Representatives from the Harris County Metropolitan Transit Authority (METRO) came to Humble recently to address the city council about its upcoming bond issue.
Humble Mayor Merle Aaron introduced Thomas Jasien, deputy chief executive officer of METRO, who then introduced authority boardmembers, including Cindy Siegel, former mayor of Bellaire, Don Elder, Jr., the former mayor of Katy, and Vice President of Planning Clint Harbert.
Siegel addressed the council, asking them to imagine the worst current nightmare traffic situation and project it out 20 years when the population in the metro area is expected to double.
“The analogy that we’ve got to give you is the visual to take Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Arlington and Corpus Christi’s population today and drop it into the current metro area of Houston; that’s what we are facing,” stated Siegel. “The MetroNext project promises to get more people more places faster and more reliably. The project will not come with a sales tax increase and, as it relates specifically to Humble, a connector service that will meet the needs of Humble’s citizens is in the works.”
“We began this process in 2017; we had a series of 30 public meetings. It was really to try to talk to the public about how they saw their city, the region and how they really wanted to move around in the future. It was also a chance to educate them as they try to understand the growth that will be occurring in the area and helping educate them to what that’s going to mean to their everyday lives,” said Harbert.
Harbert’s presentation guided the council through METRO’s extensive Vision and Moving Forward Plan, which includes the project’s milestones which began January 2019 and have a delivery date of July 2019, coordination with regional partners and the City of Humble area enhancements. A few enhancements include a regional express service on U.S. Hwy. 59, one on I.H. 45 North, and an overall faster, safer and more reliable regional transportation network that reduces congestion and improves air quality.
“The long-term plan is through 2040, but the immediate plan includes getting the bond referendum passed next year to make sure we have funding for the next 20 years for the projects and continuing to be responsive to our customers,” said Siegel.
“We must listen to our constituents and need to establish the input from all the multi-cities and overall all the entities before we can put the final plan together,” Elder said.
Following the hearing the council acted unanimously to approve without discussion the Joint Elections Agreement by and between the City of Humble and Harris County for election services. Other business items the council decided to revisit and approve were the contract between the City of Humble and Veritas AEC to provide architectural services and construction administration for the Humble Museum in the amount of $22,000; subdivision plat for the Sam Patel Subdivision Replat No. 1; and development plat for the Sam Patel Subdivision Replat No. 1.