Limited space for tour of Refuge safe house

As members of the Refuge for Women Texas Gulf Coast chapter continue efforts to move forward with purchasing a safe house for victims of sex trafficking, Development Director Vicki Kirby said there’s limited space for members of the public to join the organization on a tour of the home.

From 7 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 28, Kirby will guide people through the home with the founder of Refuge for Women, Ked Frank.

“No donation is required, but of course we will be encouraging folks to consider partnering with us,” Kirby said.

Because the location of the home is undisclosed for security reasons, Kirby said those interested in attending the tour should contact her at vicki.kirby@refugeforwomen.org.

Richwood not selected for drainage project grants

Richwood’s applications to partially fund a $9 million Bastrop Bayou floodgate and detention pond and $150,000 drainage master plan were not selected by the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, Mark Shubak of Strand Engineering told City Council on Monday.

It is a very competitive grant program that selects 96 primary projects out of 558 applications, Shubak said. Both Richwood applications were selected as secondary selection projects, meaning there is a chance for funding if a primary project does not work out, he said.

Project selection was heavily weighted by a cost-to-benefit ratio, Shuback said. Richwood had a good ratio for the floodgate — which would put gates to stop backflow from Bastrop Bayou from coming into the city and help prevent Hurricane Harvey-type flooding — at 1.6 to 1, Shuback said.

Most of the funding went to projects in Harris County with cost-to-benefit ratios of 1-to-1 or higher, he said.

Richwood home business allowed to operate

After months of appearing on City Council meeting agendas in reference to the same issue, Chris Hardison successfully earned a conditional use permit for his wife, Brittany, to style hair on their property on Misty Court in Richwood.

Neighbor Randy Day spoke against the permit issuance during a public hearing Monday, citing traffic and property value concerns.

Hardison said they will continue to follow all city codes, including only having one non-resident car in the driveway at a time, and traffic should not be an issue. The zoning of the street will remain residential, Hardison said.

Councilman Mark Brown made a motion to approve the permit, which he and Councilwoman Katie Johnson voted for. Council Members Melissa Strawn and Matthew Yarborough voted against it, so Mayor Pro Tem Mike Johnson voted for the motion to break the tie in Mayor Steve Boykin’s absence.

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