City to Purchase New Aerial Ladder Fire Truck

By George Slaughter

The Katy City Council Monday night authorized up to $1.5 million in financing for the purchase of a new aerial ladder fire truck and related equipment for the Katy Fire Department.

The new truck is expected within 10 months. Assistant Fire Chief Kenny Parker said the current unit, built in 2004, is now in the shop awaiting parts that had to be manufactured because the engine is an older model.

Last year, Parker said, the current truck was in the shop at various times for a total of 128 days.

Mayor Chuck Brawner said that a new truck is needed not only to ensure fire protection, but to keep the city’s ISO rating. Ward A Council Member Frank Carroll said when reviewing the matter, he learned that a higher ISO rating for the city means homeowner insurance rates go down.

When the city takes delivery of the new truck, it will be housed at the fire station at 1417 Avenue D. Parker said the older unit is expected to be used as a substitute engine when events warrant.

City Election Set

The council set the city election for May 4. Voters will be electing a mayor, a Ward A council member, and a Ward B council member.

Election winners will serve three-year terms thanks to city charter amendments approved by voters in 2017.

In the mayor’s race, Brawner has filed for re-election after being elected in 2017. Previously he served as mayor pro tem and Ward A council member.

Former Police Chief Bill Hastings has also filed to run for mayor. This is his first campaign for public office after serving the last 10 years as chief.

In Ward A, Carroll has filed for election after being appointed to the seat last fall. Carroll has not drawn an opponent. Carroll is presently serving out the unexpired term of Gary Jones, who resigned from the council for personal reasons.

In Ward B, incumbent Jimmy Mendez is leaving the city council due to term limits. So far, two candidates have filed for his position.

Steve Pierson, who has previously served in the council member-at-large seat now held by Chris Harris, has filed to run. Pierson left the council in 2018 due to term limits. Pierson also served as a Ward B council member from 2001-2007 and is a retired sergeant with the Harris County Sheriff’s Department.

Jenifer Stockdick, vice president at Regions Bank, has also filed for the seat. She serves on the city’s convention and tourism bureau. This is her first campaign for public office.

Filing for office began this month. Prospective candidates must file paperwork at the city secretary’s office at City Hall. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The filing deadline is February 15.

Other Actions Taken

Keep Katy Beautiful presented the Katy Proud Business Award Monday night to Katy Hardware, 559 Pin Oak Rd. Pictured are, from left, Sandy Schmidt, Jess Washburn, Jennifer Stence, Mayor Chuck Brawner, Kay Powers, Mickey Powers, Cullen Powers, Katherine Schneider, and Jill Powers – George Slaughter photo

In other action, the council:

  • Listened to a presentation about the Katy High School Prairie Project by Kelly Knight and Rhonda Burrough.
  • Observed the presentation of the Katy Proud Business Award from Keep Katy Beautiful to Katy Hardware, 559 Pin Oak Rd.
  • Reviewed the fiscal year 2018-2019 first quarter investment report, bank statement, and check register through December 31.
  • Approved the Katy Half Marathon, Katy 5K Run and Katy Kids 1K Run for Saturday. The event will start and finish at Katy Mills Mall.
  • Approved a $15,000 dues payment to the Katy Area Economic Development Council.
  • Approved a $5,000 dues payment to the Greater Houston Partnership.
  • Approved a $500 membership payment to the Texas Economic Development Council.
  • Accepted $200 in donations to Keep Katy Beautiful for a memorial in honor of Grant Carroll.
  • Authorized a $59,193.20 change order for reconciliation of all bids for Water Well No. 9.
  • Authorized a $30,000 change order for Pine Forest subdivision drainage improvements.
  • Updated the city’s emergency operations plan.
  • Updated the city’s court code of ordinances for building regulations
  • Updated employee classifications and job descriptions for selected fire department positions.