MEDIA CENTER


Katy Area News
  • Bond election may fund flood-related projects in Katy

    November 14, 2017
    By: Karen Zurawski - Houston Chronicle

    Katy residents may have a chance this spring to vote in a municipal bond election that would provide funds intended to reduce flooding risks.

    City of Katy officials talked Nov. 7 of a possible spring bond election to fund a four-part drainage package recommended by engineers to reduce flooding risks in the Pine Forest subdivision, which has flooded twice in the last 18 months.

    The proposed $3.3 million in improvements won approval from some of the approximately 20 residents who spoke at the Katy City Council workshop, which drew a crowd that filled council chambers, while others questioned the timeliness of proposed improvements and where the projects placed in the larger picture of area drainage.
     
    The workshop is the first in what city officials said will be a series that addresses flooding concerns in different neighborhoods.
     
    The Pine Forest recommendations presented by Ralph Saldana and Steve Wilcox, both project managers and partners of Costello Inc., are:

    Upgrade the Magnolia ditch between Avenue D and Cane Island Branch to improve channel capacity;
    Replace selective drainage collection system on Avenue D between the Magnolia ditch and Morton Road;
    Add a 42-inch storm sewer within the gas pipeline easement on Hackberry Lane; and,
    Replace the storm sewer on West Elm Circle with a 5x3 drainage box for better capacity.

    A fifth recommendation to be considered after the first four items are implemented would be to improve the roadside ditches/driveway culverts in the subdivision to minimum standards, according to Saldana.
     
    Several residents questioned the effectiveness of the proposed recommendations without upgrading and widening the Cane Island Branch of the Buffalo Bayou.

    Near the meeting's conclusion, though, Katy Mayor Chuck Brawner shared information from a 300-plus page Texas funding request to the federal government that includes $72.8 million for the Brookshire-Katy Drainage District to build an upstream detention lake to take care of water that comes down to Katy and to upgrade Buffalo Bayou.

    "That should help us to move water," said Brawner, noting that Buffalo Bayou also travels through Fort Bend and Harris counties and is a regional concern.

    He also cited two other requested allocations: $6 billion for the Harris County Flood Control District and $500 million for a Cypress Creek watershed reservoir.

    In Costello's presentation, Saldana listed external drainage conditions that affect Katy and they included the Cypress Creek overflow and the Cane Island Branch of the Buffalo Bayou.
    Local projects will not improve regional issues, he said.

    The proposed city projects face challenges, though, including utility conduits along and under Avenue D, the need for a drainage easement on private property and a 24-inch gas pipeline crossing Magnolia ditch between Hackberry and Pecan, according to the Costello engineers.

    Subdivision resident Bradford Hubbard said he supported the ideas to get the water out of the subdivision.

    He added he wanted to stop the water from coming in and talked of controlling development north of the city to reduce the amount of water that comes toward Katy.

    Brawner said the city has no control over development north of Clay Road, but added that officials are developing a plan with the City of Houston to protect Katy from water coming down. The plan also would protect Houston, he said.

    Another resident advocated doing the projects concurrently.

    "We don't have five years to play with," he continued.

    Brawner responded that it's a package deal.

    Visit http://cityofkaty.com/pine-forest-workshop/ to view a copy of the presentation by Costello Inc.

    According to the Houston Association of Realtors, Pine Forest has 145 single-family properties with 2,679 median square feet. The median year houses were built is 1981 and home values range between $215,000 and $348,000. The subdivision is between Morton Road and the Magnolia ditch and Avenue D and the Cane Island Branch.

    Full Story
Video Gallery
Copyright 2015. All Rights Reserved. Katy Area Economic Development Council© Powered by Community Systems