During the annual State of the City address Jan. 12, West University Place Mayor Susan Sample shared plans for the city in 2023, including improvements to a variety of projects in its drainage, software and water systems.

During the address, Sample stressed the importance of keeping residents informed on projects throughout the year through various communication efforts. She referenced the council's approval of a “comprehensive financial management policy” at a Jan. 9 meeting, which she said "puts all our financial projects in one document for the residents, staff and council to look forward to for answers.”

“We have taken steps to be more transparent,” Sample said.

To improve the overall security within its financial software and technology systems, the city will be phasing out and updating its 15-year-old software and technology systems with a “more robust” platform, Sample said.

“It’s a first of many phases of updating our aging software platform to ensure our system is not lacking in services,” Sample said.

Other major investments include the estimated $15.8 million cost of construction for the east side drainage improvements as part of its citywide drainage improvement project, which was split into two plans divided by Poor Farm Ditch.

The city will also spend an estimated $17.4 million for construction on the West University wastewater treatment plant. Some of the sanitary sewer improvements include constructing an elevated office building, upgrading the equipment and making the facility flood resilient.

An older water line from the 1950s is being replaced and upgraded along Milton Street and will cost nearly $3.4 million with more than half of the project costs being funded from a federal grant.

Other projects Sample referenced included street and sidewalk repairs and replacing the Bellaire Elevated Storage Tank.