At the Feb. 11 Lake Houston Redevelopment Authority and Tax Increment Zone No. 10 (TIRZ) meeting, the directors were updated on the progress of projects being overseen by the entity..

Stan Sarman, chairman of the TIRZ, addressed the Northpark Overpass Project on Northpark Drive at its west end where the railroad crossing, Highway 494 and Highway 59/69 all intersect.

“We did receive the 90% benchmark plans from the Texas Department of Transportation. I am doing a quick review of them and I think we will be ready to put them on the website (lakehoustonra.com) next week so that anybody who would like to look at them can,” Sarman said.

He said the TIRZ is now in the process of closing on three parcels of land under the acquisition requirements for the project and explained that other parcels were also in various stages of process.

“We have several other parcels that the title company is going through for the final closing. We are finally getting to the point where we are closing on the parcels. It has taken a little longer than I expected, but we are getting there,” Sarman said.

Regarding flood mitigation efforts on the north side of Kingwood, Sarman confirmed the city council has approved enabling ordinances assigning TIRZ 10 responsibility for infrastructure projects for the newly annexed Perry Home development land to the north of Kingwood and the right of way of the Taylor Gully ditch.

Dustin Hodges, the north sector manager for Mayor Pro-Tem Dave Martin, updated the directors on the progress of the Lake Houston Flood mitigation projects.

“The first phase of the Lake Houston Dam (gate expansion) project is near completion. The City of Houston submitted the cost benefit analysis and FEMA is reviewing the comments received. Then the additional funding will be provided,” Hodges said. He announced there will be a public forum scheduled this spring to present and discuss the progress on the dam’s water levelling control gates.

“Regarding the dredging of Lake Houston and the east fork of the San Jacinto River, the contractor doing the dredging was in the east fork over the last couple of months. They dredged approximately 5,000 cubic yards and a lot of floating debris and they are now finished with the east fork,” Hodges said. He pointed out this was by far the smaller of the two dredging efforts.

“Regarding the larger project area just north of the ‘mouth-bar’ on the confluence at the west fork, they have dredged approximately 50,000 cubic yards. They are expected to dredge a total of 250,000 cubic yards,” he said.

Hodges also announced Martin is working with State Representative Dan Huberty on legislation regarding the long-term maintenance of Lake Houston.

“We don’t have an official bill yet for that piece of legislation, but we will keep you updated when that legislation comes out.” he said.

Ralph DeLeon, administrator of the TIRZ, asked if it would be beneficial for TIRZ and other organizations to provide letters of support regarding the proposed legislation in getting it passed.

Martin, who had been quietly listening to the conversation on his phone, immediately responded without a moment’s hesitation before Hodges could respond.

“I’ll take that question! The answer is yes and yes!” he said enthusiastically.

Bruce Olson
Author: Bruce OlsonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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I have been married since 1970 to Kerry, my best friend and a great Australian woman. I served and survived Vietnam in the U.S. Air Force. I fought forest fires in the summer while in college, where I earned a B.A. in economics from Oklahoma State University and an M.B.A. from the University of Texas. I retired from Continental Airlines. I have a son and two granddaughters in Kingwood, and a daughter and two grandsons on a farm near Mazabuka, Zambia. I am now enjoying life as a grandfather, Tribune correspondent and Humble ISD guest teacher when not traveling to Zambia or Australia.

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