Accomplishments and visions highlighted at the Sugar Land State of the City breakfast
Mother Nature didn’t get the memo to supply a gorgeous morning for Sugar Land’s State of the City breakfast on Friday, January 24. But that didn’t stop those who braved the arctic blast and icy roads from hearing what the city accomplished in 2013.
Mayor James Thompson told the crowd that several significant company relocations that will result in more than $23 million in new capital investment. Some of the companies relocating include: Texas Instruments, United Health Care and the new Fluor campus. Nine hundred twenty five new jobs were created including 800 from United Health Care’s relocation alone. Sugar Land also saw 266,000 square feet in new facility and construction leases.
Sugar Land approved a design contract and a construction manager at risk agreement for a new performing arts center. The 6,500 seat venue will be located southeast of U.S. Highway 59 and University Blvd. The facility is part of a public/private partnership with ACE Theatrical group and no tax dollars will be used in the construction.
The City’s new $69 million surface water treatment plant near Voss and Burney Road was completed. The plant has the distinction of being the largest capital improvement project ever completed by the City.
Constellation Field saw a significant increase in usage for special events in 2013 with more than 88,000 attendees for non-baseball events. Baseball attendance was the highest in the Atlantic League. City planners forecast an annual benefit to the City of $7.7 million or a return of $169 million to the economy over 30 years.
Sugar Land was named America’s 19th Safety City, based on an analysis of FBI crime statistics. The distinction made Sugar Land the third safest city in Texas.
Voters approved two parks projects which include developing 128 acres along the Brazos River and an adjacent festival site and several miles of hike and bike trails. The City updated their Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan, completed $8 million in drainage improvements, finished several large road projects including University Blvd. South, Dulles and Highway 6. In addition over 125,000 lineal feet of sidewalks were repaired or replaced.
Priorities in 2014 will include additional development of the Performing Arts Center; implementation of 2013 voter approved bond projects, drainage and land-use updates; and the creation of a Sugar Land Fire Department ambulance transport system.
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