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Posts published in “News Index – Barbers Hill Dayton PRESS”

Beach City Residents continue concern about disposal site in their Neighborhood

PROPOSED DISPOSAL SITE is near a residential area to the north, and McCollum Park is adjacent. The 3.5 acre disposal site is outlined above.

City Passes Ordinance to prohibit toxic landfill

On January 15, 2019, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a “Public Notice” regarding the proposed dredging in the San Jacinto River. The notice described the disposal site as a tract in Beach City, even though the developer, Holtmar Land LLC, had promised the city they would amend the request from the USACE and find another site not in Beach City.

Concerned that the notice did not reflect a new site, Beach City passed an ordinance prohibiting the dumping of toxic waste at the site proposed along McCollum Park Road, with a $2000 per day penalty if violated.

Further action was taken by Mayor Jackey Lasater, who wrote the following letter to the Corps of Engineers and shared it with the residents of Beach City in a newsletter:

“I will share with you my letter to USACE and I urge those that have not written a letter yet to please do so asap. We must continue to prepare for the worst case scenario until the permit is actually amended in our favor.


Re: file #SWG-2015- 00855

Dear Mr. Bader,

My name is Jackey Lasater and I am writing in response to the above referenced permit request. As Mayor of Beach City, I urge you to consider the numerous issues that I/we have in the proposed placement of contaminated dredge material from the ‘area of concern’ located in proximity of the Federal Superfund site in the San Jacinto River near Highlands Texas.


Covestro and Mont Belvieu dedicate solar powered charging station at City Park

Covestro representatives and City Officials unveil charging station.

Residents of Mont Belvieu can now take a break in shade at its city park while harnessing energy from the sun to charge up their portable devices.

Thanks to a generous donation from Covestro, a new solar-powered charging station using state-of-the-art technology was unveiled Monday, January 21 with leaders from the city and the company.

“We encourage diverse thinking and creative problem solving that embodies Covestro’s new vision ‘to make the world a brighter place,’ which includes incorporating sustainability in every element of our strategy,” said Rod Herrick, Covestro Vice President and Site Manager. “This solar-powered charging station helps make the world we live in brighter by reducing our environmental impact and is a testament to our dedication to this effort.”

The picnic table-style installation seats four comfortably is located between the park’s playgrounds and splash pad and features a table with bench seats with a solar panel shade over the top.

The solar station is a fully engineered true off-grid solar powered charging station. It is equip with a power design that delivers dependable year round charging power even with days of cloudy weather.


Cedar Bayou Apache Lane flooding project presented to the public

HARRIS COUNTY PRECINCT 2 Infrastructure Director Jeremy Phillips, left, talks with residents of the area, while Harris County Engineer Reid Mrsnya, right, presents details of the drainage proposals to the audience.

EAST HARRIS COUNTY – On January 16 the Harris County Flood Control District held a meeting at the San Jacinto Community Center in Highlands, to inform the public about partnering with the Harris County Precinct 2 Engineering Department to address flooding issues in residential neighborhoods in unincorporated regions of Harris County with focus on stormwater drainage improvements and to receive input from the public.

Reid Mrsnya, Public Engineer with Harris County, points out that his group is working to find solutions for flooding issues on Apache Lane nearest to Cedar Bayou.

Voters approved $2.5 billion in bonds to finance flood damage reduction projects within the county. The county is moving forward with planning and construction of projects with bond funding, making effort to make transparent those projects to residents.

This meeting is listed on the Harris County Flood Control District website and information can be obtained and comments made at, the district’s website.


Letter from Beach City’s Mayor: DREDGE MATERIAL ISSUE

Hello Neighbors!

I have had a busy day today. This morning I attended the meeting of the Chambers County Commissioners Court as this was on their agenda. There were no actions to take today but a number of people were able to speak and express their concerns and ideas. One of the key speakers was Ms. Jackie Young. She is the Executive Director of THEA and is the person that is spearheading the removal of the San Jacinto River toxic waste pits. I visited with her at length after the meeting. She is excited to help us with our cause. My take from the meeting today is that Judge Sylvia and the Commissioners will be researching the County’s options but can’t do anything until the request for permit is posted in early January.

Now I will outline our (Beach City and neighbors) Initial strategy:

1) I will be asking City Council to establish parameters for an ordinance that would protect the citizens and property owners of Beach City from this and future attempts to deposit dirt, sand or dredge material that poses a potential risk to flood drainage, property values or health. Council will meet on January 8th in a special called meeting at which time this will be presented. I will appoint a committee to prepare an ordinance to present to Council at the Regular Council Meeting on January 22 for a vote.

2) We will form a citizens coalition as soon as possible. Anyone who would like to share their expertise, experience, Talents or network that would be helpful to our cause please email me so we can get organized. I was contacted today by Guy Matthews to offer his services and experience. He is an esteemed attorney that was a key player in the fight against the toxic waste dump that wanted to locate in Cedar Crossing about 20 years ago. Many of you probably know him. Also, Ms.Young has offered to help in this area.

3) I have scheduled a town hall meeting on January 21st at 6:30 pm in the Beach City Community Building. Ms. Jackie Young will be there and I will be working to getting others. I hope the Citizens Coalition will have time to develop a presentation.

4) I ask that everyone start writing letters of concern to Congressman Babin and State Rep. Mays Middleton. It is more effective to send a letter via US postal Service than it is to send an email. Also. Ms. Young recommends that you email a copy to me so that we can have a record of letters sent. For those that get writers block (like me), she is going to furnish a form letter that she feels would be most effective and I will share that when I get it. Personally, I think a letter from the heart would have the most impact.

Finally, I would like you to know that there are a lot of people that are working on this and more to come. I urge you to resist speculation and stick to what we know. At this time we don’t know what this dredge material will contain, only that there is a good possibility that it contains some level of toxic materials. FYI: There have been previous attempts to get permitted to dredge this same area that were denied. As I understand it, the last one was in 2010 and denied by the EPA. This was info from Jackie Young this morning and I hope I got the date right.

I will pass on information as it becomes available.

Jackey Lasater
Beach City, Mayor

Covestro invests 1.7 Billion in Baytown

Covestro Plant in Baytown

Covestro accelerates its investment activities to capitalize on the strong MDI market growth. Today, the Supervisory Board of Covestro has approved an investment of around EUR 1.5 billion to build a new world-scale MDI plant in Baytown, USA. This investment at the existing site in Baytown is the largest single investment in the history of the company. Total capacity of the new train will be 500 kilotons MDI per year, start of production is expected in 2024. At the same time an older, less efficient MDI unit of 90 kilotons production capacity will be closed. Thus, total MDI capacities of Covestro in the NAFTA region will reach around 740 kilotons per year making Covestro the industry capacity leader in the region by 2024. With that, Covestro will also strongly underline its global industry capacity leadership position.

“Demand for innovative MDI materials will continue to grow for the foreseeable future and likewise promises attractive capacity utilization rates. We have already announced a significant increase in capital expenditures, now it’s time to put it into action”, said CEO Dr. Markus Steilemann. “With the new MDI train in Baytown, we will further strengthen our global leading position in Polyurethanes, even better serve our customers and create long-term shareholder value.”


“Umbrella Alley” is finalist for state award

Baytown’s Umbrella Alley

Finalists for the 2018 Texas Downtown Association President’s Awards Program were recently announced in Austin. For over 30 years the awards program, sponsored by the Texas Downtown Association (TDA), has recognized outstanding projects, places, and people of Texas downtowns. One hundred and eleven entries were submitted in eleven different categories from communities across the state. Judges reviewed entries online and then met in person to make their final selection of award finalists and winners.

Baytown’s Umbrella Alley is one of the finalists for the Texas Downtown Association Spirit of Downtown Award. The Baytown Tourism Division on behalf of the Baytown Pubic Art Visioning Committee unveiled the beautiful Umbrella Alley in the Downtown Arts District in early May 2018. This Public Art Visioning Committee is made up of individuals from the downtown business area including the Art League of Baytown, Lee College Art Department, Sterling Municipal Library, and other local influencers who hold Baytown’s best interests at heart. In the past, the alley was filled with broken concrete and graffitied walls, but now the Umbrella Alley is occupied with colorful umbrellas that swing back and forth in a whimsical limbo, casting dancing shadows along the alley walls and ground; the alley walls are getting a splash of color as a mural comes to life that focuses on the highlights of Baytown. The artists working on this mural are students from the Lee College Art Department which is located at the end of the Downtown Arts District. This collaboration among downtown partners has garnered regional response, and brought special attention to the Downtown Arts District area and the business’s that are located there.

“We are proud of the Umbrella Alley project, and the excitement it has garnered for our downtown,” says Anna Yowell, Tourism Coordinator. “We look forward to doing more Public Art projects in the future.”

Winners will be announced on November 7 at the Awards Gala held in conjunction with the 2018 Texas Downtown Conference in Corpus Christi. (more…)

Barbers Hill ISD students earn National Merit Scholars recognition

Barbers Hill High School seniors Kathryn Hok and Kaitlyn Robinson were named 2019 National Merit Commended Students by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation this month.

Both students are ranked in the Top Five of the Barbers Hill Class of 2019.

“To get to this level of academic achievement requires determination, hard work, and a willingness to stretch themselves by taking advanced level courses,” said Asst. Supt. of Curriculum and Instruction Sandra Duree. “I’m so proud of these students and the amazing BHISD staff. Working together toward a common goal helps us move forward in our quest for excellence for all students.”

Robinson plans to attend Texas A&M University next year, and Hok is considering several university options.

Commended Students placed among the top 50,000 scorers of more than 1.6 million students who entered the 2019 competition by taking the 2017 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation will be recognized for their exceptional academic promise.

National Hispanic Scholars

The College Board in September named three Barbers Hill High School students as National Hispanic Scholars.

Barbers Hill seniors Jade Meador, Adriana Torres-Rodriguez, and Isaac Recio were named Scholars in the program based on their scores on the PSAT/NMSQT in this region. Scholars must score in the top 2.5% of Hispanic test-takers in the region during their junior year, as well as achieve a minimum 3.5 GPA.

“We are very proud of these three students,” said BHHS Principal Rick Kana. “They have pushed themselves academically and stand out as leaders on our campus. They are so deserving of this recognition, and we are proud to have them at Barbers Hill High School.”

Each year, the National Hispanic Recognition Program recognizes approximately 5,000 students nationwide out of over 250,000 Hispanic students who take the PSAT/NMSQT.


By Michael W. Palmer

On August 21, The P&Z Commission approved the request for installation of eight; “No Parking,” and one No U-Turn sign and “No Standing Signs” which will be permanent placement signs on Market Street, Carnegie Street, and Gentry Street.

The meaning of “Stand” or “standing” means to halt an occupied or unoccupied vehicle, other than temporarily while receiving or discharging passengers.

“Carnegie Street can hold six lanes of traffic comfortably,” said Matthew Johnson – Traffic Engineer for the City of Baytown. He also said, “The identified safety concern was that drivers were queuing up in the eastbound lanes of Market Street starting from the high school parking lot driveway. This situation is an unsafe condition due to the queue terminating near the end of a blind curve on a bridge. I am pleased that the plan is moving forward.”

Police Chief Dougherty said, “I am in favor of anything that the city may implement that will improve our quality of life and make our streets safer for our motoring and pedestrian public.”


GatorFest Cook Off – Sep. 7

Texas GATORFEST, the Lone Star State’s most unique festival, would like to invite you to participate in the Annual Texas GATORFEST Barbecue Cook-Off to kick off this year’s festival. The family oriented festival is one of the fastest growing festivals in Texas. It has established a reputation for being “good old fashioned Texas fun” and providing visitors with a variety of entertainment. The celebration of the alligator and its wetlands habitat has something for everyone!

The cook off will be held the weekend before Texas GATORFEST 2018 – September 7 & 8th, on the festival grounds in historic Fort Anahuac Park.

George Dearborne and Branded live Friday, Sep. 7 at the Texas Gatorfest BBQ Cook-off Street Dance.

Participants and visitors alike will enjoy the entertainment throughout the day on the Gator Pit stage located within the cook-off area.


Mayor of Baytown speaks on growth

Mayor Stephen DonCarlos of Baytown spoke recently to the Rotary Club of Highlands, reviewing the upcoming economic development plans for the city, and other projects.

DonCarlos has been mayor of Baytown since his election in 2006, and has seen growth in population and the economy. But he says that plans for future projects promise much more.

The XL pipeline, and the shale oil it will bring from Canada, will drive the need for expansion projects at the four major refineries in Baytown, ExxonMobil, ChevonPhillips, Enterpise, and Bayer. What is unusual about the construction plans of these industries, he said, is that their growth will be simultaneous. He forsees that in the next 3 to 4 years, Baytown will need 22,000 construction workers, and will eventually have 1500-1700 permanent jobs related to this expansion. The need for housing will burgeon, and include Highlands as well as surrounding cities. Lee College is busy preparing new courses for these workers, he said. These jobs will be well paying, as much as $70,000 or more per year.

Related to this, Enterprise has purchased 2200 acres for expansion, and Chevron plans major expansion at Sjolander and I-10, with new buildings and roads.

Chambers County Patriotism is alive

Barbers Hill Lions Club volunteers have place over 200 flags at neighbors‘ yards on patriotic holidays; and this November 11, flags will be erected again to celebrate Veterans Day.

The Barbers Hill Lions Club is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing services in the local community and to Lions projects worldwide. Some of the local Lions projects include:

•Providing eye glasses for Barbers Hill students in need

• Assisting the Mont Belvieu Food Pantry

• Supporting children with disabilities to attend the Texas Lions Camp

Lion volunteers place flags throughout West Chambers County on patriotic holidays to raise money to support their services to the community. The beautiful American flags are placed in front of homes on Veterans Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Flag Day, Labor Day through Patriot Day (Sept. 11) and Independence Day.

The Barbers Hill Lions volunteers set up the flags before these patriotic holidays, remove them afterward, and store them all year for residents for $35.00 per flag per year.

For more information about the Barbers Hill Lions Club Flag Program call Gary Nelson at (281) 576-2243.