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  • Katy seeks voter approval of bonds to reduce flooding

    February 19, 2018
    By: Karen Zurawski - Houston Chronicle

    Looking to help pay for the flood mitigation projects that began late last year, the city of Katy will ask voters in May to support a bond election.

    At its Feb. 12 meeting, the Katy City Council adopted an ordinance calling for the May 5 bond election that will total $19.5 million. Officials said passage of the bond proposals will not result in a tax-rate increase.

    The ballot will feature three propositions.

    Proposition A involves $4.25 million in bonds for the purpose of the construction of streets and related drainage improvements. Specifically, the improvements call for elevating First Street bridge at a cost of $1.25 million and upgrading Katy-Hockley Road (Avenue D) at a cost of $3 million.

    Proposition B calls for issuing $10.25 million in bonds for construction of storm sewer and drainage improvements. Projects include $3.1 million for Fortuna, $3.3 million for Pine Forest, $1.6 million for Phase II of the detention pond at Pitts Road plus $2.25 million for land acquisition to expand the detention pond.

    As part of Proposition C, the city would sell up to $5 million in bonds to pay for construction of improvements to the municipal waterworks and sanitary sewer system.

    Councilman Gary Jones encouraged everyone to get behind and support the bond election as a mean to reduce flooding in the city.

    Councilman Ray Boothe asked citizens to talk with city officials if they have questions about the bond election.

    Last November, City Council authorized Mayor Chuck Brawner to sign an agreement with Costello Inc. of Houston to perform engineering and design development of four proposed projects intended to improve drainage in Pine Forest subdivision at a cost of $437,000.

    At that time Brawner said the engineering and design could be completed some time in March. The four projects come with an estimated cost of $4.73 million and include improving Magnolia ditch, replacing the selective drainage collection system on Avenue D between Magnolia Ditch and Morton Road, adding a 42-inch storm sewer to help relieve Pecan Lane from Hackberry Lane drainage runoff and replacing an existing storm sewer on West Elm Circle.

    A Pine Forest resident, Brad Hubbard, spoke during the public comment portion of the Feb. 12 meeting. He thanked city officials for their work on Pine Forest and asked about improving the Cane Island Branch of the Buffalo Bayou between Highway 90 south to Kingsland Boulevard which is where water from his neighborhood would drain. He described the branch there as narrow and as little more than a ditch.

    The city hired Costello to help with flood mitigation after Tax Day floods in 2016. The firm was enlisted to help the city further after Hurricane Harvey flooded the Katy area.

    In an October 2017 report to City Council, Costello said 125 residential structures flooded on April 18, 2016. For Hurricane Harvey, Aug. 25-29, 2017, the number of flooded residential structures totaled 685, according to Costello.

    The May 5 election ballot also will include three positions on City Council whose terms expire.

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