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Oil and gas Fracking in our Lake Conroe Area National Forest: Dangerous to Drinking Water?

From: Wayne A. Stroman, 14500 Hwy 105, Conroe Texas 77304

This is for decision makers and anyone that is concerned about the quality of Lake Conroe’s surface (water from the Lake) and the area’s ground water (water from wells). You should read this as there may be an impact by oil drilling in our National Forest close by. The government does a minimal notice before granting leases, that this may be approved pending comments from area residents. Few have voiced concerns to date and I thought it would help to get the word out. The deadline for comments is October 11, 2019.

I just became aware of this though the Lake Conroe Association letter below and then reading the US National Archives statement, National Forests and Grasslands in Texas; Oil and Gas Leasing Availability Analysis Environmental Impact Statement: found at

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/08/27/2019-18357/national-forests-and-grasslands-in-texas-oil-and-gas-leasing-availability-analysis-environmental If this is not a link as you see it copy and paste it into your browser.

There you fill find the address to send a comment on your feeling about the matter and I hope you do.

I have worked in the oil exportation industry for geologists for AMOCO when I was in college and I am not against oil exploration and drilling. The fact is we are not desperate for oil as we were in the early 1970s rather the US has become virtually non-dependent on foreign oil as of late and we should be proud of that. So for the reasons I will cite I think we do not need to tap into our reserved pristine lands for oil and gas.

The US has been leasing government owned lands for oil and gas on and offshore for decades and the technology has improved quite a lot. The oil fracking technology however is experiencing some environmental hiccups and it may be time to let private citizens continue to decide if they want drilling on their land and conserve or protect the national treasures of government owned lands especially our National Forests and Grasslands.

I won’t get into all the problems of oil drilling and will try to stick to what concerns me about the implications of drilling in our area and the effects on our water quality. These same reasons do go beyond the Lake Conroe area as citizens nationwide are concerned too.

Water run off with toxic chemicals from oil and gas drilling sites: There could be some drilling site run off upland from Lake Conroe that will make its way into Lake Conroe and other area river tributaries and that is not good. Be it an accident or miscalculated prevention there are always some spills on every drill site, trucking of fluids and piping of production. Lake Conroe water is now used for drinking since we added a large water plant by the Lake Conroe dam in operation for a few years now. That water adds to wells for the Conroe and the Woodlands public water supply used by those residents.

Oil and gas Fracking leaks and migration into potable water tables: We have all seen this in the national news and is highly possible from any oil and gas drilling but probably higher from fracking efforts. If this happens it affects everyone.

For the above reasons and related material I would like to object to drilling for oil and gas in our National Forests and Grasslands in Texas. Please suspend leasing those lands.

Send written comments to Oil and Gas EIS Project, National Forests and Grasslands in Texas, 2221 N. Raguet Street, Lufkin, Texas 75904. Comments may also be submitted electronically through the project website or via fax to (936) 639-8588.

Thank you for considering this request,

Wayne A. Stroman

Letter from the LCA:

FIGHT FRACKING IN LAKE CONROE AND SAM HOUSTON NATIONAL FOREST
By: Mike Bleier, President, Lake Conroe Association

Under the radar of State and Local leadership, The National Forest and Grasslands in Texas (NFGT) is attempting to lease land in our Sam Houston National Forest for Oil & Gas Exploration (most specifically, fracking). THOSE OPPOSED MUST FILE OBJECTIONS BY OCTOBER 11, 2019
NFGT purports to have followed all required notifications of such an action, and most likely have complied with the minimal effort the government requires. Minimal effort also minimizes objections. Maybe this is why the September 26, 2019 Public Meeting held in Willis and presented by NFGT was attended by less than 10 people. Without help from the Center For Biologic Diversity, the Lake Conroe Association (LCA) would not have known about this proposed lease. Once aware of the situation, the LCA contacted the following entities – none of which had heard of the lease: San Jacinto River Authority, City of Houston, Montgomery County, Texas Parks & Wildlife, State Senators and Representatives. We guess minimal effort in NFGT’s notification worked to minimize objections.
We are not opponents to Oil & Gas Exploration like some. But fracking in our National Forest and around our water supply reservoir, Lake Conroe? The dangers seem obvious even taking into account the safety reported by the fracking industry. Explanations from NFGT like “The contractors will have adequate insurance to cover any damage they cause” and “Contractor sites will be continually monitored” do nothing to stop possible land and water contamination; nor alleviate the indescribable damage that could be caused to our water supply, air quality, wildlife, plants and trees.
And why would NFGT put our community in danger? Certainly not because we need the oil or gas. Our government has this month reported that we have the lowest dependence on foreign oil and gas in our history. Between the East Texas Oil Field (the 2nd largest oil field in the U.S.) and the Newark East Gas Field (the largest producible reserves in the U.S.), Texas or our nation do not need the minimal (by comparison) production that could come from the Sam Houston National Forest and neighboring Lake Conroe. We can see no other answer than NFGT wants the money associated with leasing our National Forest. We thought the National Forests were designated to protect the environment and serve the public’s need for recreational areas. Aren’t they supposed to be used for hiking, camping, hunting, fishing and pure relaxation with nature? Guess how much fun those activities will be with fracking rig towers, water pits, odor and noise pollution. Then there’s Forest roads occupied and damaged by oil field equipment, damage to the Forest floor, restrictions on where you can hunt and fish, and that outside possibility of environmental and water supply contamination. The reward is not worth the risk.
YOU CAN HELP by writing your objection by the October 11, 2019 filing deadline. NOT MUCH TIME. For more information to this proposed lease, you can go to http://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/08/27/2019-18357/national-forests-and-grasslands-in-texas-oil-and-gas-leasing-availability-analysis-environmental. You can submit comments via this website; or by mail to Oil & Gas EIS Project, National Forests and Grasslands in Texas, 2221 N. Raguet Street, Lufkin, Texas 75904; or by fax to (936) 639-8588. Further, you may contact the local coordinator of the project: Robert Potts, Robert.potts@usda.gov, (936) 639-8539.

MAKE A DIFFERENCE. SPEND 30 MINUTES AND MAKE YOUR OPINION KNOWN. PLEASE.

 

For all your Montgomery County Real Estate Needs contact the Michelle Wheeler Team
Wayne Stroman, Broker
Lake-Conroe-Realtors.com TREC Lic. 0416282
Call the Property Desk at 936-588-7004
Sales Office: 14500 HWY 105 W, Conroe, Texas 77304
Mail to: PO Box 2991, Conroe, Texas 77305
Sales: 936-588-4444
Fax: 936-588-4884

Listing and Sales Agent

Real Estate Listing and Sales

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City of Montgomery, Texas to Terminate Water Contracts with MUDs #3 & #4

They have drilled wells into the Catahoula aquifer and drawing its water to legally pull out of those contracts with Municipal Utility Districts No. 3 and No. 4 that are required by the Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District to meet it’s regulatory plan – known as the Groundwater Reduction Plan.

The contract termination once it is signed by the mayor this week is effective Dec. 31 2016.  The change comes with a savings of about $40,000 a year that will be used to bolster the city’s water infrastructure.

To read the full article click here.

 

For all your Montgomery County Real Estate Needs contact the Michelle Wheeler Team
Wayne Stroman, Broker
Lake-Conroe-Realtors.com TREC Lic. 0416282
Call the Property Desk at 936-588-7004
Sales Office: 14500 HWY 105 W, Conroe, Texas 77304
Mail to: PO Box 2991, Conroe, Texas 77305
Sales: 936-588-4444
Fax: 936-588-4884

Listing and Sales Agent

Real Estate Listing and Sales

 

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New 911 Service in Montgomery County

cellphone911Making Montgomery County Texas a safer place to live!

Smart911 is coming to Montgomery County, Texas!

In fact, it may have already launched by now and is acclaimed to be the best upgrade our first responders could ask for.

Plus, Montgomery County is the first in Texas to establish Smart911 for their county.

So how is this better? You will be able to register cell/mobile phones and information online so that when you use your phone to dial 911, they will know your address, medical information, and a host of other details that will help emergency response personnel arrive faster and better enabled to handle your situation.

This service provided by Rave Mobile Safety, also gives the caller the capability of sending a text message to 911 if the voice signal is bad.

If you need to dial 911 the call taker and first responders will already know if you or anyone in your family has any medical conditions like asthma, heart failure, diabetes, autism, PTSD, or any other disabling condition.

You also have the ability to take photos of your family members and link to their emergency profile in case someone goes missing. Armed with that information, law enforcement or search and rescue staff can immediately begin the search in those first few minutes when the crisis begins.

You can also provide emergency contact phone numbers, vehicle information, medical equipment, utilities, floor layout, medications, allergies, and animals in the home.

The information you provide is protected by “the same secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate authority and encryption technologies used by leading financial institutions” (source) and has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, and FOX News.

This is a great addition to the emergency services provided to the residents of Montgomery County. This will not only save time but prevent mistakes from being made at the scene thanks to having all the information they need.

Smart911.com is the place to sign up.

For all your Montgomery County Real Estate Needs contact the Michelle Wheeler Team
Wayne Stroman, Broker
Lake-Conroe-Realtors.com TREC Lic. 0416282
Call the Property Desk at 936-588-7004
Sales Office: 14500 HWY 105 W, Conroe, Texas 77304
Mail to: PO Box 2991, Conroe, Texas 77305
Sales: 936-588-4444
Fax: 936-588-4884

Listing and Sales Agent

Michelle Wheeler
Lake Conroe Area Team Leader

Real Estate Listing and Sales

Wayne Stroman
Lake-Conroe-Realtors.com Broker

 

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Zika, West Nile Virus, and Mosquitoes – Montgomery County TX and Rainfall

texasfloodingIn the last 30 days 19.3″ of rain has fallen as measured at the Lake Conroe Dam.

THAT is a huge amount of rain! Torrential rains and a continuous flow of precipitation over the last 3 or 4 weeks has caused not only river and stream flooding, but an enormous amount of water pooling over the area.

And THAT is where mosquitoes breed.

Everyone should take action to eliminate standing and pooled water on their property. That includes not only the usual pooled areas but spots where water can accumulate out of sight: empty cans, tires, garbage, ditches, and more.

Why is that important?

mosquito“Mosquitoes cause more human suffering than any other organism — over one million people worldwide die from mosquito-borne diseases every year. Not only can mosquitoes carry diseases that afflict humans, they also transmit several diseases and parasites that dogs and horses are very susceptible to. ” (source)

Mosquitoes carry Malaria, Chikungunya, Dog Heartworm, Dengue, Yellow Fever, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, St. Louis Encephalitis, LaCrosse Encephalitis, Western Equine Encephalitis, West Nile Virus, and Zika Virus.

By now everyone has heard of the West Nile Virus and the Zika Virus.

These threats must be taken seriously before they take hold in our own neighborhoods. Historically, aside from rats, mosquites have caused more disease and death than any other carrier of disease.

On May 19, 2016 Precinct Three released this statement about West Nile:

The Woodlands, TX – The Precinct Three Mosquito Abatement team is responding to a mosquito sample that tested positive for West Nile virus in South Montgomery County. In the beginning of 2016, Montgomery County purchased new equipment to test mosquito samples for West Nile Virus in house at the Precinct 3 facility. . . To help combat mosquitoes with our recent rain and warm temperatures, we ask residents to do the following and think WET:

• Wear Repellent
• Eliminate standing water
• Treat water that you can’t eliminate

For more information you can visit http://www.precinct3.org/mosquito-abatement/

(source)

And from the Texas State Department of Health Services:  As of June 3, 2016, “Texas has had 40 reported cases of Zika virus disease.

Case counts by county:

Bexar – 6
Collin – 1
Dallas – 6
Denton – 2
Fort Bend – 2
Grayson – 1
Harris – 13
Tarrant – 4
Travis – 2
Val Verde – 1
Williamson – 1
Wise – 1

Zika is a mosquito-borne virus that can cause fever, rash, muscle and joint aches and red eyes (conjunctivitis). Symptoms are usually mild, and most people exposed to Zika virus won’t develop any symptoms at all. . . People can protect themselves from mosquito bites by taking a few simple steps:

For the summer of 2016 please stay safe and avoid getting a mosquito bite.

For all your Montgomery County Real Estate Needs contact the Michelle Wheeler Team
Wayne Stroman, Broker
Lake-Conroe-Realtors.com TREC Lic. 0416282
Call the Property Desk at 936-588-7004
Sales Office: 14500 HWY 105 W, Conroe, Texas 77304
Mail to: PO Box 2991, Conroe, Texas 77305
Sales: 936-588-4444
Fax: 936-588-4884

Listing and Sales Agent

Michelle Wheeler
Lake Conroe Area Team Leader

Real Estate Listing and Sales

Wayne Stroman
Lake-Conroe-Realtors.com Broker

 

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Exxon/Mobil’s New Home & Home Values

When Exxon/Mobile announced their plans to build a new complex near The Woodlands, TX in Montgomery County imaginations ran wild about how it would look and the impact it would have.

We no longer have to depend on our imaginations:

Freeways have been widened, additional shortcuts have been built, new lanes have been added, and multitudes of signs have made navigating the area much easier.

All to accommodate the 10,000 new employees working at the complex. In addition, at least 1,900 new jobs have been created in the area to provide more services to the added workers.

What has this done to home values in the area: The Woodlands, Montgomery County, Spring, Conroe, Montgomery, and others?

The value of residential homes in the county have been steadily rising for over 3 years. Some areas have seen as much as a 25 to 30% jump in one year alone. Others remain solid at their current levels.

The true land rush can be seen where acreage is being cleared to make way for new condos, apartments, large retail stores, service stations, and restaurants.

The land values have risen dramatically as development continues to race ahead in Montgomery County, TX.

Evidence of this dramatic growth can be seen on the roadways. The once sleepy Hwy 105 as a two lane country road is now three or four lanes in each direction. And on Friday afternoons that even gets backed up at the slightest mishap.

If you are thinking of selling your home or buying in Montgomery County, seek out the advice of a Realtor who can best guide you on the direction of the housing market and give you an idea of what price your home would sell for.
For all your Montgomery County Real Estate Needs contact the Michelle Wheeler Team
Wayne Stroman, Broker
Lake-Conroe-Realtors.com TREC Lic. 0416282
Call the Property Desk at 936-588-7004
Sales Office: 14500 HWY 105 W, Conroe, Texas 77304
Mail to: PO Box 2991, Conroe, Texas 77305
Sales: 936-588-4444
Fax: 936-588-4884

Listing and Sales Agent

Michelle Wheeler
Lake Conroe Area Team Leader

Real Estate Listing and Sales

Wayne Stroman
Lake-Conroe-Realtors.com Broker

 

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Golf – More Reasons To Buy In Montgomery County

The newest golf community in Montgomery County is Bluejacket National. Not only does it have an amazing design and mature look for a new course, but it is carved out of ancient forests and surrounded by a magnificent golf course community!

Bluejack-National-Golf-CourseThe Playgrounds, a 10-hole short course also designed by Tiger Woods, offers a unique golf experience ideal for casual fun with friends and family or high-quality short-game practice. It has lights for night play with music and offers food and beverages throughout the day. The golf skills area features a practice range as well as chipping, pitching and putting greens.

The 18 hole course, the first one designed by Tiger Woods, is a fast and challenging course. Not only do they offer golf, but there is a Nike Golf center, pro shop, putting greens, chipping greens, pitching greens, personal trainers, performance testing, club fitting, and every other imaginable amenity you could wish for in a world class golf club.

Other features either just completed or coming soon include a tennis center, football field, outdoor movie theater, tree house, skate park, ropes course, zip lines, and a tropical paradise setting for the swimming pool.

Also slated are an event lawn, gardens and orchards, hiking nature trails, spa and wellness center, fishing dock, fitness center with locker rooms, and a 10 hole short course called “The Playgrounds”: think lighted night golf, music, food, beverages, and more fun!

Indoor features will include dining and event buildings, a bowling alley, a casual restaurant, game room, and more.

Model Homes at Bluejack

Model Homes at Bluejack

The homes of Bluejack National:

On their website here’s how they describe the community they are building: “Capturing the spirit of the great lodges and fishing camps of the 19th Century.” Bluejack will include 386 private residences. They will consist of a mixture of “homestead” sized homes with ample acreage, cottages, weekend retreat homes, and all built by the finest local builders to give the community a certain flair.

The Bluejack National golf course and community are located at 4430 South FM 1486  Montgomery, TX 77316.
For all your Montgomery County Real Estate Needs contact the Michelle Wheeler Team
Wayne Stroman, Broker
Lake-Conroe-Realtors.com TREC Lic. 0416282
Call the Property Desk at 936-588-7004
Sales Office: 14500 HWY 105 W, Conroe, Texas 77304
Mail to: PO Box 2991, Conroe, Texas 77305
Sales: 936-588-4444
Fax: 936-588-4884

Listing and Sales Agent

Michelle Wheeler
Lake Conroe Area Team Leader

Real Estate Listing and Sales

Wayne Stroman
Lake-Conroe-Realtors.com Broker

 

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New Conroe VA Clinic Opens

Woodlands Exit Off I 45

Woodlands Exit Off I 45

Part of the infrastructure that supports population growth in an area like ours are medical facilities.

Montgomery County is the 6th fastest growing county in Texas, according to the 2010 census, with a population of 455,746. This more than doubles the county’s population since 1990. Montgomery County is projected to reach one million in the next twenty-five years.

A huge amount of construction and upgrade projects are underway in Montgomery County, Texas.

And these projects will be needed as all these residential construction projects are completed: Oakhurst at Kingwood, Tavola, Woodridge Forest and Valley Ranch.

Conroe VA Clinic

Conroe VA Clinic

The new VA Clinic just opened on December 4, 2015 and has dramatically improved access and quality of services offered to veteran patients.

The new facility, 30,000 square feet, offers new services such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, lab work, X-rays, CT scans and mammograms. And the need certainly is great, “According to the VA’s website, as of September 2014 there were more than 1.7 million veterans in Texas, 1.5 million are men and 177,075 women.” (source)

In Montgomery county there are now 24 hospitals and clinics. They are scattered all over the county and provide critical access to the medical services needed by the residents. In addition, it also should be noted that Conroe Regional Medical Center is working on reaching a higher level in their trauma center. “Once the local hospitals attain Level II trauma center designation, they will be certified to offer the same level of trauma care in Montgomery County as Ben Taub and Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center hospitals in Houston.”

 
For all your Montgomery County Real Estate Needs contact the Michelle Wheeler Team
Wayne Stroman, Broker
Lake-Conroe-Realtors.com TREC Lic. 0416282
Call the Property Desk at 936-588-7004
Sales Office: 14500 HWY 105 W, Conroe, Texas 77304
Mail to: PO Box 2991, Conroe, Texas 77305
Sales: 936-588-4444
Fax: 936-588-4884

Listing and Sales Agent

Michelle Wheeler
Lake Conroe Area Team Leader

Real Estate Listing and Sales

Wayne Stroman
Lake-Conroe-Realtors.com Broker

 

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Conroe Airport Gets Facelift

Conroe AirportIt happened this past October with little fanfare: Lone Star Executive Airport had a name change to Conroe-North Houston Regional Airport. The name change was accompanied by a major makeover.

These changes included a $2.6 million international customs facility, and a new runway to accommodate larger aircraft and aircraft from new international flights.

Black Forest Ventures and Conroe have pledged a $600,000 apiece for the facility.

Wings AviationThe airport has more than 156 international flights, with most of those doing business in Montgomery County.

Those flights originate from 13 countries.

The economic impact could be huge. Not only will the name change clarify the airport’s location, but it will make it more marketable to other locations. Previously the airport brought in $33.5 million economic benefit annually to the county.
For all your Montgomery County Real Estate Needs contact the Michelle Wheeler Team
Wayne Stroman, Broker
Lake-Conroe-Realtors.com TREC Lic. 0416282
Call the Property Desk at 936-588-7004
Sales Office: 14500 HWY 105 W, Conroe, Texas 77304
Mail to: PO Box 2991, Conroe, Texas 77305
Sales: 936-588-4444
Fax: 936-588-4884

Listing and Sales Agent

Michelle Wheeler
Lake Conroe Area Team Leader

Real Estate Listing and Sales

Wayne Stroman
Lake-Conroe-Realtors.com Broker

 

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The Roads of Montgomery County

Walker County 1851

Walker County 1851

Since 1837, roads in Montgomery County have been critical to the growth and industry of the area.  In fact, I have a personal connection with the roads and highways of Montgomery County, Texas:

1837 Washington County Commissioners’ Court

April 4, 1837

April 4, 1837, Justice of the Peace/Commissioner William Robert from the Precinct of San Jacinto moved that the road from the Lake Creek Settlement to the City of Houston be continued north from the Lake Creek Settlement (Montgomery) to the town of New Cincinnati (due north of Huntsville).

On motion of William Robert. Resolved that the road from the City of Houston to Lake Creek Settlement be Continued to run North from Lake Creek Settlement in the most direct and practicable rout to New Cincinnatti on the Trinity and that William Clark, Job Collard, H. M. Crabb (my great great grandfather), John Caruthers and Ranson Alfin be appointed to survey said rout and report to this court at the next regular term thereof. (source)

Highway ConstructionAnd now for the roads and highways of Montgomery County 2015! Future roadways are being considered: “Though the plan outlines a number of proposed roadways, the routes are preliminary, and no engineering work has been completed yet, Mullins said. The idea of the plan is to preserve general corridors for a possible future roadway, such as a new connection from FM 1486 to FM 149 or Hwy. 242 and Hwy. 105.”

One successful outcome of this planning would be the Fish Creek Thoroughfare. Fish Creek Thoroughfare, incorporated into the plan years ago, used designs by a subdivision developer to extend McCaleb Road, bridge over a rail road crossing, and connect to Woodforest Subdivision and Hwy 1488. By doing it this way no homes were impacted in the new connecting road.

In recent years, voting has not gone as well to fund some of these road and highway projects. But discussions will continue as they have since the overall road and highway plan started in 1979.  Since 1837!

Without this kind of planning room for road right of way will get left out of construction projects, subdivision developments, and utility easements.

Like they say, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”

For all your Montgomery County Real Estate Needs contact the Michelle Wheeler Team
Wayne Stroman, Broker
Lake-Conroe-Realtors.com TREC Lic. 0416282
Call the Property Desk at 936-588-7004
Sales Office: 14500 HWY 105 W, Conroe, Texas 77304
Mail to: PO Box 2991, Conroe, Texas 77305
Sales: 936-588-4444
Fax: 936-588-4884

Listing and Sales Agent

Michelle Wheeler
Lake Conroe Area Team Leader

Real Estate Listing and Sales

Wayne Stroman
Lake-Conroe-Realtors.com Broker

 

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Pictoral List of things to do on Lake Conroe

Rather than filling a page up with text about Lake Conroe, here’s a pictorial guide to some of the fun things to do ON Lake Conroe:

Sailing

sailing on lake conroe

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fishing

bass fishing on lake conroe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boating

boating on Lake Conroe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Water Skiing

water skiing on Lake Conroe

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Slow Party Boat

Pontoon Party Boats on Lake Conroe

 

 

 

 

 

Jet Skiing

Jet Skiing Jet ski on Lake Conroe

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aviation!

Landing a plane on lake Conroe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The list of things to do AROUND Lake Conroe is even bigger, but that’s a subject for another blogging day!
For all your Montgomery County Real Estate Needs contact the Michelle Wheeler Team
Wayne Stroman, Broker
Lake-Conroe-Realtors.com TREC Lic. 0416282
Call the Property Desk at 936-588-7004
Sales Office: 14500 HWY 105 W, Conroe, Texas 77304
Mail to: PO Box 2991, Conroe, Texas 77305
Sales: 936-588-4444
Fax: 936-588-4884

Listing and Sales Agent

Michelle Wheeler
Lake Conroe Area Team Leader

Real Estate Listing and Sales

Wayne Stroman
Lake-Conroe-Realtors.com Broker

 

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