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The Galveston Park Board of Trustees held its regular meeting at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 21 at Park Board Plaza. Below is an update of news from the boardroom.
At its meeting Tuesday, the Park Board approved a contract with the Texas General Land Office (GLO) a beach nourishment project at Babe’s Beach. The project is set to begin late spring or early summer and is expected place 800,000 cubic yards of sand along Babe’s Beach from 61st to 83rd Street. The project will use sand dredged from the Houston-Galveston ship channel and will cost $24.5 million. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will contribute $14,500,000, The GLO will contribute $7,750,000, the City of Galveston’s Industrial Development Corporation will contribute $2,000,000 and the Park Board will contribute $750,000. The project is slated to be completed late summer.
At its meeting Tuesday, the Park Board voted to defer the decision to continue fireworks shows on Sundays during the summer season. In 2017 and 2018 the Park Board contracted for 14 shows from June through August on Sunday nights from 37th Street and Seawall Boulevard at a cost of $60,200. The Sunday fireworks shows are a draw for visitors and have proven to encourage them to stay on the island longer. Park Board statistics indicate Sunday growth in both 2017 and 2018. The Board instructed staff to explore alternate locations, cost-sharing opportunities with local businesses, and to research the possible use of environmentally friendly fireworks. The Board is expected to take up the issue at its February meeting.
On Tuesday, the Park Board approved the purchase of 106 new public litter receptacles and liners for $40,367. They will be placed along the seawall beginning in the spring. The receptacles will replace older units that are no longer attractive. Through a grant awarded to the conservation group Artist Boat from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the Park Board will receive 20 recycling stations that are expected be placed on the seawall at bus stops and one six-compartment mobile recycling bin this spring. The grant totaled $18,000.
At its meeting Tuesday, the Park Board approved a $300,000 contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to continue work to establish a structural solution to reduce erosion west of the seawall. This step of the project will estimate the cost and design of a solution for the area that has one of the highest erosion rates on the island and is an evacuation route for west end residents. The continued design work is needed for the project to meet requirements that make it eligible to receive Federal Emergency Management Agency mitigation funding.
On Tuesday, the Park Board approved a $102,149 contract with Houston-based Atkins to complete the drainage/engineering/construction documents and specification for drainage at Stewart Beach. The final phase of engineering is expected to begin in February and to be completed sometime late May. Atkins staff is expected to provide engineering documents for bidding and construction that include raising the elevation of the interior park road and areas in the park, providing vegetated swales along the beachfront and constructing vegetated ditches along roads adjacent to the park to promote managed runoff. The vegetated components of the project will improve water quality along the beach front. The Board also deferred further work with Rogers Partners for continued design work of the proposed Stewart Beach pavilion until components of the drainage project are further developed and costs are more solidified.
The Park Board of Trustees oversees beach maintenance and tourism development on Galveston Island, including operations for beach cleaning, the Galveston Island Beach Patrol and the Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau. For more information on the Park Board of Trustees, please visit www.galvestonparkboard.org.