City Receives Engineering Firm’s Recommendations for Future Flood Prevention

Stephen Wilcox, Costello Engineering, George Slaughter photo

CITY OF KATY (Covering Katy News)— It was a standing room only in Katy City Council chambers on Monday night as flood control and drainage was the prime topic of the night. The meeting generated a great deal of interest because of the Hurricane Harvey floods in August and tax day floods in 2017.

Engineers from Costello Inc., the firm hired to make recommendations for reducing future flooding problems, presented their report. The study was requested by the City of Katy last year.

Recommendations included creating a third reservoir on Cypress Creek northwest of the city which may cost more than $600 million.

First envisioned in the 1940s, the reservoir plan never made it off the drawing board. Katy can’t afford the project on its own. Mayor Chuck Brawner said that he has been working with U.S. Rep. Mike McCaul, R-TX, and state Rep. Mike Schofield, R-Katy to fast-track the plan.

Costello also recommends drainage improvements on the Cane Island branch of Buffalo Bayou by deepening the creek to increase capacity, or simply removing vegetation so that it drains more quickly.

Other options that may be less expensive include expanding the city’s north side detention pond and expanding the Cane Island Branch development pond on the eastern side of the Cane Island subdivision.

Costello also recommended partnering with the Brookshire Katy Drainage District for improvements upstream.

Modernizing drainage options in several Katy neighborhoods are also being reviewed. The city will host meetings with each neighborhood starting with Pine Forest on Nov. 7 at 5:30 p.m. at Katy City Hall.

“We’re going to do these in sections,” Brawner said, adding that the work must be integrated.

Brawner said the total price for the work might be $10 or $15 million, but admitted that he didn’t know the final figure.

“We’re going to have to look at funding,” Brawner said, adding that if a bond election was held, he believed the residents of Katy would support it.

In other action Monday, the council:

– Passed an ordinance appointing Megan Bishop, Paul Hanne, Carrie Singletary, and Paula Taylor to the Keep Katy Beautiful Board of Directors.

– Reviewed the city’s Fiscal Year 2016-17 fourth quarter investment report and bank statements and check register through September 30.

– Approved meeting minutes of the council meetings of September 8, 11, 15, 21, and 25.

– Authorized a $690 annual membership dues payment for the Harris County Mayors and Councils Association.

– Approved the 2018 city holiday schedule.

– Canceled council meetings set for Monday, November 27 and Monday, December 25, due to the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, respectively.

– Accepted water, wastewater, stormwater, and paving improvements for the Cane Island subdivision, section 19.

– Accepted water, wastewater, stormwater, and paving improvements for Cane Island Parkway, phase 4.

– Accepted water, wastewater, stormwater, and paving improvements for Cane Island subdivision, section 20.

– Accepted water, wastewater, stormwater, and paving improvements for Cane Island subdivision, section 23.

– Approved a final plat for Igloo Road commercial development for approximately 60 acres in the H&TCRR Company Survey, section 1-3, in Waller County.

– Adopted a resolution ratifying the agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation for disaster debris removal.

– Adopted a resolution authorizing City Administrator Byron Hebert to sign a financing agreement with Government Capital Corporation for procuring of vehicles, excavator and related equipment, and SCBA’s and related equipment.

– Adopted a resolution authorizing the issuance of $3 million in unlimited tax rate bonds by the Fort Bend-Waller Municipal Utility District No. 2.