City of Katy puts $19.5M in bonds on May ballot

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City of Katy voters will decide on a bond package totaling $19.5 million on May 6 when they go to the polls. The bond package is broken down into three propositions that will pay for drainage and sewer system improvements throughout the city.

At a Feb. 18 meeting, city officials emphasized that with expected revenue coming from a variety of new sources, including the new Amazon facility and expansions to the Goya Foods factory on the west side of town, the propositions will not trigger an increase in the city’s property tax rate.

Proposition A

The first of the propositions has a value of $4.25 million and would be used to elevate the First Street bridge just west of Avenue D. City Administrator Byron Hebert said raising the bridge will provide a twofold benefit because the bridge needs to be replaced due to age, and it causes a flood risk.

“By elevating [the First Street bridge]up, we can get some more water to flow underneath the bridge,” Hebert said.

An estimated $1.25 million would go toward the bridge project, while the remaining $3 million would go toward improving drainage along Katy Hockley Road. Hebert said this work would prevent water from pooling in downtown and to Mallard Drive and Spoon Bill Street and subsequently to the Morton Road detention pond and then east of town rather than south into downtown.

Proposition B

The second bond, Proposition B, would raise $10.25 million for the city, which would be used to improve drainage near the Pine Forest subdivision in the northwest portion of town.

The first project under its scope includes improvements to drainage within Pine Forest’s boundaries, and would take up $3.3 million of the bond. Improvements there would include flap gates to prevent water from back-flowing in ditches, renovations to the ditches along Magnolia Drive and Red Bud Street Lane and increased pipe diameters for the Avenue D storm sewer.

Another $3.1 million would be put toward drainage improvements to Fortuna and Patna drives in the Riceland Terrace subdivision, located just north of Town Park.

Expansion of the Pitts Road detention pond would be split into two portions with $2.25 million set aside for land acquisition to expand the pond by 14 acres. The remaining $1.6 million would be used for excavation of the expansion, improvements to pumping equipment and improvements to the Hackberry Lane storm sewer, which facilitates water flowing to the detention pond, Hebert said.

Proposition C

This $5 million bond would be used to upgrade and expand the city’s sewer treatment facilities. Katy Mayor Chuck Brawner said with the city growing as quickly as it is, the demand for sewer services is rising, especially with large employers like Amazon and FedEx needing service at their facilities located in Katy.

Other funding

Hebert said that the city is pursuing other avenues to fund drainage projects and has submitted one grant application. Another was in the works as of Feb. 28.

Additionally, drainage improvements to First Street between Cane Island Parkway and Avenue D would be funded by Houston Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County  monies garnered through the Katy Development Authority. Another $3.5 million in METRO funding would be used for upgrades to Morton Road.

To complete everything in the drainage plan, city officials said the bond money would be necessary.

Hebert said the city would work to implement the drainage projects within city limits but would still need to reach out to other involved entities, such as Fort Bend and Harris counties, Union Pacific Corp., which operates the railroad that runs through town parallel to Hwy. 90, and the Texas Department of Transportation. Those partnerships would ensure the water has somewhere to go once it has gone through the city’s drainage infrastructure, he said.

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R. Hans Miller
R. Hans Miller joined the Community Impact team in June 2017. He is a recent graduate of Texas State University's College of Journalism and Mass Communication, a U.S. Army veteran, husband and father. He is originally from Montana. He has written for VoiceBox Media and the San Marcos Daily Record, among others. He covers city government, emergency services, local business development and other topics for the Katy area.
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