Lake Houston - Humble - Kingwood Edition | September 2021

LAKE HOUSTON HUMBLE KINGWOOD EDITION

VOLUME 6, ISSUE 5  SEPT. 24OCT. 21, 2021

ONLINE AT

DELTA CASES SURGE While the demand for COVID-19 vaccines peaked in the months following its release to the general public, the demand has since dwindled over the summer months, leaving less than half of the Lake Houston area’s total population fully vaccinated as of Sept. 20. Vaccine demand dwindles as

EASTWARD EXPANSION

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VACCINATION RATES

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40%-49.9%

60%-69.9%

50%-59.9%

70%-79.9%

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Texas 60.32%

Percentage of population age 12 and older fully vaccinated as of Sept. 20

Fort Bend County 74.06% Montgomery County 56.02% Waller County 42.37%

Liberty County 43.37% Harris County 63.3%

Chambers County 48.38% Galveston County 61.96%

Brazoria County 59.6%

Texas Department of Transportation employees work on Segment H of the Grand Parkway in Montgomery County, which is set to be completed in the spring of 2022. (Courtesy Texas Department of Transportation)

Grand Parkway extension fuels spike in East Montgomery County development

77396 44.9% 77044 51% 77339 53.1% 77338 45.73%

Percentage of total population fully vaccinated as of Sept. 20

77365 44.98% 77345 55.17% 77346 52.37%

BY EMILY LINCKE

Montgomery County that stretches about 10 miles east of Hwy. 59, especially after Segment G of the Grand Parkway opened in March 2016, said Kelley Mattlage, chief communications ocer for the East Montgomery County Improvement District. Since then, new development has crowded the 13.7-mile portion of the toll road from I-45 to Hwy. 59. CONTINUED ON 20

In the last ve years, East Montgomery County has seen an explosion of growth as commercial and residential sites have popped up along the region’s landscape. Fueled largely by the extension of the Grand Parkway, local leaders said the growth will benet both existing and future residents. Growth has been a staple of the portion of

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SOURCES: TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICES, 2019 AMERICAN COMMUNITY SURVEY 5YEAR ESTIMATES COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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Owners John and Jennifer Garrett launched the rst edition of Community Impact Newspaper in 2005 with three full-time employees covering Round Rock and Pugerville, Texas. We have expanded our operations to include hundreds of employees, our own printing operation and over 30 hyperlocal editions across three states. Our circulation is over 2 million residential mailboxes, and it grows each month with new residents and developments.

HIGHLIGHTS FROMTHISMONTH

FROMKIM: The rst day of autumn was Sept. 22. Temperatures will gradually decrease, the days will get shorter and the leaves will begin to change color. While we may not think of Houston as a destination for fall foliage, there are some incredible places to visit across Texas where vibrant fall colors are visible. Mid-October through November is the perfect time to experience the natural beauty of the changing leaves. Plan your next adventure today! Kim Giannetti, GENERALMANAGER

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FROMHANNAH: Four months after Texas extended COVID-19 vaccination eligibility to everyone age 12 and older, fully vaccinated individuals account for less than half of the Lake Houston-area population as of mid-September. To learn more about local vaccination trends, see our front-page story in this month’s issue. Hannah Zedaker, EDITOR

Our purpose is to be a light for our readers, customers, partners and each other.

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MARKET TEAM GENERAL MANAGER Kim Giannetti, kgiannetti@communityimpact.com EDITOR Hannah Zedaker REPORTERS Wesley Gardner, Emily Lincke GRAPHIC DESIGNER Ronald Winters ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Lagala Doran METRO LEADERSHIP PUBLISHER Jason Culpepper MANAGING EDITOR Matt Stephens ART PRODUCTIONMANAGER Aubrey Galloway CORPORATE LEADERSHIP GROUP PUBLISHER Traci Rodriguez EXECUTIVE EDITOR Joe Warner CREATIVE DIRECTOR Derek Sullivan SALES &MARKETING DIRECTOR Tess Coverman CONTACT US 8400 N. Sam Houston Parkway W., Ste. 220 Houston, TX 77064 • 2814696181 PRESS RELEASES lhknews@communityimpact.com SUBSCRIPTIONS communityimpact.com/subscriptions © 2021 Community Impact Newspaper Co. All rights reserved. No reproduction of any portion of this issue is allowed without written permission from the publisher.

CORRECTION: Volume 6, Issue 4 On the Campus Deep Dive on pages 14-15, the percentages shown for students enrolled in Title I programs actually showed the percentage eligible for schoolwide Title I programs.

BUSINESS &DINING Local business development news that aects you

TRANSPORTATION &DEVELOPMENT Regular updates on area projects to keep you in the know

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LAKE HOUSTON  HUMBLE  KINGWOOD EDITION • SEPTEMBER 2021

IMPACTS

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

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LAKE HOUSTON WILDERNESS PARK

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HIGHLAND PINES DR.

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Texas Q

SORTERS MCCLELLAN RD.

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COURTESY TEXAS Q

LAKEVILLE DR.

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Large selection available: items from Adirondacks, tables, chaise lounges, gliders, deep seating sectionals, and much more. VISIT US IN EITHER STORE OR ONLINE. CALL WITHQUESTIONS OR TO PLACE ANORDER. 7 Imagine Early Education & Childcare opened a new location in Atascocita on July 17. Located at 6002 Atascocita Road, the child care facility offers services for children ages 6 weeks old to 12 years old. Imagine Early Education & Childcare offers a number of extracurricular activities to keep children entertained, including art, bowling, theater and music, in addition to educational programs tailored to specific age groups. 281-623-5965. www.imaginechild.com/atascocita 8 Action Behavior Centers , a health care organization that provides assessment and therapy services to children on the autism spectrum, opened a new location in Humble on in Kingwood on July 19. Located at 1515 Lakeville Drive, Kingwood, the business provides commercial and residential air conditioning and heating installation, and repair services. 281-547-2665. www.temperaturepro.com 6 iSchool High-Atascocita , a tuition- free public charter school, opened a new campus on Aug. 23 at Lone Star College-Atascocita Center, 15903 W. Lake Houston Parkway, Houston. The school, which is available to ninth- and 10th-grade students this year, offers dual-credit courses, allowing students the opportunity to earn a high school diploma and an associate degree upon graduation. Officials noted iSchool High- Atascocita will expand by one grade level each year until it is available to all high school grade levels by 2023. Students will also have access to clubs, sports and traditional high school events, such as homecoming. 832-306-3603. www.ischoolhigh.com/atascocita

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N . L A K E H O U S T

NOWOPEN 1 96 Cafe celebrated its grand opening Sept. 10 at 20026 Hwy. 59 N., Humble. The restaurant features live music and handcrafted cocktails paired with south- ern Creole cuisine. Menu items range from seafood gumbo and crawfish bisque to Cajun seafood pasta and jambalaya. In addition to serving dinner Wednesday through Sunday, the restaurant also serves brunch on Sundays from 11 a.m.- 3 p.m. Reservations can be made online and venue rental is available. 346-567-2233. www.the96cafe.com

2 Craft barbecue food truck Texas Q celebrated its grand opening Aug. 5 at 1965 Northpark Drive, Kingwood. The food truck features more than 30 dog-friendly outdoor tables with covered seating, live music Saturdays and a bouncy house on weekends. Texas Q uses premium ingredients with proprietary sauces, rubs and spices, and has been featured on The Food Network. 832-731-7075. www.texasq.com 3 Jersey Mike’s Subs opened a new franchise location July 12 at 7118 FM 1960 E., Atascocita. The sandwich chain offers hot subs, cold subs with fresh-cut

deli meat, wraps and salads. The eatery specializes in grilled Philly-inspired beef and chicken cheesesteaks. 281-623-5947. www.jerseymikes.com 4 Euro Glo & Fit Spa opened July 1 at 1414 Northpark Drive, Kingwood. The concept offers a variety of fitness and wellness amenities, including a float tank, a massage lounge, tanning beds, a saltarium and FitBomb sauna units. 281-747-7482. www.euroglofitspa.com 5 TemperaturePro —a heating, ventila- tion and air conditioning franchise with locations throughout the nation—opened

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

WESLEY GARDNER, EMILY LINCKE & HANNAH ZEDAKER

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Imagination by David Weekley Homes

Fountainwood at Lake Houston

RENDERING COURTESY DAVID WEEKLEY HOMES

COURTESY FOUNTAINWOOD AT LAKE HOUSTON

Nimble Workspaces celebrated its grand opening Sept. 7 in Generation Park.

Aug. 16. Located at 5510 Atascocita Road, Humble, the center offers applied behavior analysis therapy to early learners as well as a variety of different treatment options to help serve the unique needs of each child on the spectrum, including center-based early intensive behavioral intervention, ABC At-Home therapy, and part-time after- school support. Additionally, the new center features a children’s eating area, indoor playground, therapy rooms and a mothering room for nursing. 281-800-1040. www.actionbehavior.com COMING SOON 9 Imagination by David Weekley Homes is coming soon to The Highlands, a new master-planned community in Porter, officials announced in an Aug. 10 news release. Located at 21711 Grayson Highlands Way, Porter, The Highlands Imagination Collection will include sin- gle-family homes with six floor plan op- tions ranging from 1,400 to 2,400 square feet of living space. Each house will be situated on a 40-foot homesite and feature two to five bedrooms and two to three full bathrooms. The Highlands Imagination Collection is expected to open for sales in the fall. 713-574-5048. www.davidweekleyhomes.com 10 David Weekley Homes also recently broke ground on its first Greater Houston-area active adult community, The Highlands-Encore Collection , officials announced in an Aug. 26 news release. Located at 21703 Leaton Circle, Porter, The Highlands-Encore Collection will feature 18 homes in the first golf course section, which will be designed

for active adult homebuyers age 55 and older. The low-maintenance, one-story homes will be available in 12 floor plans ranging from 1,600 to 2,700 square feet and situated on 45- to 55-foot homesites. The Highlands-Encore Collection will include an exclusive clubhouse with a dedicated lifestyle director to plan day- to-day activities and social events. The Highlands-Encore Collection is slated to begin selling in late 2021. 713-565-2924. www.davidweekleyhomes.com EXPANSIONS 11 Including Kids Autism Center’s Center for Community Inclusion completed its new young adult vocational skills center at 19143 Timber Forest Drive, Humble in August. The center serves clients ages 16-30 and matches them with local job opportunities. The center is looking for new businesses to participate in their vocation program. The skills center also teaches independent-living skills, such as cooking classes. 281-852-0501. www.includingkids.org 12 In mid-July, residential care facility Fountainwood at Lake Houston opened its assisted living and memory care units, which offer housing and care programs designed for seniors and those with Alzheimer’s. The National Realty Group developed the $45 million facility, located at 17990 W. Lake Houston Parkway, Atascocita, which also includes independent-living units that opened in early May. On-site amenities include a pool, restaurant, fitness classes and community events. 281-612-3585. www.fountainwoodatlakehouston.com

COURTESY NIMBLE WORKSPACES

FEATURED IMPACT NOWOPEN Nimble Workspaces , which oers exible oce options for businesses, opened Sept. 7 in Generation Park, a master-planned community at 250 Assay St., Houston. Located within Redemption Square—a mixed-use lifestyle district within the community— Nimble Workspaces features 36 private oces equipped with furniture, Wi-Fi and access to private meeting spaces. Oce space can be leased month-to- month or for up to a year. In addition to private oces, Nimble Workspaces oers ve meeting and conference spaces that will be available to NAME CHANGES 13 Humble ISD’s Quest Early College High School at 9155 Will Clayton Parkway, Humble, was renamed Guy M. Sconzo Early College High School at a Sept. 18 dedication ceremony. In December 2020, the HISD board of trustees voted to rename the school in honor of former HISD Superintendent Guy M. Sconzo, who died in April 2020. The school provides a college-preparatory environment in which students can earn college credits before they graduate from high school. The school aims to foster learning through group projects, internships and community service projects. 281-641-7300. www.humbleisd.net/sechs

members and day-pass holders. Private oce memberships start at $725 per month, while day passes cost $50 and conference rooms can be booked for

$50 per hour. 713-830-8202. www.nimbleworkspaces.com

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ANNIVERSARIES Founded in 1921, the Harris County Public Library system celebrated its 100th anniversary in June with virtual parties hosted across its 29 branches. The Harris County Commissioners Court also dubbed 2021 the “Year of the Library.” In 1921, the first library of the system was established at Harrisburg School in Harrisburg, and other locations were housed in post offices, businesses and private homes throughout the county. Lucy Fuller was named the first head librarian in 1921. As of this January, HCPL has more than 1.8 million print and digital works in its collection. 713-274-6600. www.hcpl.net

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LAKE HOUSTON - HUMBLE - KINGWOOD EDITION • SEPTEMBER 2021

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TODO LIST

September & October events

COMPILED BY WESLEY GARDNER & EMILY LINCKE

the 40th Annual ALC Fall Festival. The event will feature live music, a rae booth, a book nook, and a children’s and family zone. Proceeds from the event will benet local charities. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. Atascocita Lutheran Church, 7927 FM 1960 E., Humble. 281-852-7333. www.alutheranchurch.org 09 EXPERIENCE CLASSICAL PIANOWITHA TWIST Attendees will join classically trained pianist Jade Simmons as she eschews the traditional recital in favor of a concert adventure that spans Rachmanino to rap. 7 p.m. $20. Charles Bender Performing Arts Center, 611 Higgins St., Humble. 281-446-4140. www.humblepac.com 13 LEARNABOUT COLLEGE OPPORTUNITIES The city of Humble will host a college- night event to give area students a look at opportunities available to pursue an education after high school. 6-8 p.m. Free. Humble Civic Center, 8233 Will Clayton Parkway, Humble. 281-641-8142. www.humbleisd.net 13 GO STARGAZING Join Harris County Precinct 4 park sta at the Humble Observatory to explore the night sky. Binoculars are suggested for better viewing, and attendees are advised to bring lawn chairs and blankets. All ages are welcome and online registration will close 48 hours prior to the event. 7-8 p.m. Free. Humble Observatory, 2505 S. Houston Ave., Humble. 713-755-6444. www.hcp4.net 16 STUDY SNAKES Learn about Harris County’s most common venomous snake during this informational on the Eastern Copperhead. This species lives in the park, and event leaders will explain how it interacts with its environment and with humans. A few of the park’s critters will make safely monitored appearances, and the event is geared for attendees age 10 and older. Registration is required 48 hours in advance of the event and will open Oct. 6. 10-11:30 a.m. Free. Jones Park, 20634 Kenswick Drive, Humble. 281-446-8588. www.hcp4.net

SEPT. 25

EXPERIENCE PIONEER LIFE JESSE H. JONES PARK

Guests will join Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center sta and volunteers for a hands-on look at early Texan life skills. Learn the art of re-making, leather works and small plot gardening at this “slow living” workshop at the Redbud Hill Homestead. 1-5 p.m. Free. Jesse H. Jones Park, 20634 Kenswick Drive, Humble. 713-755-6444. www.hcp4.net (Courtesy Harris County Precinct 4)

LIVEMUSIC GREENOAKS TAVERN 211 E. Main St., Humble 281-570-4344 www.greenoakstavern.com SEPTEMBER 28 Matt Chauvin, 7:30 p.m. 29 Whitt-Ness, 7:30 p.m. 30 Cris Crochemore Trio, 8 p.m. OCTOBER 01 Eric Demmer Band, 9 p.m. 02 Diunna Greenleaf, 9 p.m. 03 Buck Yeager and Mike Patton, 5 p.m. 05 Chris Castaneda’s Jam, 7:30 p.m. 07 Mike Zito, 7:30 p.m. 08 Groove Adhesive, 9 p.m. 09 The Mighty Orq, 9 p.m. 10 Ricky Jackson and James Gilmer, 5 p.m. 12 Eric Demmer and Friends, 7:30 p.m. 13 Jazz Night featuring Dennis Dotson with Lamar Boulet, Jordan Almes and Friends, 7:30 p.m. 14 Davide Sponza and Alexey Zilov, 8 p.m. 15 Big Daddy O, 9 p.m. Green Oaks Tavern will host a Jazz Night Oct. 13 featuring Dennis Dotson with Lamar Boulet, Jordan Almes and Friends. (Courtesy Green Oaks Tavern)

SEPTEMBER 25 SUPPORT KINGWOOD KINDNESS Attendees will enjoy raes, free

weather components aecting Texas: lightning, tornadoes, hail and oods. Burnett will inform attendees of all the necessary safety precautions needed to share storm-chasing photos and videos. 4:30-5:30 p.m. Free. 832-927-5560. www.hcpl.net 02 PURCHASE PLANTS Welcome the autumn season with Mercer Botanical Garden’s fourth annual Pollinator Festival and Plant Sale. Attendees will have an opportunity to purchase host and nectar plants to add to their fall gardens, visit education stations and vendors, and partake in family- friendly lawn games. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Free. Mercer Botanic Gardens, 22306 Aldine Westeld Road, Humble. 713-274-4160. www.hcp4.net 07 LEARN THE INS ANDOUTS OF QUILTING Visitors can share quilting knowledge with likeminded individuals of all ages and learn about the history of quilting in local nursing homes, area schools and shops. This month’s event will feature ideas and inspiration for items that will be sold at the Kingwood Women’s Club Holiday Marketplace on Oct. 25-26. 6:30-9 p.m. Free. Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, 2929 Woodland Hills Drive, Kingwood. 281-358-3154. www.kingwood.com 09 CHECKOUT LOCAL ARTISANS AND CRAFTERS Guests will shop among local artisans, crafters and home-based businesses at

giveaways, live music, a children’s zone, food trucks, shopping and games at the Kingwood Kindness Festival. Proceeds from the event will benet Kingwood Kindness, a local organization committed to providing disaster relief to those in need. Noon-6 p.m. Free. Town Center Park, 8 N. Main St., Kingwood. 346-600-2366. www.towncenterevents.com 25 TAILGATE FOR THE TROOPS Enjoy music and festivities, the proceeds from which will support the United Services Organization, a national nonprot aimed at boosting U.S. military members’ morale with live entertainment. The inaugural event will feature horse rides, a children’s zone, food, a silent auction, various vendors and a live concert headlined by the Cody Wayne Band. 4-9 p.m. Free. The Pavilion at Cowboy City, 19323 Belleau Wood Drive, Humble. 832-728-4733. https://houston.uso.org OCTOBER 01 LEARNABOUT STORMCHASING Attendees will join storm chaser Chelsea Burnett for a live Zoom event hosted by the Atascocita Branch Library as she talks about the four severe

Find more or submit Lake Houston, Humble and Kingwood events at communityimpact.com/event-calendar. Event organizers can submit local events online to be considered for the print edition. Submitting details for consideration does not guarantee publication.

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TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES Traffic congestion inHouston area remains among country’sworst

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UPCOMING PROJECTS

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HOUSTON COMMUTER DELAYS The average commuter spent 27 fewer hours delayed in Houston-area traffic in 2020 than in 2019.

A study released by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute showed commuters in the Houston area saw decreases to their travel time, costs and stress levels in 2020. When com- pared nationally, however, Houston commuters still dealt with more traffic challenges than other U.S. cities. The TTI released its 2021 Urban Mobility Report on June 29, evaluating the 2020 traffic patterns of 494 cities across the U.S. and focusing on 101 urban areas. One of the urban areas was the Greater Houston area, which comprises Harris County and parts of Fort Bend, Brazoria, Waller, Montgom- ery, Chambers, Liberty and Galveston counties, TTI Senior Research Scientist David Schrank said. According to the national report, Houston ranked third in the number of hours each driver was delayed on the road, second when it came to extra fuel wasted by traffic congestion and fifth in annual congestion costs per driver in 2020. All rankings are increases from 2019. “This was the year where you saw different cities change dramatically,” Schrank said. However, when comparing Hous- ton’s 2020 traffic data to its own from 2019, the delays and congestion costs improved. Drivers traveled fewer hours in 2020 than the year before— from 76 annual hours of delay per commuter in 2019 to 46 hours in 2020. Annual congestion cost—which is a value of time and fuel spent in delays— also dropped from $1,635 per com- muter in 2019 to $1,097 per commuter in 2020, according to the report. “I think Houston’s very diverse economy shows up [in the rankings],”

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Northpark Drive overpass Construction on a project to expand Northpark Drive from four to six lanes between Hwy. 59 and Russell Palmer Road and add an overpass over the railroad, has been delayed. According to Ralph De Leon, administrator of the Lake Houston Redevelopment Author- ity and Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone 10, construction is now slated to begin this winter due to challenges as- sociated with right-of-way acquisition. Timeline: winter 2021-winter 2024 Cost: $52 million Funding source: LHRA (TIRZ 10)

39.5% per commuter from 2019 to 2020 Annual congestion cost dropped

27 HOURS

SOURCE: TEXAS A&M TRANSPORTATION INSTITUTE’S 2021 URBAN MOBILITY REPORT/ COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Schrank said. “You have a mix of high tech and manufacturing or all the energy sector jobs. ... So as things change across the nation, I think the Houston area isn’t as dramatically affected by any one change because of diversity.” Pandemic effects Other factors that played into Houston rising in the national rankings for traffic-related issues were stricter and longer lockdown restrictions put in place by other states that kept drivers off the road in cities such as Los Angeles and Seattle, Schrank said. Additionally, continued transpor- tation activity in the Port of Houston as well as other industries such as petroleum during the pandemic were also players in keeping Houston’s roads congested with traffic. Houston ranked fourth in the nation in both hours of delay truck drivers saw and annual truck congestion

cost, which is not only explained by the need to transport goods from those industries, but also the goods needed to reach private residences and businesses, Schrank said. Despite the national rankings, Schrank said Houston has done a good job handling traffic-reducing solutions by diversifying its trans- portation options, which include freeways, high-occupancy vehicle lanes, and public transportation such as the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County’s bus routes and METRORail. “Houston is doing some of the things we have been recommending for decades,” Schrank said. As COVID-19 restrictions continue to lift, traffic issues are expected to rise. How long it takes to reach 2019 levels and surpass them, however, TTI officials are unsure. Factors such as teleworking, the economy and tourism will play a role, Schrank said.

MESA DR.

MONARCH LN.

N

TRIBUTARY P133-00-00

ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF SEPT. 21. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT LHKNEWS@COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM. Funding sources: Harris County Pre- cinct 4, Harris County Water Control Improvement District No. 96, Fall Creek Homeowners Association Mesa Drive Segment 2 expansion Harris County officials are studying a project to add two travel lanes to Mesa Drive from Tributary P133-00-00 to Monarch Lane with improved drain- age. The project is in the final stages of the study phase and commissioners court will consider the project study for approval in October. Timeline: TBD Cost: $1.5 million

I

I N- STORE & ONL I NE

TWO OR MORE BOTTLES OF SOURCED WI NE *

*Twin Sourced Wine Sale runs 10/1-10/23. Discount applies to two or more bottles of sourced wine. No further discount on Sale Items, Final Few, or Closeouts. Sale valid in-store and online at www.twinliquors.com. Some exclusions apply. Please drink responsibly.

OCT 1-23

11

LAKE HOUSTON - HUMBLE - KINGWOOD EDITION • SEPTEMBER 2021

12

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

News from the Lake Houston area NEWS BRIEFS Humble City Council unanimously increases property tax rate for FY 2021

BY HANNAH ZEDAKER

Appraisal District; city officials have since received the final certified tax rolls and amended the proposed tax rate for FY 2021-22 accordingly. According to city documents, while the new tax rate is greater than the no-new-revenue tax rate and the voter-approval tax rate, it is not greater than the de minimis rate—a tax rate calculation designed to give smaller taxing units, including cities with a population of less than 30,000, some relief from the 3.5% voter-approval rate, according to the Texas comptroller’s website. According to American Community Survey’s 2019 five-year estimates, the median home value in the city of Humble was $122,900. Based on this figure, a typical homeowner in Humble can expect to pay about $6 more in taxes in FY 2021-22 than

RAISING RATES The city of Humble has raised its property tax rate each year for the past five consecutive years.

Humble residents can expect an increase in their property tax rate for fiscal year 2021-22 following a public hearing and unanimous approval of the elevated tax rate by the Humble City Council on Sept. 9. The approved FY 2021-22 tax rate of $0.263508 is up from the rate of $0.258693 in FY 2020-21. According to City Manager Jason Stuebe, this is an effective increase of 9.31%, meaning the amount of the total taxes collected is 9.31% higher than the previous fiscal year. While city officials had proposed a tax rate of $0.262115 during the FY 2021-22 budget workshop Aug. 17, Stuebe said that proposed tax rate was based on estimates provided by the Harris County

FY 2017: $0.225471 FY 2018: $0.248572 FY 2019: $0.255944 FY 2020: $0.258693 FY 2021: $0.263508

SOURCE: HARRIS COUNTY TAX ASSESSOR-COLLECTOR/ COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

they did the fiscal year prior. The new tax rate will go into effect Oct. 1 and will be applicable to the value of homes as of Jan. 1, 2021, Stuebe said.

Partnership LakeHouston names Lance LaCour newpresident of economic development

Harris County commissioners begin preliminary redistricting discussions, seek public input

Partnership Lake Houston CEO Jenna Armstrong named Lance LaCour BY HANNAH ZEDAKER

BY DANICA LLOYD

the country for his success with growing jobs and attracting capital investments to his community,” Armstrong said in a statement. “Over the years, we’ve watched him grow the council in Katy from the early phases to a powerhouse economic development organization.” LaCour will be replacing former economic development President Mark Mitchell, who stepped down from the position in June after four years, as previously reported by Community Impact Newspaper . In the interim, Mitchell will continue working on economic development initiatives with Part- nership Lake Houston on a contract basis until LaCour takes over Nov. 1, the release states.

Based on the 2020 census, each Harris County precinct should have 1.18 million residents. Redrawing boundaries

As Harris County’s population has grown 15.6% in the past 10 years, county commissioners convened Aug. 31 to review the process of redistricting and hear feedback from residents. When the maps were last redrawn in 2011, each precinct had slightly more than 1 million residents; the county’s overall population was about 4.1 million based on the 2010 census. Matt Angle, the county’s mapping consultant, said at the Aug. 31 meeting that based on the 2020 census, each precinct should have 1.18 million residents. The U.S. Constitution prohibits a deviation of more than 10% from that target number.

as the chamber of commerce’s

Harris County commissioner precinct population 2020

LaCour

new president of economic development in a Sept. 8 news release. According to the release, LaCour will take over the role effective Nov. 1 after more than 16 years as president and CEO of the Katy Area Economic Development Council, during which LaCour helped attract thousands of jobs to the Katy area through expansion and business attraction projects. “Lance is very well-known and respected throughout the state and

Target district size

2020 population

SOURCES: HARRIS COUNTY ATTORNEY’S OFFICE, U.S. CENSUS BUREAU, MATT ANGLE/ COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

COMPRESSING THE TAX RATE Humble ISD has lowered its property tax rate each year since 2019 when House Bill 3 went into effect, requiring school districts statewide to compress their tax rates.

Humble ISD trustees lower property tax rate for FY 2021-22

year, board President Martina Dixon was required to say that the new tax rate effectively represents a 2.8% increase over last year’s rate. However, Position 2 trustee Robert Scarfo stressed at the meeting that this year’s rate is lower than last fiscal year’s rate. “Take a deeper look, because your effective rate is going to be lower than it was last year,” Scarfo said, noting last year’s rate of $1.384. The average home value within the district rose by roughly $15,500 year over year, meaning the district will take in an average of $99 more in taxes per household. As property values vary, however, some homeowners might not see an increase.

BY WESLEY GARDNER

$2

The Humble ISD board of trustees at a Sept. 14 meeting unanimously approved a fiscal year 2021-22 tax rate of $1.3389 per $100 valuation. The total tax rate includes a maintenance and operations rate of $0.9889 per $100 valuation and a debt services rate of $0.35 per $100 valuation. Because the district will bring in more revenue through taxes this year than it did in the previous

$1.52

$1.3389

$1.50

0

2017

2018 2019 2020 2021

SOURCE: HARRIS COUNTY TAX ASSESSOR-COLLECTOR/ COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

13

LAKE HOUSTON - HUMBLE - KINGWOOD EDITION • SEPTEMBER 2021

V O T E R G U I D E

GUIDE

COMPILED BY JISHNU NAIR & HANNAH ZEDAKER

D A T E S T O K N O W Oct. 18 First day of early voting

Harris County residents can vote at any voting center in the county during early voting and on Election Day. Montgomery County residents can vote at any center during early voting; however, Election Day locations are by precinct. W H E R E T O V O T E

Nov. 2 Election Day Nov. 2 Last day to receive ballot by mail (or Nov. 3 if carrier envelope is postmarked by 7 p.m. Nov. 2 at location of election)

Oct. 22 Last day to apply for ballot by mail (received, not postmarked) Oct. 29 Last day of early voting

S A M P L E B A L L O T

S T A T E W I D E P R O P O S I T I O N S Voters will nd eight amendments to the state constitution on their ballots Nov. 2. Brandon Rottinghaus, the University of Houston’s political science chair, broke down each proposition. Proposition 1 Rodeo raes Decides whether sanctioned rodeo organizations can host raes for charity through their foundations Proposition 2 County infrastructure bonds for blighted areas Decides whether counties can authorize bonds or notes to fund development in blighted or underserved areas Proposition 3 Religious services Decides if state or local governments can limit religious services Proposition 4 Judicial eligibility limitation Decides whether judicial candidates must have 10 years of legal practice, including as a state or county judge, and whether candidates who had their legal license revoked at any point should be disqualied

*Incumbent

NEW CANEY ISD BOARD OF TRUSTEES Position 3 Oscar Ramirez Jr. Wendy Allen Sharp* Position 4 Angela Hoart Tompkins Ricky Warwick*

Proposition 5 Judicial conduct limitation Decides if the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct can use its powers to investigate, receive complaints on or disqualify judicial candidates Proposition 6 Essential caregivers Decides whether residents in certain nursing or care facilities have the right to designate an essential caregiver who cannot be prohibited from visiting Proposition 7 Homestead tax limitation for surviving spouses of people with disabilities Decides whether spouses over 55 years old can receive limitations on homestead property taxes if their deceased partners had disabilities Proposition 8 Homestead tax exemption for surviving spouses of armed service members Decides whether spouses over 55 years old can receive exemptions on homestead property taxes if their deceased partners were armed service members

Position 5 Dennis Alters Chad Turner*

V O T E R T U R N O U T

Harris County Montgomery County

Voter turnout for elections over time

70% 80% 90% 100% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%

73.2%

66.4%

57.4%

68.1%

61.3%

52.9%

16.7%

6.7%

16.7%

4.1%

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

SOURCES: HARRIS COUNTY ELECTIONS; MONTGOMERY COUNTY ELECTIONS; BRANDON ROTTINGHAUS, UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTONCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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14

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

CANDIDATE Q&A

Get to know the candidates running in the election

2 0 2 1 V O T E R G U I D E

Incumbent NewCaney ISD trustee, Position 3

NewCaney ISD trustee, Position 4

WENDY ALLEN SHARP

OSCAR RAMIREZ JR.

ANGELA HOFFART TOMPKINS

Candidate did not respond to requests for comment RICKY WARWICK

Occupation: pharmacist Relevant experience: 16 years as a pharmacy manager, four years as a residency director at University of Houston College of Pharmacy,

Occupation: family nurse practitioner Relevant experience: three-year member of the NCISD board of trustees, 10 years teaching at a graduate-

Candidate did not respond to requests for comment

three years as Bens Branch Elementary PTO co-president, West Fork High School Mascot/Color Committee member

level family nurse practitioner program, nine years as a school nurse, one year as a high school teacher

What issues do you think need to be addressed in NCISD’s oerings?

What issues do you think need to be addressed in NCISD’s oerings?

Candidate did not respond to requests for comment

New Caney ISD is actively working to increase technology oerings to its students. The career and technology education (CATE) program oers certi- cations and job skills to assist students who are not college bound. And rightly so. Not every student would benet from college-level education. I’m excited to see the CATE program grow with more programs to benet our students.

Our current district ratings do not reect the great work that is happening in our schools. [District ocials] need to acknowledge our current standings and come up with a plan to make our academic ratings better. I also feel that we need to implement a system of supports for students who are in danger of falling through the cracks. I would recom- mend [district ocials] create a proactive process that evaluates all of our kids to provide them the individual supports they need to be successful in NCISD.

Candidate did not respond to requests for comment

What part(s) of NCISD’s budget is overfunded/underfunded?

What part(s) of NCISD’s budget is overfunded/underfunded?

Candidate did not respond to requests for comment

Candidate did not respond to requests for comment

We are working on increasing safety in our district by putting more school safe- ty ocers on campuses. The balanced budget is an important goal for our district, and much thought and planning goes into deciding which programs would most benet the students.

The district’s budget is a great reection of the district’s priorities. The majority of the district’s budget goes directly to investing in our hard-working teachers and dedicat- ed campus support sta that provide our children the great education they deserve. If elected, I would continue to support and advocate for our classrooms being the top priority in the district’s budget.

NewCaney ISD trustee, Position 5

What issues do you think need to be addressed in NCISD’s oerings?

What part(s) of NCISD’s budget is overfunded/ underfunded?

Occupation: gas control manager Relevant experience: Career experience with complex budgeting, long-term phase-based projects, and growth projections DENNIS ALTERS

Due to COVID[-19], I believe there is a decit in the identication of students with disabilities as well as students with learning di- culties. The [Response to Intervention] program needs additional support in the younger grades to help with getting students in the correct programs. I recommend adding additional support to the in- tervention programs. This would allow an additional level of support to the general education teachers.

New Caney ISD has consistently had a balanced budget. While that is a great approach to handling the budget for the district, it can also lead to excessive spending. I think as the district grows and new programs are brought in, there will always be ways to re-evaluate and adjust the budget.

Candidate did not respond to requests for comment

Candidate did not respond to requests for comment

Candidate did not respond to requests for comment CHAD TURNER

Answers may have been edited for length, style and clarity. Read full Q&A’s at communityimpact.com .

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LAKE HOUSTON  HUMBLE  KINGWOOD EDITION • SEPTEMBER 2021

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

BUSINESS FEATURE CupcakeQuilts

BY EMILY LINCKE

Humble-area fabric store keeps customers inspired, crafting during coronavirus pandemic N owadays, people can learn almost any skill using the internet, which is one of in 2015. Johnson said the business name Cupcake Quilts was inspired by her other love: baking. Johnson’s Humble and Spring

the reasons customers continue to visit local fabric store Cupcake Quilts, owner Stacie Johnson said. To learn how to sew a garment or construct a quilt, crafters simply need to buy the supplies and connect to Wi-Fi. “People have this misconception that it’s a lost art,” Johnson said. “I think part of that comes from not every school district providing it.” Customers stop by Johnson’s store to get tips or inspiration for projects they have started at home. During the last year, Johnson said the hot item everyone wanted to learn how to make was reusable face masks due to the ongoing coronavi- rus pandemic. The pandemic fueled interest in craft hobbies across the country as many sat at home, feeling anxious and unproductive. In 2020, there were 10 million-12 million quilters in North America with 12% more new quilters popping up compared to 2019, according to Craft Industry Alliance, a trade association for craft industry professionals. Johnson said she learned to sew, embroider and cross stitch from her grandmother, perfecting her talents in a sixth-grade sewing class. Her passion for the craft led her to open an online quilt store, followed a couple of years later by a brick-and- mortar store in Old Town Spring

locations opened in 2017 and 2020, respectively. The stores sell fabric, thread, patterns and quilting sup- plies while also hosting classes for all skill levels. Cupcake Quilts also oers sewing machine maintenance for customers, including ve local school districts. These days, Johnson’s focus has been on helping her community. Cupcake Quilts has worked with local animal rescues, Texas Chil- dren’s Hospital, and nonprots supporting survivors of abuse and victims of Hurricane Harvey. Johnson said she hopes to provide quilts to Afghanistan refugees in the near future. “Quilters, as a general rule of thumb, are very giving people,” Johnson said. “If you ask most quilters, they’ve given away more quilts than they’ve kept.” With all the time she puts into her business, Johnson said she does not have as much time for personal projects as she used to. “I have 11 kids, and I keep saying I’m gonna make each one of them a quilt,” she said. “I’ve gotten one done.” However, Johnson said she has never lost sight of her original passion for quilting and hopes to begin making a quilt for her rst grandchild soon.

Cupcake Quilts owner Stacie Johnson learned to sew and quilt from her grandmother and from a sixth-grade sewing class, which inspired her to open her own quilting fabric store.

PHOTOS BY EMILY LINCKECOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

UPCOMING CRAFTING CLASSES

CupcakeQuilts 9574 FM 1960 W., Humble 281-446-4999 www.cupcakequilts.com Hours: Mon.-Sat. 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m., closed Sunday Build a Better Nutcracker: Get ready for the holidays early by making a grinning nutcracker decoration in this intermediate-level embroidery class. The two-day class costs $175 per person; design must be purchased separately. Cupcake Quilts hosts a variety of classes every month, where customers of all skill levels can nd a project to quilt or sew while receiving guidance from experienced instructors. Sept. 25, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Embroidery Basics Part 1 & 2: This beginner course oers attendees in-depth knowledge on using their embroidery machine. The class is $50 per hour for those who own their own embroidery machine or free if the machine was purchased from Cupcake Quilts. Oct. 1-2, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Fabric is sold by the yard both in-store and online, starting at $7.99 per yard.

Thread is sold by the spool, starting at $1.99 for a 110-yard spool.

59

1960

F M 1 9 6 0 B U S I

N

NOTE: THESE PHOTOS WERE TAKEN AT THE SPRING LOCATION OF CUPCAKE QUILTS.

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LAKE HOUSTON  HUMBLE  KINGWOOD EDITION • SEPTEMBER 2021

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