In 2013, Friendswood City Council requested feedback from some volunteers called the “Friendswood Bond Advisory Group” after they researched the City’s existing facilities and needs.
Council asked voters to consider propositions for bond funding in four major: fire stations, the Library, parks and streets. Voters approved all four in November 2013.
Each month, City Council receives an update on the projects. This is the May 2016 update:
PROPOSITION NO. 1
THE ISSUANCE OF $6,565,000 TAX BONDS FOR DESIGNING, improving, expanding and equipping City Fire Station Number 4 and designing, constructing, improving and equipping a new fire station ADJACENT TO THE PUBLIC SAFETY BUILDING in the City.
PROPOSITION NO. 2
THE ISSUANCE OF $2,525,000 TAX BONDS FOR the purpose of DESIGNING, improving and expanding the municipal library.
PROPOSITION NO. 3
THE ISSUANCE OF $7,285,000 TAX BONDS for the purpose of DESIGNING, improving and expanding parks and recreational facilities in the City, and the acquisition of land and interests in land for such purposes, INCLUDING IMPROVEMENTS TO AND EXPANSION OF, CENTENNIAL PARK, LAKE FRIENDSWOOD, SPORTS PARK, STEVENSON PARK AND THE ACQUISITION AND IMPROVEMENT OF LAND FOR NEW PARKS IN THE CITY.
PROPOSITION NO. 4
THE ISSUANCE OF $7,710,000 TAX BONDS for ROAD AND STREET IMPROVEMENTS in the City, including, but not limited to, improving Blackhawk BOULEVARD, Mary Ann DRIVE, Shadow Bend AVENUE, Townes Road, Winding Road and Woodlawn DRIVE.
Since “April showers” have passed and better weather is now the norm, City of Friendswood bond-funded projects continue to be in high gear.
The placement of the 70-foot long bridge over Cowards Creek, preceded by the City’s purchase of adjacent property, means the final phase of constructing a trail to connect Stevenson Park with Old City Park can now be completed. Residents are reminded that this is a construction zone and to not walk on the bridge. The project is expected to be completed this summer.
The Library renovation and expansion project is also in the final months. New meeting rooms and other spaces have opened and are being used regularly. While new outer walls are being constructed, existing internal walls are being removed to make the expansion a reality. Through the construction, most of the time, the Library has operated normally. They will operate with limited service beginning May 16 through May 27, and will reopen to full service and regular hours after Memorial Day on Tuesday, May 31.
Since the groundbreaking for the new Kenneth Camp Fire Station next to the Public Safety Building in early April, construction has been interrupted by more than ten days of rain. When the new 20,000 square-foot building is completed next summer, it will replace the current headquarters station next to Friendswood City Hall.
The Sportspark on FM 528 at Moore Road has been renamed “Corporal Steven Schulz Sports Park.” This Memorial Day weekend, there will be a ceremony officially naming and opening the park. Already, some of the new softball fields, lights, new restrooms, new concession stands and new parking lot have been used by Friendswood organizations and residents.
Out on Baker Road, preliminary scoping is underway for practice fields for lacrosse, football and soccer. This facility will bear the name, “Lance Corporal Wesley J. Canning Sports Park.”
The complete reconstruction of Shadowbend Avenue, from Woodlawn to Friendswood Drive, is about half-way complete. Work on Townes Road will begin soon. Following the completion of Shadowbend, reconstruction of Mary Ann Drive, and later Winding Road will begin.
Design is complete for the new Centennial Park basketball pavilion. Dirt work and concrete installation should begin in about three weeks. In other places in the Park, new lighting has been installed.
Work continues to transform Lake Friendswood from a sand pit to a place you’ll be able to fish, canoe, walk and have a picnic. It is almost ready for public use.
There are other projects that are underway which are not funded by bond money.
Completion of the widening and reconstruction of Whispering Pines Avenue and Friendswood Link Road is almost a reality. In addition to daily use, it will be a vital hurricane evacuation route, if needed.
Downtown has two new projects. Council approved adding brick pavers, benches and new lighting (in compliance with the higher Downtown District standards), stretching from City Hall, past the Fire Station and in front of Stevenson Park. The pavers should be installed by the beginning of August.
Also Downtown, City Hall has a new, watertight roof.
Lift Stations and Water Plants are vital parts of the system which effectively moves clean and dirty water throughout the City. Two lift stations are under construction, a third is being designed. Two water plants are being rehabilitated.
Friendswood City Council receives an update on each of these projects at their regular monthly meetings.