League City City Council postpones vote on downtown revitalization

(Jake Magee/Community Impact Newspaper)
(Jake Magee/Community Impact Newspaper)

(Jake Magee/Community Impact Newspaper)

League City City Council will soon revisit the details of a project to revitalize downtown after voting Nov. 8 to postpone action on the item.

During the meeting, City Council was presented with an item to relocate power lines along Main Street between Hwy. 3 and Michigan Avenue from above ground to below ground. City Council eventually voted to postpone a decision on the $1.8 million project until its first meeting in January where city staff will host a workshop on the project.

Council Member Larry Millican said he could not support the item due to its cost. While the project to revitalize downtown is aimed at spurring economic development in the area, Millican said he is not convinced the city could recoup $1.8 million just to bury power lines.

“I question whether or not that this is going to be beneficial to the citizens of League City,” he said. “I don’t see any real benefit to doing this project.”

Mayor Pat Hallisey said he does not believe treating city operations like a business is the best move. The city provides several benefits, such as police and fire protection, without getting a return on investment because the city’s job is to provide services, Hallisey said.


“If you want this city to have return on investment, we’ll have a war in this town,” he said. “I think it’s the wrong approach to it.”

Hallisey said the decision needs to come down to what residents and officials want the city to look like in the future. If that includes eliminating power lines because they are ugly, they should be removed, Hallisey said.

Millican said if the goal is economic development, if a a developer were to come to the city later and say they will develop so long as the power lines were removed, City Council could make a decision then. Until then, $1.8 million could go toward other projects in the city that are more necessary, he said.

City Manager John Baumgartner pointed out the agenda item is not to move power lines just for the sake of removing a visual blight. Removing the lines is necessary for other downtown revitalization projects, such as planting trees, widening sidewalks and enhancing lighting along Main Street, he said.

Baumgartner suggested City Council and staff have a workshop on the project so everyone is on the same page before a decision is made, which City Council agreed to. The workshop is set for Jan. 11.
By Jake Magee

Editor, Bay Area & Pearland/Friendswood

Jake has been a print journalist for several years, covering numerous beats including city government, education, business and more. Starting off at a daily newspaper in southern Wisconsin, Magee covered two small cities before being promoted to covering city government in the heart of newspaper's coverage area. He moved to Houston in mid-2018 to be the editor for and launch the Bay Area edition of Community Impact Newspaper. Today, he covers everything from aerospace to transportation to flood mitigation.


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