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News & Press Releases

December 6, 2023

GO Bond Public Safety Project Set to Begin

Sugar Land City Council recently approved an $8 million construction contract for phase two of the city’s Public Safety Training Facility.

The facility is located west of Sugar Land Regional Airport on city-owned land that was previously part of the Central Prison Unit.

The expanded facility will accommodate simulation training involving close-quarters, non-lethal, force-on-force practice in a short-range environment. An apparatus and shoot building will include six bays for department vehicles, some of which are currently stored in covered storage areas, and an indoor shooting range for the police department. The enclosed space will allow for consolidated storage of various pieces of equipment that are stored throughout the city at various fire stations and other city facilities. This space will also allow for advanced indoor training regardless of weather conditions.

The new building will accommodate incident command simulation training, EMS training, smoke diver and “saving your own” safety programs and a Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus confidence course. The facilities will also include a driving pad to enable various skills training with motorcycles, ambulances, fire engines and public works vehicles. 

Other phase-two improvements will include outdoor classrooms, restrooms, site drainage, a water line loop, electricity service and a septic system.

Construction is anticipated to be completed by the end of year 2024.

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November 8, 2023

SL to Deliver Another Voter-Approved Drainage Project

Sugar Land City Council approved a $13.9 million construction contract for drainage improvements in Austin Park and Chimneystone.

The project was part of four general obligation bond propositions totaling $90.76 million decisively approved by Sugar Land voters on Nov. 5, 2019.  The projects included in the propositions were selected based on extensive planning through various master plans, City Council input and the results of citizen satisfaction surveys that indicated drainage, public safety and traffic/mobility are the top three priorities for residents.

More than $47 million was approved for drainage improvements, including the Austin Park and Chimneystone project that is expected to begin in December and should be finished by the fall of 2026.

“A drainage study was completed after Hurricane Harvey in 2018 for areas of the Austin Park, Settlers Grove and Chimneystone subdivisions,” said City Engineer Jessie Li.  “These areas regularly experience excessive street ponding during major storm events, and some homes experienced structure flooding during Hurricane Harvey. The study identified multiple areas that far exceeded the city’s performance criteria established by the Master Drainage Plan, and they have been programmed in the capital improvement program. 

“The Settlers Park Drainage Improvements Project has been completed. We’re now ready to begin construction for Austin Park and Chimneystone. These projects will reduce structure flooding risks and reduce the ponding depths and durations during major rain events.”

City staff obtained a 30-year zero interest loan from the Texas Water Development Board for design and construction. Based on current interest rates, the loan could save taxpayers as much as $7.6 million. 

The project scope of work includes the following items:

  • A large-capacity storm water pipe will be added between Ditch A and the Acacia Drive storm sewer outfall.
  • Larger storm sewers will be installed along Acacia Drive.
  • A second storm water sewer pipe will be constructed between the Acacia Drive storm sewer outfall and Austin Parkway.
  • A drainage channel will be installed between Austin Parkway and Thistlewood Drive. 

Updates to residents during construction will include DMS signs (as needed), homeowner association notifications, website updates and social media posts. 

Visit www.sugarlandtx.gov/CIPStoryMap for updates on capital improvement projects or www.sugarlandtx.gov/NotifyMe to sign up for notifications about road closures and service interruptions caused by city construction and maintenance projects. 

For more information about the 2019 bond election, visit www.sugarlandtx.gov/GObonds.

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October 18, 2023

Sugar Land Continues to Deliver on Voter-Approved Public Safety Projects

Sugar Land City Council recently approved $996,000 for the design of a new public safety dispatch and emergency operations center building. 

The project was included in a $90.76 million bond package approved by voters in 2019. The voter-approved projects focused on public safety, drainage and traffic/mobility – the three topic priorities identified by residents in previous Citizen Satisfaction Surveys.

Voters approved more than $26 million of the total to fund public safety and facility projects, including $11.5 million for a public safety dispatch and emergency operations center.  

A new facility on 9.9 acres of city-owned land adjacent to the existing police building will provide additional space to accommodate public safety dispatch and emergency operations as the city continues to grow and make modifications to accommodate police personnel that are currently in leased spaces.

Construction of an approximately 17,000 square-foot building space will include dispatch, an emergency operations center, I.T. workroom, parking, fencing and related site work.

Public Safety Dispatch has been located on the second floor of the Police and Courts building since the building was constructed in 1996.  In 2002, City Council approved the establishment of a permanent Emergency Operations Center (EOC) based on the recommendations of the Emergency Management Task Force. The break room that was located adjacent to the dispatch center was converted to the permanent EOC.  During EOC activations -- such as Hurricane Harvey and the May 7, 2019, flood event -- it has proven valuable to have dispatch operations and EOC operations in close proximity to one another to coordinate the response efforts.

The current EOC was not designed to accommodate the city-adopted Incident Command System (ICS) structure to manage significant incidents that require organizing response by functional areas.  In 2009, a portion of the dispatch center was converted into a small conference room to be utilized during EOC activations to facilitate separation of EOC staff members by functional area assignment. 

Staffing for Public Safety Dispatch has increased over the years to manage increasing call volume.  As the front-line staff has grown, the need for administrative staff has also grown, yet the allocated workspace has not increased.  Public Safety Dispatch conducts training for new hires and holds department meetings in the EOC because there is not adequate space in the dispatch center.  When the EOC is not activated, Public Safety Dispatch utilizes the small EOC conference room as an office for the dispatch administrative manager.

The design is anticipated to be completed by late fall of 2024. Visit www.sugarlandtx.gov/gobonds for more.

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August 7, 2023

Sugar Land City Council reviews capital improvement programs, budget

The Sugar Land City Council convened Aug. 3 for a meeting focusing on this upcoming year’s budget and potential capital improvements, according to meeting documents.

The gist

During the meeting, the discussion focused upon the proposed fiscal year 2023-24 budget and five-year capital improvement program 2024-28, which included funds and forecasts for the city budget, according to detailed city documents.

The proposed budget for FY 2023-24 includes $288 million for operations and $65 million for capital projects. Additionally, the Five-Year Capital Improvement Program outlines a total investment of $291 million, with $65 million allocated for projects in FY 2023-24.

However, as of August, City Council members have not specified what those “capital projects” will be.

Only the first year of the capital improvement program would be funded in the annual budget, while the subsequent years are for planning purposes and are subject to change based on the available information at the time or the needs of the community, according to city officials' statements during the meeting.

The timeline

The proposed budget and capital improvement program will undergo further review through a series of workshops throughout August. Moreover, there will be a public hearing scheduled Aug. 15 where residents can provide their feedback on the proposed budget.

Another public hearing specifically addressing the proposed tax rate will take place Sept. 12. The final adoption of the budget and tax rate is slated for Sept. 19 to comply with the city charter standards, which requires the budget to be approved by Sept. 23, according to the city website.

Get involved

City Council encourages active citizen engagement in the budget review process. To address the council, residents must complete a request to speak form and submit it to the city secretary before the start of the meeting. Each speaker is limited to three minutes, with translations provided for speakers requiring a translator.

For more information about the proposed budget and supporting documentation, residents can visit the city's official website, www.sugarlandtx.gov, and access the meeting agendas.

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July 24, 2023

Sugar Land unveils $353M FY 2023-24 budget prioritizing growth

Sugar Land city officials presented a proposed budget of $353 million for fiscal year 2023-24, which will begin Oct. 1. The new budget allocation includes $288 million for operational expenses and $65 million for various capital projects, according to a news release.

The outlook

The primary focus of the new budget is to ensure the city's continued financial and operational stability, aiming for long-term sustainability, according to a city news release. The goal is to balance investments in both operations and capital funding to enhance resiliency for FY 2023-24 and beyond, according to the release.

Sugar Land City Manager Michael Goodrum expressed his vision for the city's future.

“Our proposed budget emphasizes our pursuit of becoming trailblazers as we seek to provide city residents and businesses a life better than they can even imagine,” he said.

The impact

The proposed budget centers on the following “strategic outcomes” as prioritized and labeled by the Sugar Land City Council, according to the news release:

  • Finance: strong and viable
  • Community: safe and secure
  • Economy: thriving and vibrant
  • Culture: dynamic and fun
  • People: welcoming and engaged
  • Infrastructure: strong and resilient
  • Transportation: connected and convenient
  • Government: respected and influential

To mitigate the impact of an anticipated tax rate increase, Sugar Land raised the homestead exemption to 15% for 2023, as previously reported by Community Impact.

This exemption increase will partially counterbalance the expected tax rate rise of approximately $0.035-$0.35 per $100 valuation, necessary to implement voter-approved bond projects, according to the release.

Additionally, the proposed capital improvement program for 2024-28 amounts to $291 million with $65 million allocated for the FY 2023-24 budget. This includes funding for two 2019 bond projects: the Emergency operations center/public safety dispatch and public safety facilities rehabilitation. Furthermore, strategic funding is provided for other critical projects addressing public safety and mobility priorities, according to the release.

Additionally, the rate for residential solid waste services is $19.85 per month, and it will increase by 99 cents to $20.84 per month starting in January.

Get involved

To involve the community in the budgetary process, a series of budget workshops open to the public will be conducted throughout August at Sugar Land City Hall. Public hearings are scheduled until the end of September, where residents can provide feedback on the proposed budget and tax rate before their final approval. As per the city charter, the budget adoption must be completed by Sugar Land City Council no later than Sept. 25.

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November 7, 2022

Press Release
S&P, Fitch Ratings Affirm AA Rating on Water & Sewer Revenue Bonds

Both S&P and Fitch Ratings recently reviewed the City's credit rating for the waterworks and sewer system revenue bonds and affirmed their 'AA' rating.  The outlook for the system is stable.

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November 7, 2022

Press Release
S&P, Fitch Ratings Affirm AAA Ratings on GO Bonds
  • S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings have both assigned their 'AAA' long-term rating to Sugar Land, Texas' anticipated $27.97 million series 2022A general obligation (GO) bonds and $6.26 million series 2023 combination tax and revenue certificates of obligation.
  • Both agencies assigned a 'stable' outlook to the city.
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October 28, 2022

Press Release
City Makes Progress on GO Bond Drainage Improvements

Update on the progress the City has made on the $46 million in drainage improvements approved by voters in 2019.

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August 31, 2022

Press Release
Brazos River Park Improvements Enhance Resident Experience

City Council approved over $1 million in contracts for the third phase of Brazos River Park improvements.

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July 19, 2022

Press Release
FY23 Proposed Budget and Five Year CIP

On September 20th City Council approved the FY23 Annual Budget and Five Year Capital Improvement Program. They also approved a 2022 tax rate of $0.346500 per $100 taxable value. 

Funding is incorporated into the budget for all FY23 capital projects. FY24-27 projects are for planning purposes only and are subject to change based on priorities, timing and funding needs as future budgets are considered by City Council each year. The five-year CIP totals $296,959,646.

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May 4, 2022

Press Release
Public Safety Training Facility Design Contract Awarded

City Council awarded a $727,500 contract to design phase II of a public safety training facility as approved by voters in 2019.

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January 5, 2022

Transparency, Process Improvement Initiatives Land National Award

Sugar Land, TX – The International City/County Management Association (ICMA) recently awarded a 2021 Certification of Excellence in Performance Management to the city of Sugar Land.

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June 6, 2019

Industrial Expansion Reflects Sugar Land’s Position as Economic Powerhouse

Two new warehouses totaling more than 315,000 square feet will be built in the Sugar Land Business Park due to an agreement approved by the City Council with Sugar Land Industrial Properties, LLC.  

The buildings will be located on 17.86 acres in the City’s master-planned industrial park, home to companies such as Schlumberger, Boise Cascade, Accredo Packaging and QuVa Pharma. 

“The city of Sugar Land’s industrial sector is tremendously important to our diversified economy and primary employment base,” said Economic Development Director Elizabeth Huff.  “The extremely low vacancy rate within the business park is a testament to the success of our business park – and a reflection of a critical need for new light industrial space in our market in order to continue to grow our economy.” 

The developers behind the project, Johnson Development Associates, have a history of working with class “A” tenants such as Amazon, Walmart, The Home Depot, Rite Aid, Nestle Waters and Pepsi Bottling and have developed more than 22 million square feet of industrial space.      

“Johnson Development Associates, Inc., part of The Johnson Group, is excited to announce our planned investment in the city of Sugar Land,” said Industrial Division Regional Director Andy Halligan.  “Coupled with Sugar Land’s pro-business environment and strategic location, this development will provide a great option for companies that require new, highly functional Class-A industrial space.”

The Office of Economic Development is proactive in capitalizing on opportunities to expand, construct or relocate businesses to the city to ensure Sugar Land remains an economic powerhouse within the Houston region.  These proactive efforts ensure a strong economy, support quality services for Sugar Land residents and allow the city to maintain the second lowest tax rate in the state among cities of similar size. 

“Our position as a financial leader and economic powerhouse is not just about attracting new and expanding primary employment in our community but about improving the quality of life,” said Huff. 

About Johnson Development Associates, Inc.
Johnson Development Associates (JDA), part of The Johnson Group, is a multi-division real estate developer of industrial, multifamily, self-storage, renewable energy and commercial properties, with a rapidly expanding national footprint.  Based in Spartanburg, South Carolina, JDA’s Industrial Division has been developing distribution, e-commerce, and light manufacturing facilities since 1988.  JDA has developed and managed multiple standalone sites and 25 industrial parks consisting of approximately 22 million square feet of commercial space, and has partnered with over 130 clients in the process. 

About the City of Sugar Land
Known as the “Sweetest City in Texas,” Sugar Land is one of the finest cities in which to do business, live, work and visit.  With some of the nation’s best master-planned communities, pristine parks and trails and world-class medical facilities, Sugar Land offers the full amenities to create your very own home sweet home. Not to mention, Sugar Land consistently ranks among the most beautiful and safest cities in the nation.  Fueled by a highly educated, globally diverse and a fast-growing population, Sugar Land’s economy attracts dozens of global companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500 firms like Minute Maid and Texas Instruments. Whether it’s a piece of history, on-trend shopping or hours of family fun, Sugar Land offers something sweet for everyone. Catch a large special event at Sugar Land’s Crown Festival Park or a Skeeters baseball game at Constellation Field, which has 360 degrees of fun, including a splash pad, basketball entertainment, swimming pool, and open-air ice house and buffet. Visitors can also enjoy 100+ live entertainment acts throughout the year at the award-winning Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land. Overall, the city’s bold, thoughtful approach to development, making life sweeter and more refined for its businesses, residents and visitors, is simply known as “The Sugar Land Way.”

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