The December Lake Houston Redevelopment Authority (also known as TIRZ 10) meeting brought a welcome revision n the projections of time to be saved once the proposed Northpark project is completed.
The appointed group is moving forward quickly to oversee the rebuilding and expansion of Northpark Drive in Kingwood [see Tribune, Oct. 24], an estimated $52 million project.
Time benefit estimates provided in October said the project would save one minute per trip, a figure that raised eyebrows of board members and the public alike.
Jim Webb, principal with the Goodman Corporation, experts in transit and mobility planning, reported that he had a new estimate for the project time saving element – eight minutes. Previously, Goodman had been forced to work without input or data from the Union Pacific Railroad. Commuters wait for passing trains several times per day near the intersection of Northpark and Loop 494. The railroad does not keep relevant data but Goodman, with help from the COH and Griselda Gonzalez of Edminster, Hinshaw, Russ and Associates, was able to update his analysis with railroad delay data that significantly upped the time to be saved by every commuter. “Eight minutes is a lot,” said Tom Broad, a board member.
Board members also spent time scrutinizing tax increment calculations provided by the City of Houston accountants vs. their own. Authority manager Ralph de Leon painstakingly explained that the COH accounting practices were slightly different calculations than the Authority’s. The board, after listening to the explanation, voted to pay all due developer reimbursement payments, approximately $1.157 million, before the end of the year.
The Authority has a December balance of $3,732,029 after disbursements during October of $228,499. The Authority has $75,104 in bills to be paid, not including developer reimbursements. The Authority meets next Jan. 12, 2017.