City of Katy

Annual Rice Harvest Festival Underway for Katy Residents and Visitors

Katy City Hall provided a backgrop to some of the Katy Rice Festival vendor stations (George Slaughter photo)

By George Slaughter One might say that the annual Katy Rice Harvest Festival, which began Saturday and concludes today, has something for everyone. Attendees had plenty of attractions from which to choose. These included arts and crafts for sale, children’s attractions and rides, live performances on two stages, food, and well-placed beverage stations—no small issue Saturday, given the warm temperatures. Booths were set up by local businesses, professional networking and social organizations, and churches, among […]

City Recognized for Excellence in Financial Reporting

City Finance Directory Becky Wilkins, left, accepts the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from Mayor Chuck Brawner (George Slaughter photo)

By George Slaughter The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada has awarded the City of Katy a certificate of achievement for excellence in financial reporting. City Finance Director Becky Wilkins accepted the award on behalf of the city at Monday’s city council meeting. According to the association, this award has been or has gone to the individuals or department designated by the government as primarily responsible for preparing the award-winning comprehensive […]

Officials Working to Develop Reservoir to Mitigate Future Floods

Mayor Chuck Brawner, U.S. Rep. Mike McCaul, state Rep. Mike Schofield, and U.S. Army Col. Lars Zetterstrom (George Slaughter photo)

By George Slaughter Federal, state, and local officials know some things take time to get done. But U.S. Rep. Mike McCaul said time was “not on our side” when it comes to developing a Cypress Creek reservoir to mitigate future flooding after Hurricane Harvey. At a Friday news conference at Katy City Hall, McCaul, Mayor Chuck Brawner, state Rep. Mike Schofield, and Col. Lars Zetterstrom of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spoke about plans […]

City of Katy Adopts 2017-2018 Budget

J. Gary Jones

By George Slaughter The Katy City Council Friday afternoon voted to reduce local property taxes by two cents per $100 valuation while adopting its 2017-2018 budget. Even though there will be a tax rate decrease, the city will generate 12 percent more in total revenues because there will be more homes on the tax rolls in the coming year. This is the fifth consecutive year the city has given a property tax cut. The city’s […]

School District and City Request Reappraisals for Hurricane-Damaged Property

By George Slaughter Both the Katy Independent School District Board of Trustees and the Katy City Council Friday asked for reappraisals of hurricane-damaged properties within their respective limits. At separate meetings Friday, the district and city passed resolutions making this request to the Fort Bend County Appraisal District, the Harris County Appraisal District, and the Waller County Appraisal District. A city official said two governmental entities must make such a request for an appraisal district […]

City Holds Two Public Hearings on Proposed Tax Rate

By George Slaughter The Katy City Council Monday night held its second of two state law-mandated public hearings on the tax rate to fund the 2017-2018 city budget. The city will have a larger tax base to work with this year, thanks to growth in housing. Estimated tax revenues are $9.7 million, a 12% increase from the current figure of $8.6 million. City officials said that, in legal language, the tax rate is increasing because […]

Katy Parks and Recreation Department Director Takes a Similar Position in North Texas

Brad Barnes

By George Slaughter Brad Barnes has resigned as Katy parks and recreation director to take a similar position in Midlothian, just south of the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Barnes described Midlothian as a little bit bigger than Katy, but still a small community. It has a council-manager form of municipal government. “It’s kind of at the edge of the metropolitan community,” Barnes said. “If you go south, you’re out in the farmland.” The big change, and […]

Katy Fire Department Purchases a New Vehicle at Federal Government Surplus

Katy's new light medium tactical vehicle (LMTV) on display outside City Hall Monday night. (George Slaughter photo)

By George Slaughter The Katy Fire Department added a new truck to its fleet Monday—and at a big discount, too. The truck, a light medium tactical vehicle (LMTV), was built at the BAE Systems plant in Sealy. It has a 2.5-ton capacity and can be used to carry people and cargo. It has less than 3,000 miles on it. These trucks have been used in the recent hurricane recovery efforts. According to, this type […]

Katy City Council Sets Public Hearings on Proposed City Budget and Tax Rate

By George Slaughter The Katy City Council Tuesday night announced two public hearings for its proposed 2017-2018 city budget and the tax rate needed to fund it. The first public hearing is set for 6 p.m. Thursday, September 21. The second public hearing is set for 6:30 p.m. Monday, September 25, during the council’s regularly scheduled meeting. Both meetings will take place at Katy City Hall, 901 Avenue C. Two public hearings are required because […]

City Hall to Reopen Tuesday after Sustaining Water Damage from Hurricane Harvey

The east end of the first floor lobby at Katy Hall has stacks of boxes as workers remove drywall and begin building repairs. (George Slaughter photo)

By George Slaughter While the Katy city government continues to function following Hurricane Harvey, Katy City Hall will reopen Tuesday after sustaining considerable water damage. The damage is on the first floor, where workers have removed several inches worth of drywall both from the lobby area and offices. The lobby now has piles of boxes and office furniture in it. Pictures and artwork have been removed from the walls. The elevator is out of order. […]