Tomball - Magnolia Edition | December 2020

TOMBALL MAGNOLIA EDITION

VOLUME 11, ISSUE 2  DEC. 24, 2020JAN. 27, 2021

ONLINE AT

Millions in CARES Act aid nalized locally

A tale of two counties Harris and Montgomery counties have used

Counties’ distribution

Harris County

Montgomery County

Magnolia ISD 2019-20 enrollment: 13,290

dierent approaches to distribute Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act funds.

$4million

City of Tomball Population: 11,644

BY ANNA LOTZ, VANESSA HOLT AND EVA VIGH

$646,855

As the new year nears, Harris and Montgomery counties have earmarked or spent remaining funds from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Eco- nomic Security Act, with millions slated for use by school districts and other governmental entities. However, the counties have diered in how they have distributed the funds. According to guidance from the U.S. Treasury Department, counties with populations of more than 500,000 can—but are not required to—distrib- ute funds to cities and other governmental entities within their boundaries, such as emergency services districts. This includes both counties. CONTINUED ON 20

Tomball ISD 2019-20 enrollment: 18,294

$505,171

CARES Act aid received:

Montgomery County Emergency Services District No. 10

105

Montgomery County Harris County $105.28M $427.13M

$52,954

45

59

City of Magnolia Population: 2,207

$6,234

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290

90

City of Stagecoach Population: 653

$2,488

10

610

SOURCES: HARRIS COUNTY, MONTGOMERY COUNTY, U.S. TREASURY DEPARTMENT, CITY OF TOMBALL, TOMBALL ISD, MAGNOLIA ISD COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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Community members and representa- tives from local government and environ- mental groups formed the Spring Creek Partnership last spring to evaluate water quality issues and potential solutions for the SpringCreekwatershed,which includes portions of the Tomball and Magnolia area. The group’s formation comes as BY BEN THOMPSON AND ADRIANA REZAL Water quality of local creeks in question Magnolia approves second sewer expansion

bacteria levels have now surpassed state standards in three local creeks: Spring, Willow and Walnut—all of which ow into Lake Houston, a central regional drinking water source. Supported by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Hous- ton-Galveston Area Council, a regional planning organization, the partnership’s goal is to create and implement a protec- tion plan by 2021 to guide regional eorts to improve the water quality throughout the Spring Creek watershed. CONTINUED ON 22

BACTERIAL BURDEN

Dogs Livestock Wildlife On-site sewage facilities Feral hogs Deer Wastewater treatment facilities

E.coli, a type of bacteria measured in colony forming units, enters the Spring Creek watershed from a variety of sources. Bacteria from these sources could more than double in the next 25 years, according to ndings from the newly formed Spring Creek Partnership.

Note: Numbers are estimates and may not add up to 100%.

2%

2018 : 84 trillion colony-forming units per day 64%

20%

10%

4%

1%

2045 projection : 180 trillion colony-forming units per day

8%

77%

5%

10%

SOURCE: SPRING CREEK WATERSHED PARTNERSHIPCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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TOMBALL - MAGNOLIA EDITION • DECEMBER 2020

Kindness is a gift that each of us is born with. And when we share it, the goodness that’s released is amazing. Our human connection is important to our well-being, but it’s essential when we’re sick and hurting. For decades, we’ve been proud to bring world-class medical and academic excellence to our communities. But we also know that treating every patient with kindness, empathy, and respect is key to healing. Humankindness is what we call this strength. It has stood the trials of life and the test of time, and it leads us forward every day. Learn more at stlukeshealth.org . thepower of human connection. Never underestimate

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THIS ISSUE

CONTENTS

HIGHLIGHTS FROMTHISMONTH

IMPACTS

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Now Open, Coming Soon &more TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES 9 Tolling begins on new Hwy. 249 segment

FROMCHRISSY: What a year 2020 has turned out to be. This will be a year that our kids will tell their kids about—when they left for spring break and didn’t go back to school, masks covered everyone’s smiles, everyone stood 6 feet apart instead of hugging each other and we all but bathed in hand sanitizer. There is much to miss from pre-COVID-19 times, but I remain hopeful for the future and wish all of you a happy new year as we ring in 2021. Chrissy Leggett, GENERALMANAGER

MARKET TEAM GENERAL MANAGER Chrissy Leggett, cleggett@communityimpact.com EDITOR Anna Lotz REPORTERS Adriana Rezal, Eva Vigh GRAPHIC DESIGNER Ethan Pham 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

FROMANNA: As we close out 2020, our front-page story captures how funding from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act has trickled down to entities in Tomball and Magnolia. With Montgomery County receiving $105 million in federal funds and Harris County receiving about $427 million, the counties were slated as of press time Dec. 18 to allocate all remaining funds by Dec. 30 to avoid returning unspent funds to the U.S. Treasury Department. Anna Lotz, EDITOR

PARKS &RECREATION Upgrades slated for Tomball’s Jerry Matheson Park NEWS BRIEFS

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15 State, counties plan for COVID19 vaccine distribution GUIDE 17 16 local coee and tea shops

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TOMBALL  MAGNOLIA EDITION • DECEMBER 2020

IMPACTS

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

Road, Ste. 500, Tomball, according to business owner Lashawn Watson. The business oers gourmet meal-replace- ment milkshakes in addition to other beverages, such as the Hot Mocha Dulce coee and Mango Tango iced tea. 832-843-7681. www.facebook.com/ houstonangelsnutrition 5 Child care center Tiny People Uni- versity Childcare opened at 11828 FM 1488, Magnolia, on Sept. 14. According to business owner Nikkia Rivers, the curriculum-based child care center oers services for children 6 weeks old to preschool age. According to the busi- ness website, the Tiny People University Childcare curriculum includes activities such as dramatic play, sensory experienc- es and small-group instruction. 832-521-3886. https://tpuchildcare.com 6 Clear Creek Forest Animal Hospi- tal opened at 23933 Nichols Sawmill Road, Bldg. 7, Hockley, on Nov. 23. The veterinary clinic oers a range of pet care services, including wellness exams, vaccinations and general surgery. In addition to caring for small animals, Clear Creek Forest Animal Hospital also sees pocket-size pets and exotic animals. 281-231-9430. https://clearcreekforestvet.com 7 Local Realtor and interior designer Aileen Rothrock this fall opened Mason Home , a renovated home from the early 1900s, as a space for outdoor photo- shoots. Bookings for the space, which is located at 507 Mason St., Tomball, can be made by appointment. 713-459-4544. www.instagram.com/masonhometx 8 Mexican eatery Al Chile Taqueria opened in Tomball on Sept. 18 at 16918 FM 2920. The taqueria’s menu oers a variety of authentic Mexican food items, ranging from street tacos to tortas and grilled quesadillas. In addition to dine-in eating, Al Chile Taqueria also provides carryout and catering options. 832-559-7702. http://alchiletacos.com 9 Allstate insurance agent Brenda Diaz opened an agency located at the Renaissance Center in Magnolia on Oct. 1. Located at 18535 FM 1488, Ste. 280, the agency oers services such as auto, home and life insurance. 346-703-1700. https://agents.allstate.com/brenda-di- az-magnolia-tx.html

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MAGNOLIA CIR.

MAGNOLIA

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TAMINA RD.

249 TOLL

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1488

2978

1774

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2978

249

BURROUGHS PARK

STAGECOACH RD.

3

6

10

HUFSMITH RD.

Z I O N R D .

DECKER PRAIRIE ROSEHILL RD.

GRAND PINES RD.

TOMBALL

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2920

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2920

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TM; © 2019 COMMUNITY IMPACT CO. LICENSING, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

NOWOPEN 1 Business owners Paulo and Claudia Garcia opened Los Tacos Al Pastor on Nov. 21, according to their son, Ivan Garcia. Located at 24922 Hwy. 249, Tom- ball, the eatery oers authentic Mexican street tacos, with options including al pastor, steak, chorizo and fajita. In addition to street tacos, the Los Tacos Al Pastor menu also includes breakfast ta- cos, quesadillas and other specialty items

such as pizzas and tortas. 832-761-5085. www.facebook.com/ Los-Tacos-Al-Pastor-110671110835442 2 Local business owners Tamara and Jon Hamilton opened Just Love Coee Cafe on Nov. 23. In addition to coee and tea beverages, the cafe also has a breakfast, lunch and dinner menu oering items such as avocado toast, a grilled chicken wrap and artisan waes. Just Love Coee Cafe is located at 13727 Sunset Canyon Drive, Ste. 400, Tomball.

281-547-6984. https://justlovecoeecafe.com/tomball 3 Magnolia’s Bakery opened Nov. 11, according to business owner Mariela Morales. Located at 32350 Hwy. 249, Ste. 100, Pinehurst, the bakery oers goods such as sweet breads, chocolate an and birthday cakes. 281-789-7161. www.facebook.com/magnoliasbakery21 4 Houston Angels’ Nutrition opened Nov. 28 at 18708 Hufsmith Kohrville

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HeBrews Community Coee

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COURTESY HEBREWS COMMUNITY COFFEE

COURTESY GLOBAL MARTIAL ARTS

10 Montgomery-based Tony’s Italian Delicatessen opened its second sandwich shop in November at 24504 Kuykend- ahl Road, Ste. 100, Spring. In addition to hot sandwiches, stromboli and fresh salads, the sandwich shop is known for its signature subs named after famous Italians, from the F. Sinatra and the A. Pacino to the Sophia Loren and the R. DeNiro. Homemade Italian desserts, such as tiramisu and cannoli, are also available. The new location features an in-store dining room, an outdoor patio and a drive-thru for pickups. Delivery is also available through the restaurant within a 7-mile radius or through third-party apps. 832-299-6153. www.tonysitaliandelicatessen.com 11 The Port of Peri Peri opened Dec. 10 at 10850 Louetta Road, Ste. 700, Hous- ton. The eatery is known for its open- ame-grilled chicken basted with its signature sauces made from African bird’s eye chiles mixed with fresh herbs and spices. In addition to chicken, The Port of Peri Peri oers lamb chops, salads, burgers, pitas and wraps and features several vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. www.myperiperi.com COMING SOON 12 HeBrews Community Coee will open a brick-and-mortar location at 33138 Magnolia Circle, Magnolia, in January. According to business owners Georey and Marsha Wood, HeBrews Community Coee currently operates out of a mobile camper on Magnolia Circle, catering coee to churches, schools and local businesses. Georey said the new location will oer Wi-Fi and in-person dining, in addition to beverages and food

items such as salads, cold sandwiches and pies in partnership with Victory Pie Com- pany & Cafe in Magnolia. 832-642-0786. www.shophebrews.com RELOCATIONS 13 Stylebook Alterations relocated within the Tomball Parkway Plaza in September, business owner Van Luu said. The business now operates at 27736 Hwy. 249, Tomball, in the same shopping cen- ter. According to Luu, the business oers a variety of clothing alteration services, such as custom tailoring, and works with a range of items from draperies to prom gowns. 281-616-3282. https://stylebookalterations.webs.com 14 Global Martial Arts relocated from the Tomball Parkway Business Center to 11715 Spring Cypress Road, Ste. B, Tomball, on Dec. 1, according to business owner Jimmy Holmes. The martial arts school oers a variety of classes for all ages, such as taekwondo, Brazilian jiujitsu and cinematic martial arts. 281-251-5088. https://teamglobalmma.com 15 The Tomball branch of Regions Bank relocated from Main Street to a newly built location at 28522 Hwy. 249 on Oct. 26. The Tomball branch location of- fers full banking services, including depos- its, cash withdrawals and check cashing. 281-547-1020. www.regions.com ANNIVERSARIES 16 Los Arcos Mexican Restaurant will celebrate 25 years of business in Tomball during the last week of December.

Chill Milkshake and Wae Bar opened in Magnolia on Dec. 10.

COURTESY CHILL MILKSHAKE AND WAFFLE BAR

FEATURED IMPACT NOWOPEN Family-owned business Chill Milkshake and Wae Bar held the grand opening of its second location Dec. 10 at 6606 FM 1488, Ste. 110, Magnolia. “We are so grateful for the support of our new store,” business owner Kassie Boyd said in a statement. “We loved meeting so many amazing people during the grand opening. We are excited to be a part of the community.” Started seven years ago on Louetta Road in Spring by Boyd and her family, the eatery specializes in serving milkshakes with a variety of avors such as the Butter Beer milkshake, made with caramel, butterscotch and brown sugar; the Eagle, a mint chocolate-avored milkshake topped with mint Oreo cookies; and the Lady According to business owner Felipe Gur- ruquita, the Mexican restaurant opened at 28048 Hwy. 249, Tomball, in 1995 and had plans to celebrate its anniversa- ry earlier this year, which was postponed amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Free margaritas will be oered in cele- bration in late December. The eatery’s menu includes Mexican fare, such as enchiladas, fajitas and tacos al carbon. 281-351-9677. http://losarcosmexrest.com

Bug milkshake, made with strawberry ice cream and raspberry avoring. In addition to milkshakes, Chill Milkshake and Wae Bar’s menu oers a selection of dessert waes such as the Peanut Butter Banana—a Belgian wae served with vanilla ice cream and topped with peanut butter and caramel—and grilled cheese sandwiches made with cheddar or muenster cheese. 936-242-1560. https:// chillmilkshakeandwaebar.com

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NEWOWNERSHIP 17 Local business owner Kaitlin Hanus, who also owns Dance Connections on FM 1774 in Magnolia, acquired Antique Rose Florist on Nov. 1. Located at 10540 FM 1488, Magnolia, Antique Rose Florist oers a variety of ower arrangement services for events such as weddings, proms and funerals. 281-356-7478. www.antiquerose.org

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Magnolia Office 6875 FM 1488 Magnolia,TX 77354 | 281.789.0411

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TOMBALL  MAGNOLIA EDITION • DECEMBER 2020

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES

COMPILED BY ANNA LOTZ & ANDREW CHRISTMAN

ONGOING PROJECTS

Toll collection begins onHwy. 249 The Texas Department of Transportation began collecting tolls on the newly opened section of Hwy. 249—from FM 1774 in Pinehurst to FM 1488 in Magnolia—on Dec. 1. Section 1A opened to drivers Aug. 8 with no tolls charged until December, according to TxDOT information. Section 1B is in the works from FM 1488 in Magnolia to FM 1774 in Todd Mission and expected to open in spring 2021, according to a Nov. 19 announcement from TxDOT. The larger $798.6 million project will stretch from FM 1774 in Pinehurst to Hwy. 105 in Navasota once complete. The completion of the nal section is tentatively expected in late 2023, according to TxDOT information.

1488

As of Dec. 1, tolls are being collected on the newly opened section of Hwy. 249. Costs are included for vehicles with a TxTag. CALCULATING TOLLS

249

1

1774

BURROUGHS PARK

2

2978

LAKES AT CREEKSIDE DR.

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HUFSMITH RD.

Tolls

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Main lane plaza

FM 149 ramp

$1.71 $3.42 $5.13 $6.84 $8.55

$0.53 $1.06 $1.59 $2.12 $2.65

2-axle vehicle: 3-axle vehicle: 4-axle vehicle: 5-axle vehicle: 6-axle vehicle:

Hufsmith Road improvements The Harris County Precinct 4 project, which includes upgrading Hufsmith Road between Burroughs Park and Lakes at Creekside Drive, was awarded to Angel Brothers Enterprises Ltd. on Dec. 15. A pre-construction meeting will be held upon completion of the award phase taking 45-60 days. The project also includes the addition of a secondary access road to Burroughs Park, intersection im- provements and trac signal modications. Timeline: TBD Cost: $4.09 million Funding source: Harris County Precinct 4

SOURCE: TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATIONCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES The Transportation Advocacy Group has outlined three focus areas.

Before the 2021 Texas legislative session begins, the Transportation Advocacy Group-Houston Region, a coalition of businesses, nonprots and other entities, is planning on seeking support for transportation priorities from state legislators. TAG Executive Director Andrea French said the organization plans on focusing on three major pieces of legislation: general transpor- tation funding; indexing the gas tax; and ling legislation regarding alternative-fueled vehicles paying into the State Highway Fund, which is made up of portions of oil and gas severance taxes, general sales tax and motor vehicle sales tax. “Transportation is not like other investments that the state needs to make,” French said. “When you invest in transportation, you are also investing in jobs and the economy.” The 87th legislative session begins Jan. 12. Coalition outlines legislative agenda

1 I NVE ST I N T RANS PORTAT I ON TAG is asking for Texas legislators to continue funding transportation projects across the state because they have a direct eect on the economy.

Every $1 in transportation

Total funding needed for Houston highway projects:

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$19.5 billion

HARDIN STORE RD.

$3-$6 in economic return

Other regional mobility project funding needed:

Every $1 billion invested in transportation

HUFSMITH CONROE RD

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$53 billion

around 13,000 jobs created

FM 2978 widening The Texas Department of Transportation project is widening FM 2978 from two to four lanes in two phases. Phase 1 stretches from FM 1488 to south of Dry Creek near Hardin Store Road and was 59% complete as of Dec. 1. Phase 2 stretches from south of Dry Creek to Hufsmith-Conroe Road and was 94% complete as of Dec. 1. Timeline: September 2018-second quarter 2021 (Phase 1), January 2018-rst quarter 2021 (Phase 2) Cost: $21.47 million (Phase 1), $13.7 million (Phase 2) Funding sources: TxDOT, federal funds

2

I NDE X THE GAS TAX TAG is advocating for the gas tax to be indexed to keep up with the ination rate.

Indexing does not mean an increase. Indexing involves adjusting for the ination rate. The gas tax is used to fund the State Highway Fund.

The Texas gas tax was last changed in 1991 .

D I S C U S S A LT E RNAT I VE F U E L S TAG is seeking to begin talks regarding legislation for alternative- fueled vehicles, which currently do not contribute to the highway fund. The TAG is seeking to promote vehicle equity so more people contribute equally to the transportation fund. Indexing could provide more funding for transportation projects, according to TAG.

3

ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF DEC. 15. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT TOMNEWSCOMMUNITYIMPACT.COM.

“Something needs to be done,” TAG Executive Director Andrea French said.

French said it is not known what fee collection could look like.

SOURCE: TRANSPORTATION ADVOCACY GROUPHOUSTONCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

CITY Magnolia approves secondwastewater expansion tomeet coming demand BY ADRIANA REZAL

PREPARING FOR GROWTH

The city of Magnolia’s wastewater treatment plant on Nichols Sawmill Road currently manages 650,000 gallons of water per day and 2,165 connections, or users to the city’s water plant. The city will be adding further expansions to accommodate future growth.

administrator with Strand Associates, the city’s engineering consultants. The decision comes as an alterna- tive to the construction of a future wastewater treatment plant on Mill Creek Road, an estimated $38 million project that would have an 18-month design period and two years of construction. That plan was rst presented to council in April. “As I’ve said in the past, we kept aiming toward that large plan—I just don’t think we could pay the bill on it,” Mayor Todd Kana said. “We have a lot more people wanting our waste- water treatment than just Audubon [Magnolia], ... so we are looking at expansion regardless of how we work out the bill.” Audubon Magnolia is expected to bring about 4,000 homes begin- ning in early 2021 near Mill Creek, developer Sam Yager III said during a Greater Magnolia Parkway Chamber of Commerce luncheon in November.

Capacity with second expansion

1.3 million gallons per day 4,330 connections Estimated cost: $9.97 million Estimated timeline: fall 2019-spring 2021 Capacity with current expansion • • • •

Magnolia City Council members approved a second expansion of the city’s Nichols Sawmill Road wastewa- ter treatment plant Dec. 9 in prepara- tion of rapid development expected over the next 20 years. Council members approved the future construction of a concrete package plant, an expansion that will cost the city $7.8 million. The project is slated to have a design phase of 9 to 12 months and a construction period of 15 to 18 months, according to meeting information. This expansion will raise the city’s wastewater treatment capacity to 2 million gallons of water per day and 6,660 connections—users to the city’s water plant—which will allow it to meet service needs through 2025 or 2026, city ocials said. “[With] a concrete package plant, the actual structure will last longer,” said Kelly Hajek, a project

2 million gallons per day 6,660 connections Estimated cost : 7.8 million Estimated timeline: TBD

• • • •

SOURCES: STRAND ASSOCIATESCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

The city’s existing treatment facility, located at 30910 Nichols Sawmill Road, currently manages 650,000 gallons per day and has the capacity for 2,165 connections. According to Hajek, the city had reached at least 1,800 connections as of July. The facility’s initial $9.97 million expansion, which began in fall 2019, will expand capacity to 1.3 million gallons per day and 4,330 connec- tions by spring 2021. In addition to the wastewater expansion, the city is also undergoing a three-phase project to extend sewer lines fromNichols Sawmill Road to

FM 1488, which began in fall 2019. The project costs the city just under $4 million and is expected to be completed by early summer 2021. City Administrator Don Doering said current tax and wastewater rates are likely to remain unaected by the expansion, as the main expenses will be paid by the expected incoming developers and residents. “Basically as the people move in, they will need more services, and they will be paying for it,” Doering said. “Instead of, ‘Build it, and they will come,’ let’s say we’d like to build it as they are coming.”

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TOMBALL  MAGNOLIA EDITION • DECEMBER 2020

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

PARKS&RECREATION New features slated for Tomball’s MathesonPark pending grant

JERRYMATHESONPARK

4

JUERGENS PARK

BY ANNA LOTZ

The proposed master plan includes replacing the play equipment and dividing the play area in two. An area for children ages 2-5 will feature smaller play pieces, such as railroad play pieces, swings and slides, and an area for older children ages 5-12 will feature larger pieces tying in Tomball’s oil history and adventure elements, such as a new zip line, Jones said. The proposed splash pad includes design references to Tomball’s railroad history. Four new lighted pickleball courts are also proposed as well as a walking trail around the park and updates to existing facilities, Jones said. “Pickleball courts have turned out to be incredibly popular in our commu- nity, especially with the addition of lighting, and we believe that based on the survey data that this would be a very large amenity,” she said. “We wanted to take into account Tomball and what we have and what we represent in our heritage, so we were able to pull [the splash pad] together with various train structures.” Investing in parks Jones said the city will likely hear back on the grant in May with funds available in fall 2021 if approved. She said once funding is available, park improvements could be nished within a year. If the grant application is not approved, the city could apply again or consider setting aside the funds in an upcoming budget. Work on Matheson Park follows the completion of Broussard Park, which

1

A project to update the play equipment at Jerry Matheson Park in Tomball is in its early stages following the city’s submission of a grant appli- cation to the Texas Parks &Wildlife Department in early November, Public Works Director Beth Jones said. After gathering community input, Jones presented proposed updates to council members Dec. 8, highlighting the addition of a splash pad, walking trail and pickleball courts. The city is seeking a $1.5 million matching grant from the TPWD, mean- ing the city will put up $750,000 to match the TPWD’s share of $750,000 if the grant is approved, Jones said. During a Dec. 8 meeting, council mem- bers authorized the Tomball Economic Development Corp. to provide $300,000 of the city’s match. In addition to the TEDC’s share, Jones said the city is pursuing other partnerships with entities such as HCA Houston Healthcare Tomball, which has earmarked at least $30,000 for the city’s match; Harris County Precinct 4; and other community groups. Matheson Park, a former project of the Tomball Rotary Club, includes an interactive wooden playground—collo- quially known as the “tire park”—and needs to be updated to include safer play areas, Jones said. “We know that there’s a huge attachment to the tire park in our com- munity; it was a community build,” Jones said. “It has an ingrained culture that we really tried to carry on in the new structures that we went with.”

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SOURCE: CITY OF TOMBALLCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

REDESIGNING MATHESON

4

The city of Tomball has created a master plan for Jerry Matheson Park to update the park’s play structures and facilities, a project estimated to total $1.5 million. IMPROVEMENTS TO NOTE Proposed trail A walking trail will loop around the park with picnic tables placed around. Proposed pickleball courts Four lighted courts are slated. Proposed play areas Existing play structures will be replaced with areas divided for children ages 2-5 and 5-12. Proposed splash pad The splash pad design is inspired by Tomball’s railroad heritage. 4 1 2 3

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opened in September in partnership with Harris County Precinct 4. As previously reported, an update to the city’s comprehensive plan approved in October 2019 recom- mended the city expand parks and

recreation areas and establish a network of trails. “This is what people told us they want: They want trails; they want out- door; they want green space,” Mayor Gretchen Fagan said.

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TOMBALL  MAGNOLIA EDITION • DECEMBER 2020

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

NEWS BRIEFS Counties, state plan for COVID-19 vaccine distribution in phases

Remote learningtoendfor some

ROLLING OUT VACC INES Upon receiving doses of the vaccine, Montgomery County will make it available in phases.

BY ADRIANA REZAL

According to Texas Edu- cation Agency guidelines, virtual learning will still be available for those who meet academic require- ments, and exceptions will be made for medical exemptions from a doctor or for those required to temporarily quarantine due to COVID-19. However, MISD’s virtual learners will no longer be able to par- ticipate in extracurricular activities nor will course- work be included in the calculation of class rank. At the start of the year, MISD reported about 19% of students had opted for virtual learning. That per- centage dropped to 14.5%, or 1,928 students, in the second nine-week grading period, Community Impact Newspaper reported.

Beginning Jan. 6, remote learning will no longer be an option for Magnolia ISD students who are struggling academically, according to a Nov. 16 letter to families from Superintendent Todd Stephens. Per the letter, district officials made the call to no longer offer virtual learning for certain students who exhibit poor academic performance. “Discussions and data revealed online instruction has not been successful for the majority of our virtual learners,” Stephens wrote. “It has also become appar- ent the added burden of a full-scale dual instructional system on our teachers is unsustainable for the second semester.”

BY BEN THOMPSON

Houston-area hospitals began receiving doses the week of Dec. 14, although HCA Houston Healthcare Tomball was not initially chosen. Based on initial state guidance, the first in line to receive a vaccine would be health care personnel, including hospital and phar- macy workers, first respond- ers and some education staff. They would be followed by those age 65 and older and those with comorbidities. Additional groups would become eligible for vaccines in Phase 2, which would begin in early 2021. That would be followed by widespread vaccine avail- ability for the general public in Phase 3 next summer, according to the DSHS.

PHASE 1A

Harris and Montgomery counties are working through the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, which began in mid-December. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted emer- gency use authorization to the COVID-19 vaccine produced by pharmaceutical company Pfizer and biotechnology firm BioNTech on Dec. 11, accord- ing to a letter from the FDA. Gov. Greg Abbott announced Dec. 2 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevent has allotted 1.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the state. As of press time Dec. 18, information from the Texas Department of State Health Services showed several

Health care personnel, including hospital and pharmacy workers, first responders and some education staff (late 2020)

PHASE 1B

Those age 65 and older and those with comorbidities for the virus (late 2020)

PHASE 2

Additional “critical populations” not served during Phase 1 (early 2021)

PHASE 3

Widespread vaccine availability (summer 2021)

SOURCE: MONTGOMERY COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH DISTRICT/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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TOMBALL - MAGNOLIA EDITION • DECEMBER 2020

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

GUIDE

COMPILED BY ADRIANA REZAL

TOMBA L L + MAGNO L I A CoffeeGuide

As the days get colder, the Tomball and Magnolia area has a number of coee and tea shops and cafes oering hot drinks and other items for residents to cozy up with this season. This list is not comprehensive and does not include coee roasters.

F Food menu C Coee T Tea W Wi-Fi

D In-person dining

OPEN Barbarossa Coee 9166 FM 2920, Ste. 100, Tomball 8326982306 http://barbarossacoee.com F C T W D Cafe Marrese 11729 Spring Cypress Road, Tomball 8329532900 www.cafemarrese.com F C T W D Denovo Coee 520W. Main St., Tomball www.denovocoee.com C T Just Love Coee Cafe 13727 Sunset Canyon Drive, Tomball 2815476984 https://justlovecoeecafe.com/tomball/ menu F C T W D Lovebeans Coeehouse 8522 Creekside Forest Drive, Ste. D100, Tomball 8326982017 www.lovebeanscoeehouse.com F C T W D Magnolia Coee House Bistro 117 FM 1774, Magnolia 2817897272 www.magnoliacoeehousebistro.com F C T W D Perks Beanery 32211 Hwy. 249, Pinehurst 2817664264 https://perksbeanery.wixsite.com/perks- beanery C T

Re:Bar Juicestillery 416 W. Main St., Tomball 3468087673 https://rebarjuicestillery.com F C T W D Sweetwaters Coee & Tea 9511 FM 1488, Magnolia 8329344737 www.sweetwaterscafe.com F C T W D

The Teahouse Tapioca and Tea 14040 FM 2920, Ste. C, Tomball 8325341409 www.facebook.com/theteahousetomball F C T W Victory Pie Co. 32907 Tamina Road, Magnolia 8324033066 www.facebook.com/victorypieco F C T W D The Whistle Stop 107 Commerce St., Tomball 2812552455 https://whistlestoptomball.com/Tomball- LunchCafeLocation.dmx F C T D COMING SOON

COURTESY HEATHER MARTIN

ADRIANA REZALCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

SWEETWATERS COFFEE &TEA

JUST LOVE COFFEE CAFE

Heather Martin opened Sweetwaters Coee & Tea in Magnolia in March. How has it been opening a new business during COVID-19? “This is the rst business that my husband and I opened, so for us, [COVID-19] is all we know. ... The community has been very supportive of us. We’ve had customers that come through and ... say that they are coming here to support us and making sure that we’re staying open.” Why did you decide to open a coee shop in Magnolia? “We live very close by, and [at] the career I had previously ... I was working long hours. I wanted to do something that was dierent, involved the community and gave me some time to spend with family. … We felt like this community was really supportive and we wanted ... to be able to support local.”

Tamara Hamilton and her husband, Jon, opened Just Love Coee Cafe on Nov. 23 in Tomball. How has it been opening a new business during COVID-19? “It has been a struggle. We were supposed to be open back in April, but right when we were getting ready to fund on our [Small Business Administration] loan, the SBA stopped funding new loans and only did bailout loans, so we weren’t able to close out our loan until August.” Why did you decide to open a coee shop in Tomball? “We live right here in Wildwood, and our community needed something— there was nowhere around here to grab a quick bite to eat or get a great beverage or sit down with your friends and kind of hang out.”

HeBrews Community Coee 33138 Magnolia Circle, Magnolia 8326420786 www.shophebrews.com F C T W D Coming January 2021 HTeaO Tomball 905 W. Main St., Tomball www.facebook.com/hteaotomball T Coming early 2021

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TOMBALL  MAGNOLIA EDITION • DECEMBER 2020

BUSINESS FEATURE Comix Cafe Tomball shop mixes comics, games and coee D arrin Stringeld rst opened Comix Cafe in August 2019 with the idea of creating a space for friends to get together, drink

BY ADRIANA REZAL

After experiencing a shutdown in April due to the coronavirus pandemic, Stringeld said the store went online to foster a digital space replicating the shop’s atmosphere through web communication plat- form Discord. Now that the store has reopened and customers are begin- ning to feel safe visiting the store in person, Stringeld said he still maintains the Discord platform to make sure everyone feels included. “What some of our [Dungeons & Dragons] tables have been doing is they’ll have a webcam set up so people who don’t want to get out can play over webcam, and then the people that are here, we have them spaced out, everybody with masks,” Stringield said. “They can play in person, and then we also have the option for online play as well.” In addition to hosting weekly gam- ing events, Comix Cafe also holds larger events such as the annual Tomball Toy Fest vintage toy market. Although the market was canceled this year, Stringeld said he hopes to bring it back as a semi-annual event in 2021. Additionally, Stringeld said he hopes to grow the comic book community by hosting events and reaching out to local schools. “I do plan to host some more comic book events to gain that read- ership back or get that crowd that maybe overlooked the medium as a source of literature,” Stringeld said. “The long-term plan is to get those readers back to comic books.”

coee, play games and have fun. However, with the coronavirus pandemic making it dicult for friends to gather in person these days, Stringeld said he hopes to oer an environment where people can feel safe to continue doing what they love. “A big part of comic book and nerd culture stores is the community sense, like being able to talk to people about what you enjoy, so that community was actually hit pretty hard when they couldn’t get together and talk about the things that they really love,” Stringeld said. Located on Business 249 in Tom- ball, the comic book store oers a variety of merchandise such as game dice, tabletop gaming and playing cards, while also operating as a specialty coee shop serving locally roasted coee and pastries. While Comix Cafe customers can eat, drink and shop, the store also oers space for people to play their favorite games, such as fantasy role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons and collectible card game Magic: The Gathering in response to demand from the local community. “My original concept was more of a coee shop with the ... merchan- dise part, [but] when we opened the doors, we saw that there was a community that was really looking for play space for gaming,” String- eld said.

Business owner Darrin Stringeld said he hopes to expand comic book readership by oering more comic book-focused events at the shop. (Photos by Adriana Rezal/Community Impact Newspaper)

Comix Cafe 27620 Business 249, Ste. A6, Tomball 832-698-1850 www.comix.cafe WEEKLY EVENTS Comix Cafe hosts a number of weekly events for gamers old and new. • Tuesday: Learn to Play Tuesdays Inexperienced gamers have the opportunity to learn to play games such as miniature war game Warhammer. • Wednesday: Tomball Table Top Comix Cafe hosts open board gaming nights on Wednesdays, in which interested participants can bring their own games or play games oered by the store. • Thursday: Thursday Night D&D Participants can gather at Comix Cafe to play fantasy role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons in person or online. • Saturday: Modern Saturday Magic the Gathering fans can come enjoy the game’s modern format and compete for prizes.

Darrin Stringeld opened Comix Cafe on Business 249 in Tomball in August 2019.

Comix Cafe oers a selection of table- top games and comic books, among other merchandise.

T H E I S L N .

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