By Elsa Maxey
The City of Stafford will consider a proposal on the Regal Ranch property from Fort Bend County this week, Mayor Leonard Scarcella told the “Star“. Scarcella said this Wednesday the city council will meet, so the official word about Stafford’s intentions about buying and/or operating part of the property are still pending. But, according to Fort Bend County Commissioner Grady Prestage in whose precinct the land is situated, “The current lessee will continue the operations (of the Regal Ranch) just as soon as the City of Stafford assumes responsibility for it…sometime in 2013.”
This apparently means that Stafford may be managing the amenities of the Regal Ranch next year after possibly purchasing part of the almost $2 million appraised land that the county will soon close on. Fort Bend County expressed its drainage interest on part of the land, but had to buy the entire 31-acreage because that was the only way it could have the portion it wanted.
Last week, Fort Bend County Commissioners announced that it had placed an earnest money contract to buy the Regal Ranch appraised at $1,945.000, which Prestage said would come out of the county’s general fund. Prestage also said that the county’s negotiations to buy land on the Regal Ranch property for drainage purposes had been going on for a couple of years. He further told the “Star” that the earnest money contract was executed this past May. That’s when rumblings were first heard about that land buy.
Assistant County Attorney Marcus Spencer said, “no formal agreements have been executed at this time,” confirming that the county does not have an agreement with the City of Stafford…yet.
“The drainage of the Stafford watershed is at capacity,” said Prestage relating to the Regal Ranch land purchase and the findings of the Fort Bend County Drainage District and its consultants. “This will allow more storage so that we can continue residential and commercial development,” and “it will both prevent flooding and allow for future development.” Prestage also said the watershed, which is where the water in a particular area drains, affects “pretty much Missouri City and the Stafford area.”
No eminent flooding danger, he said, “But for growth and development to continue in East Fort Bend County, this project needs to take place,” calling it a win-win, mutually beneficial arrangement. “The county gets to provide the public service that it is committed to providing (flood control), and the amenity survives.”
According to the Regal Ranch website, it’s been hosting successful events for over 50 years.