The City of Mission has seven ongoing drainage projects in areas engineers deemed high priority due to the time it takes for water to drain following rainfall. After about three years of assessments, planning and construction, four projects are near completion.
Of the seven areas, there are five active projects — Stewart A, Esperanza, Gabriel, Tulip and Glasscock. However, Glasscock is in the infancy stage, according to B2Z Engineering Senior Project Manager Artuto Garza.
Project Tulip, located mainly in La Hacienda subdivision and in the vicinity of John H. Shary Elementary, reached substantial completion with only the punch list items pending. Garza said HCE contractors should complete the punch list items by the end of July.
Tulip initially cost $1.8 million, but following change order approvals on July 24, the new total cost is $1.9 million.
With all the major construction closed out on the project, traffic at John H. Shary should also improve. However, it is just one of two projects on Glasscock Road.
Project Glasscock, which runs from Tillie Lane north to the Edinburg Main Canal, is only about 10% complete. But Garza said the goal is to finish some of the most disruptive work before school starts for students Aug. 21.
“I know we’ve been getting a lot of calls from the school, so we’re trying to hurry up. But…there are a lot of utilities there so we gotta take our time,” the senior project manager said.
Projects Stewart A is 75% complete. RG Enterprises installed the major trunk line along Stewart Road and continues to work on the artery lines inside the neighboring subdivision. But the team is already preparing the main road for pavement.
“I know [there’s] a lot of calls regarding Stewart and a lot of calls regarding traffic so we’re excited about getting that near completion,” Garza said. “In speaking with the contractor, we’re pushing to get it done by the end of August, weather permitting.”
Project Gabriel, located near the El Valle subdivision, is about 85% finished. The proposed completion date is Aug. 8. According to Assistant City Manager JP Terrazas, the area that posed the most problems of all seven drainage areas is because it sits at the lowest point in the city and therefore experienced the most flooding. But Project Gabriel and the expansion of Mission Lateral should alleviate much of the problem.
Project Esperanza’s completion date is Sept. 17, and the construction is about 70% finished. Garza said the goal is to begin paving the roads within the next few weeks.
The remaining two drainage projects — Elm and Leandro — are in the final planning stages before the city can move to the construction phase.
Following the demolition of Mission’s Historic Roosevelt Auditorium, community members learned the city’s preservation ordinance had errors, was not inclusive and did not comply with state law. Since then, the city began modifying its preservation ordinance, ensuring the protection of the remaining historic sites in Mission.
In June, City Attorney Victor Flores recommended a series of immediate and long-term changes to remedy the issues. At the July 24 Mission City Council meeting, the mayor and council approved the first round of changes to include:
- Term requirements
- Attendance requirements
- The designation process
“It really just goes to codify…[the] short term changes to this ordinance, just to get it compliant with other city ordinances and also state law,” Flores said.
Additionally, the council repealed a 30-year curfew ordinance to comply with new state law.
Previously, violation of Mission’s curfew ordinance was a class C misdemeanor for the minor and punishable with a fine of up to $500 for the guardian without an acceptable defense. Now, the state forbids local government entities from enacting a curfew for people under 18. However, the new House Bill 1819 allows local authorities to impose a juvenile curfew in the event of an emergency.
But even before the Texas Legislature passed the bill, more cities began doing away with local juvenile curfews. Austin City Council voted to end its nearly 30-year curfew ordinance in 2017; Houston repealed its daytime curfew in 2019; and Fort Worth allowed its local curfew to expire earlier this year after Republican state leaders filed bills to repeal the authority.
The new state law takes effect Sept. 1, but the repeal of local Mission law is effective immediately.