By George Slaughter
The City of Katy has been active in recruiting commercial firms, such as the Amazon Fulfillment Center, to settle on the western side of the city. In this way, the city has brought in sales tax revenues that can not only meet its needs but also enable it to at least keep residential property taxes stable. In recent years, the city has been able to cut property taxes.
Monday night, the Katy City Council continued that practice by annexing approximately 150 acres of land in Waller County and changing the zoning classification for that property from single-family district to industrial district.
The acreage is in the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction and is bordered by the Amazon Fulfillment Center on the west and Interstate 10 on the south. The L-shaped property is partially bordered by Highway 90 on the north and Igloo Road on the east.
The council’s actions Monday came following a petition from Katy Partners. City Administrator Byron Hebert said he hopes a formal announcement about who would use that property would happen in the next few weeks.
The city’s planning and zoning commission, at its November 13 meeting, voted to recommend that the council make the zoning changes.
In other action Monday, the council:
- Watched the presentation of the Katy Proud Business Award by Keep Katy Beautiful to Vintage Back Roads, 813 Avenue B.
- Recognized the 2018 Katy Police Department Citizen Police Academy graduates. Graduates are Mike Atkinson, Sandra Byrd, Janet Corte, Larry Gay, Nam Huynh, Sherri Jones, Vincent Morille, Walter McDowell, Robert Nugent, Stacy Painter, Patrick Ramsey, Vence Salvato, David Thelen, and Margaret Valli.
Recognized the 2018 Keep Katy Beautiful Adopt-a Wreath participants.
- Approved a $564.08 dues payment for the Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC).
- Approved an $8,250 dues payment for the Katy Area Chamber of Commerce. The vote came after a discussion in which Hebert and Mayor Chuck Brawner assured council members that the chamber’s new leadership has addressed its financial issues, one consequence of which was the city’s assuming sponsorship of the Katy Rice Festival held in October. The chamber had been the festival sponsor in years past. “It’s a whole new board, a new philosophy,” Brawner said.
- Awarded a $746,000 bid to CFG Industries, of Magnolia, for rehabilitation and painting of a one-million-gallon ground storage tank and a 500,000-gallon elevated storage tank at Water Plant No. 4.
- Declared certain city vehicles and other equipment as surplus and authorizing their sale or disposal.
- Authorized the withdrawal of a bid awarded for the 2018 waterline replacement project from Canyon Construction, of Pearland. In a letter to the council recommending withdrawing the bid awarded, City Engineer David Leyendecker said the contractor has not been able to begin the project and would not be able to complete it in a timely manner. Leyendecker also recommended the city rebid the project early next year. The $254,452 bid had been awarded on August 27.
- Awarded a $2,149,000 bid to Nash Industries, of Houston, for Katy Civic Center and Visitor Center buildings.
- Authorized Brawner to sign an interlocal agreement with Harris County for the county to administer and implement a regional watershed protection program education program. In a note to the council recommending approval, Public Works Director Elaine Lutringer said the program meets more than half of the city’s storm water permit obligations with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
- Authorized Brawner and Fire Chief Russell Wilson to sign a memorandum of understanding with Valentia Bilingual Therapy Services, of Katy, for a project intended to counter the rates of post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide among first responders. The program will also be available to spouses of first responders.
- Authorized Brawner to sign a master service agreement with Everbridge, Inc., for a mass notification system. In a note to the council urging approval, Emergency Management Director Greg Goedecker said this system will enable the city to send emergency notifications to Katy residents and city employees.
- Passed an ordinance reestablishing tax abatement guidelines and criteria, and then adopted a resolution authorizing Brawner to execute a tax abatement agreement with Houston Property Partners and Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits of Texas. Hebert said the agreement is between the company, the city, the county, and the local municipal district. Hebert said the company must have at least $75 million in inventory and provide at least 250 jobs. The property tax abatement rate is 40% each year for 10 years. The Oakmont property is at Highway 90 and Cane Island Blvd.