City of Katy

Katy Rice Festival Looks to Return to Its Roots This Weekend

By George Slaughter City of Katy and Rotary Club leaders have been working since the summer to organize the annual Katy Rice Festival, which takes place Saturday and Sunday in downtown Katy. City leaders and festival organizers said the goal for this year’s festival is to return the festival to its original form. The emphasis will again be on quality art and craft vendors, along with live music, family activities, and food and drinks. Mayor […]

City Honors Friendship Garden Club

Keep Katy Beautiful and the City of Katy honored the Friendship Garden Club Monday at City Hall. Pictured are, left to right: Ruth Ann Casci, Myra Jones, Sherry Hunter, Kay Callender, Lisa Hinks, Keep Katy Beautiful President Flora Tiedt, Mayor Chuck Brawner, Jean Bays, Pat Williamson, Jamie Wolman, and Kathy Wiesner – George Slaughter photo

By George Slaughter The Katy City Council Monday night honored the Friendship Garden Club for its 60 years of work in promoting the environment and volunteering in the Katy community. In a brief presentation citing the club’s work, Keep Katy Beautiful board member Jamie Wolman said the club encourages civic beautification and recycling activities and has, in the past, brought educational programs by horticulture professionals. Wolman said that today, club volunteers are involved in presenting […]

New Council Member to Focus on Public Safety and Flood Issues

New Ward A Council Member Frank Carroll, left, poses with Council Member at Large Chris Harris - photo courtesy Chris Harris

By George Slaughter Frank Carroll, the newest Katy city council member, said Monday his priorities would be on public safety and flood mitigation efforts. He came on the council at an important time. At Monday’s meeting, his first as a member, the council adopted a $28.5 million budget for 2018-19. The budget provides for the hiring of seven police officers, three firefighters, and one fire investigator, among 19 new total positions to be filled. The […]

City Adopts 2018-19 Budget

By George Slaughter The Katy City Council Monday night adopted a $28.5 million budget for 2018-19, and kept the tax rate to fund it the same as last year’s rate. The budget is an 8.5 percent increase from the 2017 budget of $26.1 million. It includes a three percent cost-of-living increase for city employees. City officials have said that the competition between cities is intense for qualified employees, particularly police officers and firefighters. The budget […]

City Council Appoints Attorney to Succeed Jones

Frank Carroll - photo courtesy Roberts Markel Weinberg Butler Hailey law firm

By George Slaughter The Katy City Council Friday afternoon appointed attorney Frank Carroll to the Ward A city council seat left vacant by last month’s resignation of J. Gary Jones. Carroll will serve out the remainder of the term, which expires next May. He was appointed earlier this year to serve on the city’s board of adjustment, which deals with zoning issues for the city. Carroll is a partner and shareholder with the Houston law […]

City to Demolish Downtown Square Water Plant as Part of Renovation Project

By George Slaughter The Katy Square renovation project continued Monday night with the  Katy City Council Monday awarded a $94,080 bid to Cherry Demolition of Houston for demolishing the downtown Katy square water plant. The plant demolition is part of a larger project to renovate the Katy Square across the street from Katy City Hall. The renovation project, approved by the council in April, will include creation of a visitor center, public restroom, and open […]

The Search is on for a New Ward A City Council Member

By George Slaughter The search is on for a new Ward A city council member following the resignation of Gary Jones, which became official Tuesday. The council now has 20 days to find a replacement, a Ward A resident, who would be nominated by Mayor Chuck Brawner and approved by the council. Brawner said those interested in filling the seat should either visit with him or another member of the council. Jones himself was first […]

Council Member to Resign Tuesday

J. Gary Jones

By George Slaughter Ward A Council Member Gary Jones said Saturday that he will resign from the Katy City Council for what he described as “very personal family matters.” The city council will hold a special meeting at 4 p.m. Tuesday to formally consider and accept his resignation. It is the only item on the agenda for that meeting. Jones said things came together “fairly quickly” to persuade his decision. “This is a very personal […]

Congressman Praises Hurricane Rebuilding Efforts on Anniversary of Storm

City Administrator Byron Hebert, Mayor Chuck Brawner, U.S. Rep. Mike McCaul, Police Chief Bill Hastings, and Fire Chief Russell Wilson at a Monday news conference - George Slaughter photo

By George Slaughter U.S. Rep. Mike McCaul praised Katy and other Texas leaders for their efforts to rebuild following Hurricane Harvey Monday, the one-year anniversary of the storm. McCaul praised Harris County voters, who on Saturday passed a $2.5 billion bond package focused on flood risk reduction projects. McCaul described the bond as a “force multiplier” to make sure the Cypress Creek watershed reservoir would be built as soon as possible. Meanwhile, Katy voters in […]

City Hires Emergency Management Coordinator

Greg Goedecker - George Slaughter photo

By George Slaughter Greg Goedecker has been appointed the city’s new emergency management coordinator. In a memo to the Katy City Council urging his appointment, Fire Chief Russell Wilson cited Goedecker’s experience as an emergency management specialist and planner with the City of Irving, as well as his experience during the 2009 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. In his role, Goedecker will be working with the city’s Office of Emergency Management and its committees on […]