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Construction to start on Katy centers

December 17, 2018

People visiting the Katy Rice Festival next October may be among the first to enjoy civic and visitor centers across from Katy City Hall.

Katy City Council awarded a construction contract on Dec. 10 to Nash Industries Inc. of Houston, which submitted a bid of $2.149 million to build the centers.

The project is funded by 2016 bonds, a $1.5 million grant from Convention & Tourism Bureau Hotel Occupancy Tax Funds and insurance monies received to cover damages caused by Hurricane Harvey flooding. In 2000, voters authorized $16 million in permanent improvement bonds with the following purposes: Civic center, streets, drainage improvements and water and sewer, said a city spokesperson. “While authorized in 2000, not all of the funds were issued (including the $3 million for the civic center, which was later issued in 2016).”

The community center will be located at 910 Ave. C in the renovated former city hall complex and the visitors center will involve a reconstruction of the annex building at 5718 Second St.

The project includes demolishing the south portion of the former City Hall complex that contained offices, said Kayce Reina, city of Katy director of tourism, marketing and public relations. The former city council chamber building will be part of the community center.

Reina said the project has an aggressive timeline. The goal is to be completed by near year’s Rice Festival or by the holidays, she added. The construction contract includes incentives if the work is finished quickly and penalties for delays, she said.

The Dec. 10 action is the latest in a series of contracts to create the public square envisioned by residents and city officials in 2013.

City Council on Sept. 10 agreed to pay $104,080 to demolish the water plant ground storage tank, the water plant control building, the well pump and related appurtenances in the Katy Downtown Square as part of Phase 3. That was funded by Convention & Tourism Bureau Hotel Occupancy Tax Funds. The elevated tank will remain as part of the public square.

On June 11, Katy City Council authorized the mayor to sign a professional services agreement with LJA Engineering for the third phase of Katy Town Square.

Downtown redevelopment has included other projects. Officials dedicated a new city hall in June 2016. Next was a multiphased street project to make Second and Third streets one way. Downtown parking also was reconfigured.

karen.zurawski@chron.com

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