By Elsa Maxey
Almost a year ago in his state of the county address, Fort Bend County Judge Bob Hebert talked about the construction of mobility projects financed by 2000 and 2007 taxpayer approved bonds. Of 54 combined mobility bond projects, this year several of them underwent different phases of development and completion.
Both Falcon Landing Boulevard from north of Buffalo Bayou to Spring Green, where the new Katy High School will be, and Gaston Road, from Falcon Landing to Greenbusch Road, are now well underway. Fort Bend County Commissioners just last week approved a $141,250 payment to Allgood Construction for road improvements to Falcon Landing Boulevard from Spring Green to Gaston Road completed last month. This represents the first invoice on that 2007 bond funded project submitted by the construction company for labor, materials and services. The specified contract time is 270 days for this project.
Three months ago, county and Katy area public officials participated in a groundbreaking ceremony for the $2 million Falcon Landing Boulevard project fronting Katy ISD’s high school No. 7. It is a four-lane road expected to be in place by next year. This Falcon Landing Boulevard mobility project is considered essential to the development of the northwest part of the county with the new high school and a new subdivision.
The total bond amount approved by taxpayers in May and November of 2007 was $156 million and close to $75 million, the larger bond amount intended to accommodate growth and long-term mobility needs, and the latter amount was for the new justice center. In 2000, taxpayers approved a total of $87 million for mobility bond projects. Voters also approved a county bond referendum in 2006 for $20 million to finance jail expansion, the Gus George Law Academy, two new libraries and renovations to the George Memorial Library and other county buildings.
Fort Bend County’s capital improvement program philosophy has been that projects to be funded with debt will have a longer useful life than the associated debt. Mobility projects spearheaded by the county include those to be accomplished in cooperation with other entities, such as the Texas Department of Transportation, cities in Fort Bend County, and also those done in conjunction with other counties.