Floyd Emery, Missouri City District D
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Message from Council Member Floyd Emery to Missouri City Citizens and Residents of District D

As I prepare for the final year of my 2017-2019 term in office and my decision to run for re-election in the Nov. 2019 Election, allow me to share accomplishments achieved during my tenure in office and my plans for the future.

Accomplishments

ALLIANCES HOA/CITY

I take great pride in being responsive to the Homeowners Associations and the many residents they represent. In addition to attending HOA Board and Annual meetings, I listen and respond to the concerns, suggestions and recommendations of the residents of Quail Valley, sections of Quail Valley East, Lake Olympia, Lakeshore Harbour, Creekmont South, Waterbrook(s), Silver Ridge(s)and other equally important neighborhoods in District D. With the outstanding support and solution based action of the Missouri City Staff we have made great strides in making Missouri City and District D the place we are proud to call home.

PUBLIC SAFETY

Missouri City continues to be ranked as one of the safest cities in Texas. Our police andfire personnel complimented with the latest equipment, technology and training requiredto protect our citizens and safety personnel, has been one of my major priorities.Through the ongoing competitive assessment of our salary and benefit planswe continue to attract and retain quality personnel. During the period of 2011thru 2017 we have added 32additional sworn and nonsworn officers to our policeforce including the formation of a 4 person motor cycle squad. Additionally, we have provided our officers with Body and Patrol Car Cameras providing an additional level of safety and transparency for our officers and the citizens they serve. During this same period we have added 13 additional Firefighters and opened fire station #5 as we strived to maintain our response time standards. Our Fire Department achieved an ISO 1 insurance designation, 1 of only100 Cities across the nation to receive this highest Insurance classification. Through these initiatives and actions, Missouri City continues to maintain our ‘Safest Texas City’ designation.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Working with the former Mayor and fellow councilmembers we have overseen the commercial development of two major business parks in Missouri City. Lakeview and Park 8/Ninety is home to Ben E Keith, Fed Ex, Best Buy, Niagara Water and over 30 additional well established  and recognized businesses. From these and other new businesses we have added over $500 million in new taxable property, provided an employment opportunity for over 1500 new jobs/positions for Missouri City residents and an increase in property tax revenue from our commercial base. With this emphasis on commercial growth we are experiencing a larger share of our property tax revenue from the business sector thereby providing relief to our residential property tax base citizens. Our sales tax revenue stream, which is the second largest source of revenue, has increased significantly. The expansion of retail businesses along Hwy. 6, FM 1092 and other prime locations is fueling this increase.

SOLID WASTE

In 2016 the City contracted with a single waste management company and the cost of waste collection to our residents, MUD’s, HOA’s and businesses was lowered by$1.5 million annually. In addition this agreement allowed the City to initiate a recycling program which many citizens had urged us to implement. This recycling program continues to grow as more and more of our citizens recognize the value of recycling.

FINANCIAL AWARENESS

Our City Staff continues to search out opportunities to reduce the cost of doing the business of Missouri City. As an example, in 2017 the cost of funding $72 million of our indebtedness, using lower interest rates available in the bond marketplace, resulted in a $7 million savings to the City. Missouri City continues to receive high praise and awards for our budget process, the transparency of our financial records all made available to our citizens, regulatory officials and other stakeholders. As a result of our fiscal policies our Bond rating was recently upgraded from AA- to AA thereby providing access to lower interest rates when borrowing is needed. Our City Manager, Anthony Snipes has implemented programs that establish our short and long term budget and Capital needs. He has developed a management structure and process that brings all staff members into the budget process thereby promoting an ownership of this process. As a result, in the 2018 budget process the staff identified $2.4 million reduction in budget funding requests.

ANIMAL CONTROL

In 2018 the Council called for the examination and inspection of our Animal Shelters’ charter and its associated policies, practices and funding needs. Through this review, new procedures for our dedicated volunteers were implemented, a policy for the compassionate handling and treatment of pets in City custody was developed, an effective program reuniting lost pets with their owners and a policy for finding new homes through the adoption of animals in our care was implemented. To these initiatives the Animal Shelter funding was increased significantly, a full time Shelter Manager was hired and we contracted with a licensed veterinarian. We are working with this business model and will be diligent to insure that Missouri City has a humane and comprehensive policy for the care of animals.

DRAINAGE

During Hurricane Harvey approximately 360 homes out of an approximate 27,000 homes located in Missouri City had some form of flooding. While one is too many, this experience reflects that our drainage program(s) which includes the use of streets as emergency retention and the designed retention areas around the City was effective. In spite of the enormous amount of rainfall experienced in Missouri City and the flood level on the Brazos River the City’s Emergency Management Operations Center performed effectively and mitigated a number of potential flooding events in Missouri City.

MOBILITY

This continued to be a major issue and priority over the last few years due to the business and residential growth experienced in Missouri City and the surrounding areas. To mitigate this issue the City has taken action including; the installation of additional turn lanes at major intersections; additional left turn on yellow signals; upgrading equipment needed to synchronize traffic flow at major roads/intersections; signage, restriping and additions of Stop, Yield and speed control signage on major roadways and neighborhood streets. Additionally, certain major mobility projects including the extension of Vicksburg Blvd. to Lake Olympia Parkway, Hurricane Lane roadway completion, traffic control improvements at intersections of Watts Plantation at Sienna Parkway and Ft. Bend Toll Road at Sienna Parkway were undertaken and completed.

INFRASTRUCTURE

From our inventory of infrastructure needs covering streets, sidewalks and bridges the following projects were completed: safety mandated replacement of 2 bridges in Quail Valley with a third in design; replacement of Thunderbird street and adjoining sidewalks; section of Misty Hollow street and sidewalks; Ashmont street and sidewalks; major sections of pavement on Cypress Point, La Quinta, El Dorado, Lake Olympia, Crow Valley, Quail Valley East and other areas in need of major repair. Sidewalks are being repaired or replaced based on a needs and priority assessment recently completed by our Public Works staff and to the extent where funding is available.

QUAIL VALLEY GOLF COURSE AND CITY CENTRE

We continue to monitor the financial and operational health of this amenity. Over the last 4 years, operations and management performance reflects a range of 96% to 103% of revenue to operating cost. In 2017 this amenity recorded over 60,000 rounds of golf, 161 corporate or charity events and 364 non golf events at the Golf Course and City Centre, thus making it the number one attraction site for visitors and residents (estimated at 130,000) to Missouri City. Many of these events draw sales tax paying visitors to Missouri City as they utilize the Golf Course, the City Centre venue for special occasions and food and beverage. Equally important is the visitor’s potential use and sales tax generation at other Missouri City retail businesses. The golf facility caters to many local High School and College boys and girls golf teams, the First Tee at Quail Valley, golfers from all sections of Missouri City and numerous golfing visitors from surrounding Cities, Counties and out of State/Country. Golfers visiting and using our facility cut across all age groups, gender and demographic lines truly reflecting a balanced use of the Golf Course and City Centre at Missouri City. When assessing the value of this amenity to Missouri City, the demonstrated fact that home values in Quail Valley and the immediate surrounding neighborhoods were stabilized and increased by the City’s purchase and rebuilding of this amenity. This action translates into an increase in residential property tax revenue thereby offsetting the payment of the property acquisition Bonds that were approved overwhelmingly by the citizens of Missouri City.

My Action Plans for 2019 and Beyond

PUBLIC SAFETY

We must continue to maintain our status as one of the safest Cities in Texas. To that end I will be supporting the following actions:

Maintain a competitive Salary structure and Benefit package for our Public Safety personnel.

Insure adequate funding for equipment, services and training needed to perform their duties.

Support the building of Fire Station #6 and acquisition of the needed personnel and equipment.

Provide funding for the staffing of the police and fire operations needed to meet our public safety expectations.

HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION

Currently we provide a homestead exemption of $15,000 to residents age 65 and over and who have designated their home as a homestead. This exemption provides approximately $500,000 annually in tax relief. In the 2019 budget process I will be asking my Council colleagues to consider a separate $10,000 Homestead exemption for all residents who have designated their home as a homestead. To place this in perspective, a $10,000 exemption would give residents approximately $1.2 million in tax relief or $63/year for each homestead. This would require an increase in revenue from other sources, a reduction of our annual budgeted expenditures and for the City Council to establish a priority for this offering above other services/projects covered in our annual budget.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

We will continue to evaluate those areas of developable land in our comprehensive land use plan. Areas along the Fort Bend Toll Road, Hwy 6 south and Hwy 90 at the Beltway will be of prime interest. Missouri City has a limited number of open tracts of land available for development. We must where possible push for best land use and be diligent in the application of tax abatements where the value to Missouri City must be the determining factor. Small business initiatives will have a place in the economic development strategy. Retail and commercial business along Hwy 6, Hwy 90, FM 1092 and the Texas Parkway/Cartwright corridors will continue to be an important segment in the overall economic development strategy. Redevelopment of Texas Parkway and Cartwright Rd properties will continue to be a priority when developing our overall economic development plan. I will continue to support the build-out of Lakeview and Park8/Ninety business Parks.

MOBILITY

To mitigate certain traffic issues we will implement recommendations from a recent traffic study of FM 1092 from 5th St. to Hwy 6.

Complete the replacement/construction of Knight Rd., Watts Plantation, Trammell Fresno Rd. to FM 521, extension of Ft. Bend Toll Road and additional turn lanes and signals on Sienna Plantation Pkwy. and Hwy 6 at Creekmont.

For safety purposes the closing of Cravens Rd. at Hwy 90 is a priority.>

DRAINAGE

We have requested and expect to receive approximately $950,000 to complete the drainage plan for the Cangelosi Watershed. As Board Chairman of H-GAC (Houston Galveston Area Council) I was able to bring to the attention of our staff the opportunity for funds from an H-GAC process for which they submitted a grant funding request.

We will be investigating major drainage flow issues to determine if there was an impact from Hurricane Harvey or other high water events. Any found will be considered as a potential candidate for remediation by the City or other governmental agencies.

INFRASTRUCTURE

We must continue to work on those known projects that are in most need of repairs or replacement. The City must decide on how best to address these needs and the funding of these projects. We will continue to utilize the approximately $3.9 million annual rebate from Metro, existing funds from prior transportation bonds and our inter-local arrangements with Ft. Bend County where they partner with the City on mutually beneficial projects. These revenue sources are important when examining the overall cost of a major infrastructure program. However, additional funding will be required if we are to make a serious impact on our overall infrastructure needs.

PARKS

Missouri City is home to 20 parks covering over 400 acres. Our Parks are an important City amenity and a key factor when businesses and residents consider moving to our City. The City recently completed a Parks assessment where maintenance or replacement of key park elements was identified. To address and fund these needs we will continue to use our available park funds and to reach out to our business and public partners for Grant opportunities. Our efforts to date have been encouraging. A grant from Lowes for $50,000 replaced playground equipment at QV North Park. A $65,000 grant was received from Niagara Water to be used for Community Park projects. The City provided land and a grounds maintenance commitment in Mac Naughton Park to QV Fund HOA who in return committed over $250,000 to install major playground equipment, a pavilion for family gatherings, outdoor exercise equipment and restroom facilities. BC/BS of Texas and Kaboom have donated time and dollars for improvements and additions at Rhone Park.


Freedom Tree Park
I co-chair with Council Member Jeffrey Boney the Freedom Tree Park Committee comprised of public and educational officials, private citizens, and community stakeholders. Our charge is to transform the existing passive park in Lake Olympia to one that captures the history and cultural relevance of the Freedom Tree and to find the necessary private/public /grant funding needed to implement a reimagined design for the park.


First Tee at Quail Valley
The City has allocated parkland to be used as an expansion of the First Tee of Houston at Quail Valley. For context this program uses the medium of golf to teach and instill their 9 core values in kids from age 7 to 14. It’s roots in Quail Valley were planted 7 years ago with 15 kids and today has over 600 kids in the program with a waiting list. Most of the students are from Missouri City and Ft. Bend County and the demographics reflect diversity similar to that of Ft. Bend County and Missouri City. This program which uses the Quail Valley Golf Course and City Centre has outgrown their allocated space and now requires a separate and dedicated area for continued growth. This is not a City program rather it has been allowed to use QV facilities and the committed Park land for this growing program. I will be working with the QV LGA, MGA and other stakeholders to acquire private funding to build the facility needed to continue to allow this program to grow.

MUNICIPAL UTILITY DISTRICT (MUD) STRATEGIC PLAN

I along with my fellow councilmembers will be reviewing the results of the current consolidation study to determine if there is value to our residents, the City and current stakeholders. Key to a decision to embark on this venture must be the stated and verifiable value to our residents, investment requirements and operating demands placed on the City. We currently have an established business model in place (MUD’s) that for over 30 years has adequately supplied our requirements for water and waste water including storm sewer capacity and maintenance. For me, any consideration to consolidate a MUD or MUD’s must provide compelling evidence of its value to the City and the Citizens of Missouri City.

ANIMAL CONTROL

I will continue to monitor the results of the business model we put into place last year to insure it is meeting the stated goals for our Shelter.

QUAIL VALLEY GOLF AND CITY CENTRE

We will be reviewing the recommendations of the current ongoing Golf Course and City Centre evaluation study to insure we are effectively managing this amenity. Any option that would degrade the value or scope of this amenity with its associated negative impact on home values in Quail Valley and the surrounding neighborhoods for me will not be acceptable.

FBISD COORDINATION

With the continued and forecasted growth in residential properties and its potential impact on FBISD educational facilities I will be asking the City staff to explore from a legal and development aspect a student loading consideration into our discussions with developers, home builders and the FBISD Board. Recently we experienced another controversial zoning issue that impacts many of the middle and high schools in Missouri City. In fairness to our residents we need to explore what actions if any we can take to mitigate or lessen this impact in the future.

As a caveat to the ‘Action Items for 2019 and Beyond ’, our State Legislature is currently considering a 2.5% cap when calculating our Rollover Tax Rate. Should this be approved the reduction in property tax revenue to the City will have an impact on the viability of these new offerings and on current City Services.

With the experience gained and positive results attained I am positioned to continue working with the Mayor, my fellow Council members and City Staff as we move Missouri City forward. We have made great strides in meeting our critical needs and I look forward in continuing my service to the residents of District D and Missouri City.



 

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