City Charges Forward in "State of the City"
Charging forward – albeit with patience – was the message city officials sent during the State of the City held Monday evening.
Acknowledging that Fulshear – like Rome – won’t be built in a day, both Mayor Jeff Roberts and City Manager C. J. Snipes said that positive growth has occurred. They also both said that growth would continue.
Mayor Roberts started the evening with a brief overview of the events that transpired in 2016, including how the city continues to meet the challenges of a fast-growing population.
“In 2010, we had a population of 1,134; fast forward to today and we are at approximately 9,000. The rise of master planned communities has help drive that growth and redefined our image,” Roberts said.
He also noted the construction of new schools, businesses and churches are indicative of the progress here as well.
Other issues addressed by the Mayor included moving to a Home Rule versus general rule city, the development of electoral districts within the city, the flood of 2016, and the accomplishments the city has realized in the past 12 months.
“As we charge forward, we know we want to keep the country charm and quality of life Fulshear has always exemplified. Following the key guiding principles set forth by Council in 2016 of emphasizing family, honoring the sense of a country atmosphere, maintaining the sense of community and inclusion and be welcoming and respectful will ensure a community in which we can all be proud,” Roberts said.
Snipes continued the theme of charging forward as he concluded the evening’s presentation.
“Every one of the plans and projects on which we are currently working are important to the future. Council has been very proactive in taking up those hard decisions to ensure that a solid foundation is laid on which everything else can be built. We all want great parks and other amenities but we must balance those needs with the absolute needs for sound infrastructure and fiscal sustainability,” Snipes said.
Some of those balances include flexible regulations such as outdoor lighting, signage and development design. The city is additionally in the process of implementing several infrastructure projects this year, including expanding the waste water treatment plant, extending water and sewer lines west of town to accommodate growth at Fulshear Lakes, and mobility projects involving Huggins Road, Katy Fulshear and the Texas Heritage Parkway.
“The appeal of Fulshear is the quality of life generated by the values created in both the literal and visceral sense by the “Country Feel” of our community. We are completely unapologetic for trying to preserve those values through flexible regulation. It is our firm belief that quality begets quality and by holding development to a higher standard we are assuring long term investment value to our commercial and residential property owners; while at the same time preserving the time honored values of our rural heritage,” he said.
“We have to sustain our city while at the same time ensuring we deliver the services demanded by our citizens. The City needs to grow additional resources to meet those demands; part of that will come through diversification of the tax base to reduce the burden to the residents. That comes through more commercial development, which requires infrastructure. Most cities use the issuance of debt to finance those costs. We look forward to working with our partners in the MUDs and development community to collaboratively to have a fiscally secure future for our community.”