City passes drainage and grant resolutions at July 9 Katy City Council meeting

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Correction: The 2018 Katy Triathlon is expected to draw 900 participants according to the Katy Rotary Club. The maximum amount for the contract with BlankRome Governent Relations is $10,000 per month with a maximum of $50,000.

Katy City Council passed two resolutions affecting drainage projects and budgeting for the city at its regular July 9 meeting: a contract for improvements to the Pine Forest subdivision valued at more than $4.4 million and a contract with BlankRome Government Relations LLC.

The Pine Forest contract was awarded to Reytec Construction Resources Inc. out of Houston. The company is expected to break ground in August on the project, which Mayor Chuck Brawner said would take about seven months to complete.

City Administrator Byron Hebert was also authorized to sign an agreement with BlankRome Government Relations to obtain assistance for the city to submit grant applications. The contract will reimburse the company up to $10,000 per month with a maximum of $50,000 to submit general grant applications and applications for grant reimbursements related to flooding recovery for both the 2016 Tax Day floods and flooding related to Hurricane Harvey.

Hebert said the grants will help restore the city’s emergency funds, which have been strained after two flooding disasters in two years.

Brawner said having professional grant writers assist the city in maximizing grant funds would help ensure that the city got the grants it needs and meet September deadlines for those grants.

“There’s a lot of grant money out there,” Brawner said. “You just have to know where to go and get it and be creative when you’re writing your grant application to be successful, and these people, that’s their business.”

The city also approved $78,000 in hotel occupancy tax funding to plan and implement the city-run Katy Rice Festival. This will be the inaugural year for the city to run the festival, which will replace the Katy Area Chamber of Commerce’s Katy Rice Harvest Festival. The chamber had canceled its event, citing low turnout numbers during the 2017 festival. The Katy Rice Festival is expected to be held Oct. 12-14.

The council also approved $75,000 in hotel tax funds to help the Katy Rotary Club promote the 2018 Katy Triathlon, which will be held Sept. 22-23 at Cane Island. Lance LaCour, co-chairman of the event and president of the Katy Economic Development Council, said the Katy Rotary Club hopes to get at least 900 participants in the race, not including observers.

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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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