League City to create painted murals on utility boxes

League City wants to paint traffic utility boxes with miniature murals, similar to those seen in Houston. (Jake Magee/Community Impact Newspaper)
League City wants to paint traffic utility boxes with miniature murals, similar to those seen in Houston. (Jake Magee/Community Impact Newspaper)

League City wants to paint traffic utility boxes with miniature murals, similar to those seen in Houston. (Jake Magee/Community Impact Newspaper)

In an effort to create a sense of place, beautify areas, attract visitors and instill civic pride, League City is considering painting miniature murals on traffic utility boxes throughout the city.

City staff has been researching how to use public art to improve League City. Examples of public art include sculptures, gateway art on underpasses or arches, painted benches and trash cans on trails and in parks, and more.

Staff landed on the idea of painting murals on traffic utility boxes, similar to what is done in Houston, said Sarah Greer Osborne, director of communications and media relations, to League City City Council during a Nov. 24 workshop.

Boxes could either be painted directly or wrapped in vinyl that includes the artwork. Paint lasts about 10 years, or the life of the utility box itself, and costs about $3,000. Wraps begin to fade from the sun after three to five years and cost $1,500-$2,750, Osborne said.

One disadvantage of wraps is that they could increase the heat inside the utility box. The city of Houston researched this idea and, fearing this outcome, opted to paint murals instead of using wraps, Osborne said.

After completing its research, staff proposes using hotel occupancy tax dollars to fund the painting of five utility box murals in League City in the spring and summer.

One such box along Main Street could be themed after League City’s history, given that the box is in the city’s historic district. Another along the trails on the city’s west side could be bird-themed, considering that League City is in the process of becoming an officially designated bird-watching destination.

Another proposal is to hire local business Up Art Studio for $20,000 to manage the mural projects and set up a program to do future murals, such as one in honor of the city’s 60th anniversary in 2022, Osborne said.

Staff further recommended the League City Clean and Green Committee be renamed the Keep League City Beautiful Committee and that it include public art in its duties.

League City could soon consider using vinyl wraps on utility boxes scheduled to be replaced, as there is a company that includes vinyl wraps in its utility box replacements for a reduced cost, Osborne said.

At council's next strategic planning meeting, Osborne said, council and staff could consider using capital improvement plan funds for public art projects, but a few council members indicated that they would prefer the money remain dedicated to traffic and drainage projects.

Council Members Andy Mann and Nick Long said the city should partner with Clear Creek ISD and other area districts to get involved. Long suggested that a school could hold a competition to see what art is added to utility boxes near the school.

In general, council members expressed approval of the idea.

“If we do it right, people will come to League City because of some of these projects that we’re doing,” Council Member Hank Dugie said.
By Jake Magee
Jake Magee has been a print journalist for several years, covering numerous beats including city government, education, business and more. Starting off at a daily newspaper in southern Wisconsin, Magee covered two small cities before being promoted to covering city government in the heart of newspaper's coverage area. He moved to Houston in mid-2018 to be the editor for and launch the Bay Area edition of Community Impact Newspaper.



Russ Poppe, the Harris County Flood Control District executive director, will officially step down July 2 after nearly fifteen years in the position. (Courtesy Harris County Flood Control District)
Executive Director Russ Poppe announces resignation from Harris County Flood Control District

Harris County Flood Control District Executive Director Russ Poppe announced his resignation June 11.

Robert Mock headshot
Houston names new emergency center director

The center manages 911 calls and other emergency communications.

The city of League City has published a notice of intent to issue certificates of obligation to fund part of a $22 million project to upgrade a water line. (Courtesy city of League City)
League City to spend $22M on water line upgrade

The city of League City has published a notice of intent to issue certificates of obligation to fund part of a $22 million project to upgrade a water line.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas issued a call for Texans to conserve energy June 14. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
ERCOT asks Texans to conserve energy with generation outages 2.5 times higher than normal

"This is unusual for this early in the summer season," said Woody Rickerson, ERCOT vice president of grid planning and operations, in a news release.

League City's Helen Hall Library History Club hosted an event related to Juneteenth on June 7. The holiday honors Union Gen. Gordon Granger coming to Galveston in 1865 to announce the liberation of enslaved people in Texas. (Graphic by Justin Howell/Community Impact Newspaper)
Celebrate Juneteenth in Galveston with a movie screening, parade and more on June 17, 19

The Juneteenth Legacy Project, which aims to recontextualize the day and properly communicate its story and relevance, is hosting or advertising numerous events over the course of the holiday weekend.

Missouri City resident Jackie Ward became the chief nursing officer at Texas Children’s Hospital in January. (Photo by Michael Carr Photography, graphic by Chase Brooks/Community Impact Newspaper)
Q&A: Jackie Ward, Texas Children's Hospital chief nursing officer, discusses career, nursing during COVID-19

Prior to becoming chief nursing officer, Missouri City resident Jackie Ward worked as an oncology nurse and in a variety of leadership roles at Texas Children's Hospital.

Java Owl reopened Monday morning, May 17. (Courtesy of Java Owl Coffee House)
IMPACTS ROUNDUP: Java Owl reopens on E. NASA Parkway and more

Here is a roundup of recent business news in the Bay Area.

Taco Bueno sells tacos, burritos, quesadillas, nachos and more unique items, including the Muchaco, a taco made with a soft pita-like shell. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Taco Bueno coming to Katy and more Houston-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.

Intuitive Machines is based in Clear Lake. (Jake Magee/Community Impact Newspaper)
Intuitive Machines expanding in Houston Spaceport

Houston officials have announced yet another development coming to the Houston Spaceport.

Economist Elliot Eisenberg spoke about the economic recovery post-pandemic, saying this year's GDP growth will be the best since the 1950s. (Brooke Ontiveros/Community Impact Newspaper)
Economist explains housing demand, price booms in Texas, Greater Houston area

Eisenberg explained why home prices are rising at a June 9 Greater Houston Builders Association luncheon.

I-45 Houston
Houston extends pilot period for freeway crash towing program

A pilot program that aims to reduce wait times for towing after freeway accidents got an extension June 9.