The city of Katy awarded a contract for the construction of the Katy Civic Center and Visitors Center buildings as part of the new Katy Downtown Plaza at the Dec. 10 Katy City Council meeting.
Funding for the construction comes from three sources, said Kayce Reina, the city’s director of tourism, marketing and public relations. Funds from bonds, hotel occupancy taxes and flood insurance funds from the 2016 Tax Day Floods would be used to pay for the construction contract, Reina said.
The Katy Civic Center will be installed in the old Katy City Hall Building on Avenue C, while the Visitors Center will be created by refurbishing the Katy City Annex on Second Street in downtown Katy, according to city documents.
The construction company, Nash Industries, had agreed to a contract that would promote the city’s goal of having the Katy Downtown Plaza ready in time for the 2019 Katy Rice Festival. The contract contains an incentive for Nash of $1,000 per day the construction is completed early, with a maximum of 30 days incentive pay. The same rate of penalty applies for each day that construction is completed late, Reina said.
The $3 million bond package that is helping to pay for the downtown improvements was approved by Katy voters in 2000, but the project was slow to get started, City Council Member Chris Harris said. A group of local business owners and residents, including former Mayor Doyle Calendar, had been working on plans for the Katy Downtown Plaza since 2014, he said.
“We’re going to be able to do it, finally,” Harris said. “I am ecstatic and proud that we’re going to have our downtown district up and going after 18 years of discussion.”