Montgomery County considers mobility needs

Montgomery County commissioners unanimously approved a $125,000 update to the county’s 2016 thoroughfare plan Dec. 10. The amended plan is expected to provide the county with an up-to-date list of its thoroughfare deficiencies and possible future projects.

The revision will include a new regional mobility study and result in an amended thoroughfare plan in 2020 for all four precincts, according to court information. The plan is scheduled to be complete in the first six months of 2020, Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough said in a Dec. 12 email.

“Having traffic counts and data to back up the necessary updates to the current plan will go a long way at informing the court of the priorities for future road bonds and immediate needs that can be addressed with current tax dollars,” Keough said.

He said in a November interview the county would have to identify funding sources for any recommended road projects based on study results, which could include calling for a bond referendum or implementing tolls as long as voters could provide input and approve new collections in advance.

“We’ve got to go out for another road bond—we have to do it,” Precinct 2 Commissioner Charlie Riley said. “It’s getting to the point to where we’re going to have to do something within the next couple of years.”

2015 road bond


Of the $64 million allotted to Precinct 2 by the $280 million 2015 Montgomery County road bond, Riley said there is about $12 million left. However, that money is committed to projects with the Texas Department of Transportation—such as the proposed Magnolia Relief Route from the future Hwy. 249 extension to FM 1488 west of Magnolia.


The 2015 bond has funded construction of several projects, including construction of Grand Pines Drive, a new road connecting Nichols Sawmill and Sanders Cemetery roads to be complete this spring, he said.

To get a bond onto the November general election ballot, commissioners would have to call for an election by Aug. 17, according to the Texas secretary of state’s office.

“Having a road bond in 2020 is not completely impossible, but it’s on the verge of impossible [right now],” Riley said. “I may be wrong. We may go into this court in January and decide to put a list together and see what response we get. ... I’m willing to do it in 2020, but it’s certainly not official.”

Other local government stories to follow in 2020


Water litigation continues between city of Magnolia, churches

Litigation on the legality and validity of the city of Magnolia’s institutional water user category—which applies to tax-exempt, nonprofit and government entities—is still ongoing in 2020, Magnolia Mayor Todd Kana said in a Dec. 11 email. The city and three Magnolia churches—Magnolia Bible Church, Believers Fellowship and First Baptist Church of Magnolia—began legal disputes in 2017, Community Impact Newspaper previously reported. Kana said litigation is still pending in the court of appeals.

Search for Magnolia city administrator still ongoing

The search for a Magnolia city administrator continues following the death of former City Administrator Paul Mendes in August, Magnolia Mayor Todd Kana said in a Dec. 11 email. Applications for the position closed in late November, and city officials hope to perform interviews in January, he said.

City, county races on the 2020 ballots

The March 3 primary elections feature contested county races as of press time Dec. 20, including Harris County Precinct 3 commissioner and Precinct 4 constable, and Montgomery County Precinct 5 constable, in the Tomball and Magnolia area. The Nov. 3 ballot will include Republican and Democrat nominees from the primaries. City positions—including Magnolia mayor and Tomball and Magnolia city council seats—will be on the May 2 ballot.



MOST RECENT

As of 11:30 a.m. on March 2, eight areas across Harris County remained under boil water notice affecting about 2,300 residents. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Thousands in unincorporated Harris County remain under boil notices

As of 11:30 a.m. on March 2, eight areas across Harris County remained under boil water notice affecting about 2,300 residents.

The statewide mask mandate will end March 10. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough, local officials weigh in on end of state mask mandate

Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough thanked the governor for planning to lift state mandates March 10.

The Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market is returning in person for its spring iteration. (Courtesy Jennifer Greene/HoustonBallet)
Houston Nutcracker Market to make in-person return this spring

Of the 150 merchants on the roster, nearly 50 will be making their spring debut in 2021.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced March 2 that mask mandates and business capacity restrictions will be lifted in Texas. (Courtesy Office of the Texas Governor)
Gov. Greg Abbott lifts statewide mask mandate, business restrictions in Texas

With vaccine distribution increasing, Gov. Greg Abbott said "people and businesses don't need the state telling them how to operate." Some local officials are pushing back, saying the relaxed restrictions are coming too early.

Kiddie Academy opened in January. (Courtesy Havas Formula)
New Kiddie Academy location opens in northwest Houston

Curriculum at Kiddie Academy of Cypresswood promotes intellectual, social, physical and emotional growth, officials said.

Tomball Fire Chief Randy Parr, pictured here in 2012, has served as chief for 17 years. (Community Impact staff)
Tomball Fire Chief Randy Parr announces retirement after 17 years

"Seventeen years is a long time, and I'm still having a hard time grasping the fact that it has been 17 years," Parr said.

With over 20 years of experience in small engine machine repair, business owner Jimmie Brock opened Mobile Lawn Doctor in June 2019. (Adriana Rezal/Community Impact Newspaper)
Magnolia repairman brings lawnmowers back to life with The Mobile Mower Doctor, sees increase in demand

“A lot of businesses have struggled through the pandemic, but it’s been a blessing for me because more people are at home ... mowing their own grass,” Owner Jimmie Brock said. “They have the lawnmower that’s been sitting in their garage for who knows how long, [and] they need me to get it going so they can mow their grass because they want to save that money.”

The projects are set to wrap up in the third quarter of 2021. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Medical Complex Drive, South Persimmon Street extensions on track for 2021 completion

The projects are set to wrap up in the third quarter of 2021.

Most of the electric grid in Texas is managed by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which is not linked to other interconnected national electrical systems. (Courtesy Electric Reliability Council of Texas)
Leaving the Texas power grid 'not likely to be an option' for Harris County, official says

Just two weeks after severe winter weather dropped Harris County temperatures below freezing for three consecutive days, which led to widespread power outages, loss of water and the deaths of at least 50 county residents, Harris County Commissioners Court called for major reform at the state level regarding the Texas power grid and related energy policies.

Several companies are moving into the Tomball Business & Technology Park, including a new brewery and restaurant opening in late 2021, said Kelly Violette, executive director of the Tomball Economic Development Corp. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)
'A developer couldn’t have placed Tomball in a better location if they really tried': Commercial, industrial growth in city of Tomball to create nearly 450 jobs

Several companies are moving into the Tomball Business & Technology Park, including a new brewery and restaurant opening in late 2021, said Kelly Violette, executive director of the Tomball Economic Development Corp.

Ostioneria Michoacan opened on Hwy. 249 in Tomball on Feb. 22. (Courtesy Ostioneria Michoacan)
Ostioneria Michoacan now serving seafood and drinks in Tomball

The eatery offers a selection of seafood plates and a bar.