By Joan Frances
Look around. Fifty years ago Missouri City consisted of cow pastures and corn fields, hardly recognizable. Today, large housing communities, retail stores, business offices, medical buildings, and an influx of restaurants abound. And why? Because this city welcomes new neighbors and supports growth.
Nestled between south Houston and Stafford/Sugar Land, Missouri City has been around for decades. Dated as far back as 1894, this suburb has progressed from a small unknown town to a bustling city. Incorporated on March 13, 1956 the city grew rapidly. The population was 4,500 in 1970. Then in 1982, it leapt to 24,533 with most residents commuting and working in Houston. By the year 2000 the population reached 52,913 with 1,451 businesses. Continuing to climb, 2010 population was 68,447. Today the city has achieved milestone successes and strives to continue its rapid growth.
Prosperity and development are everywhere. Road work seems to be a continual challenge as the city attempts to balance traffic and convenience. Quality of living is a top priority for the Missouri City resident. In June 2008, the Quail Valley Golf Course was acquired by the city. Once considered an eyesore, it devalued the properties around it. About 72 percent of voters approved a $17.5 million dollar bond referendum to provide funds for the acquisition of 400 acres of park land. A new Community Center and Pro Golf shop is in the works as well as a Tennis and Recreation Center.
The Quail Valley Golf Course has struggled to hold its own. According to the 2010 financials it did not turn a profit. The city transferred $283,000 from the general fund to the LGC fund due to a $210,000 loss. When hurricane Ike hit in 2008, the already deteriorated course grew worse. When the city took over in 2009, one of the two golf courses was closed in an effort to make the necessary improvements. The city allocated funds to sustain it until both courses were operational. The city had to maintain the investment. This was a benefit to the community because of the commitment to improve the area and to ultimately make a profit.
Last year, the two courses have logged almost 54,000 rounds of golf and hosted over 100 golf tournaments. Regular patrons of the golf courses are pleased with the progress it has made.
Missouri City is continuing to grow through community connection. With the opening of the new centers this spring, this “growth spurt” is posed to make a huge impact on the economy. The new Community Center will have the capacity for seating 300 people to hold weddings, special occasions and big events. The Tennis and Recreation Center is state of the art and will attract people of all ages.
The future of this city is very optimistic thanks to the hard work of its residents and City Managers.
Now Houstonians are coming to Missouri City to work and play.