There are only three items on the night's workshop agenda. They are discussion on nuisance tree limbs overhanging public streets and rights-of-way; the adoption of a resolution petitioning the State Legislature to amend the existing Hotel Occupancy Tax Laws; and discussion of repairs to Community Center Room 12.
City manager's office memos state the city's code enforcement staff has fielded numerous calls regarding low hanging tree limbs protruding from private property into the city's streets and rights-of-way. School bus drivers particularly take note of locations where tree limbs strike their buses while driving their daily routes. Each year, the city allocates funding for tree trimming, but seldom is it sufficient to cover the needs. In FY 2015-2016, the city budgeted $6,000 for tree trimming but to date has spent more than $10,000. Public Works staff estimates the cost of trimming all known low hanging limbs, as per the volume of complaints received, could be as high as $60,000.
Assistant Superintendent for Administration Stephen Harrell described the program as a benefit for both the District and parents. "Limited Open Enrollment is a win-win situation," Harrell explained. "By allowing non-resident students to enroll in Deer Park, we've given these children the opportunity to benefit from our outstanding instructional program. The program helps the District because state funding is based on enrollment, and, for each additional student enrolled in DPISD, the District retains more of its local tax revenue."
Applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis to fill a limited number of available spaces. Limited space is available at all schools except the Early Childhood Center, Deer Park Junior High, and Deer Park High School-Wolters Campus.
Fire Chief Greg Bridges told city council at its most recent workshop that EMS calls have increased significantly since 2007. The department had already planned to expand its paid personnel, but this trend has caused it to expedite the process.
One ambulance is staffed by paid full time paramedics while volunteers respond to calls while the paid staff are out on dispatch. Bridges said volunteers staff revolves on four hour shifts while paid staff is on 12 hour shifts.
However, the number of volunteer EMS members has dropped to 30 members in recent years, putting the department in a staffing bind. Those binds have caused the department to request assistance from neighboring entities, particularly in the peak hours of 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
"That's when the city is the most populated," he said.
If the department does not have an ambulance staff on hand in one of its three stations, it sends an open tone to all of its members. If volunteers respond, they report to a station and are sent out on the call in an ambulance.
Annual variety show to be Talley's last as choir director
The 34th installment of Hello Texas is Feb. 5-7 at the Deer Park High School-South PAC. Tickets will be on sale at the door for $8. Advance tickets are available at the Fine Arts Office at the South Campus by calling 832-668-7229 for more information. There is a $20 ticket available that is good for all three nights. Seating is first come, first served.
Hello Texas is a variety featuring more than students, 55 individual acts over the span of several shows. The show draws full houses each year since its inception in 1981. The show began as a joint venture of the Student Council and choir department. In the early 1990s, the choral department took over the show and has continued the tradition each year
Choir director Barry Talley has been involved in Hello Texas from the beginning.
"In that first show in 1981, we were doing the Hello Texas song from the 'Urban Cowboy' movie. The drill team was dancing to the song, and I thought that would make a good opening song and also a good title for the show," he said.
"This year, we have a unique balance of songs. We have a Beatles medley, some Bohemian Rhapsody and we all know that's a lot of fun," he said. "It's a good mix this year with a lot of interesting music."
Game temporarily stopped after LP coach collapses
The Deer Park Boys Basketball team lost to La Porte 53-40 at Watkins Gym Tuesday night.
Deer Park was led by Austin Layton who had 13 points and eight rebounds.
The game was stopped for 15-20 minutes after Bulldogs Head Coach Barry Gibson collapsed in front of his team's bench midway through the fourth quarter.
With 4:03 left in the game, Gibson grabbed the back of his head and dropped to his knees. La Porte coaches called for the Deer Park trainer for assistance. Both the Deer Park and La Porte basketball teams retreated away from the court as trainers, athletic personnel and emergency personnel attended to him.
Gibson, a DPHS graduate, was alert and was assisted off the court under his own power. He took a private vehicle to a local hospital for medical evaluations. The raucous atmosphere that normally surrounds Deer Park-La Porte games was halted as a stunned, nearly full gymnasium watched staff treat Gibson.
Deer Park Head Coach Darren Chandler said his team handled the shock of the incident, while it was difficult for the teams' coaches.
"I think they did OK with what happened. Obviously, it was tough to watch and we are hoping for the best for Coach Gibson and his family," Chandler said. "But for us coaches, it was tough because we know what happened out there with Coach (Billy)Carlisle."
Chandler was referring to the tragic passing of the revered former Deer basketball head coach following a game in February of 2006.
Registration is required even if the child played previously and will be held at the Quest Building 709 E. P St. in Deer Park. At least one parent or legal guardian must be present, with an original or state-certified copy of the child's birth certificate.
The documents will be inspected and returned at registration. For more information, including a description of the boundaries, call Milo Torres 832-875-9406.
Quest Soccer Club is a proud member of US Youth Soccer, the largest youth sports organization in the United States. For more information on US Youth Soccer visit USYouthSoccer.org.