Katy City Council approves $6M bond and city council elections at Feb. 12 meeting

By R. Hans Miller | News Editor
Posted 2/12/21

During a special Feb. 12, Katy City Council voted unanimously to move forward with the a $6M bond referendum and its regular city elections, as well as a measure requesting approval for updates to …

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Katy City Council approves $6M bond and city council elections at Feb. 12 meeting

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During a special Feb. 12, Katy City Council voted unanimously to move forward with the a $6M bond referendum and its regular city elections, as well as a measure requesting approval for updates to the city’s charter. The bond package is broken down into Proposition A which provides public safety improvements for the city while Proposition B will be directed toward parks and walkability.

“This is one of the greatest days for me being on city council,” Mayor Pro Tem Chris Harris said in an interview after the meeting. “Councilmember (Janet) Corte, myself, Mayor (Bill) Hastings and many previous mayors – we have worked on (the parks issue) many years and just – I’m almost in tears of joy that we’re going to be able to send this to voters for approval.”

The parks bond in Proposition B totals out at $4.2 million and includes the construction of a new parks administration building at Katy City Park, said City Administrator Byron Hebert. The new facility will allow the city to move Parks Department staff from the city’s Public Works facility and move them to Katy City Park, making it more efficient for those staff members to maintain parks facilities, Hebert said.

A building already exists at Katy City Park which could either be renovated or replaced in order to provide the new facility, Hebert said. He added that it was too early in the planning process to know which option was the more feasible plan.

The proposition would also set up a hike and bike trail that would lead from downtown Katy and follow the Cane Island Branch of the Buffalo Bayou north to the Pitts Road drainage pond which is now being expanded, Hebert said. An exact route has not been determined yet because the bond would also pay for engineering and design of the trails system.

Proposition A would be a public safety bond that would improve the city’s fleet maintenance facility to allow the city to work on its own fire trucks and similar emergency apparatus. That improvement is estimated to cost about $100,000. Another $100,000 would go to building a new training tower for the Katy Fire Department, while $800,000 would be set aside to reimburse the city for repairs to Katy Fire Department’s Fire Station 1. The final $800,000 of the proposition’s $1.8 million public safety bond would be set aside for renovations for the Katy Police Department located on Franz Road.

Also on the ballot will be a measure to update the city charter. A variety of updates are proposed and will be available to review on the city’s website, city staff said.

Finally, a city council election for the Ward A and Ward B seats. Dusty Thiele who was appointed to council in late 2020 after former Councilmember Frank Carroll resigned is not running for his Ward A seat. Instead, newcomer Dan Smith will face Diane Walker for that seat. In the Ward B election, incumbent Jenifer Jordan Stockdick will face newcomer Gina Hicks.

“I would like to let council know at this time that we will be utilizing the Katy Civic Center for early voting for Ward A and for Election Day,” said City Secretary Becky McGrew.

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