The Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce recently held a ribbon cutting at Plus 4 Credit Union. Plus 4 Credit Union is located at 19506 U.S. Highway 59 North in Humble; 713-970-6200. From left are Vladimir Stark, CEO; Dana Mack, Humble branch manager; and Wendell Greenleaf, board chairman.
First Choice Emergency Room opened March 26 in Summerwood at 12665 W. Lake Houston Pkwy. They're open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and are a freestanding emergency room equipped and staffed to handle major and minor emergencies. From left on opening day are Luis Grimaldo, Jayme Newman, Linda Levi, Rico Crater, Mika Smith and Patty Andrade. Photo by Patsy Oliver
PROPERTY TAX WORKSHOP
Tax Assessor-Collector Mike Sullivan will host a Property Tax Workshop to educate property owners on ways to reduce their tax burden through protesting, exemptions and more. Sullivan will discuss ways to reduce appraisal values and the process of protesting appraisals. The workshop will be May 12 at Lone Star College-Kingwood PAC Room 125 at 6:30 p.m. More information is available by calling 713-274-8000. The last day to file a property tax protest is June 1.
TWO NEW WAYS TO KEEP TEXAS WILD
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has two new license plates to support native wildlife projects in Texas. One features a Lucifer hummingbird, while the other depicts a western diamondback rattlesnake. More than 17,000 people participated in an online survey to select the new conservation plates. TPWD now offers seven conservation license plates, including the Texas horned lizard plate, which ranks as the third most popular; these plates have generated more than $7 million for conservation efforts in Texas since 1999. The plates are available for cars, trucks, motorcycles, trailers and RVs at a cost of $30 per year, with $22 going to support Texas conservation efforts. This annual fee is in addition to the regular registration cost. Specialty plates may be purchased at any time of the year independent of vehicle registration renewal. The new wildlife license plates and the other five designs are available at conservationplate.org and at a county tax assessor-collector’s office.
GRAND PARKWAY FRONTAGE ROADS OPEN EARLY
Construction has moved at a rapid pace for Grand Parkway Segments F-1, F-2 and G. Substructure work at the SH 99 and I-45 North interchange has been completed allowing for an early opening of frontage roads. In addition, the SH 99 westbound and eastbound frontage roads will open to Holzwarth. The opening of frontage roads will provide easier access for customers of businesses along I-45 and for employees of area businesses. To view all lane closures for the Grand Parkway Segments F-G, visit the Getting Around section of GrandParkway99.com.
KINGWOOD BEST FAMILY NEIGHBORHOOD
NerdWallet Inc., an online tool for financial and credit advice, decided to compare Houston neighborhoods to find the top 10 neighborhoods for families and Millennials. The study found that the No. 1 neighborhood for Millennials in Houston is the greater Third Ward, which is close to Midtown and downtown. However, the best Houston neighborhood for families is Kingwood, which is in north Houston outside Beltway 8. The study compared 88 neighborhoods that were geographically defined by the city of Houston. The best neighborhoods for Millennials were based on the rental environment, population age, low unemployment and percentage of single residents. On the other hand, neighborhoods fit for families were based on the percentage of residents who were married or with children, stable neighbors and low unemployment.
PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE TO BE REPLACED
The City of Houston, Street and Drainage Division is replacing the timber pedestrian bridge at 5500 Kingwood Drive, the bridge by First Presbyterian Church, in Fosters Mill. This bridge is part of the City of Houston bridge maintenance inventory. It was recommended for replacement due to decay caused by rot to some of the bridge components. Crews are currently fabricating a new I-beam structure pedestrian bridge. This new bridge will be made of a steel I-Beam frame with a composite non-rotting deck. The handrail will be timber similar to the existing rail, consistent with the other rails in the area. The work that will be performed on site will take four to six working days. During this work, pedestrian traffic will be rerouted to allow for the removal of the old structure and the installation of the new one.
ST. ANDREWS ROAD DRAINAGE TO BE STUDIED
Recently, the City of Houston Public Works and Engineering Department performed a preliminary inspection of Saint Andrews Road in Kingwood and determined that drainage improvements are needed to maintain positive flow. A drainage assessment has been scheduled for Fiscal Year 2016. The assessment, which will cover approximately 1.7 miles along the three blocks where the reports originated, will consist of visual inspections, reporting and surveying, and will provide a work plan to maintain positive flow throughout the existing drainage infrastructure. In addition, a ditch maintenance work plan will be created to address the condition of roadside ditches and the flushing of existing culverts. Additional maintenance of the culverts and the ground surrounding them will be the responsibility of abutting property owners. For more information, contact Houston City Councilmember Dave Martin at 832-393-3008.
SANDY FORKS SAFE SIDEWALK PROJECT
OUTSIDE LOOP FASTEST GROWING
Unincorporated Harris County continues to grow faster than other areas, according to a recent county report based on 2014 Census Bureau data and real property information from the Harris County Appraisal District (HCAD). By June 2014, Harris County's population grew to an estimated 4.4 million residents with the majority of growth in unincorporated areas, a 30 percent increase since 2000. The nation's third most populated county with more residents than 12 states, Harris County is increasing by more than 80,000 people per year. If Harris County were a city, the unincorporated area would be the fifth largest city in the U.S. and the second largest city in Texas, behind Houston. Precinct 4 alone had the highest number of residents in unincorporated areas with more than 815,000 residents out of more than 1.1 million as of June 2014. The unincorporated area now represents 41 percent of the total county population, up from 31 percent in 2000. Now, about 51 percent of the population lives outside the Sam Houston Tollway, a 78 percent increase since 2000.