Police, parks and housing covered at Missouri City council this week

A new chief and assistant chief will be sworn in for Hutto on Thursday.

A new chief and assistant chief will be sworn in for Hutto on Thursday.

Missouri City City Council held its regular agenda meeting Monday evening, and below are some of the highlights discussed by the council. Council Member Yolanda Ford was absent.

  1. Grants sought for police needs 


Council members approved grant applications by the Missouri City Police Department to pay for a crime victim liaison and two mobile video surveillance trailers in fiscal year 2017-18. The application for the liaison position is for $117,218.63 while the application for the mobile units is $125,000.

The grants would come from the Houston-Galveston Area Council. Missouri City would not need to match funds for the surveillance units but would need to provide $58,609.31 in fiscal year 2017-18 for the liaison position, according to meeting documents.

The liaison is a position required by article 56.04 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure and is meant to “ensure that a victim, guardian of a victim, or close relative of a deceased victim is afforded the rights granted victims, guardians, or close relatives of deceased victims,” according to the code. Missouri City Mayor Allen Owen said that in a city like his, this is especially important for a large population of non-native English speakers.

"When they are dealing with the police and they come from a country where police are not necessarily respected as such it's a comforting fact to them to have somebody on the other end of that phone that speaks their language and understands their culture, and knows a little bit about what's going on," Owen said.

Meanwhile, the surveillance units have platforms that raise up to 30 feet high for officers to have a better vantage point in cases such as recreation events, according to meeting documents.

  1. Parking and light expansions approved for city park


The council approved the use of Community Development Block Grant funds to expand the parking lot and lighting at Hunters Glen Park, located off Independence Boulevard. The $113,000 project is coming from funds awarded to the city in fiscal year 2015-16.

A contract for the work will go to Jerdon Enterprises, according to meeting documents. The work involves installing three new light poles, removing approximately 90 square yards of concrete and installing nearly 320 square yards of new concrete, and increasing the number of parking spaces from 49 to 74 total.

"There are people in that park that start [walking] somewhere in the neighborhood of 4:30-5 [a.m.] in the morning,” Council Member Don Smith said. "To add those lights around the darken trails is an enhancement, and plus it eliminates the safety issue."

  1. New senior housing projects applying for tax credits


The council also approved applications by Gardner Capital for housing tax credits related to an upcoming senior housing development off Texas Parkway. The developer is planning two complexes for a total of 160 to 240 units.

Gardner Capital intends to partially fund construction with the housing tax credits from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, according to meeting documents. The council unanimously approved the measure.


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