City of Katy receives clean financial review, gets drainage update and fireworks announcement at June 8 meeting

By R. Hans Miller | Times Senior Reporter
Posted 6/8/20

Whitley Penn consultant Lupe Pena delivered a clean bill of financial health for Katy at the city’s July 8 City Council meeting in the form of an unmodified finding of the city’s 2019 …

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City of Katy receives clean financial review, gets drainage update and fireworks announcement at June 8 meeting

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Whitley Penn consultant Lupe Pena delivered a clean bill of financial health for Katy at the city’s July 8 City Council meeting in the form of an unmodified finding of the city’s 2019 annual financial report – commonly referred to as a CAFR. 

“This Audit was conducted in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards, so a very clean report in regards to the city’s financial statement,” Pena said.

As of Sept. 30 of 2019, the report indicates total revenues for the city of more than $43 million with total expenditures of about $50 million which accounts for items such as bonds for drainage and other city projects approved by voters.

Drainage

The city also received an update from Costello Engineering regarding drainage projects on Patna and Fortuna drives in the Riceland Terrace subdivision. Ralph Sadana, a senior partner with Costello, said the projects were out for bid or being engineered and are expected to be completed around May 2022 with a cost of about $4.25 million.

City Administrator Byron Hebert said funding was in place for the projects on the two drives after city council unanimously approved an agreement with Harris County to assist with funding. Hebert previously told the Katy Times the city is working to secure funds for drainage projects through partnerships with Harris County and the General Land Office.

The GLO is managing Hurricane Harvey relief funds in Texas.

Saldana said Costello is expecting to finish the bid process in June and will likely have a recommendation to award the drainage improvement contract to a vendor by July 13.

Fireworks

Mayor Bill Hastings announced that, despite an announcement on the city’s Facebook page earlier in the day, Katy would be having its annual fireworks show near Katy Mills. Hastings said the fireworks show would be smaller than previous years because only the city’s deposit and some of the donations received for the event would be used. He explained that the reason it had initially been cancelled was due to a lack of guidance on the issue from the state level.

“Please understand that at the time the decision to cancel was made there was no option to even conduct a public gathering like the fireworks show,” Hastings said in a written statement dated June 8. “After reviewing the Governor’s Order and speaking with the Katy City Council I’ve overturned the plan to cancel the event entirely.”

The city’s Freedom Celebration festival and Katy Summer Nights events remain cancelled out of concern for the increased spread of COVID-19.

According to the city’s website, Katy has seen 70 cases of COVID-19 within its limits with 40 of those recovered as of June 8.

Correction: The agreement to help fund drainage projects is solely with Harris County.

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