Lake Houston - Humble - Kingwood Edition | October 2020

LAKE HOUSTON HUMBLE KINGWOOD EDITION

VOLUME 5, ISSUE 6  OCT. 23NOV. 19, 2020

ONLINE AT

EastMontgomery County Industrial Park interest rises despite COVID19

Industrial park growth

215 new acres purchased

2 new tenants approved

BY KELLY SCHAFLER

space that opened in the region this year, per NAI’s monthly reports. However, NAI data shows compa- nies leased almost 2 million square feet more of industrial space this August than August 2019. August also brought 8 million more square feet of new industrial space than last year. Sherri Gates, co-owner of Gates Engineered Lubricants in the East Montgomery County Industrial Park, said the pandemic forced her fam- ily to lay o three employees as sales CONTINUED ON 21

When the coronavirus pandemic hit earlier this year, it brought many industries to a hard stop, includ- ing the logistics sector. However, industry data and growth among Lake Houston-area companies show the sector—comprised of distribution, warehousing, manufacturing and ful- llment—could be seeing a comeback. Data from NAI Partners shows leas- ing activity for industrial spaces in the Houston area was down between May and July. This is partly due to the new

SOURCE: EAST MONTGOMERY COUNTY IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER 5 of 22 current tenants are set to expand

The East Montgomery County Industrial Park continues to gain interest and is primed for expansion. (Kelly Schaer/Community Impact Newspaper)

Mobility planners steer project construction through pandemic

Highway fund future

Projections show a more than 17% revenue decrease for the State Highway Fund, the Texas Department of Transportation’s primary funding source, through 2021.

BY KELLY SCHAFLER & BEN THOMPSON

PROJECTED 2020 TO 2021 DECREASE

Key:

2020

2021

A drop in statewide revenue in the next biennium as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic could aect funds for transportation projects statewide, but local governments and mobility advocacy groups said they are planning ahead to keep up with the persisting transportation needs. The status of future projects in the Lake Houston area receiving state or federal funding through the Texas Department of Trans- portation or the Houston-Galveston Area Council—a regional gov- ernment planning cooperative—depends on the scal eects of the

$6.77B $8.51B

Total state revenue

-20.44%

$5.81B

Total federal income Total fund revenue

-12.28%

$5.1B

$11.87B $14.32B

-17.13%

SOURCE: TEXAS COMPTROLLER OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTSCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

CONTINUED ON 22

Humble ISD renovates high school campus

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EDUCATION

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LAKE HOUSTON - HUMBLE - KINGWOOD EDITION • OCTOBER 2020

Emergency Services

For more information, visit HCAhoustonhealthcare.com/er-24-7. HCA Houston ER 24/7 Safe care that can’t wait. Now open. HCA Houston ER 24/7 provides comprehensive emergency services for all types of acute injuries and illnesses 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our emergency rooms continue to be among the safest places to seek immediate medical attention. We are proactively engaged in the safe management of COVID-19, and we have put a strong emphasis on ensuring that protections are in place at our sites of care. Offering state-of-the-art technology in a convenient location, this ER features the following: • Staffed with skilled emergency care physicians • Access to on-site lab and imaging services • Accepts most major insurance plans • Affiliation with HCA Houston Kingwood for direct admission

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HCA HOUSTON ER 247 FALL CREEK

HCA Houston ER 24/7 Fall Creek 9711 N Sam Houston Parkway E Humble, TX 77396 281.441.6520

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THIS ISSUE

CONTENTS

HIGHLIGHTS FROMTHISMONTH

IMPACTS

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Now Open, Coming Soon &more TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES 9 Northpark Drive Reconstruction Project HEALTH CARE 10 Ocials prep for u, COVID19 EDUCATION 12 Projects bid for KingwoodHigh School

MARKET TEAM GENERAL MANAGER Kim Giannetti, kgiannetti@communityimpact.com EDITOR Kelly Schaer REPORTER Andy Li GRAPHIC DESIGNER Ronald Winters ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Lagala Doran METRO LEADERSHIP PUBLISHER Jason Culpepper MANAGING EDITOR Matt Stephens ART PRODUCTIONMANAGER Aubrey Galloway CORPORATE LEADERSHIP PUBLISHERS AND FOUNDERS John and Jennifer Garrett GROUP PUBLISHER Traci Rodriguez EXECUTIVE EDITOR Joe Warner CREATIVE DIRECTOR Derek Sullivan SALES DIRECTOR Tess Coverman WHOWE ARE

FROMKIM: Sept. 22 marked the rst day of autumn, when we have cooler weather and can witness the faint color change of the leaves. Now is the perfect time to support our local businesses and restaurants. Check out this month’s business feature, K&S Sportswear, and our local dining feature, 1886 Humble Backyard (see pages 17 and 19).

Kim Giannetti, GENERALMANAGER

FROMKELLY: One front-page story looks at growth in the East Montgomery County Industrial Park. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the East Montgomery County Improvement District has had increased interest from tenants this summer and fall. New tenants and hundreds of jobs could be on the horizon. The entity is also actively seeking new land to expand the park. Read about it on Page 21. Kelly Schaer, EDITOR

THIS ISSUE BY THE NUMBERS

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local sources 43

new businesses 7

new brewery 1

innovative businesses 2

Humble hires new police chief

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BUSINESS FEATURE K&S Sportswear DINING FEATURE 1886 Humble Backyard REAL ESTATE Residential market data IMPACT DEALS

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LAKE HOUSTON  HUMBLE  KINGWOOD EDITION • OCTOBER 2020

IMPACTS

Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon, relocating or expanding

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LAKE HOUSTON WILDERNESS PARK

1485

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99 TOLL

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MARKET PL. DR.

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PORTER

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ROCK CREEK DR.

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Los Hermanos Taquerias

SORTERS MCCLELLAN RD.

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COURTESY LOS HERMANOS TAQUERIAS

KINGWOOD

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yoga studio has several classes available, including hot yoga, vinyasa ow, rocket yoga and other yoga classes. Owner Nikki Shealy helped open the original Yoga One in Kingwood in 2016. Years later, after the business changed names and trans- ferred owners, Shealy was able to reopen YogaOne in August. 281-570-2573. www.yogaonekingwood.com 6 Los Hermanos Taquerias hosted a soft opening Oct. 13 at 5006 Atascocita Road, Ste. A, Atascocita. Co-owner Marcus Delgado, who opened the eatery with his brother Robert Quezada, said the soft opening features a limited menu of break- fast and lunch tacos on handmade our and corn tortillas. The full menu, which will also include some authentic Mexican dishes, will be released during the eatery’s grand opening, which will be held in No- vember. 281-973-4548. www.facebook.com/lhtacos 7 The Rosemary , a luxury living apartment complex, opened Aug. 11 at 17401 W. Lake Houston Parkway, Humble. Community Manager Judy Perdomo said the 328-unit apartment complex features resort-style amenities, including a pool, a resident lounge, a catering kitchen and a game lounge. A dog park is also being built, and all 12 of its buildings will be completed by the end of the year, Perdomo said. 855-348-4300. www.livetherosemary.com COMING SOON 8 Planet Fitness will open a new facility in spring 2021 at 20185 Hwy. 59, New Caney, a company spokesperson said. The gym will oer cardio and strength

GREEN OAK DR.

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W. FORK OF THE SAN JACINTO RIVER

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1960

TIMBER FOREST DR.

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GEORGE BUSH INTERCONTINENTAL AIRPORT

ATASCOCITA

W. LAKE HOUSTON PKWY.

HUMBLE

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LAKE HOUSTON

RANKIN RD.

MADERA RUN PKWY.

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ASSAY ST.

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MAP NOT TO SCALE N TM; © 2020 COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER CO. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

N . L A K E H O U S T

NOWOPEN 1 El Tiempo Cantina opened a new location Sept. 28 at 1414 Northpark Drive, Kingwood, in the Centre at Northpark development. The Tex-Mex restaurant’s menu features fajitas, enchiladas and quesadillas as well as an extensive drink menu featuring a variety of margaritas. 281-973-2424. www.eltiempocantina.com/kingwood 2 MOD Pizza opened Oct. 13 at 12029 N. Grand Parkway E., Ste. 100,

New Caney, according to the East Mont- gomery County Improvement District. The pizza chain serves individual, arti- san-style pizzas as well as beer and wine. The location also has outdoor seating available. 346-301-1943. www.modpizza.com 3 Partners in Primary Care hosted a virtual grand opening Sept. 24 for its Humble location at 9688 FM 1960 Bypass Road. The senior-focused primary care provider rst opened Aug. 17. Partners in Primary Care has primary care doctors,

pharmacists, social workers and activities for seniors. 281-949-7495. www.partnersinprimarycare.com 4 Caliber Auto Care opened Sept. 8 at 17710 W. Lake Houston Parkway, Humble. The automotive care garage was formerly known as Service First and provides a variety of services, including state and digital inspections, oil changes and other auto care services. 281-644-0034. www.caliberautocare.com 5 YogaOne Kingwood opened Aug. 1 at 2525 Green Oak Drive, Kingwood. The

Meet Angela Mosley-Nunnery, MD Primary Care Physician Near You Call 281.312.8521 to make an appointment today!

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

COMPILED BY ANDY LI & KELLY SCHAFLER

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Jersey Mike’s Subs

SafeSplash Swim School and SwimLabs

COURTESY JERSEY MIKE’S SUBS

COURTESY SAFESPLASH SWIM SCHOOL AND SWIMLABS

12 SafeSplash Swim School and SwimLabs are set to open a new partnered location Nov. 11 at 10423 N. Sam Houston Parkway E., Humble. SafeSplash Swim School oers indoor swim lessons for children and adults of all ages. Meanwhile, SwimLabs allows swimmers to be in small, warm water tanks and get 360-degree video feedback to help improve their technique. 832-271-1446 (SafeSplash), 832-271-1459 (SwimLabs). www.safesplash.com/locations/humble, www.swimlabs.com/humble 13 Construction on the Enclave at Lake Pointe Apartments broke ground Sept. 10 at 12410 N. Lake Houston Park- way, Houston. The independent senior living community is set to open in late 2021 or early 2022, according to Amay Inamdar, principal for Magellan Housing, one of the developers of the project. The $27.4 million multifamily development will feature 132 units, a pool, a dog park and a tness center. 832-831-1836. www.magellan-enclave.com RELOCATIONS 14 The Humble Museum will hold a grand opening and dedication ceremony Nov. 14 in its new space at 601 Higgins St., Humble. The museum moved from 219 E. Main St., Humble, after sustaining damages in Hurricane Harvey. After clos- ing for nearly three years, the museum will soon be open Wednesdays-Fridays 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sundays noon-4 p.m. The museum chronicles the history of the Humble area. Admission is free. 281-713-5439. www.humblemuseum.com

training equipment; free tness training; and a spa for PF Black Card members featuring massage beds, massage chairs, and tanning beds and booths. The gym was originally set to open in mid-2020, but was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. www.planettness.com 9 Jersey Mike’s Subs will open at 30129 Rock Creek Drive, Ste. 800, Kingwood, in November. Jersey Mike’s oers fresh-sliced and fresh-grilled subs on freshly baked bread along with vegetables, such as onions, lettuce and tomatoes, and what is called The Juice—a combination of red wine vinegar and olive oil. In addition to subs, the franchise oers wraps, salads and cheesesteaks. No contact information for the store has been released. www.jerseymikes.com 10 Dunkin’ will open at 1301 Northpark Drive, Kingwood. Public Relations Coor- dinator Emma Burke said the franchise is considering opening in winter 2020 or postponing until 2021, but no decision has been made yet. The chain bakery serves doughnuts as well as hot and iced coees, sandwiches and other baked goods. No contact information for the 11 Courtyard by Marriott will open in Generation Park in the rst quarter of 2021 at 250 Assay St., Houston. Work on the ve-story hotel began May 8, 2018, Community Impact Newspaper previously reported. The 2,000-square-foot hotel will consist of 144 rooms, a tness center, an outdoor pool, workspaces, and a bistro featuring food options and Starbucks coee. 713-860-3100. www.generationpark.com store has been released. www.dunkindonuts.com

DECA Beer Co.’s stout is one of 1012 beers that will be on tap when the brewery opens in Porter in 2021. (Courtesy DECA Beer Co.)

FEATURED IMPACT COMING SOON DECA Beer Co. , a new Porter brewery, will open its taproom in early 2021 at 25428 Loop 494, Ste. G. The brewery is owned by beer enthusiasts Je Angell, Cody Evans, Heath Cleaver and Jason Dornik, who live in the Kingwood and Spring areas. Evans and Angell brewed beers in their garages for years before they decided to open a business, Evans said. A mutual friend then connected them with Cleaver and Dornik, who were homebrewers also looking to open a brewery. They moved into the Porter property in December 2019 and have been working to open the brewery since. The taproom will feature a bar, indoor and outdoor seating, food trucks and a IN THE NEWS Jenna Armstrong, the CEO of the Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce, was named to the Texas Water Develop- ment Board’s San Jacinto Regional Flood Planning Group, according to an Oct. 1 press release. The group serves to pre- vent loss of life and property damage due to ooding in the region and was created as a part of Texas’ regional ood planning process by the Texas Legislature through Senate Bill 8 in 2019. Armstrong is one of

small selection of wines from a Texas winery. Angell said they want the family-friendly taproom to make patrons feel relaxed and comfortable. When it opens, the brewery will have 10-12 of their beers on tap, but Evans said they hope to oer 15-17 rotating and seasonal beers in the future. Some DECA Brew Co. brew styles will include stouts, India pale ales, berliner weisses,

and blonde and brown ales. www.facebook.com/decabeer

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12 members of the group, and the group will be responsible for adopting a ood plan by Jan. 10, 2023. CLOSINGS 15 Jack in the Box closed its location at 2308 Northpark Drive, Kingwood, on Sept. 13. This location was one of several in the Lake Houston area. The 24-hour drive-thru restaurant chain oers burgers, chicken, salads, tacos and breakfast items. www.jackinthebox.com

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LAKE HOUSTON  HUMBLE  KINGWOOD EDITION • OCTOBER 2020

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES Preliminary designs to begin for NorthparkDrive ReconstructionProject

COMPILED BY KELLY SCHAFLER

UPCOMING PROJECTS

The Lake Houston Redevelopment Authority will soon begin preliminary designs for the Northpark Drive Reconstruction Project, which is Phase 2 of the long-awaited Northpark Drive Improvement Project. At the LHRA board of directors meeting Sept. 24, board Chair Stan Sarman said the authority is moving through the nal design and land acquisition process for Phase 1 of the project, known as the Northpark Drive Overpass Project. Sarman said the right of way and easement acquisition process has been slower than he expected. “Obviously, without acquiring these right of ways, we can’t start construction. So that’s a critical element there,” he said. The $46.6 million overpass project, which is expected to break ground in 2021, will expand the road from four to six lanes between Hwy. 59 and Russell Palmer Road and add an overpass over the Union Pacic Corp. railroad. Phase 1 is funded by the LHRA—which oversees property tax

Northpark Drive Reconstruction Project (Phase 2)

The project expands Northpark Drive from four to six lanes between Russell Palmer Road and Woodland Hills Drive. Timeline: 2023-TBD Cost: $48.4 million Funding sources: Houston-Galveston

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SOURCE: LAKE HOUSTON REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITYCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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Community Drive expansion Montgomery County Precinct 4 bid the Community Drive improvement project in New Caney in late Septem- ber. The road will be expanded to two lanes with a continual turning lane between the Hwy. 59 service road and Loop 494. New storm sewers will also be constructed to improve drainage. The bidding process ended Oct. 21, after press time. Timeline: December 2020-winter 2021 Cost: $2.1 million Funding source: Montgomery County Precinct 4

revenue collected in Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone 10 in Kingwood— as well as the city of Houston. Although construction on Phase 1 has not begun, consultants for the LHRAmust also soon begin designing the reconstruction project to remain eligible for a federal grant awarded to the authority last year. The Houston-Galveston Area Coun- cil granted the authority $34 million last March to help pay for the $48.4 million reconstruction project. The project will expand the road from four to six lanes between Russell Palmer and Woodland Hills Drive. “We’ve gotten concurrence from

[the Texas Department of Transpor- tation] that we can go ahead and start ... the preliminary work and getting started on the design of this,” Sarman said. LHRA and TIRZ administrator Ralph De Leon said consultants are required to begin designing the proj- ect two years prior to receiving the grant dollars, which are programmed to be distributed in 2023. Leon said if the overpass project bids in spring 2021 and takes 24-36 months to complete, it will likely still be under construction

ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF OCT. 12. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT LHKNEWSCOMMUNITYIMPACT.COM.

when contractors start on the eastern portion of the project.

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LAKE HOUSTON  HUMBLE  KINGWOOD EDITION • OCTOBER 2020

COVID19 AND THE FLU While caused by separate viruses, the u and COVID-19 can both cause serious disease or death, and they share some symptoms.

HEALTH CARE Experts advise planning for winter u seasonduringCOVID19

SHARED SYMPTOMS

BY BEN THOMPSON

Council data. Between Sept. 18- Oct. 18, the number of general beds in use for COVID-19 patients went from a low of 308 on Oct. 2 to 421 on Oct. 16, before dropping to 350 on Oct. 18. Dr. Anne Barnes, executive vice president and chief medical ocer at Harris Health System, said via email that the ability for local hospitals to handle patients with other conditions amid the pandemic will depend on residents adhering to COVID-19 guidelines and getting u shots. “We believe that both u and COVID-19 infections will be present in the late fall and early winter,” she said. “If community members don’t maintain vigilance, we are at risk for surge level hospital demands for both COVID-19 and u.” Meanwhile, general hospital bed usage in Montgomery County has remained at or below 1,000 since mid-September—below the county’s operational capacity of 1,275 beds, per SETRAC data. Misti Willingham, public information ocer for the Montgomery County Hospital District, said via email county health ocials expect a potential need for beds as well as increased testing. “The signs and symptoms [for the u and COVID-19] are very similar in presentation. Testing is the only way to know for sure,” Willingham said. Ocials advise that anyone age 6 months or older get their u shots in October, unless they have a conrmed medical reason not to. Adriana Rezal contributed to this report.

Health ocials are preparing for a seasonal wave of inuenza they said could compound public health and health care system capacity concerns. Dr. Jennifer Shuford, an infectious disease medical ocer for the Texas Department of State Health Services, said while u season typically peaks between December and March, the timing and severity of the u’s spread every year is uncertain. “Getting the u shot is the single most important thing that a person can do to prevent themselves from getting the u or from severe u and its complications,” she said. Shuford said DSHS has ramped up eorts to inform Texans about u shots and recommended precautions ahead of this fall. She also said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is providing u vaccines for residents of all ages this year. Shuford said the state department will monitor Texas hospital capacity over the coming months. She said while COVID-19 hospitalizations throughout Texas decreased in September, increases during the fall and winter may again lead to capacity issues throughout the state. “Any addition of u ... or even COVID-19 in our communities could start to impact and stress our health care system,” she said. In Harris County, general hospital bed usage has remained almost 7,000 beds below its operational capacity of 14,869 as of press time, according to Southeast Texas Regional Advisory

Fever

Cough Muscle aches and pains

Sore throat

Runny nose

Headache Shortness of breath

COVID19ONLY

FLUONLY

Loss of smell or taste Symptoms typically appear one to four days after infection. SOURCES: CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION, TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICESCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER HOSPITAL CAPACITY Symptoms typically appear ve days after infection, although symptoms may appear two to 14 days after infection.

Chills

General beds in use General beds in use for COVID-19 patients

HARRIS COUNTY

Hospital bed availability in Harris County remains about 7,000 below capacity as of mid-October.

CAPACITY: 14,869

421

412 365

409

350

374

380

376

360

359

315 340

345

340

308 316

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4 6 8

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12 14 16 18

September

October

MONTGOMERY COUNTY

Hospital bed availability in Montgomery County remains several hundred below capacity as of mid-October.

CAPACITY: 1,275

1,000

966

953

964

944 881

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934

890

891

883

875

855

828

740

731

64 70 63

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53

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43

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40

37

39

33

22 28

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20

24

26

28

30

2

4 6 8

10

12 14 16 18

September

October

SOURCE: SOUTHEAST TEXAS REGIONAL ADVISORY COUNCILCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

CITY

Humble Senior Activity Center to be demolished later this year

BY KELLY SCHAFLER

the church sold the building to the city in the early 1990s and relocated to a bigger building on FM 1960. Stuebe said the city will spend roughly $30,000 of the scal year 2020-21 budget to demolish the building by the end of the year instead of spending more funds to renovate the 42-year-old building. “If we can provide a better service at a lower cost, lower overhead, because we are utilizing a facility we already have, I think that’s certainly something we need to take a look at,” he said. The city will consider building a new activity center in the future, he said. Stuebe said the city intends to keep the property the center is on and is considering future development options. Humble Civic Center Director Jennifer Wooden, whose department oversees the activity center, said moving the community members to the Civic Center will allow for a more robust experience for the city’s seniors once they are allowed to safely congregate. “I think it’s going to be a great space to nurture vibrancy and health and wellness,” she said. Program directors are also consid- ering restructuring the senior activity program to be open to more ages. “My mom is part of a multigener- ational activity program, and I feel like her life is enriched by it, and I also feel like the younger people are enriched by her wisdom,” she said. Wooden said she believes

The Humble Senior Activity Center, which provides free services to the area’s elderly population, will be demolished by the end of 2020, Humble city ocials said. Seniors will be relocated to the nearby Humble Civic Center for all future activities. The city’s senior bus service will continue to operate, ocials said. Humble City Council unanimously approved demolishing the center, located at 1401 S. Houston Ave., at the Sept. 1 City Council meeting. “We have some good ideas [about] making that [program] even better,” Humble Mayor Merle Aaron said. “This is looking toward the future.” The Senior Activity Center provides activities to roughly 350-400 active members, oering them reading, Spanish and exercise classes as well as movie days and luncheons, city ocials said. Humble City Manager Jason Stuebe said the decision to demolish the center, which opened in 1994, was made recently amid the coronavirus pandemic. The center has been closed since mid-March due to the pandemic, and it is in need of a new air conditioning system and other costly repairs, he said. Humble First Assembly of God Church constructed the building in 1978 as its Worship and Christian Education Center, said Lyle Coun- tryman, whose father, Jack Coun- tryman, was the pastor at the time. Milton Pool, the current pastor, said

The Humble Senior Activity Center oered free services to the city’s elderly.

1978: The building at 1401 S. Houston Ave. is constructed by Humble First Assembly of God Church as its Worship and Christian Education Center. Early 1990s: Humble First Assembly of God Church sells the property to the city of Humble to move to a bigger space on FM 1960. 1994: The city opens the Humble Senior Activity Center. Sept. 1, 2020: Humble City Council unanimously votes to demolish the 42-year-old building before the end of the year. The program’s seniors will be relocated to the Humble Civic Center for future activities. BUILDING BACKSTORY

HUMBLE SENIOR ACTIVITY CENTER

HUMBLE CIVIC CENTER

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The city will spend roughly $30,000 to demolish the Humble Senior Activity Center building.

The senior center had 350-400 active members.

relocating the program is the best move for the future of the program. “We have such a great structure and great bones that we could do a shift and it didn’t hurt us, but it actually ended up being something better,” she said.

SOURCES: CITY OF HUMBLE, LYLE COUNTRYMANCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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LAKE HOUSTON  HUMBLE  KINGWOOD EDITION • OCTOBER 2020

EDUCATION Humble ISD bids flood barrier, renovation projects for Kingwood High School campus

KINGWOOD DR.

N

BY KELLY SCHAFLER

said the updated renderings also show a shaded bump along the perimeter of the school for the ood-proof walls. “We’re doing our best to meld that into the design so it does not stand out, but it does have that feature going around the entire school,” he said. The campus received about 6 feet of water during Hurricane Harvey and underwent roughly $67 million in repairs, according to the district and previous Community Impact Newspaper reporting. HISD announced last December that the Federal Emergency Management Agency awarded the district roughly $27 million to add ood barriers to the campus. HISD will pay the remaining $3 million of the project’s cost. The project will create 8-foot, self-rising barriers over main entrances and windows and 3.5-foot barriers over other areas of the campus, PBK Senior Project

Humble ISD is accepting contracting bids for two Kingwood High School projects: one that will renovate and expand the campus and another that could help protect the campus from future rain events. The bidding pro- cess ended Oct. 22, after press time. At the Oct. 13 HISD board of trustees meeting, architectural rm PBK Architects presented the board with updated designs for Kingwood High School’s $8.8 million renovations and $30 million ood barriers. The renovations, which were rst presented at the district’s July 14 meeting, feature a newmain entrance canopy, a new gym, an athletic lobby, and new spaces for career and technical education. Renovations are set to begin in November and to be completed by November 2021, according to PBK. In addition to the general renova- tions, Greg Prince with PBK Architects

Kingwood High School will undergo renovations beginning in November. Construction on ood barriers will begin in late 2021. (Rendering courtesy PBK Architects)

Manager Je Chapman said. “Everything is about the FEMA ood plain for the 500 year, and we’re going 3 feet above that, ... all of which are well above the high-water mark your school received during Harvey,” he said. The 500-year oodplain is an area with a 0.2% chance of ooding in a given year. The board of trustees will approve one or two contractors for the projects at the Nov. 10 meeting, Prince said. After renovations are completed in November 2021, construction will begin on the ood barrier project, HISD Chief Communications Ocer

Jamie Mount said via email. The ood barrier project is expected to begin in December 2021 and to be completed by May 2022, she said. “Having the same contractor per- form all the work could be benecial for construction coordination at Kingwood High School. However, the district wants to consider the bid amounts submitted by each contrac- tor,” she said. Trustee Robert Scarfo, who is the chair of the HISD Board Finance Committee, said FEMA will pay half of its promised amount to the district by the end of October and the remainder by the end of 2020.

12

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

NEWS BRIEFS

Texas counties allowed only 1 drop-off location formail-in ballots

BY JOE WARNER

and will help stop attempts at illegal voting,” per the Oct. 1 press release. Texas voters are eligible for ballot by mail if they are 65 years or older, sick or disabled, will be out of the county on Election Day and during early voting, or are confined to jail, according to the secretary of state. The proclamation was blocked by a preliminary injunction late Oct. 9 by the U.S. District Court in Austin, thus allowing counties to offer multiple sites for ballot collection. District Judge Robert Pitman ruled Abbott’s order created voter confusion and caused voters to drive farther and risk coronavirus exposure.

On Oct. 10, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed an emergency motion asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit for a temporary administrative stay while considering the state’s appeal. The temporary stay was allowed and the appellate court ruled in favor of Abbott’s order. A state district judge in Travis County ruled on Oct. 15 that Texas counties could again have more than one mail-in ballot drop off site, which was quickly appealed by Pax- ton. As of press time, the decision awaits a ruling from the Texas Court of Appeals.

• 65 years or older • sick or disabled • will be out of the county on Election Day and during early voting • confined to jail Texas voters are eligible to apply to vote by mail if they are: VOTER ELIGIBILITY

An Oct. 1 proclamation by Texas Gov. Greg Abbot to limit mail-in ballot drop-off locations to one per county has bounced around in the court system, ending with some counties quickly shifting to offering only one ballot drop-off location. Abbott’s order Oct. 1 gave county clerks one day to close multiple ballot drop-off locations, including more than a dozen announced in Harris and Travis counties. The order, according to Abbott, was to “enhance ballot security protocols.” “These enhanced security proto- cols will ensure greater transparency

SOURCE: TEXAS SECRETARY OF STATE’S OFFICE/ COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

The appellate court had not made a decision by noon Oct. 20, which left voters with one drop-off location per county.

Houston-area home sales increase 29%year over year in September

Single-family home sales in the Houston region increased between September 2019 and September 2020 in most price points, except the $99,999 or less and $100,000-$149,999 ranges. HOME SALES SEPTEMBER 2020 VS. SEPTEMBER 2019 SINGLE-FAMILY HOME SALES

BY MATT DULIN

buy,” HAR Chair John Nugent with RE/MAX Space Center said in an Oct. 14 news release. According to HAR data, the supply of available homes is at its lowest level since December 2014. Prior to home inventory in September, sales in August had brought inventory to a five-year low. Houston’s single-family home inventory is at a 2.5-month supply, which is below the national inventory of three months. Data shows the highest-priced homes saw even bigger gains with an 81.5% spike in the number of transactions. The $500,000-$750,000

For the fourth month in a row, the Houston Association of Realtors reported continued year-over-year sales growth with 9,101 single-family homes having been purchased in September—a 29.1% increase. Year to date, the Houston area is trending over 5% better than 2019 sales figures amid low interest rates and economic uncertainty. “September sales defied expecta- tions; ... however, we anticipate that the pace of sales will soon slow down since there just aren’t a whole lot of homes out there for consumers to

$100,000-$149,999 -22.3%

$150,000-$249,999 +18.2% $750,000 and above +81.5%

$99,999 or less -23.1%

$250,000-$499,999 +46.7%

$500,000-$749,999 +58.1%

SOURCE: HOUSTON ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

tier also increased 58.1% year over year. Homes in the middle tier of $250,000-$499,999 saw 46.7% more sales year over year, per HAR data. The single-family home median

price also rose 8.3% year over year to $265,000, while the average price rose by 10.1% year over year to $329,801. Both figures are record highs for the month of September.

Southwest Airlines to expand footprint fromHobby Airport toGeorge Bush Intercontinental Airport

Airlines back to IAH in the new year. “Southwest Airlines will continue its exceptional service and operations out of William P. Hobby Airport (HOU), and its new service out of IAH will only complement its current offerings,” the statement read. “Houston Airports supports and applauds this decision by Southwest Airlines to grow air service offerings in Houston during a time when air carriers are doing what they can to recover from the effects of the pandemic and once again reach a point of profitability,” the statement continued.

BY KELLY SCHAFLER

The Dallas-based airline will begin servicing IAH, which is located near Humble, in the first half of 2021, according to the release. However, specific details—such as the terminal location, schedules and routes—are not yet available. The airline has been flying out of William P. Hobby Airport, located in southeast Houston, for roughly

30 years, per the release. Southwest Airlines operated from IAH when the airline first opened in 1971 and operated from both IAH and Hobby Airport between 1980 and 2005. In a statement posted to the Houston Airport System’s social media page, HAS Director of Aviation Mario Diaz said the system was excited to welcome Southwest

Beginning next year, Southwest Airlines will be soaring into its second Houston-area airport: George Bush Intercontinental Airport. According to an Oct. 12 announce- ment from the airline, Southwest Airlines is expanding its services in the Houston and Chicago regions next year.

13

LAKE HOUSTON - HUMBLE - KINGWOOD EDITION • OCTOBER 2020

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

CITY& COUNTY

News from Harris County, Montgomery County & the city of Humble

Drive-thru voting numbers soar HARRIS COUNTY Over 42,000 residents in Harris County voted at drive-thru locations in the first four days of early voting Oct. 13-16. The Humble Civic Center, for example, saw more than 7,000 voters use its drive-thru option. Harris County has 10 drive-thru BY ANDY LI attempts to shut the sites down. The Texas Republican Party filed a last-minute lawsuit against Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins’ office on Oct. 12 to restrict drive-thru and curbside voting to “only those Harris County registered voters who have submitted sworn applications.” Per the Texas Secretary of State’s office website, curbside voting is allowed upon request to an election officer. locations that will continue to serve voters until Election Day, despite

The lawsuit was dismissed on Oct. 13, and since then many of the drive-thru sites—each of them also a regular polling site—have seen more drive-thru voters than regular voters. “Drive-thru voting makes sense to anyone who doesn’t want to suppress the voice of the people,” said Angelica Luna-Kaufman, commu- nications specialist for the Harris County Democratic Party. However, Luke Twombly, press secretary for the Texas Republican Party, said the party is taking the case

Humble City Council meets at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 12 and 26 at 114 W. Higgins St., Humble. 281-446-3061. www.cityofhumble.com Harris County Commissioners Court meets virtually at 10 a.m. Oct. 27 and Nov. 10, as the county has not yet begun hosting in-person meetings. 713-274-1111. www.harriscountytx.gov Montgomery County Commissioners Court meets at 9:30 a.m. Oct. 27 and Nov. 10 and 17 at 501 N. Thompson St., Conroe. 936-756-0571. www.mctx.org Houston City Council meets at 9 a.m. Oct. 28 and Nov. 4, 11 and 18 at 901 Bagby St., Houston. 832-393-1100. www.houstontx.gov All meetings with the exception of Humble City Council are livestreamed. MEETINGSWE COVER HIGHLIGHTS HARRIS COUNTY Harris County commissioners could approve a tax rate decrease for fiscal year 2020-21 on Oct. 27. At the Sept. 29 Commissioners Court meeting, commissioners unanimously agreed to a proposed overall Harris County tax rate of $0.5992, a decrease of $0.0125 from the overall Harris County tax rate of $0.6117 in FY 2019-20. MONTGOMERY COUNTY After more than 47,800 ballots were cast in the first four days of early voting in Montgomery County, county commissioners held a special meeting and approved two additional early voting locations on Oct. 19. The new centers are located at the East Montgomery County Courthouse at 21130 Hwy. 59 S., New Caney, and Spring Creek Greenway Nature Center at 1300 Riley Fuzzel Road, Spring. to the Texas Supreme Court. “We filed this case to ensure that no illegal votes would be cast and counted in this election,” he said. Ana Naught, coordinator of the nonprofit initiative Houston in Action, which focuses on political engagement, criticized the lawsuit as an attempt to “confuse voters.” “We’re glad the judge was able to ... let the work of community groups and organizers across the region play out as record-breaking first days of early voting,” she said.

Humble City Council hires newpolice department chief

BY ANDY LI & KELLY SCHAFLER

Theis is replacing former Chief Delbert C. Dawes, who retired Oct. 1 after 33 years with the department. He was promoted to chief in 2015. In a Sept. 30 interview, Dawes said he was proud of improving the qual- ity of life for Humble citizens as well as managing a team of 99 sworn-in officers and civilian personnel. “I want everyone to feel safe and secure when they come to the city of Humble, and that’s a big responsi- bility,” he said. Dawes said he looked forward to spending time with his wife, four daughters and seven grandchildren. He also thanked the community for their support and offered some advice for the incoming police chief. “You recognize problems based on ethics and morals; you solve them, though, with integrity and persever- ance,” he said.

HUMBLE Humble City Council voted to hire Ken Theis as the new chief of police at its Oct. 8 meeting. Theis has been serving as the Humble Police Department’s assistant chief of police since 2017. Theis has been an officer with HPD since 1983, according to the department’s website. He was chosen from about 11 applicants, as previously reported by Community Impact Newspaper . At the meeting, Theis was with his family, including his parents, wife, children and grandchildren. “I want to thank the men and women of the Humble Police Department,” Theis said after being sworn into office at the Oct. 8 meet- ing. “I’m looking forward to being your leader in the future and serving you in that capacity.”

New Humble police Chief Ken Theis was sworn into office Oct. 8. (Andy Li/Community Impact Newspaper)

Former Humble Police Chief Delbert C. Dawes retired Oct. 1 after being promoted to the position in 2015. (Courtesy city of Humble)

Commissioners approve $7.3Mfor newpilot programs

BY HANNAH ZEDAKER

be used to help Harris County resi- dents with training, job search and work-readiness support, she said. Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia said the county must ensure residents are ready to transition into new careers that are not as vulnera- ble as the service industry has been in the coronavirus pandemic. Garcia said he wants to help his precinct, which he said has among the lowest median incomes in Harris County. “I’m not just simply looking to try to help people get a job; I’m trying to make sure that we’re being thoughtful

about howwe create a career path that may start at a particular point but not end there,” he said. “It’s not just about making sure someone gets a paycheck; it’s about giving them an opportunity to have a meaningful life.” Details about how Harris County residents can access the benefits available through each of the pilot programs are forthcoming. Harris County allocated $4.7 million for a child care assistance program and $2.6million for workforce training.

HARRIS COUNTY Harris County Commissioners Court authorized the CARES Act Committee to establish child care assistance and workforce development programs at an expen- diture of $7.3 million during the Sept. 29 meeting. Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said the county approved $4.7 million for the Childcare Assistance Program to help fund support services such as after-school programs, distance learning and child care for essential workers. Another $2.6 million will

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