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"State of the City" Address
Posted on Jun 30th, 2011

Emphasizing the continuous commercial growth in the "Show Me City", Mayor Allen Owen recently announced that Warren Alloy will move to Lakeview Business Park , joining a respected list of companies already based in the center.
 Addressing an audience of 270 during his annual “State of the City” report, Owen said: "This is great news for us; the company is the nation’s oldest distributor of stainless steel and nickel alloy, pipe, tube fittings and flanges."
Additional business news noted by Mayor Owen during his speech on "Smart Growth—A Balancing Act" at Sugar Creek Country Club:
*In the past five years, the commercial tax base in Missouri City "has grown from 15 percent to 23 percent." The growth is promising and complements Council’s vision to ensure strong business gains not only to diversify the tax base but to increase jobs for residents.
*Plans for the reconstruction of US90A and expansion of the Fort Bend Toll Road across the City’s eastern boundary through Sienna Plantation will drive additional commercial and industrial development.
*In the past three years, more than 800 jobs, 500 of them non-retail, have been added to the City’s workforce and commercial square footage has increased by 2 million. The growth can be primarily attributed to a number of well-known companies such as Ben E. Keith, Lufkin Automation and Charming Charlie’s setting up shop in Lakeview Business Park and the Beltway Crossing complex on the North side of the City.
*Highway 6 continues to draw businesses, with Star Cinema Grill, an upscale movie theater, and La Quinta Inn & Suites, the City’s first hotel, set to open this year.
Other key topics Owen discussed with guests at the event hosted by the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce, were mobility, fiscal management and infrastructure investments.
Road improvements to corridors citywide will improve safety and traffic flow for residents. Projects in motion include:
*The revitalization of two gateways: Gessner Road and Texas Parkway . South Gessner from Beltway 8 to Cravens Road was fully replaced, mosaic tile City monuments were strategically placed along the roadway and sidewalks were added. Upgrades to Texas Parkway feature a prominent City monument at the intersection of US90A, drainage improvements and the addition of sidewalks. Phase Two of work on the thoroughfare will add landscape and signage.
*Construction of an interim Park and Ride on property adjacent to the Kroger Parking lot at Highway 6 and the Fort Bend Toll Road . "The site should operational by the end of summer," Owen said. "Non-stop bus service will be provided from Missouri City to the Medical Center and the lot will include parking for 200 vehicles." Location of a permanent site is currently ongoing.*Raised medians being built along Highway 6 from just south of Settlers Way in Sugar Land continuing through Missouri City to just south of the Fort Bend Toll Road will improve traffic patterns. To allow motorists convenient access to businesses, pathways will exist between some of the medians. Depending on the width of the raised medians, they will have a concrete surface, a brick looking surface or grass. *Dynamic Message Signs will soon be posted along Highway 6, Murphy Road , Cartwright Road and Texas Parkway to alert motorists to important traffic information, emergency messages and special events.
*Following guidelines from the Council-approved Traffic Management Plan, the City is "preparing to implement our Intelligent Transportation System and Traffic Management Center , through which staff will be able to monitor traffic and synchronize traffic signals at different times of the day and on different days of the week." Black poles installed along major travel routes are an integral part of the ITS; closed-circuit monitors will be placed on the poles to help staff remotely monitor traffic movement and to improve emergency response times.
*The City continues to partner with METRO and Congressman Al Green on the future plan to provide a direct light rail link for commuters to the Texas Medical Center and Downtown Houston jobs and recreation venues.
On the financial front, Owen said the City is "exercising expenditure controls and conservative budgeting to meet citizens’ needs." He highlighted Council’s recent approval of the $32.1 million Fiscal Year 2012 General Fund Budget, which takes effect July 1. The budget is based on the tax rate remaining at 52.84 cents. Later this summer, the city will receive the final tax rolls and will review and approve the property tax rate at that time. The property tax, sales tax and franchise fee income is estimated to remain virtually flat at $14.74 million, $6 million, and $3.27 million, respectively.
Infrastructure improvements were also cited in the speech. Mayor Owen explained that bids have been received for the new Community Center and Golf Pro Shop as well as the Recreation and Tennis Center on Cypress Point, with construction expected to begin on both projects later this summer.
The Quail Valley Golf Course hosted almost 54,000 rounds this past year and is expected to "slightly exceed the break even point for operations in the 2011 fiscal year," Owen said. The courses hosted 86 outside tournaments in the past year—more than one per week and a 20 percent increase from the previous year.
Mayor Owen also mentioned the Surface Water Treatment Plant construction, a unique partnership among government and private sectors, involving 30 well users, including 19 Municipal Utility Districts and property owners in the City and in areas outside the City limits. "The plant is 60 percent complete and on target for delivering 10 million gallons of water per day in the first quarter of 2012. The cost will be paid by water users and not with direct taxpayer dollars," Owen said, adding that he looks forward to this MUD-Missouri City partnership leading to future joint initiatives.
In closing remarks, Owen commended "the talented and dedicated City employees who make all of the Council policy decisions a reality for our citizens." And, he noted another milestone in the City’s history: the departure of City Manager Frank Simpson, who will soon join College Station as Assistant City Manager. "We greatly appreciate his exemplary service over the past 7 1/2 years," Owen said.
The "State of the City" speech is available for residents to view on the City’s website: and on Missouri City Television (Ch. 16 on Comcast and Ch. 99 on AT&T U-verse).
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