Sugar Land City Manager Michael Goodrum said the city accomplished a lot in 2020 despite pandemic-related setbacks; he cited the multiple awards received by city staff, including recognition from the Texas Office of Court Administration for being one of the first city court systems to implement a virtual municipal court with remote appearances and hybrid pretrial during the pandemic.
Goodrum also said the city’s conservative budgeting practices, which have earned the city a AAA bond rating and minimized interest costs, have allowed staff to conduct more projects for residents at a lower cost. Another success referenced by Goodrum was Sugar Land Regional Airport’s taxiway improvements and 95-acre expansion.
However, Goodrum said all of the awards and upgrades were still not what he considered the city’s greatest accomplishment in 2020.
“The biggest reward is how all of our employees across the organizations are working together to plan and problem solve for the benefit of residents and businesses,” he said.
One example, Goodrum said, was the creation of a COVID-19 Business Task Force made up of business leaders working to come up with ways to support and partner with local businesses.
“The [Sugar Land] Office of Economic Development is known for working with numerous corporations, developers and entrepreneurs to expand the reach of Sugar Land. Their work has brought thousands of jobs to the city since its inception in 1999, [and] with a pandemic affecting so many locally, we created a COVID-19 Business Task Force.”
Additionally, the office of economic development was responsible for the creation of Sugar Land’s unique Sweet Cash program, which was created to incentivize customers to purchase gift cards from local Sugar Land businesses.
The event included a breakdown projects completed recently, including the addition of indoor and outdoor pickleball courts to accommodate city requests and address the need for additional sports offerings in Sugar Land; rehabilitation projects at City Park Tennis Court and Skate Park; an agreement for bike trail development and maintenance with the Fort Bend Mountain Bike Association; and the Brazos River Park Road and Trail Connection, which links Memorial Park to Brazos River Park.
The presentation also touched on future mobility, drainage and infrastructure improvement plans that the city is considering for the future, including the GO Bond and more. Goodrum said residents who would like to submit innovative ideas they have for the city of Sugar Land should visit www.sugarlandecodev.com.