to the City of Bayou Vista in researching and preparing the Appeal of Proposed FIRM Maps.  Also, they made the original contact for the City to participate in the Community Rating System and located a company who could provide the elevation for the railroad tracks.

 ROAD CONSTRUCTION

Forde Constructions plans to complete work on Sailfish and Ling by mid- November.

MEETING WITH CORP OF ENGINEERS

I met with Mr. Leimer, the Levee Safety Program Manager from the Corps of Engineers, on Tuesday September 24th to discuss issues which could benefit Bayou Vista.

In their opinion the best thing we can do to protect the community and reduce flood insurance premiums is to support the Sabine to Galveston Flood Reduction Project (Ike Dike.)  This project would protect all of Galveston County from flooding.

I also asked about various options Bayou Vista could do to protect or reduce flooding in the community:

  1.  A flood wall approximately ten (10) foot high would cost approximately $5000 to $7000 per liner foot plus cost of land and wetlands mitigation expenses.  The construction could take approximately two (2) years for the Corps of Engineer to complete.  This would not include any additional time for environmental studies.
  2. Mr. Leimer was not able to give me a cost for levee construction but did provide footprint information. A ten (10) foot levee would require a minimum of a seventy- five (75) foot  base.  A sixteen (16) foot levee equal to our prosed highest FIRM (Flood Insurance Rate Map) level would require a minimum of a one hundred ten (110) foot base.

The Corps of Engineers also recommended that the City check into whether our new FIRM is based on “Still Water” or “Wave Run Up” data.  If it is based on “Wave Run Up” data we might have grounds for an additional appeal.

CHIEF OF POLICE

Police Chief Larry Whittington took his Oath of Office at the Regular City Council meeting on Sept 24th.  Chief Wittington was sworn in after receipt of a clear criminal back ground check and a clear drug screen. He plans to start work on Monday Sept 30th.  If you get a chance, stop by and welcome him to Bayou Vista.

GARDEN CLUB PLANT SALE

The Garden Club will hold their Fall Plant Sale on October 5th at the Bayou Vista Pavilion. Please come out and check out all the selection of plants available.

CONTACT INFORMATION

I can be reached at City Hall weekdays from 9am to noon or by cell phone any time 504-202-7865.  You can also e-mail  me at mayor@bayouvista.us

FROM THE DESK OF THE MAYOR - SEPTEMBER 18, 2013

The City has a new Police Chief.   Mr. Larry Whittington was approved as the new Police Chief at the Public Hearing/Special Called Meeting of the City Council. Please stop by the Police Department after October 1, 2013 and welcome Chief Whittington to Bayou Vista.

Also, at the meeting, the 2013/2014 budget was approved by City Council with an effective tax rate of .366683 per $100. This is a $1,328.00 decrease in total taxes compared to 2012.

I would like to thank the members of the Citizen’s Committee; Tami Inman - facilitator, Sam Gibson, Penny Salter, Mark Kelly and Bill Cleek for their time dedicated to the Biggert-Waters Act.  Their efforts were instrumental in the City filing a protest prior to the dead line.  For more information please see Ms. Inman’s article in this issue.

Finally let’s all remember the annual “Trick or Trunk” to be held at the city parking lot on October 31, 2013. Let’s make this year’s event bigger and better than ever.  Decorate your truck, car, golf cart or van.  Please don’t forget to bring plenty of candy so we can give the children of Bayou Vista an evening they will always remember!

FROM THE DESK OF THE MAYOR -UPDATE SEPTEMBER 5, 2013

SEVERE REPETITIVE LOSS – PROPERTY DESIGNATION LETTER:

Some of the residents in Bayou Vista, as well as throughout Galveston County,  may have received a letter titled “Severe Repetitive Loss – Property Designation Letter.”  I have contacted an official in Austin for clarification.  Currently, only recipients of this letter are eligible for application of this grant.  In order to be eligible, your home must be classified by FEMA as a “severe repetitive loss property.”  This means you have had four (4) FEMA flood claims in the last ten years or two (2) claims that total in excess of  property value.  Please keep in mind, at this point this grant is not guaranteed.

If you received this letter, it is imperative that you respond by the deadline.  Depending on the number of responses,  the representative from Austin will be contacting me to advise me if the deadline will be extended or if enrollment will be open to include repetitive loss properties.

I will keep you updated as I receive information on this subject.

 

ROADS:

 Forde Construction started road work on Sailfish Tuesday September 3, 2013 with their planned completion in approximately three (3) weeks providing they do not experience any significant weather delays.

  POLICE CHIEF:

  We are in the final stage of hiring a new Police Chief.  The selection committee consisted of the Police Chiefs from Hitchcock,La Marque,TexasCity andDickinson.  Each member of the selection panel reviewed the applications and resumes of all the candidates and selected their top candidates. Once each member completed this individual review they met for six (6) hours to review their selections and provided the city with a consensus list of three (3) candidates. All the members of the selection committee have served on this type of committee before and have expertise in this area. They provided what in their expert opinion are the three (3) strongest candidates for the position.  Each candidate will be giving a brief presentation to City Council on September 17, 2013, MUD #12 – Reception Hall, 6:30 p.m., after which the city council will consider the selection of our new Police Chief.

  The three (3) candidates selected are:

 Frank Mooney
Larry Whittington
Michael Pesses

 BUDGET:

 A budget work shop was held September 3, 2013, and the fiscal year 2013/2014 budget and effective tax rate were finalized.  These items will be on the September 17, 2013, Special Called meeting Agenda for formal approval by City Council.

  BIGGERT-WATERS ACT OF 2012:

  The City Council approved the formation of a citizens committee to be chaired by Ms. Tami Inman for the purpose of looking into various issues pertaining to the Biggert-Waters act. Anyone who would be interest in serving on this committee or would like to nominate someone please contact city hall. The committee members will be approved at the September 17, 2013, Special Called meeting and will report their findings at the Regular Meeting of September 24, 2013.

  The Council also approved a resolution expressing the concerns of the city of Bayou Vista and supporting amending the act which will be sent to our elected federal officials along with other members of congress.

  Additionally the city will be sponsoring an agenda item at the Galveston Mayors’ Councilmen Association meeting on September 12, 2013,  requesting the Association adopt a similar resolution.

  POOL

 We hope that those of you who purchased family passes or day passes enjoyed using the pool.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank Leann Tobola, Head Lifeguard, for doing an outstanding job for providing such a safe environment for everyone to enjoy. All of the lifeguards were professional and extremely attentive.  A special thanks goes to the Bayou Vista Fishing Club for paying for all of the Lifeguards T-shirts and hoodies.

The final day the pool will be open to the public is September 2, 2013 – Labor Day.  This change is due to the unavailability of the lifeguards as they are all returning to school.  I wish them all success in their academic endeavors this Fall.

JUST A REMINDER

If you are planning a “weekend warrior” project or contracting to have the job done, please be sure to come into City Hall and speak with our building inspector, Harold Backe, before you start your project.  Sometimes the small remodel job doesn’t require a permit, but in other instances it does.

If you are planning to construct a driveway, carport, or any project that would encroach on the  10’ utility easement (MUD #12 water/sewer lines) an encroachment permit must be issued by   MUD #12.  The process takes only a few minutes, but it is essential that MUD #12 is made  aware of your plans for construction.