2019 preview: Here are the top 8 stories to follow in Tomball, Magnolia this year

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1. Development stirs on FM 1488 with overpass finished

With the completion in November of the Texas Department of Transportation’s $28.9 million railroad overpass at FM 1488 and FM 149, developers are set to break ground this year on residential and commercial projects along the city of Magnolia’s eastern span of FM 1488, city officials said.
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2. Hwy. 249 expansion to take shape

In Harris County, Phase 2 of the Tomball Tollway—the $99 million tolled extension of Hwy. 249 from FM 2920 to Spring Creek—is anticipated to open to drivers this December, according to Harris County Toll Road Authority officials.
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3. Tomball, Magnolia ISDs balance limited funding, growing enrollments

Tomball and Magnolia ISDs adopted balanced budgets for the 2018-19 fiscal year despite decreasing state funding and growing enrollments.
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4. Flood prevention projects set for Little Cypress, Willow creeks

Multiple Harris County Flood Control District projects are set to begin in 2019 across the Greater Tomball area.
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5. Tomball ISD to break ground on new campuses, districtwide stadium

Tomball ISD anticipates breaking ground on the new elementary and junior high schools as well as the districtwide stadium in 2019, Chief Financial Officer Jim Ross said.
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6. FM 1774 projects near completion in Magnolia area

TxDOT is working on two projects along FM 1774 in the Greater Magnolia area expected to improve traffic flow by widening a portion of the roadway from two to four lanes and adding a railroad overpass, according to TxDOT information.
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7. Water rate discussion moves toward legal action in Magnolia

Dave Welch, president of the Texas Pastor Council, a group representing churches in Magnolia, said the group submitted a letter Dec. 12 to Magnolia City Council, giving officials 60 days to correct the discriminatory utility rates, or legal remedy will be pursued.
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8. City of Tomball to update comprehensive plan

City officials said thoroughfare and future land use plans will be revised, which could change where future residential and commercial properties are developed.
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Anna Lotz
Anna joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in May 2016 after graduating with a degree in journalism from Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio. In July 2017, she transitioned to editor. Anna covers education, local government, transportation, business, real estate development and nonprofits in the Tomball and Magnolia communities. Prior to CI, Anna served as editor-in-chief of Cedars, interned with the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C., and spent time writing for the Springfield News-Sun and Xenia Daily Gazette.
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