Deer Park City Council unanimously approved all of the items on its regular agenda Tuesday evening.
Among the items on the agenda was a Council approval on a recommendation from the Historical Committee to purchase two museum cases to be placed at the Deer Park Public Library and the second reading of an ordinance amending Schedule B of the code of ordinances to increase pipeline permit and annual fees, and adding a transfer fee. The changes include raising the city's pipeline franchise fees to a $2,500 permit fee, a $500 annual fee, and a $300 transfer fee.
Council also approved a recommendation from the Planning and Zoning Commission and an ordinance calling a Joint Public Hearing on the request of Shirley Hill and Greenbriar Real Estate Services to rezone the property located at 2300 E. 13th Street from Single Family One (SF-1) to General Commercial (GC) and an ordinance approving Industrial District Agreements.
The Deer Park ISD Board of Trustees unanimously approved a measure that replaces the six-week grading period with a nine-week period in secondary schools.
Victor White, the district's assistant superintendent for instruction, said the district has been functioning on two calendars. Elementary students have used a nine week grading period for several years. During that time, the junior high and high school campuses functioned under the traditional six-week grading periods.
"For several years, we had our first semester end a couple of weeks after Christmas break and for several reasons, that not a good arrangement," White said. "Teachers and students would have a long break and then come back and have to take semester exams."
Under the six-week grading period calendar, some periods were actually as short as five weeks.
"The six-week calendar put pressure on secondary teachers to get grades in. Our grading periods were not as reflective of what the curriculum contained. The nine-week grading period gives teachers the opportunity to have more grades and more tests which give a better picture of what the kids are learning and accomplishing."
The Deer Park Chamber of Commerce's first Shop Local Program event to encourage citizens to support the Deer Park economy will begin on Small Business Saturday.
"Jingle Bell Shop" will offer residents a chance to enter for raffle prizes by visiting all participating Shop Local businesses from Nov 29 to Dec 14. Participants will receive a punch card listing all of the businesses in the program and when the card has been completed they can drop it off in a box at the last business they visit.
Each business will be giving away a raffle prize and the winners will be announced at the Chamber's luncheon on Dec 18.
This event marks the beginning of resident participation in the newly implemented Shop Local Program that was started to promote the benefits of keeping Deer Park dollars in Deer Park.
According to economic studies every dollar spent in Deer Park has the potential to turn over five to seven times within the community.
The city cut the ribbon on its fourth park renovation as it christened Avon Park on Eighth Street this week.
Avon Park has new playground equipment and a mini rock wall. However, its signature feature is an 80-foot long zip line.
"It's a joy for me to stand here and I hope it shows my commitment and council's commitment to the quality of life of our community," Mayor Jerry Mouton said.
State Rep. Mary Ann Perez, whose 144th district includes parts of Deer Park, said parks play a vital role in developing lasting relationships.
The Deer Park Chamber of Commerce honored the Port of Houston Authority as its 2014 Industry of the Year.
The Port of Houston Authority was created by Texas legislature in 1914 and is in the midst of its centennial celebration as it and the surrounding communities and businesses continue to grow.
Roger Guenther, executive director of the Port of Houston Authority, accepted proclamations from US Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Texas Sen. Sylvia Garcia, Texas Sen. Larry Taylor, Rep. Mary Ann Perez, Rep. Wayne Smith, Harris County, the cities of Deer Park and Pasadena, as well as the Deer Park Independent School District.
The Port of Houston is a 25-mile long complex along the 52 mile long Houston Ship Channel and is made up of more than 150 private industrial companies and public terminals for which the Port of Houston Authority acts as landlord, owning, managing and leasing the properties to businesses.
Deer Park Independent School District Superintendent Arnold Adair informed the Board of Trustees of his plan to retire at the end of the current school year.
"I think it's time. I spent a lot of time on this decision and I'm ready," he said.
Adair will remain on board with the district until Aug. 1, he said.
"The idea is to give the Board plenty of time to begin the transition and pick the District's next superintendent," he said in a press release distributed by the district. "The truth is that I'm ready for the next chapter of my life, whatever that may be. I'm ready to embrace being a full-time PawPaw for my grandkids. I'll probably do a lot of reading and scuba diving. I'll sleep a little later and do my best to avoid wearing a suit and tie."