Regulations for assisted living facilities, hotel variance: 9 things to know from Conroe City Council, Jan. 11

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Conroe City Council considered a number of items during its Jan. 11 action meeting. The city considered items such as tax abatements, regulation of assisted living facilities, a hotel variance and withholding payment of a fee increase by the Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District.

  1. Property tax abatement

Council members approved a property tax abatement agreement with Bauer-Pileco. The company has a new facility under construction and is expanding its presence in Conroe. The company estimates it will create 37 new jobs over the next three years.

2. Hotel variance granted

The city approved two variances during Thursday’s meeting. One variance related to construction regulations for hotels to benefit a proposed hotel located on 1.68 acres of land along I-45. The hotel meets most hotel requirements except for requirements outlining a minimum amount of rooms. The variance was only granted with stipulations that the hotel must remain a Marriott Towneplace Suites hotel.

3. Sanitary sewer project contract approved

The city approved a contract with Halff and Associates for design of the project located for a Hwy. 105 and I-45 sanitary sewer project between Wilson Road and Loop 336 North. The contract is worth $90,320.

4. New regulations for assisted living facilities

Council approved new regulations for assisted living facilities within the city. The resolution amends the city ordinances prohibiting assisted living facilities in residential neighborhoods unless they qualify as a community home. The ordinance also prohibits unlicensed assisted living facilities and limits occupancy to disabled persons and appropriate staff members. It also requires any community homes within the city to register with the city in addition to any requisite licensing.

5. Conroe to withhold payment of fee increases by the Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District

The city approved a resolution stating it would not pay for fee increases by the Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District that went into effect Jan. 1. The agency increased its fee for pumping groundwater from the Chico, Evangeline and Jasper aquifers from 7.5 cents per 1,000 gallons to 11 cents per 1,000 gallons.

6. First Thursday Free Concert Series agreement

The city approved an agreement for the First Thursday Free Concert Series. The agreement allows coordinators to begin planning for the 2018 series, which runs from April to September.

7. Contract extension for bus operator

The city approved a contract extension for operation of the city’s Fixed Route Service with the ADA Complementary Paratransit Service. The extension is worth $535,246 over the course of the year, but the city anticipates federal and state program reimbursements of an estimated $370,469.

8. Animal shelter agreement with Huntsville

The city approved an agreement to accept animals from the city of Huntsville at the Conroe animal shelter. Officials expect the additional animals will not create overcrowding at the shelter.

9. Officials evaluating construction of a possible performance venue

The city approved a resolution designating a community venue project. Officials are evaluating the possibility of a performance arts venue, and the the city will seek voter approval of a 2-cent increase in the city’s hotel occupancy tax during the May election to help fund the project. The city’s current hotel occupancy tax rate is set at 13 cents, and with a 2-cent increase the rate would remain below the 17-cent maximum allowed by the state.

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Jesse has reported on health care, development, transportation, as well as city, county and state news since 2011. After a stint as a photojournalist in in the Rio Grande Valley, he joined Community Impact Newspaper in February 2014. In February 2015 he was promoted to editor of the Conroe | Montgomery edition.

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