Industry to pay for Surfside Beach Playground

New equipment for Surfside Jetty Park will be made wholly from recycled plastics….

ANGLETON — Fifteen Brazoria County petrochemical companies have partnered to bring a new playground to a county park made from recycled plastics.

The representatives from the Brazoria County Petrochemical Council assembled Tuesday morning before commissioners’ court to announce the $210,000 donation. The money will allow the county to replace the playground at Surfside Beach Jetty Park, which had to be removed because it became a hazard after long-term exposure to the elements.

Representatives of the Brazoria County Petrochemical Council and Brazosport County Parks Department pose with county commissioners Tuesday after announcing the BCPC would donate $210,000 to provide a playground made of recycled plastics for Surfside Jetty Park.

“Anytime you look at investing dollars into something like that, you’re talking about some serious dollars. So we were prepared to go back to the drawing board,” Brazoria County Parks Director Bryan Frazier said. “What could we put out that would last a little longer?” The petrochemical council reached out about that time suggesting a partnership and asking what potential projects the parks department would have in mind. Installing playground equipment made from recycled plastics jumped to the top of the list.

“It gives the interpretive message of what we are all about anyway, which is, ‘Don’t throw your plastic bottles on the ground,’” Frazier said. “Do something positive with them; recycle them. And they answered the call.”

Contributors to the council’s donation include MEGlobal Americas, Dow Chemical, BASF, Freeport LNG, Shintech, K-Bin, Shin-Etsu, Olin Corp., Port Freeport, DSM, Vopak Industrial Infrastructure Americas Freeport, Ineos, Phillips 66, Chevron Phillips Chemical and LyondellBasell.

It likely will be about six months after the new equipment is ordered before the playground is open, Frazier said. The department hopes to place the order as soon as possible, and it will take several months to arrive, he said.

The $210,000 donation should cover most if not all of the cost of the equipment and installation, Frazier said.



CAER Repackaged Brazosport Industrial Alert System Changing the Times

Times are changing, and so is Brazosport’s CAER program as the area’s booming industrial center continues to grow.

CAER, or Community Awareness and Emergency Response, is an organization that promotes two-way communication between the community and industries in the area. It acts as a link between the two in order to provide Brazoria County residents with information in the event of an industrial emergency.

The program is comprised of about 20 industrial partners in the Brazosport area who work with CAER on a volunteer basis. Partners include Dow Chemical Co., BASF and Freeport LNG, CAER Vice President Reme Lara said.

“Every member’s goal is to keep their employees and the community safe; that’s why they are a part of CAER,” Lara said.

Rachel Ray, Harold Nicoll, Darren Slover, Greg Yount, Reme Lara, Tabitha Ray volunteers from CAER pose with their booth.
Rachel Ray, Harold Nicoll, Darren Slover, Greg Yount, Reme Lara, Tabitha Ray volunteers from CAER pose with their booth.

Brazosport CAER formed in 1985, making it one of the first CAER programs in the nation. Since it began, Brazosport CAER has worked to continually promote better communication with residents concerning chemical emergencies, the organization says.

Many of the methods it has historically used, however, have been superseded by technological advances. For instance, a database of home phone numbers won’t provide the extensive reach it did in past decades as many people no longer have landlines. There also are tens of thousands of new residents in the region who might not be aware of CAER and the important role it plays.

Program members recently have been working to completely revamp and revitalize CAER by changing communication methods and increasing awareness of the program, community awareness chairwoman Tabitha Ray said.

“Our community is completely different from when we were first founded,” Ray said. “We have had a lot of growth, new people have moved to our community and there has been a lot of change in technology. It is vital that CAER change as well.”

One of the ways it has changed it by getting upto-date with social media and creating Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts, with the latter two being the newest additions, Lara said. Brazosport CAER currently has 1,300 Facebook followers.

“We want to be the link between the industry.”