The Brazosport Facts from Freeport, Texas on September 22, 1968 · Page 42
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The Brazosport Facts from Freeport, Texas · Page 42

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Freeport, Texas
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Sunday, September 22, 1968
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Page 42
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PAdtt 4' BIMottwrt 'Community, THE BRAZOSPORT FACTS, Freeport, Texas, Sunday, Sept. 22, 1968 Drainage, renewal plan dominate fP's progress u FREEPORT - Two dominated community pfog- ress this year. One r storm dratnate, will give security to tlton now here. The other is Urban Renewal, which unlocks the door to near-future (fowth. Mayor T. C. Selman finds in the Urban Renewal rote an element he considers at least U Important to the city's future as the physical improvement it provides. This was the nature of the outcome. A fif»-to-one majority approved the proposal. "This tells_me a lot about the spirit of th* pwple of Freeport," the mayor said. "They are optimistic, they want progress. -.- "BeciMM of this, the whole outlooVjjlRtne city itself is very opttmfrtlc." To Create the kind of city the two recents makes possible, Mayor Selman said, the people must continue their progressive spirit. He lists four major challenges they must meet. But first, he said, "it is necessary to look at some things that have happened this past year before we look ahead." , He pointed to three major items. One was the Urban Renewal vote that allows the people to reclaim dormant land north of GuL' Blvd. This would make space for an estimated 1,000 homes in a city that has nearly run out of space in the levee-protected area. A second item was the groundbreaking for a west end pump station that, when operating, will more than triple the south side's capacity for exhausting flood waters. And the third was the gift from Ethyl-Dow of a 50,000 g.p.m. storm pump to relieve north side drainage, together with a report that the larger federal pump station would probably be programmed for a •tart next year. "In two or three years," Mayor Selman said, "we should be able to pump one mil- lion gallons of flood water per minute out of the city," This brings up the challenges. "It is Impossible to separate streets and drainage In Freeport," the mayor said. "So the challenge is: We must look toward the installation of new concrete streets, as well as replacing some of our old streets with concrete. "That means we are looking at a proposal tor construction bond funds." Next, he said, the recent rains showed a severe problem of north side drainage, and particularly in the area west of Highway 288. The challenge: To make this area secure against flooding, either by creating an outlet through the levee into the Brazos River, or by running a drainage structure through Highway 288 to drain to the east. . Some of this, he felt, would be relieved by the drainage features of urban Renew a.' development. Further, when the large pump stations are in operation, the city must re-examine the adequacy of its Internal drainage. The pumps might be able to remove water faster than the present storm sewets and ditches can channel the runoff to the pumps. That means improvements In the flow. "This is something that experience will have to show up." Another point that constitutes a challenge, the mayor said, is the city's strategic location with respect to the chemical industry, offshore oil. deep-sea shipping, the fishing industry. "There is going to be continuous industrial growth all around us." The challenge: For Freeport to provide the needed services for industry, as well as the residences to house its employees. In the latter respect, he said, the land salvaged by Urban Renewal would pro vide for something like five years of growth, and then the city would have to look elsewhere for further expansion. ''The protection of the land west of the Brazos would by then, at least, be a must," he said. Finally, he pointed out,''one of the great needs of the city Is the modernization and updating of our business district. "Much of the strength of a city lies In its commercial district. One of the next things the city must do Is embark on a program of promoting this upgrading of the business area." Absentee ownership of much of the property was a deterrent, he said, but It could be done by a program In which local leaders made an active campaign of Interesting owners in improvements. Beyond these Immediate challenges to the citizens and their leaders, he sees a need for plotting Freeport's progress farther into the future. (Continued on Page 10) NOT COLUMNS OF PAST GLORIES OF ROME, but rather structures attesting to coming grandeur forDrazosport motorists. These columns are the first to rise for the big Interchange now under construction at the intersection of Highways 332 and 288. The Improved traffic facility will eventually tie in with the planned Houston freeway as well as give moro Immediate relief lo Uow Chemical Co. employees at the peak traffic periods. Freeway seen as key to continued LJ growth LAKE JACKSON - There was no crystal ball for them to use, but the men gathered around the Council table at the Lake Jackson City Hall some five years back did a lot of serious thinking about what the future might hold for their city. They looked at the city's 20-year record of growth and saw that the trend had been, with a few brief exceptions, definitely an upward one. They carefully considered the economic conditions within the city, the county and the entire Gulf Coast crescent. What they saw looked good. What the planning experts said sounded good. Putting this information together, and sealing it with their OWQ faith in the city, the City Council pur- chased an 8,4-acre tract of land adjacent to the downtown business district and asked the citizens to vote bonds to begin development of a Civic Center geared to a population of 25,000. This planning to place the city in a position to handle double the people it then had, was begun under the leadership of Mayor Kara Cooper. This year, after 10 years at the head of the city government, Mayor Cooper retired from office. But the forward thinking and faith In Lake Jackson that were the driving force before are still present in the city government that is now led by Mayor Jack Reid who took office in April. Reid, a longtime resident and businessman, had been a Councilman as the plans for the Civic Center began to take shape. This year, at the start of his administration, the City acquired additional land adjacent to the Civic Center._ The Council took this action, feeling that the continued Increase In population over the past five years showed that their hopes for the city were well-founded and that the added land could be put to good use for city purposes. Mayor Reid feels that the freeway from Houston, planned to sweep along Lake Jackson's western boundaries, will be the key factor in bringing Hhe city to the predicted 25,000 population during the next decade. Lake Jackson's business and Keeping A Step Ahead 1400 BiAZOSPORT BOULEVARD Of Your Banking Needs BBA70SPOHT BOULEVARD Ic our way ol letting you know that your banking needs, your growth, your development U our torfroost concern, . ,we stand ready to lend any banking or savings assistance o«c««s«ry to continue the steady, healthy growth of our great Braaosport area.,, BBRAZOSPOR OF* MEMBER FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION 1400 WAZQSPQRT BLVD. fti 3^353* _ __ residential development should get a considerable boost from the freeway planning even before the new route from Houston is actually bringing traffic southward, the mayor thinks. "Once the exact route of the freeway is established, there will be considerable development," Mayor Reid predicted, adding, "It will make a big town of Lake Jackson." He feels 'that within two years there will be a motel built in the city, fulfilling a longtime dream of local officials. Reid feels this will come as soon as the path of the big highway is pinned down. He sees the northern portion of the city as the area where the biggest part of new development will be. This will be centered around Farm Road 2004, both north of that road and east toward Richwood. Already the southwest corner of the FM 2004-County Road 288 intersection has been rezoned In anticipation of a large shopping center which will nave apartments and town houses adjacent. There Is continued development of Oyster Bend Subdivision, across CR 288 from the city limits but in the Lake Jackson jurisdictions! area. In the other direction, the mayor points to development underway along FM 2004 to the west — Tanglewood Subdivision and the new Bess Brannen Elementary School. Actually, one can point In almost any direction and find available housing areas filling In. But there is a type of housing that Mayor Reid would like to see even more of. "I hope to see more moderately priced homes — In the $15,000 range," he explained. He Is also anxious to see action on more of the land that has been zoned for apartments, "I feel that Lake Jackson may have lost from 500 to 700 people in the past year due to the lack of apartments. I hope to see some town houses, too. I feel they would go over well here/' he said, Will the further spreading out of businesses, such as the planned Magnolia Park shopping center, hurt tlio downtown area Is destined to (111 in and that much of this will come with the establishment of the highway route. While progress and growth are being sought for the city, these very assets also bring with them problems. Lake Jackson needs moro park land and large undeveloped areas are rapidly becoming more scarce so this is a problem that needs — and Is getting — Immediate attention, with the hope that a major city park may still be obtainable. But most problems are good ones, as Mayor Reid sees it. They are problems that show the city Is on the move. And they are problems that tu> feels .certain can be solved, but doing this lunges on two chief needs. First, he feels, cities need to find a new source of money. This must be "something the people can live with and something other than Increasing the tax burden on homeowners," the mayor says. It was with reluctance that the City Council this year raised the tax rate 15 cents per $100 valuation. But this seem- ed th<> only means of raising salaries wmcn would enable the city lo keep good employees, an asset the mayor feels strongly about. Reid, then a Councilman, was an outspoken advocate of the city sales tax which was defeated by volurs In the same election at which howosnamed as mayor. It was with some chagrin that Council members who had advocated Hie sales tax nUed that tho estimated Income from that tax was very close to the same amount that tho property t a x Increase will bring In. In addition to money, tho oilier key factor Mayor Reid feels Is needed for the continual Ion of a healthy and pros- porous city la good relations with the othor communities in the area. This was one of his goals which he had In mind tntaking the reiens of the city. He's found some stumbling blocks In his path, but It's atlliasoal that he Intends to keep work- Ing for. ''I feel that It Is Important for the cities to enjoy jood relations — there are so many things that wo need to work together on," Mayor Reid says. Water la one. of the problems that Mayor Held thinks shou^ bo getting serious attention. Krosh water may well become scarce In a very few years. Tim mayor thinks that ilils la a problem that all u! the cities of lirarospurt should work together to solve. Drainage la another common problem of the cltlei that noods to bo tackled In unison, ho few is. "Joint effort could solvu out ponding problems," Reid says. Prosont work underway and In the planning stages should bring relief for most of the drainage dtfflcultlei that reached the acute stage this year, ho ttiinka. But the constant chan^eove of undeveloped land Into home™ sites and for business and Industrial usage la creating a niiw problem — the ponding areas where water coulddralfl olf unnoticed are disappearing. This problem, too, noed* the cooperation on) thinking of all cities In the area, Reid says. * Clute plans toward supervised growth CLUTE — Annexation of approximately 00 acres of land brought several major developments within the city limits of Clute. Chief among these was the Houston Lighting and Power Company'sBra- zosport Service Center, Fred Clalborne Ford and the new Brazosport Chamber of Commerce building. The annexation Involved two tracts of land—the larger tract, consisting of 70 acres, extended the city limits south to Highway 332 from Main Street to the HLiP plant; the second tract was a 10-foot strip along the south side of Lake Jackson Road, west to CR 285, plus all the land between Co. Road 285 and Flag Lake Drive for a total of 23 acres. The annexation allows the city to exercise full zoning control over the two areas, and to extend city utilities to commercial developments expected In both areas. Clute Mayor Bruce Runnels said that the city recognized the large growth in this area and felt that now was the time to take the property in and supervise the growth, rather than waiting and taking It Inat a less convenient time, t Ho said that the city also wanted to tx> able to provide water and sewer survice lo that area. "In the next flvetolOyeart, 1 believe that the projected growth of Clute will leave the city with no further room for expansion, I believe that this area is going to boom," Mayor Runnels stated, "At this time the residents moving to this area have taken up almost all of our ipare housing and I see greater activities In the way of apartment complexes within the city," he added. PROGRESS Progress comes through our many friends and customers at,,, We are proud to be a port of the growth and development of lake Jackson * irazoria County

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