Katy Edition | December 2020

KATY EDITION

VOLUME 9, ISSUE 4  DEC. 21, 2020JAN. 24, 2021

ONLINE AT

Updates on Cane IslandParkway andPeekRoad

Find deals in a snap: Point your camera to the QR code or visit communityimpact.com/deals .

IMPACTS

TRANSPORTATION

BUSINESS FEATURE

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Future funding for Katy-area transportation projects remains unclear as state faces decit

Revenueroadblock?

BY CLAIRE SHOOP

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has created nancial uncertainty at the state, county and local levels due to sales tax revenue declining and other funds that support local transporta- tion projects dwindling. Due to oil and gas and sales tax rev- enue plummeting, state legislators are facing an estimated $4.58 billion bud- get shortfall when they convene for the 87th Texas legislative session Jan. 12. State ocials said it is unclear how transportation projects across the

state, which are already squeezed for revenue, will be funded in the next few years. “The pandemic has really hurt all of the primary sources for transportation revenue,” said Aaron Cox, vice president of the advocacy groupTexas Association of Business. “It was really kind of a dou- ble-barrel assault.” On the other hand, Fort Bend County voters passed a $218.2 million mobil- ity bond during the Nov. 3 election to fund future transportation projects,

$4.58B state revenue shortfall

Although the future of statewide transportation projects remains unclear, the Cane Island Parkway project is set to nish early next year. (Laura Aebi/ Community Impact Newspaper)

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Katy congregations seek creative holiday solutions

congregants. When the coronavirus was initially dubbed a pan- demic in March, churches, temples, synagogues and mosques initially focused their eorts on the most basic needs: how to maintain services and a congre- gation in a time when gatherings were restricted. Despite the impossibility of the task, faith leaders around the community turned to exible and cre- ative solutions to continue their services. “It’s hard to make real plans because things change every day,” said Richard White, senior pastor at Katy First United Methodist Church.

BY LAURA AEBI

After nearly a year of social distancing and stay- ing at home, many families are looking forward to the holiday season more than ever before. Across Katy, places of worship are gearing up for their bus- iest season—but many are wondering how these reli- gious organizations are balancing the innately social aspects of the holiday season with the safety of their

Lake Church recently celebrated a socially distant Gospel on the Park event. (Courtesy Lake Church)

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COMMUNITYIMPACT.COMCIPATRON . Complete 2020 by joining your neighbors with a contribution of any amount to CI Patron. Funds support Community Impact Newspaper ’s hyperlocal, unbiased journalism and help build informed communities. Choose IMPACT . Make a CONTRIBUTION . Strengthen JOURNALISMFORALL . Contribute today! Snap or visit

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OPEN HOUSE JANUARY 23 10 AM Open to the community! Classroom Demos • FFA Fine Arts and Athletics Student-led worship Classroom Demos • FA Fine Arts and Athletics Student-led worship Classroom Demos • FFA Fine Arts and Athletics Student-led worship OPEN HOUSE JANUARY 23 10 AM Open to the community! OPEN HOUSE JANUARY 23 10 AM Open to the community!

Pre-K through 12th Grade Mission Statement: Excellence without compromise shall be defined as being equipped to fulfill each student’s God-given potential. Compromise shall be defined as anything other than God’s design. faithwest.org | 281-391-5683 | 2225 Porter Road | Katy, TX 77493 Pre-K through 12th Grade faithwest.org | 281-391-5683 | 2225 Porter Road | Katy, TX 77493 Pre-K through 12th Grade Mission Statement: Excellence without compromise shall be defined as being equipped to fulfill each student’s God-given potential. Compromise shall be defined as anything other than God’s design. faithwest.org | 281-391-5683 | 25 Porter Road | Katy, TX 7493 Pre-K through 12th Grade Mission Statement: Excellence without compromise shall be defined as being equipped to fulfill each student’s God-given potential. Compromise shall be defined as anything other than God’s design.

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KATY EDITION • DECEMBER 2020

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

THIS ISSUE

CONTENTS

HIGHLIGHTS FROMTHISMONTH

MARKET TEAM GENERAL MANAGER Amy Martinez, amymartinez@communityimpact.com EDITOR Laura Aebi REPORTER Claire Shoop GRAPHIC DESIGNER Chase Brooks ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Tracy Drewa

FROMLAURA: 2020 has been a year dened by exibility and change. The traditional ways we have approached work, school and family gatherings has adapted—and continues to. Many businesses have assessed needs for restructuring. As such, I would like to introduce myself as the new editor of our Katy edition —a role I am incredibly excited to ll as both a passionate journalist and brand-new Katy homeowner. My name is Laura Aebi, and I am proud to be just one part of the multifaceted process of ensuring Katy residents remain informed on what is happening in their community. I look forward to keeping your family updated on changes in Katy—be it announcing new businesses, disseminating information from a city council meeting or keeping you in the loop regarding your local school district. For now, I wish all Katy residents a cheery “Happy holidays!” as we welcome bright and shiny 2021. Here’s to hoping it brings good news. Laura Aebi, EDITOR

METRO LEADERSHIP PUBLISHER Jason Culpepper ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Kristina Shackelford MANAGING EDITOR Marie Leonard ART PRODUCTIONMANAGER Kaitlin Schmidt CORPORATE LEADERSHIP PUBLISHERS AND FOUNDERS John and Jennifer Garrett GROUP PUBLISHER Traci Rodriguez EXECUTIVE EDITOR Joe Warner John and Jennifer Garrett began Community Impact Newspaper in 2005 in Pugerville, Texas. The company’s mission is to build communities of informed citizens and thriving businesses through the collaboration of a passionate team. Today we operate across ve metropolitan areas, providing hyperlocal, nonpartisan news produced by our full-time journalists in each community we serve. BECOMEA#COMMUNITYPATRON Please join your friends and neighbors in CREATIVE DIRECTOR Derek Sullivan SALES DIRECTOR Tess Coverman WHOWE ARE support of Community Impact Newspaper’s legacy of local, reliable reporting by making a contribution. Together, we can continue to ensure citizens stay informed and keep businesses thriving. COMMUNITYIMPACT.COMCIPATRON CONTACT US 245 Commerce Green Blvd., Ste. 200 Sugar Land, TX 77478 • 3463682555 PRESS RELEASES ktynews@communityimpact.com SUBSCRIPTIONS communityimpact.com/subscriptions © 2020 Community Impact Newspaper Co. All Rights Reserved. No reproduction of any portion of this issue is allowed without written permission from the publisher.

IMPACTS

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Now Open, Coming Soon &more TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES 9 News on local road projects AT THE CAPITOL 11 Bills supported by local legislators BUSINESS FEATURE 13 Team Legacy Martial Arts

THIS ISSUE BY THE NUMBERS

Ongoing transportation projects 3

New businesses 9

Local sources 15

Bills supported by Katy-area legislators 8

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KATY EDITION • DECEMBER 2020

IMPACTS

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

NOWOPEN 1 1000 Degrees Pizza SaladWings opened Dec. 7 at 1922 Greenhouse Road, Ste. 800, Houston. The business gives customers the option to choose from more than 40 toppings to create their own Neapolitan pizza. The restaurant also oers 1000 Degrees re-baked wings, made- from-scratch dough, Gluten-free crust, and salads with unlimited toppings. 281-394-2540. www.1000degreespizza.com 2 Gringo’s Mexican Kitchen opened its 14th Houston-area location in Katy on Nov. 10. Located at 230 W. Grand Parkway S., Katy, the restaurant serves Tex-Mex staples including fajitas, enchiladas, taco plates and more alongside margaritas, cocktails and a selection of wine. Gringo’s oers dine-in and curbside services. 832-437-4996. www.gringostexmex.com 3 Ichiban Hibachi Steak House and Sushi Bar opened at 23523 Katy Freeway, Ste. 111, Katy, on Nov. 2. It oers a variety of sushi rolls, bento boxes, soups, salads and appetizers. In addition to steak, Ichiban also oers seafood, chicken and curry entrees. 281-712-7775. www.hibachioaty.com 4 Texans Fit , a training and recovery t- ness facility, opened in early November at 1719 Spring Green Blvd., Katy. The gym—a partnership with the Houston Texans—of- fers classes and personal training oppor- tunities and sports a variety of exercise equipment, a 25-yard indoor lap pool, t- ness turf, a spa, a sauna and steam rooms. 281-644-0160. www.texanst.com 5 Petite Rē Modern Child , a children’s boutique, opened at 9920 Gaston Road, Katy, in October. The boutique carries children’s clothing for ages 6 and under. This is Petite Rē’s second location, the rst opened in the Heights in October. 832-913-3361 6 Brightway Insurance Agency opened a new location at 25807 Westheimer Parkway, Ste. 303, Katy, Dec. 21. The agency, opened by Charlie Hebert, oers customized home, auto, ood, boat, condo, renters, RV, motorcycle, renters, life and umbrella insurance policies. 832-810-0303. www.brightwayhebert.com

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Steadfast Primary Care

COURTESY STEADFAST PRIMARY CARE

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7 Steadfast Primary Care opened in November at 24968 Katy Ranch Road, Ste. 300, Katy. The facility, located in Katy Ranch Crossing, oers health care for all ages—including preventive care, diagnostics for acute symptoms and treatment for chronic illnesses. 346-998-5000. www.steadfastprimary.com 8 Farm Stores , a combination neigh- borhood grocery store, fresh bakery and quick-service restaurant, opened a new location at 3830 N. Mason Road, Katy, in September. The unique, drive-thru store brand was founded in 1935, oers a su- permarket express lane and carries most popular grocery brands. 281-206-7155. www.farmstores.com 9 Dental Care at Cross Creek Ranch opened at 4906 FM 1463, Ste. 100, Katy, on Dec. 11. The business provides comprehensive, aordable dental care, including emergency dental care, pre- ventive care, teeth-whitening treatments and more to patients with and without insurance. 346-570-3914. www.dentalcareatcrosscreekranch.com COMING SOON 10 Located near Katy Mills mall, Bel- levana Salon Suites is expected to open at 25242 Kingsland Blvd., Katy, in February. With 29 suites, the luxury salon is preleas- ing space to independent beauty contrac- tors, including hairstylists, aestheticians, massage therapists, makeup artists and nail technicians. Additionally, Bellevana will have a in-house cafe and bar, oering light snacks and drinks such as coee, beer and wine. www.bellevana.com

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

COMPILED BY LAURA AEBI & CLAIRE SHOOP

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COURTESY BAO SHI YI BUNHOUSE Bao Shi Yi Bunhouse

No Label Brewing

COURTESY NO LABEL BREWING

11 Bao Shi Yi Bunhouse , a Chinese bun house restaurant, is opening anoth- er location at 4031 FM 1463, Ste. 60, Katy. The Houston-based brand has two locations in Bellaire and on Kirby Drive. Self-described as a “brand new style Chinese restaurant,” Bao Shi Yi Bunhouse specializes in meat buns and noodle soup. www.baoshiyibunhouse.com 12 Allo-Beirut Mediterranean Grill & Cafe will open in January at 1650 Mason Road, Katy. This will be the rst location, and traditional Mediterranean dishes will be served. 13 Ñeca’s will open its second location at 4030 FM 1463, Katy, in late December. The Mexican restaurant oers traditional Mexican dishes, including carnitas, enchi- ladas, tacos and red snapper. They also have a variety of fajitas and salads. www.necasmexicanrestaurant.com 14 Wingology is coming to the Cross Creek Town Center in Fulshear in late December or early January. Located at 6631 W. Cross Creek Bend Lane, Fulshear, the restaurant will serve both traditional and boneless wings, in addition to fried shrimp and other staples. 281-505-1427. https://wingologyrestaurant.com 15 Brazos Valley School Credit Union is planning to open an oce at 6646 Argonne Drive, Fulshear, in the spring. Brazos Valley Credit Union provides bank- ing services to members in a 13-county area of Texas. www.bvscu.org 16 Mill Creek Custom Homes will open a 10,000-square-foot sales and design center at 28365 W. Ten Blvd., Katy, early next year. Mill Creek Custom Homes has managed the design and construction

of hundreds of homes in the Houston and Austin areas since it was founded in 2009. www.millcreekhomestexas.com ANNIVERSARIES 17 No Label Brewing celebrated its 10th anniversary Nov. 28. Located at 5351 First St., Katy, the brewery oers a vari- ety of rotating taps, including a tradition- al German Hefeweizen, a light Kolsch and a New England IPA. 281-693-7545. www.nolabelbrew.com NAME CHANGES 18 Crafted Kitchen and Taps , previous- ly named Growler USA Katy, rebranded Oct. 8 and is no longer part of the Growl- er USA franchise, according to a Facebook post by the restaurant and bar. In the post, owners Lance and Jessica Mayo said the establishment—located at 1443 FM 1463, Ste. 100, Katy—is now fully inde- pendently owned and operated. Crafted Kitchen and Taps serves 100 ever-chang- ing craft beers and a menu featuring wings, burgers and other pub favorites. 281-396-4277. www.craftedkt.com 19 Previously known as Joy Love Burgers, JLB Eatery rebranded in Octo- ber following trademark concerns, the restaurant announced in a Facebook post Oct. 16. Located in Cross Creek Ranch at 6630 FM 1463, Ste. A100, Katy, JLB Eatery’s menu features a variety of Angus beef burgers, sandwiches, wraps, wings and sides. JLB Eatery has 10 Houston-ar- ea locations. 281-364-8207. www.thejlbeatery.com

Haven at Seven Lakes is under construction in Katy. (Courtesy Haven at Seven Lakes)

FEATURED IMPACT COMING SOON Construction has begun at Haven at Seven Lakes, a 129-home residential community located directly o the Westpark Tollway at the Katy-Gaston Road intersection. The development is being built by Trendmaker Homes Houston. The project is expected to be completed in the rst quarter of next year. “To love where you are, but also be able to easily get where you need to be is an essential part of quality community living and something the residents of Haven at Seven Lakes will denitely enjoy,” said Joe Mandola, division president at Trendmaker Homes Houston, in a press release. “This rare inll development opportunity called for a tailored, extra-eort approach, resulting in a unique and thoughtful home plan line-up that we’re condent will resonate with Houston-area homebuyers.” The development will feature 40- and 50-foot homesites with 10 curated oor plans ranging from 2,000 to 3,000 square feet. The oor plans also oer opportunities for customization, including additional bedrooms, studies and media rooms. Haven at Seven Lakes homes will feature tall ceilings, functional ex spaces and natural lighting. The community will feature

walking trails with exercise stations, a playground and pavilion area, and a buttery garden. “Owning new homes in a mature district means residents will also benet from an already lower tax rate, which has decreased even further,” Mandola said in the release. “According to the Houston Association of Realtors, ‘the good news continues on the development side as Greater Houston home sales soared 29% in September and the single-family home median price and average price increased 8.3% and 10.1%, respectively—both record highs for the month.’” Residents at Haven at Seven Lakes will be within Katy ISD’s boundaries, feeding into Seven Lakes High School, Seven Lakes Junior High School and Wilson Elementary School. 281-675-3335. www.havenatsevenlakes.com

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KATY EDITION • DECEMBER 2020

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES

COMPILED BY LAURA AEBI

ONGOING PROJECTS 1 Park Row Drive

first quarter of 2021. Cost: $6,270,000

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ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF DEC. 4. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT KTYNEWS@COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM. Funding sources: Harris County Precinct 3, Harris County Engineering Department Funding sources: Harris County Precinct 3, Harris County Engineering Department 5 Clay Road Construction at Clay and Elrod roads will begin this month, including a new traffic signal and widening the south leg of the intersection. Timeline: Completion scheduled for the first quarter of 2021. Cost: $428,000 Funding sources: Fort Bend County UPCOMING PROJECTS 4 Kingsland Boulevard Reconstruction of the existing traffic signal at Kingsland and Westgreen will begin in the next few weeks, adding a southbound right turn lane on Westgreen Boulevard. Timeline: Completion scheduled for the first quarter of 2021. Cost: $454,400

Construction of the extension of the east- bound and westbound left turn lanes on Park Row Drive at Fry Road will conclude soon. The project will add left turn lanes west of the intersection and include minor traffic signal upgrades. Timeline: Completion scheduled for the 4th quarter of 2020 Cost: $170,700 Funding sources: Harris County Precinct 3 2 Peek Road Construction on Peek Road from Grand Ventana to north of Stockdick School Road began Dec. 14, developing a two-lane asphalt roadway with roadside ditches into a four-lane concrete boulevard with an underground storm sewer system. Timeline: December 2020 - third quarter of 2021 Cost: $3,720,860 Funding sources: Harris County 3 Cane Island Parkway The project at the intersection of Cane Is- land Parkway and I-10 is expected to finish early next year, widening the two-lane road into a four-lane road. Timeline: Completion scheduled for the

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KATY EDITION • DECEMBER 2020

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

AT THE CAPITOL

News from the 87th Texas Legislature

COMPILED BY LAURA AEBI

Katy-area representatives have authored these bills before the 87th Texas Legislature reconvenes Jan. 12.

DATES TOKNOW Jan. 12 87th Legislature convenes March12 Deadline for the unrestricted filing of bills and joint resolutions; does not include local bills, emergency appropriations and emergency matters submitted by the governor May31 Last day of 87th regular session June20 Postsession 20-day deadline for governor to sign or veto bills Aug. 30 Effective date for legislation

TEXAS HOUSE DISTRICT 3: CECIL BELL JR.

TEXAS SENATE DISTRICT 18: LOIS KOLKHORST

Senate Bill No. 595 outlines requirements pertaining to audits of the distribution of Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Programmoney. It declares audits must be conducted during every fiscal year in which a distribution is made. The bill would require audits to identify all grant recipients and the amount of

House Bill No. 881 focuses on the right of a parent of a deceased person to view the body before an autopsy is performed. It replaces any verbiage regarding “child” with “person,” expanding its applicability to include deceased adults. House Bill No. 2404 would require the president

of Sam Houston University to establish an office of first responders training. This office would assist critical incident stress management teams, including instruction on suicide awareness, intervention and prevention for first responders. House Bill No. 3601 would allow the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to approve board-recognized institutions of higher education to offer a degree in coordination with the Texas Military Department, also outlining all eligibility requirements.

money granted. The bill also would require the auditor to receive all records pertaining to use of the grant funds. Under the bill, the auditor would be required to deliver a final report including all of the aforementioned information. Senate Bill No. 632 would require local mental health authorities to enlist help from local law enforcement agencies to consult on mental health policies affecting law enforcement.

ACROSS THE STATE

7,324

bills introduced during the 86th Texas Legislature in 2019.

TEXAS HOUSE DISTRICT 28: GARY GATES

TEXAS HOUSE DISTRICT 132: MIKE SCHOFIELD

Under House Bill No. 334 , school districts would be entitled to an annual allotment of funds determined by the number of students enrolled in approved career and technology education programs offered to grades seven and up. House Bill No. 334 would increase the percentage of

House Bill No. 47 would expand the terms outlining voter fraud, including increased penalties—especially for repeat offenders. It expands verbiage to include any third party that commits unlawful ballot activity, which originally focused on only mail carriers. The bill increases the penalty for voter fraud to a felony.

4,765 were filed by the House. 2,559 were filed by the Senate.

969 460 41 15

were passed. were vetoed. were passed. were vetoed.

funds allocated toward these programs from 55% to 90%. House Bill No. 571 would require the board of trustees established to administer the Employees Retirement System of Texas to develop a profitable, bundled-pricing program provided under the group benefits program for health benefit plans. The bill would require the program to be designed to reduce costs by contracting with a health care facility, physician, or provider at a consolidated rate.

House Bill No. 56 , focused on religious displays on private property, would expand protections to include all parts of an individual’s property—not just the entry and dwelling, which were previously the only areas covered. The bill also outlines the parameters for such displays, including materials used, agencies involved in the decision process and the time allotted for the display.

SOURCES: LEGISLATIVE REFERENCE LIBRARY OF TEXAS, TEXAS LEGISLATURE ONLINE, CONGRESS. GOV/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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KATY EDITION • DECEMBER 2020

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

BUSINESSFEATURE

KATY ASIAN TOWN

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Scionti stands on the facility’s tailor-made mat. (Photos by Laura Aebi/Community Impact Newspaper)

TeamLegacy Martial Arts Local training facility oers more than a workout I n a facility lined with tailor-made mats, students are learning an invaluable skill: self defense. At Team Legacy Martial Arts, owned by partners Michael Scionti and Scott Jones, martial arts are more than an exercise; they are a means of discipline, protection and tradition. Since it opened 2016, TeamLegacy has fostered con- dence in its students. “Learning martial arts isn’t just for anybody—it’s for everybody,” Scionti said.“It’s for anybody that wants to gain condence and skills to know that they can handle them- selves in a real situation.” And when Scionti said “anybody,” he meant it. “We had three generations training at the same time,” said Scionti. “Grandfather, kids and the grandkids—all training together because it’s not always for the athlete, it’s about who needs real self defense... Whether you’re 70 or whether you’re 7, it doesn’t matter. Everyone should have some understanding of how to defend themselves.” With their Lil’ Dragons class training students as young as 4, TeamLegacy believes the value of training is ageless—and evident. “I can tell the dierence between kids who practice mar- tial arts and those who don’t after ve minutes of interacting with them,” Scionti said. “It’s clear in their discipline and their condence—in the way they carry themselves.” During quarantine, TeamLegacy relied on virtual classes to keep its students active and engaged at home—while train- ing online is still an option, many of the students are back. “For some of these kids, this is their thing,” said Scionti. “This is what they want to do. This is their outlet—their stress relief—especially with everything that’s going on. They need that.” BY LAURA AEBI

MARTIAL ARTS FOR EVERYONE

SPECIAL DISCOUNT ONLY ELIGIBLE PURCHASE FROMKATYASIANTOWNTX.COM Katy Asian Town Retail Condominium Association, Inc. (the “Association”) is a separate and distinct corporation from AMA On- The-Go, katyasiantowntx.com, and any company or business operating in Katy Asian Town Condominiums. The representations of AMA On-The-Go, katyasiantowntx.com, and any company or business operating in Katy Asian Town Condominiums are not the representations of the Association, nor is the Association liable for the website content, business offerings, or actions of said entities.

TAEKWONDO A traditional Korean martial art. Tae translates to “foot” or “to step on.” Kwon means “st” or “ght,” and “do” translates to “way” or “discipline.” JUDO A modern Japanese martial art, judo’s goal is to pin, throw, take down or subdue your opponent. BRAZILIAN JIU JITSU A family of Japanese martial arts, jiu jitsu focuses on both defensive and oensive close combat. KICKBOXING A stand-up combat sport developed from karate combined with boxing MUAY THAI Known as the “art of eight limbs” due to its combined use of knees, shins, elbows and sts

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TeamLegacyMartial Arts 5929 FM 1463, Ste. 180, Katy 832-913-8820 www.teamlegacyma.com Hours: Mon-Thu. 3:30-9 p.m., Fri 3:30-7 p.m., Sat 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

1 2 0 7 G r a n d W e s t B l v d K a t y , T X 7 7 4 4 9

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1463

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A K E

N

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KATY EDITION • DECEMBER 2020

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

DINING FEATURE

BY NOLA Z. VALENTE

THREE DISHES TO TRY Barbecue dishes with a Tex-Mex twist

Rib rack ($25)

Owner Rick Muniz opened Los Muertos BBQ as a food truck in Katy. His rst brick-and-mortar location opened in September. (Photos courtesy Rick Muniz) LosMuertos BBQ Eatery oers ‘South Texas-style ranch cooking’ E nrique Muniz spent nearly 30 years in law enforcement and retired as a lieutenant and oers smoked meats, home- made breakfast tacos, puy tacos, street tacos and border lonches, Muniz said.

RioGrandeFlood ($14)

killed in the line of duty,” Muniz said. A lot of the prots from the business are donated to charity events for rst responders and local teachers. “The reason why my business has survived so far is because the Katy community is just fantastic about supporting small businesses,” Muniz said. Muniz had been running his food truck for about one year before the pandemic but was able to sustain his business and opened his rst brick- and-mortar location Sept. 29 at 25551 Kingsland Blvd., Ste. C102, Katy. He is planning to open a third location in the Hill Country near Fredericksburg called Los Muertos BBQ and General Store.

in 2016, about three years before he opened Los Muertos BBQ food truck in May 2019. “When I opened my trailer, I had already been cookin’ in Katy for about 30 years,” Muniz said. “I started cooking at a really young age—grilling and stu, you know.” Muniz has been living in the Katy area since 1995. “I grew up in a rural area and was exposed to a lot of the South Texas ranchers and the cooks, so a lot of my cooking style—it’s barbecue—but it would be considered South Tex- as-style ranch cooking,” Muniz said. The barbecue restaurant empha- sizes Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine

A border lonche is similar to tor- tas—originating in Jalisco, Mexico— as well as South Texas towns like McAllen and Nuevo Progreso. Muniz said his San Antonio-style puy taco lled with either brisket or pulled pork is one of his best sellers. The name for the restaurant is inspired by the Mexican holiday the Day of the Dead, which honors the memories of loved ones, which have been passed down from generation to generation, Muniz said. “I take it a step further and honor all the military, police, reghters and rst responders who have been

Angus choice brisket ($125)

LosMuertos BBQ 25551 Kingsland Blvd., Ste. C102, Katy 281-505-1121 www.losmuertosbbq.com Hours: Wed.-Sat. 8 a.m.-8 p.m., Sun. 8 a.m.-6 p.m., closed Mon.-Tue.

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KATY EDITION • DECEMBER 2020

In the red Several monthly tax collections that feed into the Texas State Highway Fund fell from their 2019 levels through the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

Future projects Despite uncertainties caused by the pandemic, Fort Bend County ocials said they will move forward with projects in the recently approved $218.2 million mobility bond. The following are just a few of the 59 mobility projects funded from that bond.

Sales and use taxes

Oil production taxes

Motor fuel taxes

Natural gas production taxes

FY 2019-20 vs. FY 2018-19

PERCENT CHANGE FY 201920 VS. FY 201819

MARCH APRIL MAY JUNE JULY AUGUST

20%

+0.22% 5.83% 16.92% 45.1%

0%

BAY HILL BLVD.

60% 80% 100% 120% 20% 40%

SPRING GREEN BLVD.

CINCO RANCH BLVD.

99 TOLL

S. FR

R

Total year- to-date change

723

1093

N

N

N

Hwy. 99 frontage road: design and construct .7 miles of a two-lane frontage road, including ramp reversals and drainage mechanisms, between Bay Hill Boulevard and

Spring Green Boulevard: widen road to six lanes between Cinco Ranch Boulevard and FM 1093 by narrowing the median; perform trac signal modications; drainage improvements and right of way acquisition not needed Total cost: $3.7 million Bond amount: $3.7 million

SOURCE: TEXAS COMPTROLLER OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTSCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

CONTINUED FROM 1

Cinco Ranch Boulevard Total cost: $13.4 million Bond amount: $13.3 million

severance taxes, general sales taxes and motor vehicle sales taxes to the State Highway Fund, which is the Texas Department of Transportation’s primary source of funding. However, the SHF is projected to see its state share of revenue fall by 20.44% and its federal income reduced by more than 12% from 2020 to 2021, good for an overall 17.11% drop in fund revenue in that time, according to the state comptroller. Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar told state ocials July 20 to expect a historic drop in state revenue by the end of scal year 2020-21, with motor vehicle sales tax revenue and sever- ance tax revenue among the hardest hit. The highway fund is projected to receive about $1.1 billion in FY 2020- 21 based on the previous scal year, but next year’s amount, which will be based on collections from this year, is projected to fall to $620 million, Hegar said.

and projects funded by the city of Katy continue to progress. While Katy City Administrator Byron Hebert said current city trans- portation projects have the necessary funding to be completed on time, the city is expecting revenue shortfall projections from the Texas comptrol- ler’s oce to aect future transporta- tion projects. Historic funding drop Despite recent eorts by voters and lawmakers to improve transportation funding, funding for Texas roads has not kept up with demand, Cox said, and this has been exacerbated by the pandemic. “Before COVID[-19], ... infrastruc- ture development wasn’t keeping pace with our state’s population and economic growth,” he said. “Our roads and bridges need constant improvement and maintenance.” Texas voters approved a pair of statewide propositions—Proposition 1 in 2014 and Proposition 7 in 2015— that diverted portions of oil and gas

POOL HILL RD.

1093

1093

WINDING STREAM DR.

723

359

N

N

N

Fulshear-Gaston Road: right of way acquisition and construction of a four-lane concrete curb and gutter roadway with a storm sewer from FM 359 to FM 723 Total cost: $14.5 million Bond amount: $12.8 million

Bowser Road: design and construct a three-lane roadway with storm sewer fromWinding Stream Drive to Pool Hill Road, including the realignment of Pool Hill Road Total cost: $15.5 million Bond amount: $15.5 million

SOURCE: FORT BEND COUNTYCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

Local projects Although the pandemic’s eects on statewide transportation funding may not be clear until the Legislature’s spring 2021 session or later, road proj- ects in Fort Bend County and across the state remain on schedule, and some have even been accelerated. Lower trac due to stay-at-home orders helped crews work faster, said Andrea French, the executive director of Transportation Advocacy Group Houston. “You’ll see projects where they weren’t supposed to be completed for a year; their timeline has been moved up six months,” she said. Fort Bend County Judge KP George said as one of the fastest-growing com- munities in the country, the county must work with state and local stake- holders to plan and fund transporta- tion projects for the next several years. “I encourage our legislators to uti- lize all tools at their disposal includ- ing those for economic stabilization to lessen the impact of these major cuts that will hurt the state of transpor- tation in our state,” George said in an email. In November, Fort Bend County vot- ers approved a $218.2 million mobility bond, which will help support 59 total mobility projects, including several in the Katy and Fulshear areas. Fort Bend County Precinct 3 Com- missioner Andy Meyers voted in favor of the county calling the 2020 bond election, and County Auditor Ed Stur- divant said each commissioner had the opportunity to review and pro- vide revisions to the mobility bond projects. “In consideration of the nancial climate, the county remains commit- ted to increasing the capacity of the Fort Bend County roadway network, improving intersections, building side- walks and enhancing safety to create new connections within and among

Highway fund future

neighborhoods,” Assistant County Engineer Ike Akinwande said in an email. George said county ocials will aim to protect taxpayers’ money while pri- oritizing the needs of the county. “The successful bond project will also be leveraged to pull in the maxi- mum amount of local, state, and fed- eral dollars and to collaborate with partners to ensure we maximize the usage of each dollar,” George said in an email. Hebert said while the pandemic has been challenging, the city will continue to strategically plan its future capital improvement projects. Through development, he said the city is trying to create a north/south corridor to help alleviate congestion on city roads. Katy funds road projects in part using a portion of its sales tax revenue, which initially goes to the Metropoli- tan Transit Authority of Harris County. METRO then returns some of these dollars back to the Katy Development Authority to be used for local mobility projects. Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, sales tax revenue for the city of Katy has varied from down 17% to up more than 31% in a given month, but it has overall remained fairly steady year over year. “Fortunately for the city, our METRO funding for road projects has not changed,” Hebert said in an email. Looking for revenue Representatives from transporta- tion advocacy groups said they are pushing for long-term solutions to address the funding gridlock on Texas roads. Transportation Advocacy Group Houston is advocating for several options for new revenue sources, French said. One is to collect a fee from users of alternatively fueled vehicles. The other is to lift the 8.25%

Although the eects of the pandemic on the State Highway Fund are unclear, projections show a more than 17% decrease in revenue through 2021.

PROJECTED 2020 TO 2021 DECREASE

2020 2021

$6.77B $8.51B

Total state revenue

-20.44%

$5.81B

Total federal income

-12.22%

$5.1B

$11.87B $14.32B

Total fund revenue

-17.11%

SOURCE: TEXAS COMPTROLLER OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTSCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Funding components The State Highway Fund brings in revenue from state and federal sources, including taxes and tolls.

cap on sales tax so cities and counties would have the exibility to raise it. The third idea—to either raise or at least index the gas tax rate for ina- tion—has historically been met with pushback, French said. “There was a time when even more conservative leaders supported it, but now, the word ‘tax’ has become such a dirty word to use; it gets swept up in those conversations,” French said. Although TxDOT Director of Media Relations Veronica Beyer said in an email the department will assess any revenue impact fully and adjust future plans accordingly, local trans- portation groups said future projects that involve state funding could be aected in the next two to three years. “How signicant they will be, I don’t think anyone quite has a handle on that yet,” said Allie Isbell, trans- portation manager for Houston-Gal- veston Area Council, which secures federal and state funding for local projects. “But there will be a dent.” Shawn Arrajj, Andrew Christman, Andy Li, Anna Lotz, Ben Thompson, Nola Valente and Eva Vigh contributed to this report.

FY 2019-20, FY 2020-21 funding

Traditional

$9.3B state revenue (30%), $11.32B federal funds (37%)

Nontraditional

$5B Proposition 7 (16%)

Passed in 2015, Proposition 7 sends some sales and use and mo- tor vehicle sales and rental taxes into the State Highway Fund.

$3.9B Proposition 1 (13%)

$954.12M Texas Mobility Fund taxes and fees (3%) TexasMobility Fund severance—or oil and natural gas production—taxes into the State Highway Fund. Passed in 2014, Proposition 1 sends a portion of state

$309.77M toll revenue and concession fees (1%) Tolls

Other

$19.58M general revenue (less than 1%)

$30.98B Total

For more information, visit communityimpact.com .

SOURCE: TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

17

KATY EDITION • DECEMBER 2020

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