Hallisey, who has been a League City resident for decades, said the city was a typical small town when he was younger. Now, it has over 109,000 residents and will grow to about 250,000 by the time it is built out in a few decades. The city is only about halfway built out so far, he said.
Two problems have resulted due to the city’s growth development: increased traffic and flooding. In May, voters approved the first general obligation bond to be on a League City ballot in 27 years. The $145 million bond and 0.25% sales tax rate increase will pay for several traffic and drainage improvements, 13 of 21 of which are underway in some capacity, Hallisey said.
In a recent survey, the first randomly sampled and scientifically valid survey done in League City in about a decade, about 91% of residents indicated they are satisfied living in League City and with the city’s services. However, many of the over 400 respondents indicated they are upset with how congested traffic has become.
“I drive in the same traffic all of you do, and I get a little frustrated sitting there for 10 minutes, 15 minutes, but the price of progress is the traffic,” Hallisey said.
Baumgartner said the city is working on several projects to alleviate traffic congestion. The widening of I-45 will be done in a couple years, and the next big project the city will concentrate on will be the extension of Landing Boulevard north to I-45.
“We’re a couple years before we start construction,” Baumgartner said.
Additionally, Calder Road from Cross Colony Drive to Ervin Street will be widened, but unlike the northern Calder section that completed construction last year, this new phase will be done so two-way traffic remains open during the project duration. Furthermore, Ervin will be extended to connect to Hobbs Road for better access for nearby residents, Baumgartner said.
The city is also working on drainage solutions. The League City City Council tasked Baumgartner with coming up with regional solutions to drainage issues, and Baumgartner worked to get the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to start a regional study that should conclude by early 2021. Several municipalities, including Houston, have chipped in to get the study done, Hallisey said.
“John did that—did a great job. We’re real proud of him,” Hallisey said.
The city has created two drainage subcommittees—one for Clear Creek and one for Dickinson Bayou—for city officials and residents to more closely examine flooding issues and look for ways to address them, he said.
Hallisey also said the city is trying to bring in more commercial development because commercial development is more profitable to a city than residential. As such, Austin-based Alamo Drafthouse Cinema will be opening a League City location this year, which is a win for the city, Hallisey said.
In all, League City is in great shape and in great hands due to the work of the city’s dedicated staff, Hallisey and Baumgartner said.
“To talk about the state of League City is to say, ‘Awesome,’” Hallisey said. “It is awesome. Outstanding.”