4 things to know from Magnolia City Council: H-E-B set for city, council opposes property tax bill

Magnolia City Council met on Tuesday, March 14.

Magnolia City Council met on Tuesday, March 14.

During its meeting on Tuesday, members of Magnolia City Council addressed ongoing construction projects within the city and statewide action to limit property tax increases from year to year.

Despite delays, H-E-B will begin building its first store within Magnolia city limits once construction on FM 1488 at FM 149 wraps up, City Administrator Paul Mendes said.

The Texas-based grocery store purchased land in 2014 as part of a 142-acre mixed-use development, known as Magnolia Commons, to be located along FM 1488 between FM 149 and Spur 149. The property is being developed by Austin-based Stratus Properties Inc.

"I told [Development Partner Jon Andrus] that there was some concern about H-E-B possibly putting off starting the store or not building it at that location [within city limits]," Mendes said. "It's definitely going out there. What they're holding on right now is the construction out front. Nobody wants to start a new store with their roads torn up."

H-E-B opened a store at Tamina Road and FM 1488 last summer, its first location in the Greater Magnolia area.

"Almost all customers that are coming to [the store on] Tamina [Road] are coming from us and west of us, so they still see this as a prime location," Mendes said.

Additionally, development company Audubon Magnolia Development LLC, formerly Legacy Trust, is slated to begin work on utilities and roadways this year for its 2,600-acre mixed-use community, Mendes said.

"They plan to start work on utilities and roads in 2017 and homes in 2018, so that will start moving very quickly," he said.

The master-planned community—estimated to be similar in size to Cinco Ranch in Katy—will be located along FM 1488 on the west side of FM 149, development representatives said during a January council meeting.

To meet increased demand for the city's water services, the city received a temporary permit for construction of a $16 million water and sewer treatment facility, Mendes said.

The new facility will treat up to two million gallons of water daily, increasing the city's capacity for providing water to its residents and businesses. Having received a temporary permit, the city can now distribute bonds to fund the project and begin construction, Mendes said.

As the city begins paying for the new treatment facility, Mendes said the council should carefully consider its spending on other projects, such as lawn mowing services and road maintenance.

"As you know, we're coming up on some pretty good size bills for the city," he said of construction costs on FM 149. "When we go out for bonds on the $16 million water plant, it's going to be another big chunk that we have to look at. I respectfully request that we tighten our belts and watch [our finances] for a while and don't just spend it because we have money in a particular fund."

City council members also adopted a resolution on Tuesday opposing a cap on property tax increases.

The resolution responds to Senate Bill 2—a bill filed by State Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, that seeks to limit property tax increase to no more than 4 percent from year to year. Other cities, like Montgomery, have also passed resolution opposing the bill. View the resolution from the city below:

 

By Anna Lotz

Editor, Tomball/Magnolia & Conroe/Montgomery

Anna joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in May 2016 after graduating with a degree in journalism from Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio. In July 2017, she transitioned to editor for the Tomball/Magnolia edition. She began covering the communities of Conroe and Montgomery as well in 2020. Anna covers education, local government, transportation, business, real estate development and nonprofits in these communities. Prior to CI, Anna served as editor-in-chief of Cedars, interned with the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C., and spent time writing for the Springfield News-Sun and Xenia Daily Gazette.



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