A Tuesday evening fire at the Deer Park Community Center has been ruled arson.
According to a release from the Deer Park Fire Marshal's Office, an 11-year-old was identified as having intentionally starting the fire.
"The Harris County District Attorney's Office deferred charges at this time, due to several factors, including the age of the suspect. We will be unable to release the name of the suspect," Fire Marshal Buddy Rice said in the statement.
Estimated value of the damage is approximately $ 150,000.00.
All of the Community Center's programming has been canceled or re-assigned to other City facilities. Please continue to monitor the Deer Park Parks & Recreation website for up to date information. http://www.deerparktx.gov/Index.aspx?NID=98
The fire was contained to the Room 12 kitchen area. No one was injured.
A celebration three decades in the making took place on the North end of town Wednesday afternoon as the ribbon was cut on the newly finished Patrick's Bayou Detention Basin. The basin is meant to allieviate flooding issues on the flood-prone north end of the city.
"This is the culmination of something we started over 30 years ago," said former Deer Park Mayor Wayne Riddle. "Jimmy Burke was mayor when we asked the citizens to approve a $10 million drainage bond that started the paving of all the ditches around town."
After years of rejected proposals, the basin looked to be the simplest solution to the city's problem, but during the process the basin proved to be one of the most difficult projects Deer Park has ever taken on and the issues the city has faced are not all in the past.
Deer Park Mayor Jerry Mouton (center) along with City Council honored members of the Deer Park Seals Swim Team for their achievements in their season. The honorees were the top point-earners for the team. Photo by Bobby Vasquez.
The Deer Park Independent School District Board of Trustees unanimously approved the district's ad valorem tax rate for 2014-15.
The maintenance and operation rate will be $1.2367 per $100 valuation and the interest and sinking rate is 32 cents per $100.
In other business, the Board unanimously approved campus plans and objectives and instructional plans for the 2014-15 year, the appraisal roll for 2014-15 and fleet, liability, storage tanks and flood insurance.
During the meeting, the Board also received its Schools FIRST – Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas— rating for the 2012-13 school year.
A small fire in a kitchen area of the Community Center Tuesday evening has shut down the facility's programming for at least one day. No one was injured.
According to Tommy Archer, public information officer for the Deer Park Volunteer Fire Department, emergency services were dispatched to 610 E. San Augustine at 6:48 p.m. Four units responded with a total of 16 fire fighters.
"Upon arrival we had smoke in the building with smoke alarms sounding. The first firefighters on the scene attempted to extinguish the fire with a hand extinguisher unsuccessfully," he said.
Archer said the department brought in their hoses to extinguish the fire and it was contained in the room where it started. The fire was in the kitchen area of one of the large community rooms in the building.
Fire Marshal Buddy Rice said Wednesday afternoon there is still no cause for the fire.
Deer Park City Council will have its workshop and regular meeting Tuesday at 6:15 p.m. at City Hall.
The workshop agenda includes a presentation regarding the completion of the Patrick's Bayou Stormwater Detention Basin Project and a discussion on an interlocal agreement with Harris County for mutual aid. For many years, the city and county have adopted interlocal agreements regarding the exchange of mutual aid resources. Such agreements provide for the efficient use of shared resources for persons needing rescue, care and treatment when victimized or threatened by disaster. These agreements assist both entities in maximizing reimbursement from FEMA during State and Federal declared disasters. This item is on the evening's action agenda.
Council will also discuss a grant application regarding the Deer Park Police Department. DPPD is seeking $8,000 in grant funding from State Farm Insurance through its Teen Safe Driving Program. These grants are used to fund tools and equipment which assists in learning activities designed to encourage safe driving in teens. The department would like to place special emphasis on teaching teens the dangers of distracted driving and impaired driving. This grant funds the program in its entirety, requiring no local matching funds. Council is also scheduled to take action on this item.