$6M Katy bond package would bring trails, building improvements

Katy City Council members at a special meeting Feb. 12 voted unanimously to put a bond package on the May 1 ballot. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Katy City Council members at a special meeting Feb. 12 voted unanimously to put a bond package on the May 1 ballot. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

Katy City Council members at a special meeting Feb. 12 voted unanimously to put a bond package on the May 1 ballot. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

For years, Katy leaders have wanted to connect residents throughout the community to downtown and fix buildings in need of repairs.

Now, they are hoping Katy residents will support a $6 million bond package to help them do that.

Katy City Council members at a special meeting Feb. 12 voted unanimously to put a bond package on the May 1 ballot. Katy voters will also be electing two residents to fill City Council seats for wards A and B and will vote on 38 propositions related to changes in the city’s charter.

At the Feb. 12 meeting, City Administrator Byron Hebert broke down the package, which is divided into two propositions totaling $6 million. Proposition A costs $1.8 million and is focused on public safety projects, Hebert said.

If approved, the money would fund improvements to municipal public buildings, including the rehabilitation of Fire Station No. 1, Hebert said. That project is already in progress, he said, and the funds would reimburse the city.


The funds would also pay for a training tower for the fire department and the expansion of the city’s fleet maintenance facility, Hebert said.

The three projects would cost $1 million of the $1.8 million in Proposition A.

Council Member Rory Robertson said at the meeting he had recently toured the fleet maintenance facility and agreed it needs to be expanded.

“We need something where they can actually work on the larger vehicles, such as a fire truck, without having to work outdoors in the extreme elements,” he said.

Finally, $800,000 of the $1.8 million would go toward refurbishing existing police department facilities. Some interior areas of Katy’s police station are in “dire need of repair,” Hebert said.

Proposition B, which has a price tag of $4.2 million, is focused on parks. If approved, funds would go toward city park improvements, Hebert said, including the creation of a hike and bike trail system and the construction of a parks administration building.

Building a new parks administration facility would cost $200,000 of the $4.2 million, Hebert said. The city would either tear down and rebuild or repurpose the current building, Hebert said. Then, officials plan on building the new building at Katy City Park.

The biggest project that would come from the bond, Hebert said, would be a $4 million hike and bike trail system, something city leaders have talked about creating for years. Once complete, the trail system would provide a safe path from First Street to the ponds at Pitts Road.

“We’ve been doing a lot of work downtown; we really want to start getting this thing activated, and we really want to be able to have people have mobility to get up and down instead of using Avenue D,” Hebert said.

The trail would likely stretch about 3 miles from First Street to the ponds at Pitts Road, he said, though the total distance could be up to 5 miles because there are plans to extend the trail around the ponds. If approved, construction would likely begin during summer 2022, Hebert said, adding it should not have an effect on drainage.

Council Member Janet Corte said she was excited to see the hike and bike trail on the horizon since city leaders have discussed it for years.

“I think this is something that our residents have really been asking for,” she said. “Especially since COVID[-19], they want to be able to get outside more.”

Council Member Chris Harris said he, too, was glad to see the city moving forward with the project.

“This will be a great way to get everybody hiking and biking outdoors,” he said. “I look at this as something that’s great 20 years from now and for the next generation.”

City officials are planning for a tax rate of $0.44 per $100 of valuation, even with the bond package on the ballot, Hebert said.
By Morgan Theophil
Morgan joined Community Impact Newspaper in January 2021 as the reporter for the Katy edition. She graduated from the University of Oregon's School of Journalism in 2018.


MOST RECENT

"Breaking Strongholds" is a faith-based, eight-episode series that explores topics such as suicide and depression. (Courtesy Terry Weaver)
Series shot in Montgomery County aiming for Hulu, Netflix deal and more Houston-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.

Here is the latest case, hospitalization and vaccine data from Fort Bend County. (Eva Vigh/Community Impact Newspaper)
Nearly 30% of eligible Fort Bend County population fully vaccinated against COVID-19

From March 26-April 8, the county reported an average of 91.6 new coronavirus cases a day.

The temporary waiver covering initial vehicle registration, vehicle registration renewal, vehicle titling, renewal of permanent disabled parking placards and 30-day temporary permits will end April 14. (Hannah Zedaker/Community Impact Newspaper)
DMV officials say no grace period following waiver of car title, registration; new housing set for Magnolia, Cypress

Read the top business and community news from the past week from the Houston area.

After serving up chicken in College Station for nearly three decades, Layne’s Chicken Fingers is opening its first location in the Houston area in Katy. (Courtesy Layne's Chicken Fingers)
Layne's Chicken Fingers coming to Katy; Gyro King opens in Sugar Land and more Houston-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.

Less than 25% of American office workers have returned to in-person office settings since the start of the pandemic. (Courtesy Pixabay)
DATA: Texas metros lead the nation in return to in-person work since start of pandemic

About 37% of Houston office employees had returned to in-person work as of the end of March, as compared to an average of less than 25% in other major U.S. metros.

In order to move to Level 2 on the threat level system, Hidalgo said the county would need to get down to an average of 400 new COVID-19 cases reported daily, a positivity rate of 5% and an ICU population of 15%. (Screenshot via Facebook Live)
'We're close' Hidalgo says of possibility for Harris County to lower COVID-19 threat level

In order to move to Level 2 on the threat level system, Hidalgo said the county would need to get down to an average of 400 new COVID-19 cases reported daily, a positivity rate of 5% and an ICU population of 15%.

After serving up chicken in College Station for nearly three decades, Layne’s Chicken Fingers is opening its first location in the Houston area in Katy. (Courtesy Layne's Chicken Fingers)
Katy-area to be home of Houston area’s first Layne’s Chicken Fingers

The 2,400-square-foot restaurant will be located at 23703 Cinco Ranch Blvd., Katy.

Though several sections of Katy-area roads remain in the top 100, the ranking of five sections of road dropped between 2018 and 2019—and most have seen drops multiple years in a row, according to the report. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Several Katy-area roads among Texas’ most congested in annual report

One local road, I-10 from North Eldridge Parkway to the Sam Houston Tollway, is ranked the 14th most congested in the state.

(Courtesy Fish and Camaron)
Teriyaki Madness opens in Katy

The fast-casual Asian restaurant will serve bowls of Asian-inspired teriyaki food that includes fresh vegetables, rice and protein.

According to the release, three STAAR tests were affected by the connectivity issues including fourth grade writing, seventh grade writing and English I. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
TEA Student Assessment Division calls STAAR Online Testing Platform connectivity issues 'completely unacceptable'

According to the release, three STAAR tests were affected by the connectivity issues including fourth grade writing, seventh grade writing and English I.

Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order April 5 banning governments from issuing "vaccine passport" mandates that would require residents to show proof of vaccination in order to enter a public place or receive services. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
New order from Gov. Greg Abbott bans government-mandated 'vaccine passports' in Texas

"Government should not require any Texan to show proof of vaccination and reveal private health information just to go about their daily lives," Abbott said.