Katy City Council Confirms Durran Dowdle as Mayor Pro Tem

By George Slaughter

The Katy City Council Monday night reconfirmed Ward B Council Member Durran Dowdle as mayor pro tem. In this role, Dowdle would preside in the mayor’s absence.

Dowdle was nominated by Mayor Chuck Brawner and the council approved the nomination.

Dowdle, a project manager at KBR, was first elected to the council in 2016. He was first appointed mayor pro tem by former Mayor Fabol Hughes in March. Dowdle succeeded Brawner, who had resigned from the council to run for mayor. Brawner was sworn in as mayor last month.

The council also heard a presentation from J. Stephen Wilcox, partner and project manager of Costello, Inc., a Houston engineering and surveying company.

For his presentation, Wilcox said the goal was to create a model of the 2016 Tax Day floods. To do this, they determined the existing condition drainage areas, more specifically the areas of undetermined water flow direction and a review of previous reports and analysis.

Council members, and those attending the meeting, saw a visual simulation of how the overflow water accumulated north of Katy and drained through the Greater Katy area.

Monday’s presentation is expected to be posted to the city web site.

Monday’s presentation was the second of three. The first presentation, in April, reviewed the April 2016 Tax Day storm, planned and completed ditch resolution projections, and short-term drainage projects.

The third presentation, tentatively set for July, involves getting other agencies to buy in on the model results and any proposed improvements recommended. Wilcox said other entities include the Harris County Flood Control District, the Brookshire-Katy Drainage District Engineer, the Waller County Commissioners Court, and the Fort Bend County Drainage District.

Wilcox also reviewed floodplain ordinances, the most recent of which was adopted in 2009. Under this ordinance, home slabs must be 12 inches above the centerline of the street, 18 inches above the curb, or 12 inches above base flood elevation.

Under an older ordinance, passed in 1995, home slabs must be 12 inches above the centerline of the street, 18 inches above the curb, or 1 inch above base flood elevation.

“Elevation is salvation,” Wilcox said.

Both Brawner and Ward B Council Member Jimmy Mendez expressed concern about how flooding affects older houses without these elevations.

“We have to address houses that have been here a long time,” Brawner said.

The council in December entered into an agreement for engineering design services with Costello for a Cane Island Branch Flood Protection Planning Study.

State Rep. Mike Schofield, left, presents Mayor Chuck Brawner with a resolution passed by the Texas House of Representatives congratulating Brawner on his election as mayor. The resolution was presented before Monday’s city council meeting. (George Slaughter photo)

In other action Monday, the council:

  • Approved minutes for April 10 and 24 meetings.
  • Approved a $700,000 annual payment tax grant to the Katy Development Authority for the construction costs of the Katy Convention Center and one half of the construction cost for the parking structure to serve the convention center. The amount requested is $700,000 annually for 20 years, for a total commitment of $14 million.
  • Approved $8,285.44 tax grant for office computers, printers and accessories for the director of tourism and marketing and for the tourism and marketing assistant.
  • Awarded a $86,680 bid to Spring Waste Services, LP, of Houston for hauling sludge and landfill disposal. Total project cost is $96,948, which includes the bid amount, contingencies and bid package preparation and bidding.
  • Awarded a $64,237.50 bid to HTI Construction of Rosenberg for the 1st Street sewer replacement project. Total project cost is $79,828, which includes the bid amount, contingencies, engineering, survey and inspection.
  • Adopted a resolution authorizing Mayor Chuck Brawner to sign a street right-of-way license agreement with Young Ranch Homeowners Association.
  • Passed an ordinance abandoning a 16-foot wide sanitary sewer line easement on the Fire Station #2 tract and authorizing recordation and in the Fort Bend County deed records.
  • Passed an ordinance removing stop signs at 2nd Street at its intersection with Avenue C, 3rd Street at its intersection with Avenue B, and 3rd Street at its intersection with Avenue C. The ordinance also adds a sign on Avenue B at its intersection with 2nd Street, two signs on Avenue B at its intersection with 3rd Street, two signs on Avenue C at its intersection with 2nd Street, and two signs on Avenue C at its intersection with 3rd Street. The changes are being made as part of the downtown street renovation project. The following image shows where the existing signs are, and where the signs are to be added or removed.

A map showing where existing stop signs are in downtown Katy, with locations of signs to be added or removed. (City of Katy)