In October 2018, the council approved spending $18.83 million to create the Houston Spaceport on dozens of empty acres at Ellington Airport. The goal of the spaceport is to attract private aerospace businesses to the Clear Lake area to research and develop technologies that will help NASA and commercial companies to reach the International Space Station, the moon and Mars.
According to a memo from the city, changes in the power distribution route and added transformer work created unexpected additional costs to supply the spaceport, which is still under development, with its planned 10 megawatts of power. As a result, the energy budget for the project had to increase by $2.8 million.
Additionally, about $934,000 is needed to create and install a Houston Space monument sign, similar to the ones at the George Bush Intercontinental, William Hobby and Ellington airports, according to the memo.
Finally, about $16,000 will go toward Houston’s Civic Art Program. Since 1999, 1.75% of the budget for city-funded construction projects has gone toward projects to integrate artwork in Houston’s public spaces.
In total, the cost of the spaceport’s development is increasing about $3.75 million from $18.83 million to about $22.58 million.