City department updates
On Tuesday, May 18, Governor Greg Abbott issued Executive Order GA-36, prohibiting government entities from mandating masks or face coverings. Specifically, the Executive Order states, “No governmental entity, including a county, city, school district, and public health authority, and no governmental official may require any person to wear a face covering or to mandate that another person wear a face covering.” The executive order supersedes any face-covering requirement imposed by any local government entity or official.
As such, please be advised that – effective immediately – the use of masks or face coverings within City of Deer Park facilities is no longer required on the part of visitors. The use of masks/face coverings in the City of Deer Park for employees will generally no longer be required except for those employees responding to medical calls who are required to wear PPE (personal protective equipment) based on established protocols.
There is an exception for those individuals entering the Deer Park Municipal Court – per the Texas Supreme Court’s 36th Emergency Order, “courts may take any reasonable action to avoid exposing court proceedings to the threat of COVID-19, including requiring compliance with social distancing protocols and face coverings worn over the nose and mouth.” As stated in Attorney General Opinion KP-0322, “judges possess broad inherent authority to control orderly proceedings in their courtrooms, and pursuant to that authority, they can require individuals in the courtroom to wear facial coverings” and “may require any person entering the courthouse in which they preside to wear a facial covering while in the courthouse.” The executive order issued on May 18 does not alter the Supreme Court’s current emergency order.
Please note: This Executive Order does not prevent employees or visitors from voluntarily continuing to wear face coverings/masks. The City continues to encourage those who are not fully vaccinated to continue to utilize masks/face coverings in the course of their duties and to practice social distancing wherever possible. The City will continue to make masks available for employees that wish to use them during the workday.
Temperature checks at City facilities will no longer be conducted. However, employees experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills/shaking, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, diarrhea, feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit) are encouraged to self-screen before entering any City facility or reporting for duty.
To read the full Executive Order, visit: https://gov.texas.gov/news/post/governor-abbott-issues-executive-order-36-prohibiting-government-entities-from-mandating-masks.
Following Governor Greg Abbott’s Executive Order GA-34, the Deer Park Municipal Court reviewed guidance from the Texas Supreme Court and the Texas Office of Court Administration to determine procedures for in-person court proceedings going forward.
As of Thursday, March 18, the Deer Park Municipal Court will resume normal operations, with minimum health standard protocols approved by Judge Larry Wilson. These protocols will include a reduced docket size, social distancing measures and the required use of face coverings on court days due to the number of people in the facility. Court is typically held on Thursday afternoons.
On non-court days, the use of face coverings is recommended for all patrons. Jury trials will continue to be suspended until further notice.
According to Court Administrator Michelle Combs, all Court customers whose court date was set for Thursday, March 18 should plan to appear. Customers are advised that the court will resume issuing warrants on April 1, 2021.
The court is also in the process of implementing a virtual court option in the near future. Additional information will be available on the City website as it becomes available.
Court customers are encouraged to provide additional contact information such as an email address or cell phone number in order to expedite communications.
Should you need to contact the Court, please call 281-478-7238 and press “8” to speak with a clerk, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Municipal Court staff will respond to calls and emails as quickly as possible.
On March 2, Governor Greg Abbott issued Executive Order GA-34, related to the opening of Texas in response to the COVID-19 disaster.
As detailed in the order, effective Wednesday, March 10:
In all counties not in an area with high hospitalizations as defined below:
A. There are no COVID-19 related operating limits for any business or other establishment; and
B. Individuals are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings over the nose and mouth wherever it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distancing from another person not in the same household, but no person may be required by any jurisdiction to wear or to mandate the wearing of a face covering.
Note: “Area with high hospitalizations” means any Trauma Service Area that has had seven consecutive days in which the number of COVID-19 hospitalized patients as a percentage of total hospital capacity exceeds 15 percent.
A current list of areas with high hospitalizations will be maintained at www.dshs.texas.gov/ga3031.
The City of Deer Park is part of Harris County, which is not currently a Trauma Service Area with high hospitalizations.
The executive order does not preclude businesses or other establishments from requiring employees or customers to follow additional hygiene measures, including the wearing of a face covering.
View the press release related to Governor Abbott’s Executive Order here.
View the full Executive Order GA-34 here.
Impact to City of Deer Park facilities/services:
It is recommended that visitors to City facilities continue to wear masks and observe social distancing.
Temperature checks for visitors entering buildings will continue at the Municipal Court and Theater Building and the Community Center/Earl Dunn Gymnasium.
City programming for classes, programs and activities will be managed on a case-by-case basis utilizing up-to-date guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Residents and visitors are encouraged to visit the City website for information specific to programs and events.
Additional guidance, including information on updated Deer Park Municipal Court procedures, will be provided as it becomes available.
In an effort to safeguard both City staff and customers during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) response, please be advised that effective at 8:00 AM on Monday, July 13, 2020, the Central Collections/Utility Billing/Tax Department window/counter is temporarily closed to the public.
The drive-through lane, located on the east side of City Hall at 710 E. San Augustine, is still open to accept payments only.
Payments may also be made via the drop boxes located in the City Hall drive through, by phone at (833) 309-4332 (note: there is a fee of $1.25 per transaction for IVR phone payments), online at http://deerparktx.gov/1060/Online-Payments, or by mail.
Payments by mail may be sent to: City of Deer Park Water/Tax, 710 E. San Augustine St., Deer Park, TX 77536. Please note: All mail USPS postmarked on or before the due date will be accepted as on time payment and no penalties will accrue.
Customers are also advised that the sale of garbage bags will also be suspended while the Central Collections window/counter is closed.
Customers with questions regarding bills or starting/stopping service at a location may contact the office via phone at 281-478-7221. The office can also be reached by email at email@example.com.
We appreciate your understanding and apologize for any inconvenience.
This temporary closure will not affect the Public Works/Permitting window.
On Thursday, July 2, Governor Greg Abbott issued Executive Order GA-29, requiring the use of face coverings or masks during COVID-19 when inside a commercial entity or other building or space open to the public.
Per the order, and effective immediately, visitors to any and all City of Deer Park facilities will be required to wear face coverings.
The full text of Governor Abbott’s order is available at http://www.deerparktx.gov/DocumentCenter/View/8758/Governor-Greg-Abbott---Executive-Order-GA-29---July-2-2020. The order outlines exceptions to the order, including exceptions related to exercising outdoors or engaging in physical activity outdoors where social distancing is achievable.
Residents are encouraged to utilize online payment options, email-based communication or drive-through services where feasible. Online payment links are available at http://deerparktx.gov/1060/Online-Payments.
Per an executive order issued by Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo on Friday, July 3, attendees of any outdoor fireworks display are prohibited from leaving their vehicles during those events. Attendees to the Parks and Recreation Department’s Fourth Fest fireworks display are advised to remain in their vehicles for the duration of the event. The fireworks display is scheduled to begin at 9:15PM tonight.
Fourth Fest announcement
With the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, many cities have either cancelled or curtailed large gatherings such as July 4th festivities.
Governor Greg Abbott issued a proclamation amending his Executive Order GA-26 to provide that local officials in consultation with the local public health authorities may impose additional restrictions for any outdoor gathering estimated to be in excess of 100 people.
On Thursday, July 2, Governor Abbott issued a new Executive Order imposing restrictions for outdoor gatherings estimated to be in excess of 10 people. The order is available for viewing at https://www.deerparktx.gov/DocumentCenter/View/8758/Governor-Greg-Abbott---Executive-Order-GA-29---July-2-2020.
In evaluating outdoor gatherings of any size, the following factors should be taken into account by local officials:
1. The overall number of projected attendees;
2. The likelihood of individuals over the age of 65 attending;
3. The density of the forum and the ability to ensure social distancing of 6 feet between individuals; and
4. The level of transmission in the county.
Taking the aforementioned factors into consideration, the City of Deer Park will proceed with the fireworks previously planned for Fourth Fest on July 4, 2020 at 9:15 p.m. As previously announced, the concert portion of the event as well as the sale of concessions and opening of the Jimmy Burke Activity Center (JBAC) are cancelled.
A live stream of the fireworks display will be shared on the Parks and Recreation Department’s social media outlets including Facebook and Instagram for those citizens who want to watch the fireworks from the comfort of their homes. Parking will be allowed at the JBAC, Battleground Golf Driving Range, and Girls softball complex as "drive-in viewing only."
In light of Governor Abbott’s updated order, Mayor Jerry Mouton strongly urges residents to take advantage of the streaming video coverage of the fireworks display, as opposed to attending in their vehicles.
“I am excited to celebrate the Fourth of July, and I’m certain our community as a whole will enjoy the fantastic fireworks display planned for this Saturday,” Mayor Mouton said. “In light of Governor Abbott’s most recent direction regarding public gatherings, I would like to strongly encourage our residents to take advantage of the streaming video options available during the event. These options will allow families to watch the show together while minimizing the potential for spreading the COVID-19 virus in a public setting.
“JBAC parking is available for fireworks viewing; however, if individuals or families do attend in person, it is strongly encouraged that citizens stay in their vehicles. By staying in their respective vehicles and refraining from creating even small gatherings of persons from different households, attendees will contribute to making the event safer for everyone involved.”
The City is making these efforts to allow our residents to enjoy the Fourth of July in the safest possible way, while acknowledging the gravity of the COVID-19 pandemic – your compliance in keeping this holiday safe for all is greatly appreciated.
Deer Park Public Library - Operational update
The Library has returned to contactless curbside only service until further notice. Pick up will be available Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday from 10AM-5PM and Tuesday from 10AM-6:30PM. You can place your holds online or call us Monday through Friday 9AM to 5PM for assistance. Call 281-478-7208 for more information.
Mobile printing and telephone reference will be available during this time.
Resident advisory: Effective June 12, the Dow Park Pool will open at 50% capacity based on guidelines outlined in Governor Greg Abbott’s “Open Texas” plan. Guidelines may be found on the Open Texas website, https://gov.texas.gov/organization/opentexas. Please remember that activities are subject to change based on guidelines related to the current COVID-19 pandemic.
An update from the Deer Park Municipal Court:
Residents are advised that Deer Park Municipal Court dockets will resume on Thursday, June 4 and continue every Thursday. Due to capacity limitations in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the number of dockets held on each day will be increased throughout the months of June and July. Note: All persons entering the Court will be required to wear a mask
According to Michelle Combs, Court Administrator, court will be held at 10AM, 1PM and 3PM each Thursday during this timeframe. As well, a juvenile docket will be held on the first Thursday of June (June 4) and the first Thursday of August (August 6) at 4:30PM.
“For the safety of our patrons, we are practicing social distancing in the building and only have the doors on the north side of the building open,” Combs said. “On Thursdays, we will have screening and temperature checks at the door and masks are required for court.”
Deer Park Municipal Court offices are open and social distancing measures are in place. No new warrants will be issued prior to June 11, but existing warrants will remain active.
Please contact the court to address any existing warrants or to make payment. Municipal Court payments can be made online – with a $1.50 fee - at http://www.deerparktx.gov/1060/Online-Payments. Payments by phone may be made with a $2.50 fee by calling 866-202-5009.
An update from Deer Park Public Works:
Beginning Monday, June 1, the Deer Park Recycling Center will return to its regular operating schedule. The facility will be opened to residents from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. from Monday through Friday and from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday.
The Recycling Center is co-located with the Transfer Station at 610 Old Underwood Road. For more information about recycling in Deer Park, visit: http://deerparktx.gov/501/Recycling.
Resident advisory: City facility announcements
Pursuant to Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo’s “Stay Home – Work Safe” order, issued on March 24, 2020 and extended on April 4, 2020, and Governor Abbott’s Executive Order GA- 14 issued on March 31, 2020, the services offered by the City of Deer Park during the COVID-19 disaster have primarily been limited to “essential services” or “critical infrastructure.”
With the expiration of the County’s “Stay Home – Work Safe” order and under the “Reopened services” section in the Governor’s Executive Order GA-18, Section 2(i), both effective on May 1, 2020, the City of Deer Park will re-open certain “local government operations” to varying degrees on May 4, in addition to the existing “essential services” and “critical infrastructure” which will continue.
Below is the status of City services and facilities effective on May 4.
Facilities that will re-open to the public include City Hall (both the front lobby and the Utility Billing lobby), the Deer Park Police Department, and the Deer Park Animal Shelter (by appointment only for adoptions and drop-offs). At City Hall, utility billing and permit customers are encouraged to enter and exit from the rear (south) entrance.
Emergency services provided by the Deer Park Police Department, Deer Park Emergency Medical Services and the Deer Park Volunteer Fire Department will continue as normal, and emergency calls should be directed to 9-1-1. The administrative offices located at Fire Station #3 will re-open to the public on Monday, May 4.
Please note: Members of the public are strongly encouraged to practice social distancing in and around City facilities and to utilize facial coverings as specified in Harris County Judge Hidalgo’s amended order. It is recommended that - whenever possible - residents utilize online City services as opposed to walk-in visits in order to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Trash Service/Public Works
Curbside garbage and heavy trash pick-up will continue as normal. The Transfer Station, located at 610 Old Underwood Road, will resume regular business hours each Saturday from 9AM to 4:30PM each Saturday beginning May 2.
The Recycling Center – co-located with the Transfer Station – will be open to residents from 9AM to 6PM on the following dates: May 1-2, May 7-9, May 14-15, May 21-22 and May 28-29.
As City Hall will re-open, water and sewer issues may be reported as normal by phone at 281-478-7270 during business hours and to DPPD dispatch after-hours at 281-479-1511.
As well, citizens will also be able to apply for residential and commercial building permits at City Hall. However, residential and commercial building permits can be applied for online at: http://www.deerparktx.gov/1314/Permitting-Online-Portal-CAP. Building inspections can also be scheduled at the same site.
The Municipal Court and Theater Building will remain closed until Monday, May 11. Court dockets for Municipal Court have been cancelled through May 15. Court will resume on Thursday, May 21.
Residents are advised that no fees are being added due to the current closure, and no new warrants are being issued at this time. When the court re-opens on Monday, May 11, customers will have a 30-day grace period prior to incurring any new fees. While no new warrants will be issued during this time, existing warrants will remain active.
Municipal Court payments can be made online – with a $1.50 fee - at http://www.deerparktx.gov/1060/Online-Payments. Payments by phone may be made with a $2.50 fee by calling 866-202-5009.
Municipal Court staff is also responding to calls and emails as quickly as possible. We appreciate your patience and will follow up with additional information as it becomes available. Customers are encouraged to monitor City social media and to reach out directly once the Court resumes normal operation.
Deer Park Animal Shelter
The Deer Park Animal Shelter and Adoption Center will open by appointment only for adoptions and drop-offs beginning Monday, May 4. Staff will continue to respond to emergency calls during this time (i.e. injured animals & wildlife, bite cases, aggressive animals and high-risk wildlife animals).
Deer Park Parks and Recreation
The Parks and Recreation Department will begin opening various recreational amenities in limited capacities on Friday, May 1. The following amenities will reopen or remain open as of that date: All City parks, open areas, and trails (including outdoor bathrooms and the Dow Park Pavilions); the Ella and Friends dog park; and athletic sports fields (no more than four individuals at a time per Governor Abbott’s executive order).
The department encourages all citizens to help keep these amenities open and safe by continuing social distancing practices, wearing facial coverings, washing hands, and staying home when ill.
The Community Center, Game Room, Earl Dunn Gym, all playgrounds, Maxwell Adult Center and other recreation buildings will remain closed at this time. The Maxwell Adult Senior meals program will continue its current operations.
As Elected and public health officials provide additional guidelines for safe usage, the department will provide updates and begin preparing these facilities and other amenities for use.
Deer Park Public Library
Deer Park Public Library will resume curbside service on Monday, May 4 at 10AM. According to Rebecca Pool, Director of the Deer Park Public Library, patrons will be able to reserve materials for drive-through pick-up. As well, the library will be adding additional remote services.
Starting Monday, May 4, patrons will have the option to call the library or go online to reserve materials through the library’s online catalog, and then use our curbside service to pick them up. To ensure the safety of our staff and patrons, customers will be asked to park, call the library and provide their name and vehicle description. Staff will come to the vehicle, check the patron’s driver’s license to confirm their identity through a closed window, and leave the items on the hood of the vehicle. Patrons are asked to wait until the staff member has stepped away from the vehicle before retrieving their items.
“Drive-through service will be provided between the hours of 10AM and 12PM and 2PM to 4PM,” Pool said. “As well, holds requested during the temporary closure will be processed and ready for pick-up on Monday, May 4.”
Cardholders can reserve up to eight items per card. No new cards will be issued during this time. If you’ve never used the Deer Park Public Library’s online catalog before, placing a hold is easy. Just go to the City’s website, www.deerparktx.gov, navigate to the Library’s departmental page to access the library catalog. Select an item, click “Place request,” and enter your library card and PIN number.
“Beginning Monday, May 4 at 9AM, the book drop will also re-open for returns,” Pool said. “We are asking that all items be returned to book drop. For two weeks beginning May 4, the library will forgive all late fees to ensure the safe return of materials.”
Patrons are encouraged to call the Library for assistance at 281-478-7208 beginning Monday, May 4 from 9AM. Calls will be answered from 9AM-5PM on Monday through Friday.
Library staff are working to develop protocols to allow a limited number of patrons to enter the facility at a later date. Patrons are encouraged to monitor the City website and the DPPL Facebook for additional information and service availability as it is announced.
City Council and Planning and Zoning Commission Meetings
The past two meetings of the City Council and Planning and Zoning Commission have been conducted via audio conference call. Beginning on May 4 for the Planning and Zoning Commission and May 5 for the City Council, these meetings will be in-person; however, social distancing and the 25% occupancy rule will be utilized.
The Battleground Golf Course remains open.
Click here to view archived City of Deer Park departmental updates from March 13 through April 22, 2020.