Katy City Council revisited the issue of placing a fence around the city’s old water tower located in the Katy Downtown Plaza just east of City Hall at their regular meeting Monday. Mayor Bill …
Katy City Council revisited the issue of placing a fence around the city’s old water tower located in the Katy Downtown Plaza just east of City Hall at their regular meeting Monday. Mayor Bill Hastings also read a declaration recognizing several police officers, EMS crews and firefighters for their dedication to duty during the COVID-19 pandemic prior to the fencing project’s approval.
Kayce Reina, the city’s director of Tourism, Marketing & Public relations, provided two options for fencing around the city’s old water tower during the meeting. Both options involved chain link fencing with green links. One proposal came in at about $7,000 and would have had green plastic or fiber slats going through the links to make the fence opaque while the other cost about $10,400 and had a material similar to a faux-pine needle garland running between the links for that same purpose.
Reina said a wood fence was not an option at this time because the materials needed were unavailable and as a result fencing contractors were unable to provide her with a quote.
“Newsweek” reported in late August that a nationwide wood shortage is the result of lumber producers in the U.S. and Canada slowing operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The shortage was a combination of producers predicting a shortage of demand due to various levels of lockdowns across North America and the situation has also led to price fluctuations for lumber, the report said.
Council opted for the more expensive option in order to ensure the plaza presented well for city events such as the Katy Rice Festival and various markets held throughout the year. Reina said the fencing project would be temporary in nature and would be removed once the city was able to move forward with the installation of an outdoor museum beneath the water tower.
City Administrator Byron Hebert said he was unsure exactly when the project would move forward because it relies on funding from Hotel Occupancy Taxes and HOT fund revenues had been reduced due to the pandemic. However, he said the hotel industry is projected to be back on track by 2022 or 2023, well before the projected lifespan of the fencing would be met.
The fencing contract was awarded to Clements Fence.
First Responders Honored
The first responders were all recognized for responding to specific incidences on March 30, July 9, Aug. 14 and Aug. 16 wherein they had to have direct contact with patients at increased risk to their personal health due to the pandemic. Including at least one instance wherein first responders had to administer CPR.
Hastings and members of the council thanked the first responders for going above and beyond the call of duty to save the lives of city residents and expressed their appreciation for the city’s emergency teams, including dispatch personnel who they said made it possible for police, fire and EMS crews to respond emergencies.
“Through the expeditious and professional actions of our first responders, several lives were saved,” Hastings said in his declaration honoring the first responders. “We commend our dispatchers for their prompt response to all calls and the forwarding of those calls to the necessary personnel. We commend all of our first responders for their teamwork and applaud them for working closely together and always being available to back each other up.”
City Council also approved the following items at the meeting:
The next Katy City Council meeting is a public hearing on the city’s proposed property tax rate of $0.447168 per $100 valuation for 2020 which will be due in early 2021. The city’s 2019 tax rate was $0.480000 per $100 valuation.