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Missouri City's Successes Shine Bright in 2012

Photos courtesy of Missouri City

A new LED message sign, monument wall and landscaping now grace the entrance of City Hall.

 

Missouri City’s Successes Shine Bright in 2012

 

Missouri City continued its march of excellence in 2012 with an array of successful fiscal, civic, business and public safety accomplishments that kept the “Show Me City” on the list of the state’s and the nation’s premier municipalities.

 

Safe streets, best budgets, thriving companies, dynamic diversity, pristine parks and A-plus amenities remain hallmarks of the City, and have an impact on its infrastructure projects and retail and commercial sectors.

 

Showcasing the richness of our cultural, educational and economic strengths, a groundbreaking Rice University study this year found Missouri City has surpassed Houston in diversity.

 

“Our diversity brings different ideas and traditions to the table, and we are united in the direction of our community’s future,” said City Manager Edward Broussard. “With 20 parks, two championship golf courses, first-class amenities and rich historical traditions, we encourage everyone to discover Missouri City.”

 

City Council continued to provide strong leadership for citizens and staff in 2012. From left are Councilmember Don Smith, District B, Councilmember Bobby Marshall, District A, Mayor Pro Tem Jerry Wyatt, At Large Position 1, Mayor Allen Owen, Councilmember Danny Nguyen, At Large Position 2, Councilmember Floyd Emery, District D, and Councilmember Robin Elackatt, District C.

 

Additionally, MONEY Magazine and CNNMoney named Missouri City one of 2012’s Top 10 Most Affordable Cities in the nation for homebuyers and “we are steadfast in our commitment to remain a premier location with scenic neighborhoods, low crime, top-rated schools and expanded quality recreational opportunities,” Broussard said.

 

And, when it comes to living healthy lifestyles; citizens are up to the challenge. Residents and staff formed a winning partnership this year to earn a second place honor in the Healthy at H-E-B Challenge, a statewide initiative aimed at getting Texans to become active and stay fit.

 

Another recreational accolade was earned by the award-winning Quail Valley Golf Course, which has hosted record rounds again this year. Avid Golfer ranked the El Dorado fairway as the No. 1 “Best Value Under $50”, and No. 2 among courses in the category of “Top-5 Intermediate-Priced • $36-$50”. And, the magazine ranked the La Quinta greens No. 2 among courses in the category of “Top-5 Value-Priced • $36-$50”.

 

QVGC is also now the third location for the First Tee of Greater Houston, a youth development program that teaches life lessons such as the importance of honesty, sportsmanship, perseverance, responsibility and judgment.

 

“We all know that Missouri City is a special place and these honors reinforce what those of us who live here know,” said Mayor Allen Owen. “As we move forward, our synergistic relationship with our families and business partners will continue to make Missouri City one of the best cities in America.”

 

Fiscal Fitness

 

Strong fiscal management earned the city a Double A rating for its general obligation bonds and certificates of obligation, a high rank based on sound budget policies and procedures that give the City a bright financial outlook for the future.

 

For more than 25 years, the City Budget and the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report have been recognized annually by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada for their detail on City services and programs and the City’s financial condition. And, for the second year in a row Missouri City has earned a “Gold Star” award for financial transparency and online reporting from the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

 

Maintaining fiscal excellence is a top priority for the City, with all departments focused on the effective and efficient management of financial resources.

 

A police officer, left, shares safety information with a resident. Firefighters, at right, perform a vehicle extrication demonstration.

 

Protecting the Public

 

Proactive public safety programs protect, educate and engage citizens, often providing a glimpse into the work of our first responders who put their lives on the line to keep us safe.

 

In 2012, the Missouri City Police Department hosted a series of safety seminars, including a citywide crime prevention meeting, ensuring citizens are prepared to safeguard their families and property.

 

And, this year brought a significant first for the Fire & Rescue Services as they hosted their inaugural annual open house. Hundreds visited Fire Station 1 and experienced how to handle a fire hose, learned about life-saving equipment, watched a vehicle extrication demonstration, toured the firehouse and practiced fire exit drills.

 

Another highlight was the graduation of the 26th Annual Missouri City Police and Fire Academy. This year’s class of 27 is now qualified to join the Police and Fire Auxiliary and Citizen’s Response Team after completing a free six-week training program that took them “behind-the-scenes”. The residents learned about traffic and criminal law, CPR, firearms, and the dangers associated with fighting fires and solving crimes.

 

The importance of Missouri City’s public safety investment in commercial areas also is demonstrated via the new Police Mini-Station on Texas Parkway. The station serves as a daily reminder to citizens that the City is dedicated to keeping them and their businesses safe.

 

Business is Booming

 

Continuing to build a sustainable business base is critical to future growth and development.

 

This year, Missouri City’s commitment to private-public partnerships was recognized with the prestigious 2012 Community Economic Development Award from the Texas Economic Development Council. The “Show Me City” won the distinction for its successful bid to attract Niagara Bottling Company, the second largest water bottling firm in the United States.

 

In making its decision, TEDC cited Missouri City’s “team effort” in partnering with the Greater Houston Partnership, the Fort Bend Economic Development Council, Fort Bend County, CenterPoint Energy Economic Development Group and Water Control and Improvement District No. 2 to interest Niagara in opening its doors in Lakeview Business Park, located near Fondren Road and Sam Houston Parkway.

 

The plant is expected to be fully operational in the first quarter of 2013. When complete, it will encompass more than 356,000 square feet, with water processing, bottle manufacturing, warehousing and a distribution facility.

 

A few miles away in the Beltway Crossing Complex on South Gessner Road, another major company is preparing to open its doors. Ben E. Keith Foods will complete the first phase of its 500,000-square-foot facility in the first quarter of 2013. When complete, the company, which was honored in 2012 by having Beltway Road renamed Ben E. Keith Way, will be the City’s largest employer.

 

Other new companies choosing to locate here during the past 12 months include Twin Star Bakery, Southwest Electronic Energy Corp., Fort Bend Brewing Company, Warren Alloy/Allied Fittings, Stream Realty and Bimbo Bakeries USA.

 

And, to create an ongoing dialogue with the business community, the City has launched Business Briefing Breakfasts. These monthly meetings focus on economic growth and development and are hosted in the City Centre at Quail Valley. For more information on the breakfasts, call 281.403.8530.

 

Infrastructure Improvements

 

Infrastructure improvements were a priority citywide. A major accomplishment was the official opening of the City’s new $50 million Regional Water Treatment Plant, the largest capital improvement project ever undertaken by the “Show Me City”. The project was the result of an unprecedented level of cooperation among 40 government and private sector groups.

 

The facility, which has the capacity to store 100 million gallons of water, was built to meet regulations set by the Fort Bend Subsidence District, which mandates that groundwater withdrawals must be no more than 70 percent of total water demand by Jan. 1, 2014. By January of 2025, withdrawals must be reduced to no more than 40 percent of water demand.

 

During a grand opening ceremony for the plant in August, partners raised their glasses—filled with water processed at the facility. Plant engineers say the quality of the refined water should exceed that of the groundwater residents currently drink with 33 types of tests conducted each day to ensure the water is safe to use. And, in recognition of its excellence, the RWTP won the Texas Public Works Association’s Project of the Year Award for “Environmental Projects at least $25 million but less than $75 million”.

 

Other infrastructure upgrades completed citywide include:

 

*Raised medians constructions on Highway 6 and Texas Parkway. The Texas Department of Transportation managed these mobility projects that improved safety for motorists and pedestrians. The projects included the installation of new traffic signals and six Dynamic Messages Signs along Highway 6, and the installation of new turn lanes along both roadways.

 

*Implementation of the $2.8 million Intelligent Transportation System to help synchronize traffic signals and manage traffic flow citywide.

 

*A showcase Missouri City monument wall was added to the entrance of the City Hall Complex, which has been revitalized with the addition of a new LED sign and landscaping. The monument wall is the latest of several new ones that now grace major thoroughfares helping to brand and beautify the area.

 

*Next year, Lexington Boulevard will be extended. Plans call for a decorative traffic signal at Texas Parkway, a four-lane boulevard roadway with sidewalks from Texas Parkway to Scanlin Road, as well as drainage structures. Fort Bend County has agreed to pay all costs of the $3.3 million project through the Fort Bend Mobility Bond program.

 

Other key infrastructure improvements include the reconstruction of El Dorado Bridge, the installment of flashing yellow arrows along major roadways and the construction of Fire Station #5, which is being fully funded by the Sienna Plantation Municipal Utility District. The station is expected to open in late 2013.

 

Another mobility milestone involves the METRO Park & Ride stop located in the Fort Bend Town Center at Fort Bend Parkway and Highway 6. Ridership on the service is steadily increasing, providing convenient, stress-free commutes to and from the Texas Medical Center and Houston’s central business district for hundreds of residents.

 

Pristine Parks

 

City Council followed through on its commitment to citizens that construction of the City Centre at Quail Valley and the Recreation and Tennis Center would be completed this year.

 

Since Missouri City’s new first-class amenities opened their doors, they have received rave reviews.

 

Missouri City’s premier City Centre at Quail Valley can host all of your special events.

 

As Fort Bend County’s premier events venue, the City Centre at Quail Valley, located at 2880 La Quinta Dr., has hosted dozens of festive occasions including weddings, business meetings, birthday parties, tournaments like the 2012 Fort Bend Chamber Challenge and an official ribbon-cutting ceremony.

 

To plan and schedule a function, individuals and businesses can call 281-403-8517.

 

Missouri City’s first-class Recreation and Tennis Center can help you stay fit with lots of fun activities.

 

The state-of-the-art Recreation and Tennis Center, located at 2701 Cypress Point Dr., continues to draw new members and has hosted tennis tournaments for local and regional organizations.

 

The Center, which was featured in the August edition of Athletic Business, has a Kid Zone, a full-size gymnasium, multi-purpose rooms, tennis courts, batting cages, the latest cardio and weight equipment, an outdoor walking trail and tennis clinics. To join, visit the City website: www.missouricitytx.gov or call 281-403-8637.

 

Many distinctions set Missouri City apart from other municipalities, and the City’s pristine parks are among the area’s best.

 

The Edible Arbor Trail, which features groves of trees and shrubs that produce edible fruits and nuts, remains a favorite. It was recognized as an innovative project this year by the Texas Recreation and Parks Society and received an Honorable Mention for “On-the-Ground Projects” from the Houston-Galveston Area Council. The trail was also featured on Ch. 13’s Hometown Live Report.

 

Another parks project that has been popular is the expansion of Oyster Creek Trail. The 2.31 mile pathway, an outdoor haven for residents who enjoy a scenic hike, bike, walk or jog, underwent a revitalization that added a paved bike and pedestrian trail along Oyster Creek Bayou between Dulles Avenue and Cartwright Road.

 

Improvements made to the Cartwright Road Bridge extended Oyster Creek Trail under the bridge and connected it to the existing trail south of Cartwright Road.

 

Scenes from the Snowfest Festival, left, and from National Night Out, right. Below, MCJCF founding board members kickoff the group’s golden anniversary at a VIP Reception. Pictured from left, are Michael Mouton, Councilman Don Smith, who is Founder and Chairman, Sonja Thornton, Pamela Poole, Charles Swindell and Derrick Woods.

 

Treasured Traditions

 

Annual traditions build lasting bonds citywide and this year, these successful events helped form a strong sense of civic pride:

 

* The 29th Annual Snowfest Festival drew more than 5,000 to the City Hall Complex and featured a tree-lighting ceremony, colorful fireworks, bicycle raffles, the world’s tallest snowman bounce house, a snow hill, a toy drive and Santa! And, the Snowfest Parade drew hundreds and featured colorful floats, local bands, community groups and trailers decorated in holiday themes.

 

*The July 4th Festival was a fantastic celebration in Buffalo Run Park full of fun and fireworks. Thousands of families gathered to see the sky light up with color at dusk. Children also enjoyed a moonwalk, a rock wall, and a mechanical bull.

 

*The Fourth Annual “Operation Thanksgiving—Stuff the Squad Car!” put the unity in community as “Show Me City” citizens, businesses and staff partnered to fill 15 police patrol cars with canned and nonperishable food items to assist area families in need. The Second Mile Mission Center, Bethel Ministry and the Powerhouse of Love Food Bank benefitted from this benevolent event.

 

*The Missouri City Juneteenth Celebration Foundation commemorated its 10th Anniversary with a focus on families and their core contributions to our communities. At the Community Service Awards Gala tribute, retired NBA star Charlie Ward was the guest speaker. Other special celebrations were the Scholarship Golf Tournament, Family Fun Day in the Park and Night Out, Festival Under the Stars and the One Mile of Smiles Parade.

 

*And, neighborhoods across Missouri City held National Night Out block parties featuring good food, fellowship and fun on the 29th annual observance of the crime prevention initiative. NNO helps neighbors get to know each other and to partner with police officers, firefighters, City Council and staff to discuss and implement measures that help combat crime.

 

A Bright Future

 

In 2012, professionals in all departments honorably represented the City with pride and were recognized by their peers in the region, in the state and across the nation. They include:

 

*Police Officer of the Year Jessica Berry

*Firefighter of the Year Michael Jaster

*Recreation Superintendent Shane Mize, who won the 2012 National Recreation and Park Association Rising Professional Award

*Director of Municipal Court Services Cathy Haney, who is the Texas Court Clerks Association’s 2012 Gulf Coast Chapter Clerk of the Year

*Street Technician II Lyford “Nickey” Hayes, who was recognized as Operator of the Year—Heavy Equipment by the American Public Works Association

*City Secretary Maria Gonzalez, who became President of the Salt Grass Chapter of the Texas Municipal Clerks Association, Inc.

*The Communications Team won the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers’ Silver Star for Electronic Report, the Texas Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors’ second place award for Best Use of Web, the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors’ third place award for the video “Bob on Biz—LEED Certified Building”, and the group’s honorable mention award for the “Show Me Missouri City TV Website”.

*The Information Technology Team managed the installation of the Tyler Technologies Enterprise Resource Planning suite of software. It includes efficiency programs for accounting, payroll, human resources, document management, mapping, permits, licenses and code enforcement.

 

In 2013, Missouri City will continue to provide citizens with excellent programs and services. A committed City Council and award-winning staff will progressively move forward into the future, ensuring the “Show Me City’s” ongoing success.

 

Residents are encouraged to stay informed through the City’s websites: www.missouricitytx.gov and www.missouricityready.com, the “Show Me Missouri City” citizen newsletter, regular and annual homeowner association meetings, Missouri City television (Ch. 16 on Comcast and Ch. 99 on AT&T U-verse) and 1690 AM.

 

Families and visitors are invited to have breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner at the City Centre and to maintain a focus on fitness at the Recreation and Tennis Center. And, to make those memorable moments in life even more special, citizens should plan to host their celebrations in one of the City Centre’s elegant rooms—the magnificent Magnolia Ballroom, the amazing Azalea Room or the beautiful Bluebonnet Grille.

 

Schedule your next tee time at the championship Quail Valley Golf Course.

 

And, golfers can always enjoy a great game at the renowned Quail Valley Golf Course. For greens fees, visit www.golfquailvalley.com or call 281.403.5910.

 

As the City partners with the community to start a New Year together; high-standards will continue to be set and met in the “Show Me City”.

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Taken on December 31, 2012