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Profile: Incumbent City of Katy Ward A Councilwoman Janet Corte

(KATY) - When City of Katy Ward A Councilwoman Janet Corte was first elected five years ago, she wanted to be a part of positive growth in the city and proactive planning that could help prevent disasters like Hurricane Harvey, which flooded her own home.

Janet Corte

Now she is on the May 6 ballot as the only opposed incumbent, facing challenger Cara Bonin for the seat. Corte is hoping for the chance to serve her last three years on council to continue unfinished work.

“The council we have now, and the mayor, we are working really well together, and we have made a lot of progress,” said Corte. “We have all the planning, we have a roadmap now that we didn’t have before, and I would like to see those changes put into play in the next three years.”

Corte says the new Comprehensive Plan, following the 20-year Comprehensive Plan put into place in 2001, is in the final stages of being adopted. It addresses growth, drainage, infrastructure, available land, appropriate land use, parks and more.

“The last couple of years we have spent more time planning and looking towards the future so we can be more proactive than reactive,” she said. “I think we basically have a roadmap, so we need to now just look at all this planning we have done and start going down and checking off the projects, get them prioritized.”

Corte says capital improvement plans outline improvements in the city that are planned out five years and beyond, so if excess money is available, council can look at the plans and see if the extra reserves can be used for one of the projects.

“Those are things we have accomplished in the last three years that I am very proud of,” she said.

Corte says drainage and ageing infrastructure are both priorities in the city’s plans for the future. She says with homes in Katy that were built in the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s, their infrastructure is no longer adequate. She says the city is approaching the issue by planning drainage issues that address entire areas rather than one street at a time.

“Engineers are doing studies and assessments and they will come back and say which ones need to be fixed first,” she said.

Commercial growth is also a long-term issue, with council focusing on preventing negative impacts to residential areas.

“We have small commercial areas, which tie into the neighborhoods – the cleaners, drugstores – but the larger commercial areas, we are trying to make sure those stay on the edge of town and not butting up to the edge of a neighborhood. There is a set of actions in place or guidelines that we need to consider whenever a project comes into place – does it fit the defined land use – so that we can make sure appropriate growth goes into appropriate places.”

She says the parks plan looks at parks that need to be repaired and upgraded and parks that are underutilized.

“I can’t say enough good things about our Parks Department and Parks Board, they have done so much,” she said. “We have added parks, added greenspace.”

Preserving historical features that define the City of Katy is also something important to Corte.

“Our old historical town square – over the years it kind of got lost that it was designated to be a town square,” she said. “We have done phase one of that and now are working on phase two. We are trying to make sure we don’t lose that heritage and that history. We are trying to keep that small town feel. Our Parks Department is doing a great job doing family-friendly events at Town Square and the parks. We are trying to keep that small town feel.”


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