Tomball - Magnolia Edition | October 2020

TOMBALL MAGNOLIA EDITION

VOLUME 11, ISSUE 1  OCT. 24NOV. 20, 2020

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Shrinking funds Funding plans for Montgomery County roads unclear as state, county see less funding

Despite 80-year legacy, COVID19 could be last straw for VFWPost 2427

BY ADRIANA REZAL

Established in October 1940, Tomball’s Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2427 has hit hard times, having been forced to shutter in July after the state required all bars to close amid the coronavirus pandemic. Because more than 50% of the post’s revenue comes from its sale of alcohol, its license with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission classies the organization as a bar, said Stephen Biehl, commander of the Texas VFWDistrict 4, which includes the Tom- ball post on Alice Road. CONTINUED ON 30

Montgomery County Precinct 2 is eyeing widening lanes on Nichols Sawmill Road from Butera Road to FM 1774 with its leftover $10million from the county’s bond, Commissioner Charlie Riley said. (Anna Lotz/Community Impact Newspaper)

THE FACT THAT WE ARE TREATED AS A BAR IS HURTING THE MISSION OF THE VFW.

BY ANNA LOTZ & BEN THOMPSON

on that yet, but there will be a dent because of the revenue forces that fund those projects,” said Allie Isbell, the transportation manager for the Houston-Galveston Area Council, a metropolitan planning organization working with Precinct 2 on a mobility study. In addition to the last of the improvements funded by its $280 million road bond approved in 2015, new mobility and thoroughfare plans are also taking shape in Montgomery County. Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough pre- viously said in February that discussion of a new bond could take place in late 2020 or early 2021 after the county’s thoroughfare plan is updated. CONTINUED ON 28

The last of Montgomery County’s projects funded by the 2015 road bond are wrapping up in Precinct 2, and talks of a new bond have been tabled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mont- gomery County Precinct 2 Commissioner Charlie Riley said. Paired with the state facing an estimated $4.58 billion budget shortfall in scal year 2021, ocials said transportation projects could see funding challenges in the next few years as Texas’ econ- omy grapples with the eects of the pandemic. “We can expect to see those impacts in the next two to three years. How signicant they will be, I don’t think anyone quite has a handle

STEPHEN BIEHL, TEXAS VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS DISTRICT 4 COMMANDER

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Magnolia ISD hires chief medical ocer

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TOMBALL - MAGNOLIA EDITION • OCTOBER 2020

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THIS ISSUE

CONTENTS

HIGHLIGHTS FROMTHISMONTH

IMPACTS

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Now Open, Coming Soon &more TODO LIST

FROMCHRISSY: As we near Election Day on Nov. 3, check out our interactive Voter Guide at communityimpact.com/ voter-guide to get to know the candidates on the ballot as you head to the polls. Although this is a national election year, be sure to remember the importance of your state, county and local elections as well, including mayor and school board positions. Chrissy Leggett, GENERALMANAGER

MARKET TEAM GENERAL MANAGER Chrissy Leggett, cleggett@communityimpact.com EDITOR Anna Lotz REPORTER Adriana Rezal GRAPHIC DESIGNER Stephanie Torres ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE April Halpin 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

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Local events and things to do TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES 11 Local, regional projects to follow

FROMANNA: The coronavirus pandemic has touched every job sector, nonprot and business in some way since regulations were imposed this spring. The Tomball Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2427 is no exception. The post had to close temporarily due to regulations and is just months away from having to close its doors permanently. Read more about the VFW’s 80-year legacy in Tomball on Page 30. Anna Lotz, EDITOR

DEVELOPMENT UPDATES

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Projects taking shape EDUCATION

THIS ISSUE BY THE NUMBERS

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Magnolia ISD hires medical doctor

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Community events 19

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TOMBALL  MAGNOLIA EDITION • OCTOBER 2020

IMPACTS

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

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Empire Furniture also offers delivery and assembly services. 832-843-6402. www.empirehomegoods.com 5 Northpointe Smiles opened Sept. 22 at 24445 Hwy. 249, Ste. 150, Tomball. According to Dr. Neelima Samineni, the clinic offers general dentistry, including emergency and same-day services. 832-422-5122. www.facebook.com/ northpointesmilestx 6 Electronics repair service provider Paragon Geeks opened at 22625 Hwy. 249, Ste. 140, Tomball, on July 15. According to owner Juan Maulet, the veteran- and Black-owned business offers repair services for cellphones, tablets, computers and other electronic devices. In addition to on-site repairs, Paragon Geeks also offers home visit services for clients. 832-239-9918. https://paragongeeks.com COMING SOON 7 Kailey and Billy Moore will open HTeaO Tomball this winter at 905 W. Main St., Tomball. According to Kai- ley, this will be the first location in the northwest Houston area. HTeaO offers more than 20 flavors of Texas-style iced tea made with natural flavorings. Tea is brewed throughout the day, catering to quick-service tea drinkers. The location will also provide up to 5-gallon water re- fills and nugget ice as well as a fruit bar, Yeti products and other snacks. www.facebook.com/hteaotomball 8 Construction is almost complete for Alders Magnolia , a luxury living develop- ment for active adults age 55 and older. It is located at 33118 Magnolia Circle, Mag-

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NOWOPEN 1 Boxwood Manor opened Oct. 19 at 945 E. Hufsmith Road, Tomball. The modern-luxe wedding and event venue features two cottages for the bride and groom as well as The Manor for the re- ception area, the chapel for the ceremo- ny, and the lawn for an outside ceremony or cocktail area. www.boxwoodmanorevents.com

2 The city of Magnolia’s newest eatery, Wing of Fire , opened for business Sept. 15, according to business owner Kimberly Hildebrand. Located at 18423 FM 1488, Ste. B, Magnolia, the restaurant special- izes in chicken wings and offers a full bar. https://wofmagnolia.com 3 Located at 32899 Tamina Road, WingNuts Express opened in Magnolia on Oct. 3. The eatery specializes in dou- ble-fried chicken wing dishes served with a variety of sauces, including Buffalo,

mango habanero and garlic Parmesan, among others. In addition to wings, the WingNuts Express menu also offers waffle fries, desserts and alcoholic beverages. www.wingnutsexpress.com 4 Empire Furniture opened at 26910 Hwy. 249, Tomball, on Sept. 1. According to business owner Salman Ali, the furni- ture store offers a selection of home fur- nishings including mattresses, massage chairs, rugs and other home decor items.

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FEATURED IMPACT NOWOPEN The Beauty Garden opened at 5428 FM 1488, Bldg. B, Magnolia, on Aug. 4 and oers a variety of hair services, including women and men’s haircuts, styling and coloring. With two estheticians on sta, business owner Amy Foster said the cottage-style salon also provides skin services such as facials, waxing, and eyelash lifts and tints. The salon also features a retail section with items handmade by Texas-based artisans, such as locally handmade soap, beauty products, candles and jewelry. 936-447-9080. www.thebeautygardentx.com

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COURTESY ALDERS MAGNOLIA

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nolia. Construction began in September 2019, and the community is leasing for January 2021. Alders Magnolia has 184 total units. Its amenities include a heated resort pool and spa, walking trails and raised gardening beds, among others. 832-345-9098. https://aldersmagnolia.com RELOCATIONS 9 Graceview Baptist Church is slated to relocate to Telge Road in November from its original location near Hwy. 249 and Boudreaux Road. The new facility will be located at 21206 Telge Road, Tomball. 281-351-4979. www.graceview.org ANNIVERSARIES 10 Paws to Claws Veterinary Care celebrated 10 years of business Oct. 8 at 38015 Spur 149, Magnolia. The veterinary clinic offers a variety of services ranging from wellness care and immunizations to grooming and boarding. According to Certified Veterinary Practice Manager Ma- rie Bushong, the clinic also treats exotic

pets, such as small primates, miniature pigs and other exotic species. 281-356- 2384. www.pawstoclawsvetcare.com NEWOWNERSHIP 11 Rachael and Michael Worthen and Jackie and Scott Qualley took ownership of two Tune Up: The Manly Salon fran- chise locations in the North Houston area effective Aug. 10, including the salon lo- cated at 24441 Hwy. 249, Tomball, in the Northpointe area. The salon specializes in men’s haircuts, shaves and waxing and offers complimentary alcoholic drinks. www.tuneupsalon.com 12 Jeremy Robertson took over owner- ship for the Christian Brothers Automo- tive Tomball franchise, located at 24155 Hwy. 249, on Sept. 1. Robertson said the previous owner, now-retired Chip Fenner, established the first franchise in Cypress over 20 years ago. Christian Brothers Automotive is a general automotive repair company, offering services such as oil and filter changes, air conditioning and brakes. 281-205-8271. www.cbac.com/ south-tomball

REGIONAL IMPACTS COMING SOON Compassion United, a support ministry in Montgomery County, celebrated the groundbreaking of Miracle City on Oct. 8 at 350 Foster Drive, Conroe. When complete, Miracle City will be a grace-based, transformative community serving those experiencing homelessness in Montgomery County; it will provide housing, a food pantry, and life and vocational skill training for up to 92 people when fully built out. The rst building is expected in March. www.compassionunited.us

Tony’s Italian Delicatessen in Montgomery will open its second location near the intersection of Kuykendahl and West Rayford roads in Spring in late 2020. The new location will feature an in-store dining room, an outdoor patio and a drive-thru for pickup only. In addition to hot sandwiches, stromboli and fresh salads, the sandwich shop is known for its signature subs. Homemade Italian desserts, such as tiramisu and cannoli, are also available. 936-588-4800. www.tonysitaliandelicatessen.com

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TOMBALL - MAGNOLIA EDITION • OCTOBER 2020

TODO LIST

Late October-November events

OCTOBER 23 THROUGHNOV. 1 ENJOY FALL ACTIVITIES The Oil Ranch in Hockley oers a weekend pumpkin patch with hay rides, a petting zoo, a stockyard maze and other activities for children. Tickets are available online. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (Fri.), 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (Sat.), noon-5 p.m. (Sun.). $12.25-$24.38. 23501 Macedonia Road, Hockley. 281-859-1616. www.oilranch.com 24 THROUGHNOV. 21 GET LOST INA CORNMAZE Supported by the Salem Lutheran Church Children’s Ministry, the Tomball Corn Maze is a 5-acre, man-made maze on Lutheran Church Road in Tomball. For this year’s fth anniversary, the theme for maze is “Down on the Farm” in honor of farmers and cowboys. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. (Sat.), noon-6 p.m. (Sun.). $6-$12. Salem Lutheran Church, 2601 Lutheran Church Road, Tomball. 346-800-2676. https://tomballcornmaze.com 25 CATCHA CAR SHOW Delayed from April, The Tomball Lions Club will host its annual car show at Tomball High School. In addition to barbecue and beverages, the car show will also feature live music by a DJ. All

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Medella Urgent Care hosts a Halloween trunk or treat. Children of all ages are encouraged to dress up and collect candy from vehicle trunks and other vendors. Prizes will be given for best costumes and trunk decorations. Social distancing and face coverings will be maintained. 3-6 p.m. Free (entry), $25 (vendor/ trunk registration). 18535 FM 1488, Magnolia. 346-808-3670. www. medellauc.com/magnolia-location

Local nonprot Abandoned Animal Rescue will be hosting a Hiss & Howloween Spooktacular in celebration of Halloween this year featuring a dog play group, a live DJ and children’s games. Event attendees are asked to bring a donation item upon entry. 10 a.m.-noon. Free. Abandoned Animal Rescue, 32632 Wright Road, Magnolia. 281-789-4142. www.aartexas.org

Magnolia’s First Baptist Church pumpkin patch is open on weekends with food, hay rides, “punkin’ chunkin’” and photo opportunities. The patch is open weekdays for pumpkins and photos. Magnolia’s First will also host a festival Oct. 31 from 2-5 p.m. featuring bounce houses, children’s games and candy. 4-7 p.m. (Mon.-Fri.), noon-6 p.m. (Sat.-Sun.) Free. 18525 FM 1488, Magnolia. 281-356-8543. www.m1bc.org

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vendors with items such as clothing, home decor and handmade crafts. Event attendees also have the chance to win door prizes. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. $1 (admission). Concordia Lutheran High School, 700 E. Main St., Tomball. 281-351-2547. www.clhs-tx.org 7 ATTENDAHOLIDAY BAZAAR Magnolia High School’s Texas Star Dance Team will host its fth annual Holiday Bazaar featuring specialty boutiques, photos with Santa and a tug of war tournament, among other activities. In addition to food trucks, the event will also include a car show from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. featuring cars, trucks and motorcycles. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. $1 (admission). Magnolia Event Center, 11659 FM 1488, Magnolia. www.facebook.com/ texasstarsholidaybazaar 12 THROUGH 22 CATCHA PLAY AT THE THEATER The National Youth Theater will present two performances of the “Grimm Fairy Tales.” “Grimm Fairy Tales Jr.,” featuring a younger cast, will be performed at Freedom Church, 8103 FM 1488, Magnolia, on Nov. 12-14. “Grimm Fairy Tales” will take place at Concordia Lutheran High School on Nov. 20-22 at 700 E. Main St., Tomball. $12-$18. 7 p.m. (Nov. 12-13, 20); 2 p.m., 6 p.m. (Nov. 14, 21-22). 832-510-7794. www.nationalyouththeater.org 20 KICKSTART THE HOLIDAYS VIRTUALLY The city of Tomball presents its annual Christmas Tree Lighting at The Depot virtually this year, live-streaming music by Cool Freddie E & The Crew, an address by the mayor and the lighting of the tree. Free. 6:30-7:30 p.m. www.facebook.com/tomballtexanforfun 21 THANKA SOLDIER The Way Family Dojo in Magnolia will host its rst annual community appreciation event known as “The Way Gives Thanks” in late November. Children can participate in games, activities and write thank-you cards to soldiers deployed overseas. Free. Noon-2 p.m. The Way Family Dojo, 32818 Tamina Road, Magnolia. 346-345-7100. https://thewayfamilydojo.com

car years and models are welcome to participate in a number of trophy-winning contests, such as Best Paint, Best Interior and Best of Show. 8 a.m. (registration). Free (entry), $25 (car registration). 20220 Quinn Road, Tomball. 713-410-6542. https://tomballlionsclub.org 30 DRIVETHRU TRICKS AND TREATS Tomball will host a “Drive-Boo” trick-or- treating event in which participants can receive candy in a drive-thru fashion. Children are encouraged to come in costumes. 10 a.m.-noon. Free. Juergen’s Park, 1331 Ulrich Road, Tomball. 281-351-5484. www.tomballtx.gov 31 CELEBRATE HALLOWEEN 2920 Roadhouse hosts a Witches and Warlocks Halloween Bash with a children’s Halloween party featuring candy, a bounce house and hay rides. Live music from the Kenny Martin Band is scheduled that evening. Free (children’s activities), $10 (live music). Noon-5 p.m. (children’s activities), 7-11 p.m. (music). 21835 FM 2920, Hockley. 281-909-4199. https://2920roadhouse.com NOVEMBER 3 VOTE IN ELECTIONS Registered voters in Tomball and Magnolia can weigh in on local, state and federal elections. Find sample ballots and polling information at www.harrisvotes. com and https://elections.mctx.org. 6 TAKE A GHOST TOUR OF TOMBALL Take a spooky walking tour through Tomball lead by Houston Ghost Tour. The hourlong tours take place on weekends starting Nov. 6 and are open for all ages. Tour attendees can expect to hear ghost stories at local locations such as Granny’s Korner Antiques & More and the Tomball Railroad Depot Plaza. 9-10 p.m. $20. Tomball Railroad Depot Plaza, 201 S. Elm St., Tomball. 281-770-1324. https://houstonghosttour.com/ tours/tomball 7 GOHOLIDAY SHOPPING Market hosted by the Concordia Cheerleading Program will feature local The second annual Holiday Cheer

The Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce presents the Historic Montgomery Wine & Music Festival featuring four wineries, four breweries and one distillery Nov. 78.

COURTESY MONTGOMERY AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

SAMPLEWINE ACROSS THE REGION ATTENDAWINE FESTIVAL Nov. 7-8 The Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce presents the Historic Montgomery Wine & Music Festival featuring four wineries, four breweries and one distillery. Dierent than previous years, attendees will travel to nine locations for samples within a 20-minute drive from Montgomery. Times vary. $50 (weekend passport). Locations vary. https://montgomerywinefest.com GOON THEWINEWALK Nov. 12 Wine and Food Week’s Wine Walk at Market Street has been redesigned as a November street party this year. General admission ticketholders will receive a keepsake wine glass to sample a wide variety of wines, and more than 25 restaurants will be in attendance to provide food. 5:30-8:30 p.m. $40. Market Street, 9595 Six Pines Drive, The Woodlands. 713-557-5732. www.wineandfoodweek.com

VIRTUAL EVENTS WALK TO END CANCER Nov. 7

People across the U.S. will walk 1.2 miles in their own neighborhoods to demonstrate giving cancer “the boot.” The fundraising event, typically hosted at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, will be online. Proceeds provide support for MD Anderson patient programs, research, prevention and education eorts. 9 a.m.-noon. Free (participants encouraged to fundraise). Virtual event. 844-363-2262. www.mdanderson.org/bootwalk HONOR VETERANS Nov. 11 Harris County Precinct 4 will host a virtual tribute in honor of Veterans Day. Precinct 4 Commissioner Jack Cagle will lead the event, which will feature a presentation of ags from the Atascocita High School junior ROTC, guest speakers and a concert from the Texas A&M University Singing Cadets. The event will be broadcast at www.facebook.com/hcprecinct4. 6-8 p.m. Free.

Submit Tomball and Magnolia events to tomnews@communityimpact.com. Submitting details for consideration does not guarantee publication.

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TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES New corporation could divert toll revenue to nonmobility projects COMPILED BY ANNA LOTZ

DOLLAR DIVERSION

BY SHAWN ARRAJJ & ANNA LOTZ

The creation of a limited government corporation to run the Harris County Toll Road Authority will allow the county to free up hundreds of millions of dollars in toll road revenue for new uses.

A new limited government corporation formed by Harris County on Sept. 15 could result in surplus revenue from the Harris County Toll Road Authority going to other county needs outside of the realm of transportation and mobility. The corporation was formed following a conversation at a Sept. 15 Commissioners Court meeting about renancing the authority’s debt. As a key part of the corporation’s inception, the authority will pay the county a one-time $300 million franchise fee as well as roughly $90 million in annual franchise fees moving forward, money that will be eectively removed from the authori- ty’s budget and given to the county. The three Democratic members of the court who supported the motion—Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and Rodney Ellis and Adrian Garcia, commissioners of precincts 1 and 2—said they saw value in the added exibility in how that money

can now be spent. “I think in the midst of the worst health challenge in 100 years and probably the worst economic challenges since the Great Depres- sion, we can’t solve all our problems, but I think we should not handcu ourselves,” Ellis said. The motion was opposed by Precinct 3 Commissioner Steve Radack and Precinct 4 Commissioner Jack Cagle. Cagle said he did not see a need to rush the decision on what ocials believe is the largest nan- cial transaction in the history of the county, instead calling for a second opinion and public input. The Greater Tomball Area Chamber of Commerce was among those who called on commissioners to refrain from diverting funding. President Bruce Hillegeist said Oct. 6 the HCTRA’s excess funds have historically gone to county mobility projects and helped the county not to have to raise taxes to do so.

HCTRA REVENUE FROM2020 TOLL ROAD PAYMENTS $901M $438M $463M Expenses Surplus

$300MILLION franchise fee paid from the toll road authority to the county as a maintenance and operations expense $90MILLION to be paid in annual fees moving forward Harris County can use the money on NONMOBILITY PROJECTS

About $137M of toll road surplus revenue was transferred to Harris County’s four precincts last year for commissioners to use on local mobility projects.

$137M

$326M

SOURCE: HARRIS COUNTY BUDGET OFFICE COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

FM 1488 widening A project widening FM 1488 from two to four lanes with a center lane is slated for construction in December, a change from the previously estimated date of late September. The project extends from the Waller County line near Joseph Road to FM 1774. Timeline: December 2020-December 2022 Cost: $29.79 million Funding source: TxDOT “With our growth, we need road expansion and improvement and widening. ... [Mobility] is important to economic development, prosperity and jobs,” Hillegeist said. “We just feel like calling it for special projects [is] a little bit open ended there.”

About $137 million was transferred to Harris County’s four precincts to use for local mobility projects last year. With the creation of the corpo- ration, Harris County Budget Director Dave Berry said funding would not be decreased.

ONGOING PROJECTS FM 2978 widening

1488

The project widens FM 2978 to four lanes with a center lane from FM 1488 to south of Dry Creek—near Hardin Store Road—in Phase 1 and from south of Dry Creek to Hufsmith-Conroe Road in Phase 2. Timeline: September 2018-second quar- ter 2021 (Phase 1), January 2018-third quarter 2020 (Phase 2) Cost: $34.15 million Funding sources: Texas Department of Transportation, federal funds

1744

2978

1488

HUFSMITH CONROE RD.

S

I N

JOSEPH RD.

N

N

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

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TOMBALL  MAGNOLIA EDITION • OCTOBER 2020

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES Environmental report for I-45 rebuild released

SOURCE: TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION/ COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • adding bicycle/pedestrian realms along the 44 downtown streets that cross freeways • adding sidewalks along frontage roads • adding four managed express lanes on I-45 from downtown Houston to Beltway 8 North • rerouting I-45 to be parallel with I-10 on the north side of downtown Houston and parallel to Hwy. 59 on the east side of downtown • realigning sections of I-10 and Hwy. 59 in the downtown area The Final Environmental Impact Statement on the Texas Department of Transportation’s I-45 project shows the preferred alternative would include: to the Texas Department of Transpor- tation, Director of Project Develop- ment, P.O. Box 1386, Houston, Texas 77251 or by email to hou-piowebmail@ txdot.gov.

CHANGING COURSE

BY EMMA WHALEN

“The TxDOT Project Teamwill continue to consider all input received during the lifetime of the [North Houston Highway Improvement Project],” Paul said in a statement accompanying the report. “[NHHIP] is a very important project for the region that will enhance safety and mobility for all users.” The project has solicited strong reactions from some Houston resi- dents and elected officials. Advocacy groups such as Stop I-45 and The Make I-45 Better Coalition claim the project will have disproportionately negative impacts on communities in the East End, FifthWard and Northside. Proponents of the project said it will alleviate congestion, flooding and safety issues on the over 50-year-old

The Texas Department of Transpor- tation has reached a critical milestone in its highly scrutinized proposal to overhaul much of I-45. The environmental impact study published Sept. 25 is one of the final stages in the project’s approval process, which has been over a decade in the making. Next, TxDOT will issue its record of decision, and the Texas Transporta- tion Commission will give approval for the agency to seek construction firms and begin work. TxDOT Houston district engineer Eliza Paul said, however, the com- munication process between TxDOT and local officials and residents will continue throughout the process.

Segment 1 Segment 2 Segment 3

45

59

New I-45 path Old I-45 path*

*TO BE REMOVED

610

10

59

45

N

highway. Members of the public have until Nov. 9 to submit comments on the study, according to TxDOT. Comments can be submitted by mail

Texas Central bullet train project receives rulings on safety framework, selected alignment

BY ADRIANA REZAL

rules and practices, system qualifica- tions and maintenance, among other protocols. The ROD establishes the project’s preferred alignment while also completing the project’s environ- mental review process. Those in opposition to the train system, such as Texans Against High- Speed Rail, argue the two rulings do little to label the project as “shov- el-ready.” According to the group’s chair and president, Kyle Workman, the rulings do not allow construction for the project to begin. “Texas Central will likely trumpet this decision as major progress for its project, but they are simply arranging deckchairs on the Titanic,” he said in a Sept. 21 press release. According to Texas Central,

construction for the high-speed train system is now slated to begin in the first half of 2021 and be completed in 2027. Texas Central officials previ- ously anticipated construction to begin later this year with the railway being fully operational in 2026. Texas Central officials report hard costs for the project will amount to $20 billion, as previously reported by Community Impact Newspaper. Some government officials have responded to the rulings with support, while others have voiced their opposition. “The construction of high-speed rail will have a generational impact, creating thousands of jobs right here in Houston and injecting billions of dollars into our local businesses,”

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said in a Sept. 21 statement. “Once operational, the systemwill create connections and opportunities never thought possible.” In opposition, U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, R-The Woodlands, argued the project will come at a cost to taxpayers and rural Texas communities. “The bottom line is [Texas Cen- tral]’s project remains unfeasible and unrealistic,” Brady said in a Sept. 22 statement. “The cost of this project has tripled since its inception, investors have abandoned the project, supporters have reneged on earlier promises and [Texas Central] is now actively seeking taxpayer dollars to subsidize the financially shaky project.”

The Federal Railroad Administra- tion released prepublication versions of its final rulings on safety guidelines and the preferred alignment of Texas Central Railroad’s high-speed bullet train connecting Houston to Dallas, according to a Sept. 21 Texas Central press release. The two rulings, known as the rule of particular applicability and record of decision, are the latest milestones for the ongoing project, Texas Central Railroad CEO Carlos Aguilar said. “This is the moment we have been working towards,” Aguilar said in the release. According to the release, the RPA ruling establishes safety guidelines for the system, including operating

13

TOMBALL - MAGNOLIA EDITION • OCTOBER 2020

DEVELOPMENT UPDATES

Developments underway in your community

SINGLE-FAMILY HOMES SLATED FOR 873 ACRES PURCHASED IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY About 873 acres of land have been purchased for a new single-family residential development project near the city of Magnolia, according to a Sept. 17 press release from seller Land Advisors Organization. Duane Heckmann, Land Advisors Organization Houston team member, said the property, located on FM 149 near the new Hwy. 249 extension, is within Magnolia ISD boundaries and an ideal location for residential development. “The [Hwy.] 249 extension will greatly increase mobility to the property and will considerably shorten drive times for large numbers of homebuyers moving away from urban areas to more suburban communities,” Heckmann said in the press release. Managing Partner of Magnolia JV, which purchased the land, is planning to develop the property into single-family homes with larger lots to meet demand for new housing in Magnolia, according to the release. A timeline was not provided as to when development plans could move forward.

NEWGATED COMMUNITY TO BRING 65 HOMES TO TOMBALL A new gated community is slated for Tomball at the northwest corner of Cherry Street and Holderrieth Road, proposing 65 homes, according to a Sept. 22 release from Bold Fox Development. The community will span 20.8 acres and feature a mix of 55-foot and 60-foot wide homesites, a community park and approximately 3 acres of open space, according to the release. Chesmar Homes will be the only builder in the community. “This is prime property in a growing area,” said Alex Kamkar, managing shareholder of Bold Fox Development, in the release. “Hwy. 249 is just about one mile away, and big box shopping and a number of restaurants and other conveniences are nearby. This will be an intimate, well-positioned community.” The community will be located nearby the ongoing Cherry Pines and Copper Cove communities also located on Cherry Street in the city. Home prices in the new community as well as an estimated construction timeline were not available as of publication.

44,000-SQUARE-FOOT INDOOR SPORTS FACILITY PROPOSED A two-floor indoor sports complex is in the works along Theis Lane, said Kelly Violette, the executive director of the Tomball Economic Development Corp., during a Sept. 8 City Council meeting. The indoor sports facility is slated to feature six indoor volleyball courts; two indoor basketball courts; and lobby, concession, pro shop and office spaces at 19220 Theis Lane, Tomball, as well as 176 parking spots, according to meeting information. The TEDC’s economic analysis anticipates the estimated capital investment for the project, as proposed by TCG Capital LLC, is $4.7 million, and the five-year net benefit of the new facility for Tomball’s economy is $305,054. In a letter to the TEDC, Jorge Campos—a managing member of TCG Capital—wrote that the development will be anchored by a volleyball club that moved from The Woodlands to Tomball in 2017. Tomball Community Development Director Craig Meyers said Oct. 2 he estimates the project could break ground by year’s end.

149

249 TOLL

249

1486

149

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

COMPILED BY ANNA LOTZ & ADRIANA REZAL

RENDERING COURTESY LOCAL ARCHITECTS

ANNA LOTZ/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

WAREHOUSE AND BUSINESS PARK PLANNEDON FM2978 An 85,000-square-foot warehouse and business park is coming soon to FM 2978 on the Magnolia-The Woodlands border, according to an Aug. 12 press release from The J. Beard Real Estate Company. Located on more than 9 acres at 26823 FM 2978, Magnolia, the planned Woodgrove Business Park at FM 2978 will offer warehouse, light industrial and office spaces in six buildings that range from 5,000 to 35,000 square feet, according to the release. Additional plans for the business park include parking space, business park signage, outside storage areas, truck access and turnaround points.

JDR CABLE SYSTEMS INC. HEADQUARTERS UNDER CONSTRUCTION The U.S. headquarters of JDR Cable Systems Inc. is under construction in the Tomball Economic Development Corp.’s Business & Technology Park, according to a September update from the TEDC. The subsea power cable company broke ground July 29 and is relocating from Houston. Within the first two years of operation, 20 new positions will be created, and 45 employees will relocate to Tomball, according to the TEDC. “The TEDC is thrilled to have had the opportunity to work with JDR Cable Systems to bring their U.S.

headquarters to Tomball,” TEDC Executive Director Kelly Violette said in an August release. “Their addition to the Tomball Business & Technology Park is another big win for Tomball and the [business] park.” The new facility spans 65,000 square feet with assembly and office space. Construction on the project is scheduled to be completed by February 2021.

While a start date for construction was not available by press time, the development’s first building is slated to be completed by the first quarter of 2021, according to the release. Leasing, marketing and property management services are provided by The J. Beard Real Estate Co. in partnership with Everson Developments.

2978

NORTHGROVE PKWY.

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TOMBALL - MAGNOLIA EDITION • OCTOBER 2020

16

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

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

Runny nose

Headache Shortness of breath

Muscle aches and pains

Cough

Sore throat

Fever

Health ocials are preparing for a seasonal wave of inuenza they said could compound public health and health care system capacity concerns this year. Dr. Jennifer Shuford, infectious disease medical ocer for the Texas Department of State Health Services, said that 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 that while DSHS works every year to share messaging about u preparedness and preven- tion, eorts to inform Texans about u shots and recommended precau- tions have ramped up ahead of this fall. In addition to communications from the state organization, Shuford said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is providing u vaccines for residents of all ages this year in addition to the department’s ongoing Texas Vaccines for Children Program. Shuford said the state department will monitor Texas hospital capacity over the coming months. She said that while COVID-19 hospitalizations throughout Texas decreased in Sep- tember, increases this fall and winter may again lead to capacity issues. “We don’t feel like we’re out of the woods,” Shuford said. “We feel BY ADRIANA REZAL & BEN THOMPSON

like our health care system is safe at this moment in time, but that any addition of u in our communities or even COVID-19 in our communities could start to impact and stress our health care system.” In Harris and Montgomery coun- ties, general hospital bed usage has remained well below each county’s operational and surge capacities, according to data from the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council. Misti Willingham, public informa- tion ocer for the Montgomery County Hospital District, said county health ocials typically see a rise in hospitalizations due to the u and anticipate that potential need for beds as well as increased testing in the community this year. “We are hopeful the CDC guide- lines regarding social distancing, mask-wearing, hand hygiene and surface disinfection will lead to fewer people contracting the seasonal u as well as COVID-19. However, the signs and symptoms are very similar in presentation. Testing is the only way to know for sure,” Willingham said in an email. Dr. Anne Barnes, Harris Health System executive vice president and chief medical ocer, said hospitals’ ability to handle patients this u season will depend on how county residents adhere to COVID-19 guidelines. “If community members don’t maintain vigilance, we are at risk for surge-level hospital demands for both COVID-19 and u,” Barnes said.

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 Symptoms typically appear ve days after infection, although symptoms may appear two to 14 days after infection.

Chills

HOSPITAL CAPACITY

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

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

MONTGOMERY COUNTY

CAPACITY: 1,275

1,009

966

953 961

945 944 957

942 934

891

881

883

842 828 838

806

806

803

740

51 57 50 64 64 65 70 52 63 47 53 54 51

37 33 41 45 44 56

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

OCT.

Hospital bed availability in Harris County remains at about half capacity as of late October.

HARRIS COUNTY

CAPACITY: 14,869

7,959 8,067 7,731 7,071

7,741

7,389 7,744 7,679

7,655 7,841 7,138

7,186

7,347 6,963 7,118 7,734

7,014

6,608 6,892

353 308 299 316 345 359 375 340 344 360 340 365 377 412 407 421 300 350 400

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

OCT.

SOURCE: SOUTHEAST TEXAS REGIONAL ADVISORY COUNCILCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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TOMBALL  MAGNOLIA EDITION • OCTOBER 2020

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