Missouri City City Council to address street names, consider authorizing coronavirus response spending and more at Aug. 3 meeting

Missouri City City Council will discuss the street naming and renaming process, how to spend federal coronavirus funding and the upcoming year's budget during its Aug. 3 meetings. (Claire Shoop/Community Impact Newspaper)
Missouri City City Council will discuss the street naming and renaming process, how to spend federal coronavirus funding and the upcoming year's budget during its Aug. 3 meetings. (Claire Shoop/Community Impact Newspaper)

Missouri City City Council will discuss the street naming and renaming process, how to spend federal coronavirus funding and the upcoming year's budget during its Aug. 3 meetings. (Claire Shoop/Community Impact Newspaper)

Missouri City City Council will meet for a special meeting and regular meeting Aug. 3. The special meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. and is followed by the regular meeting at 7 p.m.

Missouri City residents can request to address the council by submitting this online form and review the full agendas for both meetings. The livestream of the Aug. 3 City Council meeting will be available here.

Here are three topics the council will discuss or take action on during the meetings.

Two agenda items address street names throughout the city

Council members will consider and take action on two agenda items related to naming and renaming streets throughout Missouri City.

Streets in Missouri City as whole, and the Vicksburg subdivision in particular, have come under scrutiny for having names that refer to Confederate generals or include “plantation,” according to city officials. For example, Bedford Forrest Court and Bedford Forrest Drive share the name of Nathan Bedford Forrest, the first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

The first item council will consider would give final approval to an amendment to city code that reduces the percentage of signatures required to rename a city street.

The proposed changes would require 70% of people who own property on a given street to sign a petition in order to apply to change to the name of that street. Currently, consent from 90% of homeowners is required.

Council Member Jeffrey Boney, whose district includes the Vicksburg area, proposed this change to city code.

“We have to keep in mind the climate in which we are in,” Boney said during the July 20 City Council meeting, when council first considered the change. “Lowering the threshold from 90% to a more modest 70% is something I feel like would help the citizens decide if this is something they would like to undertake. ... We want to give the people more of a voice to be able to express themselves, so I feel like lowering the threshold to 70% will be able to do that.”

Council will also receive public comment on and consider giving initial approval to an ordinance that would change how new streets in the city are named.

Under the proposed changes to city code, new street names could only contain a proper name if that person or entity “has contributed to the community or humanity” and could not contain a word or phase deemed “overused.” The proposal does not address new subdivision names, as these are considered private property.

City documents show that the intent of prohibiting overused words would limit including “plantation” in future street names as it is currently a part of at least 21 street names within Missouri City or the extraterritorial jurisdiction.

“It’s kind of shameful that our city is riddled with Confederate names, KKK names as well as plantations,” Mayor Yolanda Ford said at the July 20 City Council meeting.

Missouri City’s Planning and Zoning Commission, which plays a key role in reviewing new developments, discussed the proposal at its July 8 meeting but gave it a negative recommendation because more clarification was needed on the naming process, according to city documents.

Approval of federally funded allocation for coronavirus response efforts

During the regular meeting, City Council will consider authorizing the use of federal funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act for a series of projects and programs in Missouri City.

Missouri City was allocated $3.7 million of CARES Act funding to pay for coronavirus-related expenses through the end of the year. Of this money, the council will take action to authorize the use of $2.2 million.

The funding will support a $500,000 small-business grant program and a $500,000 for rental assistance program. These community outreach efforts would each provide $2,500 to up to 200 businesses or families.

Other expenses to be funded from the CARES Act include coronavirus testing for city staff, sanitizing city buildings and other enhancements to promote social distancing, and personal protective equipment distribution efforts, among others.

Council discussed these expenditures during its July 20 meeting.

Presentation of the city budget

Assistant City Manager Bill Atkinson and Director of Financial Service Allena Portis will present the proposed 2020-21 fiscal year budget during the special meeting. Then, during the regular meeting, Portis will lay out the certified tax rolls, which show the estimated taxable property value in Missouri City.

By Claire Shoop
Claire joined Community Impact Newspaper in September 2019 as the reporter for the Sugar Land/Missouri City edition. She graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in May 2019 where she studied journalism, government and Arabic. While in school, Claire was a fellow for The Texas Tribune, worked for the student newspaper, The Daily Texan, and spent a semester in Washington, D.C. She enjoys playing cards with her family and listening to the Boss, Bruce Springsteen.


Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Dec. 2 that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has allotted 1.4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines to the state of Texas. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
First allotment of COVID-19 vaccinations expected to arrive in Texas in mid-December

About 1.4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines have been allotted to the state of Texas and will arrive the week of Dec. 14.

The East Montgomery County Industrial Park off Gene Campbell Road will welcome the Lowe's Distribution Center in July. (Courtesy East Montgomery County Improvement District)
Lowe's to bring 200 jobs to Montgomery County and more Houston-area news

Read the latest Houston-area business and community news.

Missouri City announced in a Dec. 2 press release that it will file a lawsuit against Fort Bend County for election-related issues. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
Missouri City set to sue Fort Bend County over early-voting locations for Dec. 12 runoff election

The lawsuit stems from Fort Bend County requiring Missouri City voters who live in Harris County to cast early ballots at the Missouri City Community Center.

Beginning Dec. 7, Fort Bend ISD will offer grab-and-go meals two days a week. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Fort Bend ISD moves meal pick-up to 2 days a week, begins offering dinners

On Mondays, families will be able to pick up breakfast, lunch and dinner for Monday through Wednesday, and on Thursdays, meals will be available for Thursday through Saturday.

The city of Sugar Land annexed Cullinan Park in January 2016. (Courtesy Todd David/Cullinan Park Conservancy)
Cullinan Park Conservancy raises $287.5K for Phase 2 park improvements

Phase 2 improvements to Cullinan Park include a potential children's nature play area, 1.2 miles of new trails and additional parking.

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has launched a campaign to address declining college enrollment numbers across the state since the pandemic started. (Courtesy Pexels)
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board launches campaign to boost college enrollment

The decline in college enrollment across the state of Texas has prompted several agencies to partner up and create online resources for students and counselors.

The city of Sugar Land is hosting 12 Days of Christmas activities to kick off the holiday season. (Courtesy Pexels)
Sugar Land kicks off 12 Days of Christmas with virtual, in-person activities Dec. 1-12

Virtual events will take place Monday through Thursday with in-person activities set for Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at Sugar Land Town Square.

Here are the latest coronavirus case count updates from Fort Bend County. (Community Impact staff)
Fort Bend County COVID-19 case count surpasses 20,000 during week of Thanksgiving

Fort Bend County Health & Human Services reported 1,345 new cases of coronavirus Nov. 20-28. With these new cases, the county’s total case count has climbed to 20,440 as of Nov. 28.

Dozens of clinics throughout the county offer COVID-19 testing services. (William C. Wadsack/Community Impact Newspaper)
COVID-19 testing locations remain open in Montgomery County and more local news

Read the latest Houston-area business and community news.

Heading into Thanksgiving, Texas Medical Center continues to report uptick in hospitalizations

The total number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized at Texas Medical Center facilities has increased by more than 50% over two weeks.

Early voting for the Missouri City runoff elections begins Nov. 30. (Claire Shoop/Community Impact Newspaper)
Missouri City to host runoff election for City Council positions

Early voting for the Missouri City runoff elections begins Nov. 30.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced a COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan for the state Nov. 23 for a vaccine he said could be available as soon as December. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announces COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan

The vaccine could start being distributed "as early as next month," according to a Nov. 23 news release.