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SPOTLIGHT – – Important Meetings and Events
Randalls Store Is Closing – Last day is scheduled for the end of February 2021. No plans have been announced for the building or the 3-acre site, located in the UV-D District.
Spruce and Fifth Streets – Now the subject of a lawsuit, the $3.2 million in contracts for this project called for completion by February 15, 2020. A drive through the area feels as though you’re in a fun house. Here’s some background on this project.
Over the past five years our property tax rate has risen from $.3805 in 2015-2016 to $.4473 for 2019-2020, an 18% increase. But for the past 3 years, from 2018-2020, the property tax revenue has barely increased.
- The City’s revenue from property taxes increased – from $15.42 million for 2015 to $20.53 million in 2019. A 33% increase. More than $5 million dollars in five years.
- However there has been little annual gain since 2018. Per the Harris County Tax Office, the annual increase in Bellaire’s property tax revenues over the past 3 years has flattened: $20,028,121 in 2018, 20,534,596 in 2019, and $20,658,141 for 2020.
- And no Capital Improvement Cash funds were scheduled to be paid from the General Fund in year 2020. Nothing for Parks or the Library. Where did that $5 million in addtional revenue go?
- Over those same 5 years our bonded debt increased almost $50 million dollars,
Recycling, organic gardening, less pesticides – all win/wins for our kids and our community. So are reusable bags!
Find informative articles here.
100 Years of Bellaire History!
And for a terrific photo history check this out:
No More City Of Homes?
According to the City manager and staff our longtime City logo, representing Bellaire as a City of Homes, will soon be gone, thanks to City Council and the $50,000 branding study. Read more here.
Category Archives: Uncategorized
At this point the proposed date for Council’s approval of the project is February 18, 2019. A pdf of the presentation can be found here: 1_7_19_Spruce&Fifth The City of Bellaire seems determined to narrow 60 foot wide commercial streets to … Continue reading
2019 Budget is Adopted – Future Bond Program Planning Session – A Possible $47 million Bond Issue in 2019
The Bellaire City Council, City Manager, and City staff discussed the possibility of another bond issue in 2019. The amount proposed by City staff is $47 million. A second bond issue in 2022 was also mentioned, at this point … Continue reading
Are you aware of Bellaire’s History Walk? Lynn’s latest chapter of Bellaire history, History In Tangible Form, explains the background of Bellaire’s History Walk and the various monuments around town. Part of the City’s centennial celebration. Find it here! All … Continue reading
Call for Referendum To Require a Vote on Sidewalks! SidewalkChoice was founded by a group of Bellaire residents who feel the $55 million dollar 2016 Bonds for Better Bellaire bond issue left out important facts about how the funds would … Continue reading
In response to requests for a printed version of my comments at the October 15, 2018 Council meeting I am posting it below: Good Evening Mayor, City Council, and Citizens,
From boomtown to slowdown, in 1980 population in Bellaire dropped from a high of almost 20,000 to less than 15,000. President Ronald Reagan defeated Michael Dukakis and reigned for the decade until George H.W. Bush took over in 1989. There … Continue reading
Preface: In order to maintain our current revenue stream City Council has agreed on an increase to our property tax rate from $ .4159 to $ .4313 for tax year 2018 to compensate for the lower property values on the … Continue reading
Many city governments find themselves up against a wall when they need money for day-to-day operating expenses, building new structures, improving existing structures or making repairs. Ongoing expenses, including employee wages, maintenance andinsurance, plus periodic projects including building schools, improving … Continue reading
UPDATE: Recent information has been received. Find out what streets in the Group D Phase 1 and Phase 2 are approved for sidewalks and what streets have been removed. Read it here. A few weeks ago, out of the … Continue reading
It was 31 years ago, in 1977, that 4,619 Bellaire voters at a Special Recall Election called by a citizens’ initiative referendum succeeded in recalling from elected office the Mayor and three of the five City Council members. Bellaire citizens … Continue reading
When Time Magazine, Inc. published its, “Time 1968 40th Anniversary Special” (© 2008 Time, Inc.) in which it describes that year and the 1960s era as, “War abroad, Riots at Home, Fallen Leaders and Loner Dreams: The Year that Challenged … Continue reading
Dear Mayor and Members of City Council, As you work towards the 2019 City budget and the possibility of another $45 or 50 million dollar bond issue I’d like to suggest the following. First, check out the Comptroller’s
Bellaire City Council faced a large crowd of Bellaire residents who turned out for the August 6, 2018, City Council meeting. The Council chambers and the City Hall atrium were full, and resident after resident spoke their mind on the … Continue reading
Chapter 9 of Lynn McBee’s Bellaire history is available here. Houston growth brings Loops and Freeways and a town divided. A time of growth, with more discussion on zoning and desegregation in our schools. All installments are are available on … Continue reading
UPDATE: City Council has tabled the Pathways Plan but did not vote it down. Unless it returns for consideration and approval it will sit on the same shelf as the Branding proposal, available for a rerun in the future. The … Continue reading
Chapter 8 of Lynn McBee’s Bellaire history is available here. It wasn’t easy to agree on a path to arrive at the style of City government we have today. And we’re still working on it! All installments are are available … Continue reading
When a new City Manager takes the reins in Bellaire we might expect that he or she would bring a former executive assistant along, someone already in tune with their style of management.
UPDATE: Pathways Plan was ‘shelved’ by Ctiy Council on August 6, 2018. The Pathways Plan was presented to Planning and Zoning on Thursday, July 12, 2018. The Meeting video is available to view online. P&Z voted unanimously not to recommend … Continue reading
Final version of Council Priorities: https://www.bellairetx.gov/DocumentCenter/View/18482/Council-Priorities—Adopted-61818?bidId= Find it here: Council Priorities 2018-06-18. Take a look at the overview – the Chevron property; the costs to the city from Hurricane Harvey – $3.5 million, much of that will be reimbursed by FEMA … Continue reading
Here are the City Manager’s 7 easy steps to beautify downtown Bellaire: 1) Take the 60 foot wide commercial Spruce Street that runs behind a large grocery store, contains no small retail stores or boutiques, and is traversed daily in … Continue reading
Some background: On March 19, 2018, Public Works presented a plan to City Council to reconstruct the 5100 and 5200 blocks of Spruce St. and three blocks of North Fifth by the new H-E-B grocery. (Watch the meeting here.) The … Continue reading
The City Council and the City Manager are fond of referring to various plans and studies to justify expenditures, sometimes on questionable projects and more studies. We hear about the Comprehensive Plan, the Branding Study, Terrain Studios and something called … Continue reading
Residents are speaking out in opposition to the proposed Pathways Plan. The cost may be paid by the 2016 Bonds for Better Bellaire funds for Streets, Drainage and Sidewalks. The estimated cost eight to twelve million dollars. You’ll find more … Continue reading
Substandard and Abandoned Houses Substandard and abandoned houses were an early topic of last Monday’s regular Council meeting. After numerous complaints from residents on Nextdoor and articles in the Southwest News about abandoned houses the City Manager provided a PowerPoint … Continue reading
Have you tried to find information on the City of Bellaire website? One example: search for City Council agenda packets. You’ll find the calendar for the current month where you can click on the Council meetings. The next best possibility … Continue reading
Ever wonder if the $50,000 Branding Study has gone away? Despite the tepid to downright comical response to the meaningless logo presented to City Council in January 2018, there’s been no word from the City that the contract with the … Continue reading
This excerpt is from the most recent City newsletter, The Boulevard: Group C Phase II: Streets, Drainage and Sidewalks project – There are five street blocks identified in this project. Three of the street blocks are adjacent to the HEB … Continue reading
Per the April 11th Cultural Arts Board agenda, Item D: DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION – Recommendations to name the hallway in City Hall that will house art. – Chair Terry Leavitt-Chavez What art? Donated or Purchased? Here’s the agenda: Cultural … Continue reading
Bellaire has come a long way and thanks to longtime resident Lynn McBee the City’s history will unfold on this web site. Just click the menu item for Bellaire History and enjoy a good read!
When Bellaire voters approved a bond issue for $24 million dollars for Streets, Drainage, and Sidewalks with the explanation that ‘Projects will address replacement of streets and drainage systems in order to reduce the occurrence of flooding and improve street … Continue reading