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TEDC annual luncheon highlights local mobility, area growth

Local officials took the stage June 25 during the seventh annual Tomball Economic Development Corporation Economic Outlook Luncheon to discuss mobility projects and the area’s growth.

The 10-mile area surrounding Tomball nearly doubled from 245,000 people in 2000 to 485,000 people this year, Tomball Mayor Gretchen Fagan said during the luncheon.

“When you think back to the year 2000, who would’ve believed we would’ve already had [Hwy.] 249 complete all the way through Tomball and ready to start going into Montgomery County,” Fagan said. “Who really thought 15 years ago that the Grand Parkway was ever going to happen.”

Jack Cagle, Harris County Precinct 4 commissioner, addressed the group at the annual TEDC luncheon. Liza Winkler

In 2014, 249 residential building permits were issued in the city of Tomball that totaled nearly $27 million in development, Fagan said. In addition, 84 commercial permits were issued that totaled $13 million in development, she said.

Construction on the city’s newest commercial development—
Packers Plus Energy Services—is set to begin next week in the
Tomball Business and Technology Park, Fagan said.

“They will bringing a $21 million facility to our community over the next five years,” Fagan said. “It’s estimated to bring 353 jobs over the next 10 years to the Tomball area.”

Harris County officials are continuing to find new ways to manage fast growth in Precinct 4, Commissioner Jack Cagle said during the luncheon.

During the June 23 meeting, Harris County Commissioners Court approved 15 new neighborhood plats for Precinct 4, including some in the Tomball area, Cagle said. On average, the court typically approves anywhere from nine to 20 new subdivision plats for the precinct at each bi-monthly meeting, he said.

“This growth is not stopping anytime soon,” Cagle said. “The world is coming to us. It’s more and more important that we continue with the train coming down the track to take care of folks.”

The major Precinct 4-funded construction projects underway in Tomball include the widening of Hufsmith-Kohrville Road, traffic signalization and other improvements at the intersection of Hufsmith-Kohrville and Holderrieth roads, the proposed widening of Telge Road and the construction of Fagan Lane, which is named after the mayor, Cagle said.

“When the Grand Parkway came through Shaw Road, there was no way for some residents to get to one spot to another,” Cagle said. “We needed to come up with a name for the new road. It’s coming along quite dandy.”

To keep up with the county’s growth, officials are determining whether to assemble a
bond referendum for November 2015 or November 2016 ballot to improve roads, libraries, parks and other capital projects.

“We need to work together to keep on building for the future,” Cagle said. “Harris County is scheduling a proposition for us to put a bond referendum on [the ballot] for next November. We have not made a decision to do that yet. We are publically discussing it.”