City Hall roundup: Council approves emergency sanitary sewer pipe repair

By George Slaughter, News Editor
Posted 5/25/23

The Katy City Council approved $47,235 in emergency repairs to a sewer pipe along 1st Street running from Avenue D to Avenue C.

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City Hall roundup: Council approves emergency sanitary sewer pipe repair


The Katy City Council approved $47,235 in emergency repairs to a sewer pipe along 1st Street running from Avenue D to Avenue C.

The council gave its approval at its May 22 meeting at City Hall.

City Finance Director Andrew Vasquez, in a memo to the council, wrote that the money for the work would come from the city’s enterprise fund reserves.

In another action, the council approved a deal with Rain for Rent, which will provide a temporary tank for Water Plant 6. The four-month rental will cost $27,036, which includes the tank for $23,872 for the tank and $3,159 for a rental protection plan.

Vasquez wrote that the money for this work would also come from the city’s enterprise fund reserves.

Corte sworn in for third term as Ward A council member

Ward A Council Member Janet Corte was sworn in for a third term of office at the meeting. Corte was first elected in 2018 to a two-year term, then re-elected in 2020 to a three-year term after Katy voters approved extending terms of office to three years.

Corte missed the May 17 meeting in which Council Member-at-Large Chris Harris and Ward B Council Member Rory Robertson were sworn in. Neither drew an opponent and were declared re-elected, under city law, in February. Corte, a retired IT manager, defeated Cara Bonin, a contractor, to win re-election.

Corte thanked her family for supporting her council activities, and said many times they have taken second place to city events.

“I greatly appreciate your love and support these past five years,” Corte said.

Corte said she looked forward to continuing her work with Mayor Dusty Thiele and her council colleagues. They work well together, she said, and have a great momentum going. She her priorities would remain excellent public safety, improving flood control, replacing aging infrastructure and improving parks and recreation.

This is the final term for Corte, Harris and Robertson under term limits. Their three-year terms expire in 2026.

Harris approved as mayor pro tem

Thiele renominated, and the council approved, Harris for mayor pro tem.

Harris has served as mayor pro tem since 2019, when he was nominated by then-Mayor Bill Hastings and approved by the council at that time. Term of appointment is for one year.

“There’s probably never been a better mayor pro tem than Council Member Chris Harris,” Thiele said. “He’s always there for me. He’s always a sounding board for me. He always has advice. Sometimes I take it, sometimes I don’t, but it’s always there.”

Thiele’s comment drew some laughs and smiles from those in attendance, along with Harris.

“It’s true,” Harris said, smiling.

Thiele said Harris is always out in the community and does a great job of representing the city.

Katy Rice Harvest Festival reclaims its old name

When the City of Katy took over the annual Katy Rice Harvest Festival from the Katy Area Chamber of Commerce in 2018, officials changed the name, albeit slightly, by dropping the word “Harvest.” Officials at the time said the revised name reflected a new era while keeping ties to a local, 40-year-old tradition.

At Monday’s meeting, the old name—Katy Rice Harvest Festival—was reclaimed and will once again be the name of the festival.

Ashley Lipsman, the city’s tourism and marketing event coordinator, said reclaiming the full name has brought a positive response.

“We may not harvest rice in Katy area like we used to, but we celebrate the history by bringing back our name, the Katy Rice Harvest Festival,” Lipsman said.

The festival, held each October, is among Katy’s biggest attractions, drawing tens of thousands of people, both from across Texas and other states. Festival attractions include arts and crafts for sale, children’s attractions and rides, live performances on two stages, food, and beverage stations.

The festival began in 1978, when it was called a “Sellabration.” Its purpose was to honor local rice farmers and their contributions to the local economy. The festival became known as the Rice Harvest Festival in 1981. Over time, the Katy Area Chamber of Commerce became involved in staging the festival

The festival continues to be held each October in downtown Katy, between 1st Street and 4th Street and Avenue A and Avenue D.

Lipsman said vendor registration began May 10 and sponsorship opportunities will begin in the next few weeks. For more information, visit the website

Katy City Council, mayor pro tem, Katy Rice Harvest Festival