Montgomery City Council members met Tuesday evening for the bimonthly meeting to discuss and take action on various agenda items, including an easement request from CVS Pharmacy as well as reports from city officials on Buffalo Springs Drive bridge and a surcharge from a local gas company. Position 3 Council Member Rebecca Huss was not in attendance.
Here are four takeaways from the Montgomery City Council meeting on March 13:
City, CVS Pharmacy fail to come to an agreement
The city and pharmacy chain CVS Pharmacy failed to come to an agreement over an encroachment and maintenance agreement regarding a sewer line easement located on property CVS Pharmacy intended to build on. City Administrator Jack Yates said the sewer line is on an easement on The Shoppes of Montgomery development, located at Hwy. 105 and southwest corner of FM 2854, at which CVS Pharmacy was set to be located.
The request was for the city to take financial responsibility for any future costs from the easement that could be imposed at the expense of the company, such as another utility company removing CVS Pharmacy’s pavement to access the easement.
Jonathan Bellock, who is vice president of First Hartford Realty Corporation, represented CVS Pharmacy and said it would a deal-breaker if CVS Pharmacy were to pay future costs associated with the easement as the sewer utility line would not be used by the property.
Another option given by CVS Pharmacy was for the city to move the sewer line into FM 2854’s right of way; however, Yates said moving the utility line into FM 2984’s right of way exposes the city to potentially paying utility relocation costs if the Texas Department of Transportation should decide to expand FM 2854.
Despite Bellock’s stance, Position 1 Council Member Jon Bickford made a motion to keep the easement within the property with the stipulation that any future payment replacement will be split between the city and CVS Pharmacy. The motion had a second and was approved unanimously by all present council members.
LDC to give credit to customers in city limits
Contention between Montgomery residents and Local Distribution Company, a natural gas distributor for the Montgomery County area, over a $20,527 utility surcharge placed on LDC customers to pay for relocating gas lines may have come to a close.
City Attorney Larry Foerster said LDC representatives have said customers living inside city limits will be credited based on their next billing cycle. The amount they will be credited is based on their individual surcharge amount paid. Customers in Montgomery’s city limits allegedly paid a collective total of approximately $3,500 since the majority of the surcharge was paid by customers in unincorporated areas of Montgomery, Foerster said.
Click here to read the background on the LDC surcharge.
Buffalo Springs Drive bridge repair
The bridge on Buffalo Springs Drive was severely damaged by flooding in spring 2016. Two years later, bridge repairs are finally underway and are set to be completed by mid-June. City Engineer Chris Roznovsky said although poor weather days slowed down repairs, the contractors will lay concrete in the next two weeks and storm sewers will be installed following that.
Public hearing scheduled for initial zoning of Peter Hill property
On Feb. 13, council members unanimously approved annexing a 3.22-acre tract of land, or the property owned by Peter Hill, on Montgomery’s east extraterritorial jurisdiction on the south side of Hwy. 105. The 3.22 acres are set to be zoned by the city as a District “B” Commercial, but the proposal must first be given the chance for public opinion. A public hearing regarding initial zoning the plat as a District “B” Commercial is scheduled for 6 p.m. April 24 at Montgomery City Hall.