Mayor Matt Powell discusses retail, hospitality growth and Cedar Park’s past and future in his final State of the City address

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When Cedar Park Mayor Matt Powell joined City Council in 2005, he said the city’s population was roughly 32,000. During his Jan. 10 State of the City address, Powell said the city now has close to 75,000 residents.

At the special event hosted by the city and the Cedar Park Chamber of Commerce, Powell discussed the city’s growth in sales tax revenue, shopping, retail and entertainment options and city buildings and services over the past few years.

Sales tax revenue has increased steadily over the past decade, and the city is expected to bring in $13.76 million in 2018, Powell said. City Council also voted to lower the property tax rate for the fifth-consecutive year in 2017.

Powell asked attendees to reflect on what Cedar Park looked like 10 to 12 years ago. Over the past decade, citizens saw the opening of Cedar Park Regional Medical Center, the 1890 Ranch shopping center and the H-E-B Center at Cedar Park.

“We just didn’t have this stuff before. We wanted to bring shopping, we wanted to bring entertainment, we wanted to bring culture, we wanted to bring other amenities to Cedar Park,” he said. “We didn’t want to be dependent on Austin, or any other city, to go out and have a good time.”

In the last year alone, Powell said stores and restaurants such as 365 by Whole Foods, The Grove Wine Bar and Kitchen, Chuy’s and Field & Stream opened in Cedar Park.

“[The city doesn’t’] build this stuff—we create the environment for it to flourish,” he said.

Powell also touched on what the future holds for the city. The fifth fire station and the police department expansion are also currently underway, and he said the next two “good size” shopping centers are under consideration right now. Powell said the city is also fixing its front door with the Bell Boulevard roadway and redevelopment project.

Powell also announced that he will not seek re-election in May.

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Caitlin covers Cedar Park and Leander city councils and reports on education, transportation, government and business news. She is an alumnus of The University of Texas at Austin. Most recently, Caitlin produced a large-scale investigative project with The Dallas Morning News and led education coverage in the Brazos Valley at The Bryan-College Station Eagle. After interning with Community Impact Newspaper for two summers, she joined the staff as a reporter in 2015.
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