By Betsy Dolan
The official announcement came at Sugar Land’s State of the City Address. The City is putting a $50 million bond measure before voters in November that will fund four quality of life projects.
Those projects include a community park in Telfair, an outdoor festival site, recreational development along the Brazos River and hiking/biking trails.
“We believe these projects are important and would create unparalleled recreation opportunities for the residents of Sugar Land,” said Mayor James Thompson.
The projects have been included in one more master plans for years but funding has never been available.
“The plan is to manage the tax increase in an incremental rate over time.
Probably in a five year period,” said Karen Daly, Assistant City Manager.
The bond measure would help pay for:
• kayak launch points and other recreational opportunities along the Brazos River.
• hike/bike trails which will provide for connectivity to other areas and have been a part of the master trail system.
• festival site where large-scale events would be held such as the City’s Fourth of July celebration. A lease agreement with the University of Houston has already been approved.
• community park in Telfair that will include cricket, rugby, lacrosse and picnic areas. The land is already purchased.
“We’re very sensitive to the fact that we need geographic and ethnic distribution on this committee,” Daly said. “One example is the park in Telfair. We don’t want to have just residents from that area. We’d like to have city-wide support for that park.”
The city is currently accepting online applications to participate in an advisory committee that will help draft details about the bond election.
Four sub-committees of up to 20 people each will focus on each of the projects. Additional citizens will participate in an executive committee that will guide the overall process.
Committee members are expected to meet every two to three weeks through May as they prioritize projects, and evaluate funding. Final recommendations will be presented to City Council for consideration.
The city’s last bond election was in 1999. The Imperial Recreation Center which opened in 2011 was the last project to be completed from that bond election.
Applications for the Citizens Bond Committee will be accepted through the end of January and are available on the City of Sugar Land’s web site.