Missouri City Mayor Allen Owen showed off the Show Me City Thursday by delivering his annual State of the City address inside the city’s newly renovated community center at City Hall.
The annual address, done in conjunction with the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce, featured highlights of the last year in Missouri City and a peek ahead at things to come.
“I’m proud to say that the Show Me City is having another great year,” he said.
Much of Owen’s talk centered around economic development.
“This is a time of growth, renewal, and renovation,” he said.
Owen noted several companies either building or expanding in Missouri City.
“Ben E. Keith continues to expand its footprint,” he said.
He noted among others that Best Buy and FedEx are building large facilities in business parks near Highway 90A and Beltway 8. He also talked about other businesses coming to town or expanding in the city.
“It is evident that economic development continues to drive city life,” he said.
Owen said that last year the city approved its first economic development plan, which focused on revitalization along Texas Parkway. Driving that are major improvements at the City Hall complex, including facility upgrades, new paint, landscaping, a garden, art installation, and water features. Next door, Houston Community College opened a $25 million campus last year.
“It’s the largest single capital investment made on Texas Parkway in more than 20 years,” he said.
Situated between City Hall and HCC is the Missouri City Branch Library, which is undergoing a $6.4 million upgrade and expansion.
“That old campus does not have the things that kids need today in a library. It’s full of books,” he said, getting a laugh.
“We found out there is not enough electric power in that building over there to handle all of that, so part of the renovation, part of the three-floor building, is to make sure we have enough electrical power for these kids,” he said.
Owen was also pleased to talk about the agreement the city has with METRO to provide bus service to city residents.
As evidence of growth in Missouri City, Owen said the city approved 10,410 building permits last year with an estimated property value of $119 million.
Not all the news last year was good news for the city. He noted the struggles related to Hurricane Harvey and heaped high praise on city staff, first responders and volunteers who helped out during the natural disaster. He said there were 1,300 water rescues done in the city during the flood.
“We still have a long road to recovery,” he said.
He made note that he recently testified in Congress about the lessons learned from Harvey.
Among his other highlights, Owen noted that the city received a $50,000 grant to replace playground equipment destroyed by an arsonist.
“Our new relationship that I’m especially proud to be associated with is the Snowdrop Foundation,” he said.
The foundation held a fundraising road race here last year that lasted 55 hours and covered 250 miles.
“They were here for the first time and they set some world records,” Owen said, noting a man ran the 250 miles in 50 hours.
He also noted that the city-owned Quail Valley Golf Course hosted 136,000 guests and 60,000 rounds of golf in 2017.
Among his other observations noted, Owen said the city reduced major crime rates last year.
“We started addressing code violations like we never have before,” he said.
He said the city will continue to move forward with plans for a new veterans memorial and many other improvements around the city.
“The city has achieved so much by being proactive and not reactive,” he said.