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2019 News Releases

Posted on: May 24, 2019

City Council Commits to Sugar Land Way Strategies

Sugar Land, TX - Sugar Land City Council recently held its annual spring planning session, a day-long workshop where they formalized strategies to ensure the continuance of the “Sugar Land Way” as the city approaches its 60th anniversary.   

These efforts are part of a larger commitment to exceeding residents’ expectations – both with service levels and value for tax dollar – as well as in response to a recognition that the city’s infrastructure, neighborhood and commercial areas, and population are all aging.  A recommitment to the “Sugar Land Way” was the theme throughout City Council’s multi-day planning session last fall – recognizing that the absorption of budget cuts and constraint in recent years has left many increasing operational needs and priority capital projects unfunded.  Priority components of the “Sugar Land Way” were identified and include:

  • ensuring Sugar Land remains safer than ever before by building upon years of investments in facilities and public safety innovations;
  • investing in aging infrastructure and facilities at the high level expected by Sugar Land residents;
  • retaining and challenging a champion workforce that consistently exceeds the high expectations of the Sugar Land community;
  • constantly improving the appearance of the community; and
  • building upon Sugar Land’s position as an economic powerhouse and financial leader (as well as a focus on strengthened resilience) that allows the city to improve its quality of life and minimize the residential tax burden.

City Council expressed a continued desire during the spring workshop to increase Sugar Land’s resiliency and ability to anticipate and respond to new challenges and opportunities.  Additionally, the City Council also recognized the need to prepare strategies to respond to external challenges such as economic uncertainty, sales tax revenue volatility and a number of pending actions from the Texas Legislature that would impact funding and service delivery.    

“As we celebrate our city’s 60th anniversary this year, I’m proud to say the proactive investments made in the past have ensured we remain a city unlike any other,” said Mayor Joe Zimmerman. “However, we are at a crossroads as many of our neighborhoods and commercial areas were developed during the 70s and 80s or earlier.  It’s time to reinvest in the infrastructure and services that have contributed to the Sugar Land way of life, and I believe our residents agree that the investment is worth it.”

To ensure financial resiliency and fund services that citizens have identified as priorities, City Council identified potential strategies to increase and stabilize funding for maintenance and operations and capital projects, as well as help mitigate external challenges, including:

  • consideration of opportunities to rebalance the tax burden to increase the share paid by commercial properties – recognizing residential revaluation has outpaced commercial value growth in recent years;
  • consideration of future general obligation bond elections to fund important capital improvement projects such as facilities, mobility and drainage;
  • completion of a review of fees and rates – as well as collections efforts – to ensure appropriate recovery of such services; and
  • evaluation of innovative service delivery opportunities to provide the same or higher levels of services at lower costs.

As City Council works through this year’s budget process, potential projects essential to maintaining the Sugar Land Way will include increased investments in infrastructure maintenance and rehabilitation – such as streets and sidewalks, as well as landscape and streetscape maintenance; mobility and traffic safety initiatives; drainage improvements; and priority capital projects such as an emergency operations center and expanded dispatch facility, a public safety training facility and a new animal shelter.           

“We’ve been very efficient with the use of our tax dollars – even as the services our championship workforce provides every day have expanded,” said City Manager Allen Bogard. “Compared to similar cities throughout the state, including those in our region, I’m proud to say we have one of the lowest tax rates in the state while still providing the high level of services our citizens expect. Our needs are now exceeding our ability to continue providing the same level of services – and inspiring the same level of pride in our community – without increasing funding and further reinvesting into this great city of ours.”

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