At the Dec. 10 Lake Houston Redevelopment Authority and Tax Increment Zone No. 10 (TIRZ) meeting, the directors learned of fast-moving good news from Houston Mayor Pro Tem Dave Martin that will greatly improve the flooding situation in the north parts of Kingwood. Martin’s Chief of Staff Jessica Beemer made the announcement.
“At the city council meeting yesterday, the agreement between the City of Houston and the Harris County Flood Control District to purchase the Perry Homes properties for a little bit over $14 million was unanimously approved.” she said. The property is undeveloped land in the Woodridge Village area located just north of Kingwood.
“This is great news for the City of Houston. It provides an opportunity for us to continue to take opportunities outside the box to reduce the impact of future flooding and prevent disastrous flooding,” Beemer said. She explained that the property is located 100% outside the Houston city limits and 100% in Montgomery County. It consists of a little over 140 acres of land.
“Approximately 73 of those acres will be for a regional wastewater system facility that will assist in improving wastewater services in the area of Kingwood, which is great, and the remaining acreage, over two-thirds of it, will be used for flood mitigation, detention and stormwater-type projects,” Beemer said.
The Harris County Commissioners Court approved the agreement Wednesday, Dec. 15. The directors also voted to annex a 350-acre parcel of land that includes Ridge Forest and the Taylor Gully Ditch area into the TIRZ 10 boundaries. TIRZ Chairman Stan Sarman said this was requested by the city council and is needed to be able to use TIRZ funding capabilities for flood-control improvements.
In other business, Ralph De Leon, the TIRZ administrator, said the structure of the TIRZ budget needs to be revised.
“This is basically a ‘no action item’ but I am just giving you a heads up. We are going to have to modify our budgets going forward,” he said.
All the projects now planned and approved were developed on a project basis regardless of whether those projects included federal dollars. As a result, administrative complications have resulted due to the budget program parameters used for the TIRZ budgeting system.
“The Northpark road projects take place in two counties, Montgomery and Harris,” DeLeon said.
One has federal dollars in it and the other does not; the result is a need to have two separate budget numbers for each of those projects beginning in the next fiscal year. That will require various vendors to treat a single project as two and make two bids rather than one bid. It will also require two invoices instead of one, split by the separate project numbers used for the entire project along with other items for a single job to satisfy administrative requirements.