Letters from the Mayor

3/11/21

Daylight Saving Time – Spring Forward

Daylight saving time 2021 begins at 2 a.m. March 14th.

Remember to set your clocks an hour later on that date.

That’s springing forward.

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3/1/2021

Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)

Personal Protection Equipment summary from the City of Weston Lakes.  

Since the beginning of COVID-19, only one resident asked for and received PPE from Emergency Management. In 2021, one resident requested the PPE given out by Precinct 2 and it was distributed.

During the last year, when asked for possible PPE purchases, council mentioned, during and outside of meetings, that our city is affluent and that our citizens can afford their own PPE. However, the Emergency Management Coordinator at that time, placed an order for PPE for Emergency Management to have on hand, to be purchased by the CARES Act funds. These were ordered through the Texas Department of Emergency Management Star Program but were not received as its status is routing.

In October, 2020, Texas Department of Emergency Management (TDEM) sent an email to judges, mayors and EMC partners asking them to reach out to local schools to see if they were in need of PPE, as according to their intel, some schools were in desperate need. At this time, the acting Emergency Management Coordinator (EMC) was asked to facilitate this project. A retired teacher volunteer helped to call local schools (Huggins/Fulshear High/Simonton Christian) to ask about the needs and report back to the EMC. At this time the city secretary was on vacation and later took sick leave. Phone calls and emails were sent/received documenting the need for PPE for schools from schools/EMC and our volunteer. EMC tried to order PPE for the schools through the STAR Program but the order could not be processed due to difficulty in the system. He called TDEM and placed the order by phone.

While awaiting the PPE for the schools, Alan Spears of Fort Bend County Office of Emergency Management called to speak to Emergency Management. The city secretary took the call and did not route the call immediately to the Emergency Management Director/Mayor. The city secretary is not a part of Emergency Management and does not have knowledge of the specific questions which needed to be asked regarding the PPE disbursement.  The city secretary emailed Mayor Neal and council about the phone call. When her emailed was reviewed, Mayor Neal called the EMC to ask about the PPE and he stated he knew nothing about any PPE being sent except for the schools. Due to TDEM’s request of PPE for schools in need and no requests by residents for PPE, no preparations for PPE to residents was made.  

On January 5, 2021, FBCOEM delivered four pallets of PPE to Mayor Neal’s home, after a failed attempt in December due to the rain. It could be housed in the garage and kept safe from bad weather until arrangements could be made for pick-up and/or delivery. The city does not own any property and it could not be stored at the second-floor office of city hall. At this time, FBCOEM and Mayor Neal discussed the PPE going to the schools. The very same day, LCISD maintenance picked up all but 150 PPE kits, which were reserved for Simonton Christian Academy.

Mayor Neal called FBCOEM to ask about the PPE which had been delivered. At this time, it was discovered that the PPE which was delivered, was actually from Precinct 2 to be distributed to the residents in Precinct 3. It was surplus from Precinct 2 and free to the city, thus it was not a city asset, we were only a point of distribution. Although there has been some confusion regarding the PPE received from Precinct 2, the schools are in desperate need of PPE and the city was asked to facilitate getting PPE to the schools by TDEM through STAR system requests. The schools greatly benefitted from the donation and we are grateful we were able to help.

Currently, 149 PPE kits are available to the residents. If you are in need of PPE, please call (346) 257-7797 or email mediacoord@cityofwestonlakes-tx.gov and provide your name, address, phone number and email address so we can plan for distribution.

At the February Regular City Council Meeting, council approved the hiring of the Emergency Management Administrative Assistant, Rachel Durham. Her email address is EMAdmin@cityofwestonlakes-tx.gov.

Thank you,

Mayor Ramona Neal

Mayor.neal@cityofwestonlakes-tx.gov

Cell: 281.505.8436

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2/20/21

Declaration of Disaster FEMA’s response helping homeowners pay for repairs.

This is the importance of Mayor Neal’s Declaration of Disaster to make these funds available to home owners. Please see below.

NEWS RELEASE ________________________________________ Disaster Field Operations Center West Release

Date: Feb. 20, 2021

Contact: Richard A. Jenkins, (916) 735-1500, Richard.Jenkins@sba.gov Release Number: TX 16876-01 Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Blogs & Instagram SBA Stands Ready to Assist Texas Businesses and Residents Affected by the Severe Winter Storms Virtual Recovery Centers to Open Tuesday, Feb. 23 SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Low-interest federal disaster loans are now available to Texas businesses and residents as a result of President Biden’s major disaster declaration, U.S. Small Business Administration’s acting Administrator Tami L. Perriello announced. The declaration covers 77 Texas counties as a result of the severe winter storms that began on Feb. 11, 2021. See below for the list of declared counties. “SBA is strongly committed to providing Texas with the most effective and customer-focused response possible and with access to federal disaster loans to help businesses and residents affected by this disaster,” said Perriello. “Getting our businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA.” In consideration of the public health concerns due to the Coronavirus pandemic, on Tuesday, Feb. 23, SBA will establish a Virtual Business Recovery Center to provide personalized assistance to business owners. In addition, SBA will also open a Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center to help homeowners and renters. Customer Service Representatives will be available to business owners and individuals to answer questions about SBA’s disaster loan program, explain the application process and help each person complete their electronic loan application. Virtual Business Recovery Center and Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. EDT FOCWAssistance@sba.gov (800) 659-2955 Businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. SBA can also lend additional funds to businesses and homeowners to help with the cost of improvements to protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future. For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations of any size, SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic injury assistance is available to businesses regardless of any property damage. Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property. Interest rates can be as low as 3 percent for businesses, 2 percent for private nonprofit organizations and 1.25 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition. To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, survivors must first contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency at www.disasterassistance.gov. Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155. The 77 counties are: Angelina, Aransas, Bastrop, Bee, Bell, Bexar, Blanco, Brazoria, Brazos, Brown, Burleson, Caldwell, Calhoun, Cameron, Chambers, Collin, Comal, Comanche, Cooke, Coryell, Dallas, Denton, DeWitt, Ellis, Falls, Fort Bend, Galveston, Gillespie, Grimes, Guadalupe, Hardin, Harris, Hays, Henderson, Hidalgo, Hood, Jasper, Jefferson, Johnson, Kaufman, Kendall, Lavaca, Liberty, Madison, Matagorda, Maverick, McLennan, Montague, Montgomery, Nacogdoches, Nueces, Orange, Palo Pinto, Panola, Parker, Polk, Rockwall, Sabine, San Jacinto, San Patricio, Scurry, Shelby, Smith, Stephens, Tarrant, Travis, Tyler, Upshur, Van Zandt, Victoria, Walker, Waller, Wharton, Wichita, Williamson, Wilson and Wise. About the U.S. Small Business Administration The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.Home | disasterassistance.govdisasterassistance.gov

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2/18/2021

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2/18/21

12:45 PM

Emergency Management: People Needing Assistance

Do you need assistance or know of someone who needs assistance with the following?

Carpet removal

Water clean up

General clean up

Furniture relocating or removal

Water shut off & system depressurizing

Please call/text or email your address and contact information to Emergency Operation Center (EOC) (281) 310-8151, EMCoordinator@cityofwestonlakes-tx.gov and/or mediacoord@cityofwestonlakes-tx.gov.

Helpers Requested! If you can help doing any of the above items, please call/text or email your address and contact information to Emergency Operation Center (EOC) (281) 310-8151, EMCoordinator@cityofwestonlakes-tx.gov and/or mediacoord@cityofwestonlakes-tx.gov.

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2/18/21

12:03 PM

Majority of customers are able to be restored, but electric companies still restoring outages in the field.

AUSTIN, TX, Feb. 18, 2021 – The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has made significant progress overnight restoring customer power, although some outages still remain throughout the state.

Energy emergency conditions remain as the grid operator and transmission owners work to restore the remaining customers that are without power.

“We’re to the point in the load restoration where we are allowing transmission owners to bring back any load they can related to this load shed event,” said ERCOT Senior Director of System Operations Dan Woodfin. “We will keep working around the clock until every single customer has their power back on.”

Customers that remain without power likely fall into one of these three categories:

·         Areas out due to ice storm damage on the distribution system

·         Areas that were taken out of service due to the energy emergency load shed that need to be restored manually (i.e., sending a crew to the location to re-energize the line)

·         Large industrial facilities that voluntarily went offline to help during this energy emergency.

Transmission owners are assessing how many customers are affected at this time.

While there is no additional load shed occurring at this time, a little over 40,000 MW of generation remains on forced outage due to this winter weather event. Of that, 23,500 MW is thermal generation and the rest is wind and solar. It is possible that some level of rotating outages may be needed over the next couple of days to keep the grid stable.

ERCOT, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, manages the flow of electric power to more than 26 million Texas customers, representing about 90 percent of the state’s electric load. As the Independent System Operator for the region, ERCOT schedules power on an electric grid that connects more than 46,500 miles of transmission lines and 680+ generation units. ERCOT also performs financial settlement for the competitive wholesale bulk-power market and administers retail switching for more than 8 million premises in competitive choice areas. ERCOT is a membership-based 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation, governed by a board of directors and subject to oversight by the Public Utility Commission of Texas and the Texas Legislature.

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2/18/21

11:45 AM

Riverwood Forest Residents:

I have been on the phone with Aqua Texas regional and local levels this morning. They are currently working on broken piping and a broken meter. If there are no other issues and all can be replaced then water will be restored today. Reminder: When the water is restored there will be a boil order in place. Aqua will inform of the specifics.

Pallets of water have been ordered through Emergency Management at the county level for residents who are currently without water. There is high demand and this may take a day or two. Will let you know when this will be available for pick up. If water is restored, we will cancel the order so that those who are without have more availability.  

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2/17/21

3:00 PM

City of Weston Lakes Emergency Management is working to assist you during this extreme weather incident. As a small city we partner and have agreements with other entities such as Fort Bend County Office of Emergency Management (FBCOEM). This provides the city with resources exceeding our own capabilities. The FBCOEM has opened their command center orEmergency Operating Center (EOC) and it is actively helping the residents of the county. Their telephone number is (281) 342.6185.

For medical emergencies please call 9-1-1.

The City of Weston Lakes Emergency Management has opened its virtual (EOC) as the EOC had been denied access to the country club by the owner on Sunday, February 14th, without a disaster declaration. Citizens cannot be denied access to the city owned generator, obtained through a FEMA grant when certain disaster criteria are met. Conditions have now met a critical point and I will be declaring a declaration of disaster. The Governor has declared the reform of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) an emergency item this legislative session. See press release on City of Weston Lakes website.

The EOC phone line has been set up for you to reach out to Emergency Management. The virtual EOC phone number is (281) 310-8151. Please call this number if you need assistance with water shut off.As you may recall, it is through Nextiva and is app/internet driven. Should we lose power and phone towers, please call, text, or email using FirstNet phone information provided below. These redundancies have been put into place to provide continuous support.

Contacting Support:

Weston Lakes Emergency Management Support Line can be used for non-medical assistance such as assistance with turning off water mains during this extreme weather event. If a burst water pipe is resulting in significant water flow that poses an immediate risk or significant damage or injury to others, call 9-1-1 immediately. If there is significant water damage, please call us to help find a neighbor who may be able to allow you to stay with them, if needed. The MUD81 district may be able to provide assistance, they may be reached at 281.346.2237. If you live in Riverwood, then Aqua Texas would be your source for questions. Please contact them at 877.987.2782.

Volunteer:

In the event of extended power outages, volunteers are encouraged to contact Weston Lakes Emergency Management to offer their support. Please identify any area of support that you can offer, and we will contact you when that type of support is needed. Thank you to all who have and are volunteering, you are greatly appreciated! For those of you that are available to aid residents, seniors or those in need you can contact us directly to volunteer.

All information furnished on Nextdoor is also placed on the front page of the website www.cityofwestonlakes-tx.gov.  

If you wish to contact us, please email:

EM Coordinator, James EMCoordinator@cityofwestonlakes-tx.gov, FirstNet: 346.257.9007

Assistant EM Coordinator, Tricia mediacoord@cityofwestonlakes-tx.gov, FirstNet: 346.257.7797

Thank you all and wishing you all the best!

Mayor Ramona Neal

City of Weston Lakes

FirstNet: 281.505.8436

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2/17/21
Investigation into power outages:

Governor Abbott Declares ERCOT Reform An Emergency Item AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott today declared the reform of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) an emergency item this legislative session. In declaring this item an emergency, the Governor is calling on the legislature to investigate ERCOT and ensure Texans never again experience power outages on the scale they have seen over the past several days.   “The Electric Reliability Council of Texas has been anything but reliable over the past 48 hours,” said Governor Abbott. “Far too many Texans are without power and heat for their homes as our state faces freezing temperatures and severe winter weather. This is unacceptable. Reviewing the preparations and decisions by ERCOT is an emergency item so we can get a full picture of what caused this problem and find long-term solutions. I thank my partners in the House and Senate for acting quickly on this challenge, and I will work with them to enhance Texas’ electric grid and ensure that our state never experiences power outages like this again.”

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2/17/21

Press Conference at 3:00 PM I Governor Abbott.

For Immediate Distribution | February 17, 2021 MEDIA ADVISORY: Governor Abbott To Give Update In Austin Today On Winter Weather, Power Response AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott will receive a briefing and provide an update on the state’s response to winter weather conditions and power outages today at 3:00 PM at the Alternate State Operations Center in Austin. WHO: Governor Abbott WHAT: Press conference WHEN: Wednesday, February 17th at 2:00 PM Press conference begins at 3:00 PM WHERE: Alternate State Operations Center 6505 North Interstate Hwy 35 Austin, TX 78752 The following links are not a guarantee of coverage, but may provide options for viewing: https://abc13.com/watch/ https://www.texastribune.org https://www.fox26houston.com/live https://www.khou.com/video/news/live_breaking/khou-live-video/285-1826934 https://abc13.com/ https://www.click2houston.com/ https://www.click2houston.com/topic/livestream/gov.texas.gov

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2/15/21

The City of Weston Lakes Emergency Management team is closely monitoring the winter storms with coordination from TDEM, FBCOEM and SOC with daily briefings. While attending the briefings, they have advised for everyone to stay at home for the time period of possible ice formation on the roads. The predicted time frame is Sunday evening to Tuesday. With another storm on the heels of this one, please ensure that all needed items are available to you, for the extended time period.

Please prepare your home for the cold weather. Protect people, plants, pets, pipes and vehicles. Know how and where to turn off the water to your home in case of frozen pipes or water issues.

Have phone numbers of those who can help saved in your cell phone or numbers written down and keep it in a designated place. Check prescriptions that may need to be refilled.

Emergency Management has reached out to other entities within our community and we are all ready to work together for our community. If you remember during TS Harvey, the Weston Lakes Country Club (WLCC) Ballroom was used as an EOC and a respite center. Should that be necessary at this time, then masks will be required while in the EOC.  

Should there be a widespread power outage, the WLCC will open up and be a respite center to provide a warm area for those in need. We will coordinate with FBCOEM to help those who may need to be relocated to a shelter. Should the power remain on in some areas and be off in other areas of the city, we will ask neighbors to open up their homes to neighbors as we have done in the past.

As the extreme cold weather ebbs South, we realize how fortunate we are to live in a community, full of neighbors, willing to extend a helping hand.

If you wish to contact Emergency Management, please email:

EM Coordinator, Jamie EMCoordinator@cityofwestonlakes-tx.gov or call 346.257.9007.

Assistant EM Coordinator, Tricia mediacoord@cityofwestonlakes-tx.gov or call 346.257.7797.

If you would like to volunteer with Emergency Management and attend our quarterly breakfasts, get training and be on our team, please put EM member in the subject line. If you have volunteered in the past, we are currently updating our contact list. Please confirm your status.

If you would like to volunteer to help others with a coordinated effort through Emergency Management, please put volunteer in the subject line.

If you would like to volunteer your home for others to be able to stay in, in case of a power outage or broken pipe, please put home in the subject line.

If you would like to volunteer to prepare meals for others, please put meals in the subject line.

If you need help through Emergency Management, please put help in the subject line and specify food, shelter, water shut off or other.

If you want a check-in call from EM please put check-in in the subject line and in the body of the email, how often you want to be checked on and preferred method (in person or phone, text, email.)

In the body of the email: Please provide all contact information so that we can quickly provide help in case of an emergency. Name, address, phone number and anyone you may want contacted.

If you are a senior, please reach out to your neighbors if you need anything. Neighbors reach out to seniors to check on them as they probably don’t want to bother anyone. Family and friends have been stepping up to help others. I already know of stories of many who have and are helping their neighbors and who will be doing for others today and tomorrow. Thank you!

The Emergency Management team will keep you posted as information is received. We will post on the front page of the City of Weston Lakes website www.cityofwestonlakes-tx.gov and Nextdoor.

Stay safe, warm and dry!

Mayor Ramona Neal

City of Weston Lakes

281.505.8436

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Public Utility Commission of Texas
1701 N. Congress, P.O. Box 13326, Austin, TX 78711-3326 Fax 512-936-7003
News Release
Contact: Andrew Barlow
February 14, 2021
Andrew.Barlow@PUC.Texas.Gov
COLD-DRIVEN DEMAND MAKES ELECTRICITY CONSERVATION NECESSARY
Austin, TX – The Public Utility Commission of Texas today echoed a call from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas for electricity conservation. Narrow margins between cold-driven demand and the supply of available power across the state are expected to occur periodically through Tuesday.
“The lowest temperatures Texas has seen in decades necessitate a shared response across the state, from households to factories,” said Chairman DeAnn Walker. “Along with the tools ERCOT uses to maintain the reliability of the grid, common sense conservation also plays a critical role in our state’s endurance of this challenge.”
ERCOT has called upon power consumers across the grid to reduce their electricity use as much as possible from Sunday, February 14, to Tuesday, February 16.
“This record cold is not only compelling customers to increase their power usage to stay warm, it’s also icing wind turbines and straining our natural-gas powered resources,” said Commissioner Arthur D’Andrea. “With the grid pinched like that, ‘demand response’ in the form of reduced consumption is an essential shared action.”
Household tips for reducing electricity use, include:
• Turning down thermostats to 68-degrees or lower.
• Closing shades and blinds to reduce the amount of heat lost through windows.
• Turning off and unplugging non-essential lights and appliances.
• Avoiding use of large appliances (i.e., ovens, washing machines, etc.).
Businesses should also minimize the use of electric lighting and electricity-consuming equipment as much as possible or even consider reducing non-essential production processes.
Grid reliability is ERCOT’s leading responsibility and they have a number of actions at their disposal,” said Commissioner Shelly Botkin. “As the operating reserves shrink, they can also declare an Energy Emergency Alert, a three-level system which progressively employs additional actions to keep the grid stable.”
Texans can learn more about the EEA system here and ERCOT’s emergency procedures during tight grid conditions here.
Customers can access additional power saving tips at PowerToSaveTexas.org. The PUC’s Customer Protection Division is also available to answer customer questions at 1-888-782-8477 or customer@puc.texas.gov.
In addition to downloading the ERCOT mobile app (on both the Apple Store and Google Play), Texans are advised to bookmark the PUC’s Storm Resources page for helpful advice and features like a statewide outage restoration map.
Customers are also encouraged to leverage social media for up-to-date information:
• PUC: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
• ERCOT: Facebook | Twitter

About the Public Utility Commission
Our mission is to serve Texans by regulating the state’s electric, telecommunication, and water and sewer utilities, implementing respective legislation, and offering customer assistance in resolving consumer complaints. Since its founding in 1975, the Commission has a long and proud history of service to Texas, protecting customers, fostering competition, and promoting high quality infrastructure. To learn more, please visit http://www.puc.texas.gov.

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Memorial Hermann Offering Vaccine At Smart Financial:

Memorial Hermann has partnered with Fort Bend County to offer a COVID-19 Vaccine Drive-Thru Clinic at Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land Feb. 3-5, 7 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. and Feb. 6, 7 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. Public registration is available only to individuals 65 years of age and older, consistent with the State’s Phase 1B guidance. Approximately 16,000 COVID-19 vaccinations will be administered. Vaccine supply is limited and appointments will be scheduled on a first come, first served basis until the available appointments are full. For additional questions or to complete a vaccination verification form, please visit the Memorial Hermann website.

Mayor Ramona Neal

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7/21/2020

The Mayor called for two Special City Council meetings on July 2, 2020 and a O365 virtual meeting on July 13, 2020. Below are a few updates:

The CARES Act budget established by the Weston Lakes CARES Act Advisory committee was approved.

The Rental, Mortgage & Utilities Assistance Program kicked off in early July and applications have been submitted and accepted by Fort Bend County.

Education – Free Technology Training began on July 16th. The next class will be held on Wednesday, July 22nd. Please contact Melissa Blanscet at (713) 213-4798 if you would like to attend.

Emergency Management Administrative Assistant – City council approved the hiring of a part-time Emergency Management Administrative Assistant.

Senator Lois Kolkhorst and Grant McLaughlin joined us for discussions on CDBG-MIT Competition Application from the Texas General Land Office (GLO) who is offering more than $2.3 billion for mitigation projects to protect Texas communities hit by Hurricane Harvey and sever flooding in 2015 and 2016.

City council approved for the city to proceed with the GLO-Harvey Funds grant application. We agreed to take a regional approach with areas outside of Weston Lakes being considered, referenced or asked to join in the application process in the consideration of the grant. Also, it was agreed to hire potential grant writers.

CenterPoint Energy is currently working on the power outage problems in the City of Weston Lakes. The Mayor has been actively pursing the issues that plague our city and will continue to do so until a solution is found.

Drainage – Thanks to all who have submitted photos and information regarding drainage issues. The committee is actively meeting and working to isolate the issues in the City of Weston Lakes. You may see the committee members driving around and surveying the city. Additional information can be emailed to mayor.neal@cityofwestonlakes-tx.gov. All information received to date has been shared with city council.

Thanks to everyone who donated blood in June and helping to make a difference inside and outside of our community.

The next Regular City Council meeting will be Tuesday, July 28th at 6 P.M. This meeting will be a virtual O365 meeting and the link will be provided on the City of Weston Lakes website www.cityofwestonlakes-tx.gov.

Mayor Ramona Neal

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June 27, 2020

Recently, we had two workshops and two meetings. Thank you to everyone who attended. Following are the updates:

  • Weston Lakes CARES Act Committee – This committee has been working to provide a framework that will allow those who have been impacted by COVID-19 to get help. All of our work has been approved by council. Together we created a budget, moved funds, approved transfer of funds, and approved contract to be signed. Listed below is a breakdown of how the funds will be dispersed. Rental/Mortgage/Utilities Assistance is available for those who have been laid off due to COVID-19. More information will be available on the City of Weston Lakes website as soon as all details are complete. Stay tuned for upcoming training on Online Ordering, Zoom, Office 365, Facetime and Telehealth.
  • Emergency Management Administrative Assistant – We are currently creating the Job Description and will soon hire someone for this position.
  • Drainage Advisory Committee – This committee has been established by the Mayor as a focus group to explore future projects, guidance and assist with future grants. Meetings will begin mid-July.
  • Flood Mitigation Grant – On June 15th, the Flood Mitigation Grant Phase 1 was submitted. Barrett Shepherd wrote the grant application for $900, 000.00. There will be more phases to this grant.
  • Office 365 – After months of working towards moving the city into compliance with state regulations and increasing productivity, Office 365 has been approved by council. COVID-19 has created the need to meet virtually. The CARES Act monies will cover the cost for Office 365 through December 30, 2020.
  • Election – The City of Weston Lakes will hold an election in November. All election information is currently posted on the City of Weston Lakes website. There will be three council seats available.

Risk Assessment Program – Are you at risk with COVID-19? Click on this link to find out https://www.responseregistry.com/. Disclaimer: This program is put on by a private foundation and not the City of Weston Lakes.

  • Texas Department of Emergency Management (TDEM) – During Hurricane Harvey, the City of Weston Lakes received funds from FEMA to cover costs. At the state level, there were funds available and Governor Abbott designated funds for the city to cover our portion of the 10% required payment of funds. FEMA paid 90%, we were required to pay 10%. The monies allocated by the Governor paid 75% of our 10%.
City OF WL Expenditure category Draft Budget
Rent/mortgage/Utilities ASST$120k
Signage/mailings$20k
Technology/software$10k
Special needs SUPPORT$10K
Education$4k
Testing $1k
Small Business GRANTSTBD
Contingency/Reserves$46k
Total$211K

Fort Bend County has a Small Business Grant program – On Tuesday, June 23rd, the program added two tiers of funding which were previously not available. More funds were allocated to the grant program overall. See the FBC website for more details.

Judge KP George has issued a mandatory order regarding facial protection. Please visit the City of Weston Lakes website, Coronavirus, Guidance on Covering Nose/Mouth.

July 4th Parade – Please check the Weston Lakes Country Club website for more details.

Normally, we take the month of July off for meetings. Due to COVID-19, we will be meeting in July. There is much going on concerning CARES Act funding and staying on top of changes occurring around us.

The City of Weston Lakes COVID-19 cases have risen. Please do all you can to ensure your safety and the safety of others. Thank you for all of your efforts!

Mayor Ramona Neal

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June 2, 2020

Thank you to each one of you that attended the city council meeting on Tuesday, May 26th.

We had a really good meeting and accomplished many things:

  • Office 365, government version, was approved by council with workshop
  • Flood mitigation grant was approved by council
  • Resolution 02-20 the City of Weston Lakes supporting the allocation of funding under the CARES Act passed
  • Established a Mayoral committee determining CARES Act funds distribution

We are looking for volunteers for the following:

  1. Volunteers to sit on the Weston Lakes Drainage Advisory Committee.
  2. Volunteers to help write flood mitigation grants.
  3. Volunteers to help allocate CARES Act funds.

If you would like to volunteer for any of the above items, please send an email with your qualifications to mayor.neal@cityofwestonlakes-tx.gov.

For your information, some questions asked during a city council meeting are unable to be answered due to legal restrictions regarding the item in question not being on the agenda. Here are answers to some questions asked at the meeting and in conversations.

  • The mayor believes in small government working for the people. Allowing the people to guide policy and the direction in which our city heads.
  • A precedent was set by the previous administration that the city attorney would not attend meetings due to the cost. He is available upon request.
  • It is my position that the City of Weston Lakes Ad valorem taxes (property tax) will remain at zero.
  • It has come to my attention that there has been some discussion regarding removing the front entrance gates. The front gates are a vital part of the living environment in the City of Weston Lakes.
  • CARES Act provides that payments from the Fund may only be used to cover costs that-
    • are necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to the COVID-19.
    • were not accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of March 27, 2020 (the date of enactment of the CARES Act) for the State or government: and
    • were incurred during the period that begins on March 1, 2020 and ends December 30, 2020
  • The SBA will be offering grants to small businesses. This program will roll out around June 15, 2020.
  • The rental/utility assistance program began June 1, 2020. Payments will not exceed $1,500. The deadline to enroll is June 12, 2020. Go to www.forbendcountytx.gov or call 281-238-2273

Hope to see you at the next Regular City Council Meeting on Tuesday, June 23rd , 6 pm, Weston Lakes Country Club Ballroom.

Mayor Ramona Neal

Cell 832.690.8188

8045 FM 359, Suite 200

Fulshear, Texas 77441

Mayor.neal@cityofwestonlakes-tx.gov

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May 13, 2020

Weston Lakes Proud! Thanks to all of you that made Inspirational posters that were displayed at the entrances of area hospitals. We received thank you cards from them stating our posters were “fantastic”, “incredible”, “touched our team” and “lifted our spirits!” Photos of these posters can be found on the City of  Weston Lakes website www.cityofwestonlakes-tx.gov and Nextdoor.

Currently, we have two cases of COVID-19 in Weston Lakes. This is up one case from last week. Previously we were without any cases. Being responsible for ourselves is the best action we can take. Whatever that means for you, staying home, being prepared when going out or shifting from social distancing to “physically” distancing. Being self-aware of your own personal bubble of space is the concept we need to employ at this time. The idea is to break the chain of transmission. Covid-19 is not gone, we are just learning to safeguard and continue to live our lives. On May 12th, Governor Abbott renewed the disaster proclamation for all counties in Texas. Mask are recommended in public and continue to wash hands often.

COVID-19 testing at the beginning was limited but is widely available now and our county has five testing sites. Testing is free and by appointment only. Two are available close to us at Seven Lakes and Gallery Furniture. Capacity to test is up to about 700 per day and will grow to 1,000 per day. Everyone with or without symptoms is encouraged to get tested. Why? Knowing puts you in a better position to protect your loved ones, friends, and community members. Testing is KEY to understanding how much disease is in our community. Simply call 281-238-2363 or go online www.fbchealth.org to register and then drive through to be tested. Testing is easier than it was at first as new tests are less invasive and it should only take about fifteen minutes total. The purpose of testing is to quantify any outbreaks before they grow too large and to break the chain of transmission by quarantining those infected. One negative test is not necessarily negative for life. Retest often, should you be exposed.

Hurricane season is rapidly approaching. The new Emergency Preparedness Important Checklist is posted on the website www.cityofwestonlakes-tx.gov and on Nextdoor. Emergency Management is currently preparing for the season.

Thank you to all of the community and business leaders…POA, Weston Lakes Clubhouse and Golf Course, Emergency Management and City Council for your hard work helping to keep our community healthy, safe and informed. In this time of uncertainty, it has been joyful to watch families spend quality time together taking walks, riding bicycles, playing catch in the yard and reconnecting.

Together, we are Weston Lakes Proud!

Mayor Ramona Neal

Cell 832.690.8188

8045 FM 359, Suite 200

Fulshear, Texas 77441

Mayor.neal@cityofwestonlakes-tx.gov

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April 8, 2020

The measures we are taking to slow the spread of the coronavirus are working! Great Job Everyone! Stay Home Work Safe!

Hope you are accomplishing many projects. Lots of residents have commented that it has been fulfilling to see the creative displays of chalk art, rainbows, and bears displayed in windows. To view, check out the community tab on our website at www.cityofwestonlakes-tx.gov.

We are all looking forward to Easter this weekend! Activities include Egg My Yard (limited availability), Easter Dinners To Go (limited availability) from the club, and Look Out for Peter Cottontail as he parades down your street! More information on the City of Weston Lakes website under community, Easter “Stay Home” Activities. Use your phone to track his progress and know just when he will be passing your home.

We never expected to experience a pandemic, they just do not touch our lives in modern Texas. Yet, we are facing a pandemic and its economic repercussions.

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has confirmed 9,353 cases and 177 deaths in Texas. Over 96,258 people have been tested and 167 of 254 counties have positive test results within their borders. It has been confirmed by Fort Bend County’s Office there are positive cases within our area, including Weston Lakes, Fulshear and Simonton. Exact data will not be given out due to HIPPA and privacy laws. Please continue to Stay Home, Work Safe and regulate your exposure.

As a whole, Texas is leading the nation in its response to the coronavirus in the number of drive-thru testing sites. Texas implementing measures to social distance has proven to slow the spread. Abbott labs is producing a fifteen-minute test which is being sent to doctors, nurses and those on the front lines to ensure they are not spreading the virus. Statewide approximately 21,000 hospital beds and 2,223 ICU beds are available with both being more than the projected numbers that could be needed. Texas also has 7,000 ventilators at the ready.

An updated Executive Order for travelers from certain destinations was recently issued by the governor with mandated self-quarantine. The Department of Public Service (DPS) has been tasked with enforcing GA-12. See their website for the forms needed to be completed by travelers. 

You may learn more by visiting www.dps.texas.gov/covidtravel or calling: 844.986.1093.

Governor Abbott, Dr. Zerwas, Commissioner Hellerstedt and Nim Kidd were all part of a press conference recently. Their plan for hospital expansion of capacity concerning beds and personnel was revealed. They discussed the Trauma Service Areas by region and their capacities. Potential Facilities for COVID-19 to house patients who are not as seriously ill as those who need to be hospitalized or convalescing may be housed there. A Federal Medical Station is already set up in Dallas at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, capacity of 250 beds. Others are planned for San Antonio in the Freeman Coliseum and NRG Stadium in Houston. The Army Corp of Engineers, military, and local health departments are working with local governments to identify future sites. Commissioner Hellerstedt discussed that we can change the course of this disaster unlike being able to change the course of a hurricane. We can control our responses and curtail our actions while slowing the spread of this virus.

The daily phone calls lessened and webinars are becoming more frequent. These are training in how to handle the financial aspects for cities who incurred expenses. While Weston Lakes as a whole did not incur expenses, it is a good time to learn should this process ever be needed in the future.

In the recently passed CARES Act, the third bill approved by our federal government, many sources of help were made available. There is a forgivable loan made available to small businesses which will help businesses pay their employees. If criteria are met, such as number of employees paid now and at a specific date in the future, the loan is forgivable. For businesses forced to close in order to keep employees protected, employers pay the first five thousand and the next five thousand will be paid by the bill. Payroll taxes can be deferred up to two years. There is much to learn about in this bill as it pertains to aid for businesses and their employees. The President has also asked for $250,000 more to help small businesses. Forms were made available to businesses a few weeks ago and once completed FEMA will work with them to reimburse losses. Tax rebates will start going out soon, there is a specified order as to who gets theirs first. Penalties have been waived for removal of money from certain accounts. The scope of unemployment has been expanded as many who could not receive funds will be able to receive under this bill. Unemployment has increased by $600 a week and extended the duration by thirteen weeks. Healthcare is set to get $340 Billion, with some going to Medicare and Medicaid, as well as $30 Billion to schools, colleges to offset the costs with distance learning. Over $11 billion is set aside for Texas. A task force is looking into and making plans on how to get our businesses back to work and to help us into economic rebound. By reducing the spread of the virus here in Weston Lakes, we shape our future. While the federal/state government is working on a plan to get us reopened, the cities with little to no virus will open first.

According to the CDC, all should be wearing masks, handkerchiefs or scarves when in public. Asymptomatic but infected people may spread the virus just by speaking. This will help protect others. Layers of protection include: armor, masks, distancing, gloves, hand washing, disinfection.

Our local EMS and first responders are receiving a normal call volume and hospitals are at a normal capacity. Testing sites in FBC are producing a 48-hour turnaround for results and new sites are coming. PPE has been in short supply but the governor announced that a high-level Senior Vice-President of World-wide Procurement on loan from Dell has been able to secure the State of Texas much needed supplies, such as masks, face shields, gowns, and gloves.

Call your doctor: if you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice. If you have a mild illness stay at home and get well. At least 80% of infections will fall into this category. The CDC and DSHS websites provide guidance needed to handle your care at home. Fever or respiratory issues with underlying health issues, over 65 or symptoms which are worsening are encouraged to call their doctor immediately. State Law prevents the disclosure of any information of persons who have tested positive.

Currently, our community is making Inspirational posters to display at the main entrances at some of the hospitals in the area. We need your help! These posters will uplift doctors, nurses, staff and patients’ spirits. Please visit the website community tab for more information.

Let’s remember to take care of each other and ourselves. Call our elderly loved ones twice a day.

The City of Weston Lakes is doing well and we will come through this trying time with resiliency, and we will do it together.

Please contact me anytime if I can help in any way.

Best of Health to All,

Mayor Ramona Neal

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March 30, 2020

Good day to all of you:

I hope this message finds each of you doing well and enjoying the company of your loved ones. Perhaps a project or two is being accomplished as we have a little more free time as we Stay Home Work Safe. Each week a letter, to update you on the coronavirus and what measures are being taken to provide a healthy
environment for your family in Weston Lakes, will be posted on the City of Weston Lakes’ website, posted on Next Door and a reminder email will go out from the POA. Subsequent updates or notifications may happen; please check our city website often at www.cityofwestonlakes-tx.gov.

New pictures are being added and it is in the process of being updated. During this time, we are on the lookout for fun and easy art projects to post, helping to ensure little fingers stay busy.
Feel free to share ideas, email: mediacoord@cityofwestonlakes-tx.gov

Thanks!

Mayor Ramona Neal

City of Weston Lakes

City Hall 281.533.0907 Cell 832.690.8188

mayor.neal@cityofwestonlakes-tx.gov

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March 26, 2020

City of Weston Lakes,

Being ordered to stay home and work safe can be disruptive, frustrating, and feel unsettling. Especially when the reason for quarantine is exposure to a new disease for which there may be limited information. As we all continue to deal with the directives from our governing bodies, we must remember to think about others who need our help to protect them. It is not convenient to live under all of the restrictions that we find ourselves under, but it is joyful to see all of the creative ways members in our city are helping others and demonstrates our resilience. Thank you to those of you who are on Next Door who have been participating in endeavors such as Christmas lights, teddy bears, and rainbow pictures.  It has helped to brighten our days! If you would like to join Next Door, please go to NextDoor.com. Stay home and stay safe!

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has confirmed 974 cases and 12 deaths in Texas. As a whole, Texas is doing a good job in slowing the spread of the disease and in flattening the curve to slow the spread. All actions taken to preserve our health and the health of others help to ensure our hospital system and its workers are not overwhelmed. County Judge K.P. George issued a third amendment to the declaration of local disaster for Fort Bend County. The declarations and other directives are on the City of Weston Lakes website. For your reference, the website address is www.cityofwestonlakes-tx.gov. Going out to do essential functions is allowed. As we all remember to follow guidelines of washing our hands, social distancing and not touching our faces, it is imperative to wipe down frequently touched surfaces every day. Social distancing will flatten the curve but not as much as shelter in place. This flattening of the curve buys time for tests, personal protection equipment, hospital bed availability, ventilator availability and saves lives. In the order, the Judge also called for the closing of all parks. The Property Owners Association (POA) swiftly sent an email informing residents of the parks closure. Many have voiced concerns over the parks remaining open. The parks fall under the jurisdiction of the POA, please contact the POA with questions. This order is in effect until April 3, 2020 unless it is extended by Commissioner’s Court in a vote by our County Commissioners. Our collective actions now, will slow the spread. At this time our health care system is handling this situation.

One to four call-in phone conferences are attended daily that help to update us on the current situation, what is anticipated, and possible future steps. Participants include the governor, senators, County Judge, State Emergency Management, doctors, elected officials, medical personnel, mayors and many other leaders. Questions are asked and we are given guidance.  This situation is being very closely monitored.

State law defines a disaster as an occurrence or imminent threat of widespread or severe damage, injury, or loss of life or property resulting from any natural or man-made cause, including fire, flood, earthquake, wind, storm, wave action, oil spill, or other water contamination, volcanic activity, epidemic, air contamination, blight, drought, infestation, explosion, riot, hostile military or paramilitary action, extreme heat, or other public calamity requiring emergency action, energy emergency or a cyber event.

At this time, a Local State of Disaster for the city of Weston Lakes has not been issued but, it may be deemed necessary. The mayor is authorized to declare a Local State of Disaster if a disaster has occurred or is imminent. A disaster declaration lasts for no more than seven days unless continued or renewed by city council.

The mayor may have added authority during a declared state of disaster. There are a few reasons why it is helpful to declare a disaster: the city will get a reimbursement of funds expended pertaining to the disaster. It helps businesses within the city recoup lost monies because of the disaster. It allows the city to better mitigate the issues facing its citizens and provide protection, acquire shelter, or take action that is expedient to promote health or suppress disease.

Such as, if a declaration had been declared: the city could close down the parks.

When a state of disaster is declared, the Emergency Management team moves into action with a call center to provide guidance or help as needed, this can be done before the declaration and likely will happen within a few days. Our needs now are much different than our needs during Hurricane Harvey where rescues from flooded homes were needed. The City of Weston Lakes has an inter-jurisdictional emergency agreement with Fort Bend County. We can call on the county to provide what we as a city cannot provide and for help beyond our capabilities.

The following websites have information about the virus. Please visit these sites to keep up to date, as the situation is fluid:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/ – CDC website visit to get information about the virus

https://dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/ – Texas state information, #stayathome, Texas

www.fortbendcountytx.gov – to keep you up to date what is going on in our county

Update on libraries: they are all closed until April 6, 2020. As information is available, updates will be given.

The idea is to prepare and don’t panic, to share facts, not fear. Take a realistic look at what you have and what you need. Get those needed items and don’t over purchase, everyone else has needs, too. If you find you have more than you need, ask around, especially to older neighbors before offering it up to anyone else. We must work to protect our neighbors who are over sixty as this virus is much harder on them or on anyone who is compromised in their health. I encourage all of you to put your talents and hobbies to use at this time and help others.

Call your doctor: if you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice. If you have a mild illness stay at home and get well. At least 80% of infections will fall into this category. The CDC and DSHS websites provide guidance needed to handle your care at home. Fever or respiratory issues with underlying health issues, over 65 or symptoms which are worsening are encouraged to call their doctor immediately. State Law prevents the disclosure of any information of persons who have tested positive.

I am confident that the City of Weston Lakes will come through this trying time with resiliency.

Best of Health to All,

Mayor Ramona Neal

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City of Weston Lakes

(281) 533-0907

8045 FM 359, Suite 200, Fulshear, Texas 77441

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