The December meeting of the Lake Houston Redevelopment Authority/Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone No. 10 (TIRZ) basically was a status update of the group’s projects.

TIRZ Chairman Stan Sarman told the group that property acquisitions for right of ways along North Park Drive are moving forward.

One property owner has offered some push back, but Sarman explained he is a distant owner unfamiliar with the proposed project. Most of the right-of-way areas are mere inches with the largest being approximately 30 feet. Sarman has met with many property owners and all are on board.

“Mostly they have been concerned about losing parking space, and none will,” he said.

The Northpark project will bring a significant improvement to the street, adding an overpass from Hwy. 59 to Russell Palmer Road. Initial funding has been secured and engineers have begun work.

Joel Salinas and Vince Obregon of HNTB, the contractors for Northpark, reported their team is finalizing the schematic design of the project, which they have shared with TxDOT. They said a modification to the geotechinical analysis has been requested to do 10 additonal feet of borings.

Representatives of the Harris County Flood Control District gave a brief update stating the study of 32 channels in the Kingwood area is wrapping up. Their next step is to look at improvements and solutions. A formal report is expected in early-to-mid 2020.

Jessica Beemer, chief of staff for Houston City Councilmember Dave Martin, updated the group on a current issue with lowering the level of Lake Houston.

Martin is in favor of continuing the strategy, which is temporary. The lake is lowered 1 foot in the spring and 2 feet in hurricane season.

Members of the Lake Conroe Lake Association are opposed to the lowering and several hundred appeared at the last meeting of the San Jacinto River Authority meeting to protest the policy.

Beemer also reported that 75,000 linear feet of drains in Kingwood have been inspected by the City of Houston in recent weeks with 85-90% of all lines shown as clear. The city cleaned the few lines that were blocked.

Rachel Ray-Welsh of Walter P. Moore said the two upcoming intersection improvement projects, at Kingwood Drive and Woodland Hills and at Kingwood Drive at Willow Terrace, are in the design phase. Ray-Welsh said a revision to the original project is needed to study drainage at both locations.

The TIRZ fund balance as of Nov. 30 is $10,402,942.

Adam Kuptas of Aurora Development said he was in discussion with New Caney ISD to connect Kingwood Place Drive to Sorters Road.

“They are done with their initial design and it didn’t allow for that. But we’re working on that with them,” he said.

Sarman announced that a public meeting will be held Feb. 6 at the Kingwood Community Center regarding the Northpark project. All residents are encourage to attend and learn more about the plans. Various entities will have information tables at the meeting and a presentation of the project is planned for 6 p.m.

Cynthia Calvert
Author: Cynthia CalvertEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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A trained journalist with a masters degree from Lamar University, a masters from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, as well as extensive coursework toward a masters of science in psychology from the University of New Orleans, Calvert founded the Tribune Newspapers in 2007. Her experiences as an investigative, award winning reporter (She won Journalist of the Year from the Houston Press Club among many other awards for reporting and writing), professor and chair of the journalism department for Lone Star College-Kingwood and vice president of editorial for a large group of community weeklies provides her with a triple dose of bankable skills that cover every aspect of the journalism field. Solid reporting. Careful interviews. Respect and curiosity for people and places.

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