Residents in McKinney saw big changes at the city, county and school district levels during 2016. Those changes included a McKinney ISD bond election; property rights lawsuits involving the city and county; economic development initiatives; and a potential electrical substation and power line project that could drape a new set of power lines along SH 121.

Although the initial splash of some of these issues has come and gone, city, school and county leaders will still be facing them during 2017.

1. McKinney ISD voters OK new  multiuse stadium

What we reported Accounting for roughly 25 percent of the $220 million bond package passed in May, McKinney ISD’s new stadium and event center was set to originally cost $62.8 million, which included an existing $12.5 million from a 2000 bond used for stadium infrastructure. The cost increased by $7 million over the summer and pushed the total cost to nearly $70 million. MISD officials said the rise in costs came from two areas: materials and labor. The district covered the cost by removing some of the items within the bond and paying for them through the district’s general fund.

The latest On Dec. 6, the district held an official ground breaking ceremony marking the symbolic start of construction. MISD and city officials were both on hand for the ceremony.

What’s next MISD Superintendent Rick McDaniel  said construction of the stadium and events center will take roughly 14 months, weather permitting.

7 things to look for in 2017 McKinney officials are working to find a developer to build a restaurant row in the city.[/caption]

2. city works to draw more restaurants

What we reported In an effort to take the first step in drawing more sales tax revenue and corporations, the city began efforts in August to create a destination-style restaurant row in McKinney. In order to help bring in more retail and restaurants, specifically, the city began a request for proposals process that allows the city to ask for and peruse ideas from developers.

The latest In November, the city held a prequalification conference with interested parties.

What’s next  The request for proposals deadline was Dec. 15. Interviews will be held for finalists Jan. 30, and city staff will submit recommendations in March.

7 things to look for in 2017 Construction on a mixed-use development in downtown McKinney will soon be underway.[/caption]

3. mixed-use development coming to downtown

What we reported The city has been working since February 2015 to create a new mixed-use development on a 9-acre plot of land one block south of the square in downtown McKinney.

The latest On Oct. 18, McKinney City Council approved final plans for a $45 million development in downtown, which consists of 20,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, 45,000 square feet of office space and 330 multifamily apartments. Phase 1 includes two four-story buildings with retail and restaurant space on the first floor and residential units above, a three-story building with apartments and a 5 1/2-story parking garage.

What’s next Columbus Realty is looking to begin work on the 9-acre site in January including the demolition of some 300-plus existing parking spaces and the existing city-owned building (Annex B). The first phase is anticipated to take approximately 18 months to complete. As part of this work, grading, utility work and paving work will occur soon.

7 things to look for in 2017 Arch Resorts is currently involved in a lawsuit with the city of McKinney and Collin County. The property is near the FM 543 and US 75 intersection.[/caption]

4. city and county debate permitting rights

What we reported In August 2015, the city of McKinney, along with 13 other cities, entered into a debate with Collin County over which entity has permitting rights within a city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction. In 2016, the city entered into two lawsuits with two separate business owners over permits the county issued that the city said it should have had the right to issue instead.

The latest This fall, both presiding judges of both cases told the city to either amend its pleadings or add the county as a third party in the lawsuit. The city added the county as a third party to both lawsuits in November.

What’s next The case will be added to the court docket and a court date will be set. Then it will be up to the district judges to determine which entity has permitting rights within the ETJ. Both entities will have the ability to appeal the decision, and both sides said the cases could end up in the Texas Supreme Court.

7 things to look for in 20175. tax reform to hit 2017 legislative session

What we reported Both Collin County and the city of McKinney lowered their respective property tax rates to help reduce the tax burden on their residents as property values and property taxes continue to rise in the area and across the state.

The latest Senate Bill 2 was filed in December by state Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, and would require cities and counties to ask for voter approval for any annual property tax hike of 4 percent or greater. The bill would not affect school district taxes.

What’s next McKinney Mayor Brian Loughmiller said he is working with other area mayors on correspondence to send to local representatives in Austin regarding the issues and challenges fast-growth cities will face when working to meet demands for city services that may be compromised if economic factors and growth are not taken into consideration when working to address property tax reform.

7 things to look for in 2017 The proposed substation and power lines will look similar to the one seen here at SH 121 and Lake Forest Drive.[/caption]

6. power lines a possibility for city’s side of  sh 121

What we reported On June 7, McKinney City Council unanimously voted to oppose the proposed Project Kittyhawk and the construction of the electrical substation and associated transmission lines within the city limits. Brazos Electric Cooperative, the region’s wholesale electric-generation and transmission provider, filed the Kittyhawk request Oct. 14 with the Public Utility Commission of Texas, which will select the final location. Proposed sites include areas in McKinney, Allen, Frisco and Plano.

The latest As part of the PUCT process to determine whether the project is needed and its location, McKinney has filed an intervention with the PUCT during the allowed 45-day intervention period. The intervention period ended Nov. 28. At the closing, there were a total of 436 motions to intervene filed.

What’s next The PUCT will conduct studies to best determine the need and the best location for the project.

7 things to look for in 20177. major turnover coming to McKinney city council

What we reported Last summer, Mayor Pro Tem Randy Pogue announced he would not seek re-election to his current at-large seat in the May city election, but would instead run for the mayor’s seat being vacated by Mayor Brian Loughmiller, who cannot run for mayor again due to term limits. Developer George Fuller has also filed for the mayor’s seat. Three council seats will also be up for grabs. Council members Travis Ussery and Don Day have also met their term limits in the District 3 and District 1 seats, respectively. Loughmiller could run for an at-large seat, although he said he does not plan to do so.

The latest On Dec. 5, city officials announced candidate packets were available for those interested in running for available council seats.

What’s next The filing deadline for those interested in running is Feb. 17. Early voting will take place April 24-May 2 and election day is May 6.