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Shenandoah news & notes: June 27

June 28, 2018 GMT

Hampton Inn relocation bid put on hold

The Shenandoah City Council on Wednesday put on hold a request from Hampton Inn owner Grace Jacobson for special use permit for the third time in as many years for the construction of a new Hampton Inn property less than a mile away from the current location.

After Jacobson’s presentation to the Planning and Zoning Commission, the commission recommended approval to the council, who voted to table the item citing concerns for “regional demand,” said Council Member Ron Raymaker.

“I feel that we’re setting ourselves up for a potential blight,” Raymaker said. “I’d like to see something done about that prior to approving the SUP for the other hotel.”

The item was tabled in lieu of being denied in order to avoid the 6-month waiting period Jacobson would face before being able to apply for the SUP again.

“It will be a great property, and it will be occupied, but what will it do to those other hotels that are on that same stretch?” Council Member Byron Bevers said.

New retail space approved

The council approved a change of zoning for a lot at 17835 Interstate 45 from the interim zoning classification it was given after its annexation by the city in 2015 to a new classification as a commercial corridor.

The 143-acre lot is proposed to be used for office, retail and residential space. Thompson said the reclassification of its zoning is solely a status change and not the approval of a building or design plan.

Water rebate program gets green light

In an effort to reduce the amount of groundwater that the city pumps out of the Gulf Coast aquifer and meet the reductions mandated by the Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District, Shenandoah officials introduced a rebate program rewarding residents for implementing water conservation measures in their homes and on properties.

Initially presented in March, the program’s initial draft was simplified according to the council’s suggestions, and any resident that made improvement to their home according to the guidelines since Jan. 1 qualifies for the rebates.

The funding for the rebates will come from $50,000 budgeted from the city’s groundwater reduction plan.

Audit contract OK’d

The council approved the adoption of a new three-year contract — with two one-year renewal options — with Houston-based auditing firm BrooksWatson & Co., PLLC, after reviewing bids from Belt, Harris & Pechacek, LLP and Abip.

Shenandoah Finance Director Lisa Wasner said the firm was not only the lowest bidder, but has logged the most dedicated audit hours to the city and is closest in distance to the city. The firm has also held contracts with Shenandoah in the past, Wasner added, which is an advantage with a new, smaller finance department.

“We have a good working relationship with them and a history,” Wasner said. “It makes it a little bit easier for us; they know our structure they know our background.”

Road works update

The City authorized a $25,500 contract with Bleyl Engineeing to coordinate with utility companies, the Texas Department of Transportation and various developers, among others, to complete the David Memorial extension and Tamina Corridor study projects. Both projects are part of a wide-ranging set of road improvements and new construction in South Montgomery County.

Other council business

* The council approved a mixed beverage permit for the restaurant Mia’s Table, located in the former Benningan’s location along the North Freeway.

* City Administrator Kathie Reyer addressed the reports of blue and green markings along sidewalks and lawns in Shenandoah, and she advised the council that they are markings for future utility lines.

* Montgomery County officials treated Shenandoah with mosquito spray on June 9, after county officials identified 16 cases of West Nile Virus in the area.

* The Independence Day parade will be held June 30 at 10 a.m., starting at the Mary Pat Case Pool, traveling down to the Toddler Park and back to the pool. Concessions will be served after the event.