This November, Fort Bend County voters could have decisions to make that will impact long-term infrastructure development, including one of the most notable interests in Sugar Land and Fort Bend ISD.
According to minutes recorded from a June 19 special meeting of the Fort Bend County Commissioners Court, the county is considering putting a facilities bond on the upcoming November ballot to upgrade and create amenities around the county. They would include projects in Missouri City, Sugar Land and other places in the area.
Of particular note is a $3 million project in the draft, which would aid in creating an educational exhibit and park at the historic abandoned cemetery discovered during construction of Fort Bend ISD’s James Reese Career and Technical Center in early 2018.
Fort Bend County can own, operate and maintain the cemetery where archaeologists discovered the remains of the “Sugar Land 95,” a group of 95 African Americans who are believed to have been part of the state’s convict labor leasing program in the late 1800s, thanks to the passage of House Bill 4179 June 7.
On June 17, the Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees approved the principal terms of an agreement that will transfer ownership of the cemetery to the county. As a result, FBISD board president Jason Burdine now has the ability to complete negotiations with the county and Judge KP George to finalize details of the agreement, prior to the county’s action.
“We are excited and hopeful that we will be able to move forward with an agreement that will allow these individuals to be reinterred and memorialized, Burdine said following the initial terms agreement.
Among other drafted projects that could take place within local neighborhoods are a $2 million Kitty Hollow Park expansion, $2.4 million gym and $16 million youth sports facility in Missouri City as well as a $7.2 million Precinct 4 Annex building in Sugar Land. It also includes a $30 million juvenile detention center in Richmond, $3.2 million for countywide improvement on emergency medical services and $8 million for general countywide parks repairs and upgrades.
The potential draft of bond projects also includes a proposed $100 million federal disaster recovery match that could create as much as $500 million for flood control mitigation projects.
This money will not be spent, but will be leveraged and may become available to get projects done for flood mitigation and the county would have the ability to step up if the funds are available, Precinct 1 Commissioner Vincent Morales said June 19, according to meeting minutes. Drafted plans also include a nearly $30 million investment in facilities at the Fort Bend County fairgrounds in Rosenberg.