3 things to know about Tuesday’s Sugar Land City Council meeting

New dining options, flood management and railroads were all up for discussion at Tuesday's Sugar Land Council meeting Tuesday. No votes were taken but some topics were expected to come back at future meetings.

1. Food trucks possibly coming to Sugar Land

Senior Planner Keehren Baah recommended council members allow food trucks to operate in the city, citing specific environments and places they be allowed. She recommended four locations for food trucks: large offices complexes, residential areas, active construction sites and city parks and recreational facilities.

Baah told council members she had discussed the issue with city staff as well as with brick-and-mortar restaurants.

“[Restaurants] wanted us to make sure food trucks are held to the same standards as they are,” she said.

Council Members discussed what particular rules food trucks would need to adhere to, such as health inspections, permitting and hours of operations.

Noting the popularity of food trucks in Austin and parts of Houston, Council Member Harish Jajoo said, “I want to be sure we don’t overburden the operators so that they won’t come here."

2. Light rail for passenger use

Businesses and governing bodies continue to discuss the possibility of bringing light rail projects to municipalities in Fort Bend County. Bill Tobin, transportation and mobility planning manager, told the council that plans are being floated to remove freight hauling from the railroad tracks that run parallel to Hwy. 90 and designate those tracks for passenger rail use instead.

Heavy freight would instead be dedicated to rail tracks that would be built running far south of the city, bypassing Sugar Land, he said. Tobin requested that the council provide formal approval for Sugar Land to continue to take part in related discussions.

“We’re just observers,” he said, adding that no costs are involved.

City Manager Allen Bogard said the issue has existed for several years.

“The city’s position has been that we remain open to possibilities, but under no circumstances are we interested in seeing the negative affects of more train traffic along 90 corridor," Bogard said.

3. Oyster Creek flood gates need replacing

The Amil floodgates structure on Oyster Creek off Hwy. 6, between University Boulevard and Brooks Street, is leaking and need to be replaced, city staffers told council members. The gates structure operates in coordination with the dam system along Oyster Creek to prevent the creek from flooding, but due to its age is beyond repair.

City staff estimated replacement costs would be $4.4 million, with the bulk of that cost—$3.2 million—for actual construction. The system is administered under a joint operating agreement with the Gulf Coast Water Authority, which would cover half of the replacement costs.

Under terms of the agreement, GCWA would be responsible for the system’s management, while Sugar Land would be responsible for building the system along with any ongoing repairs, said Brian Butscher, assistant director of public works.

“We’re not going to guarantee performance of the structure,” Bogard said. “They’ll agree to its design, and we’ll build it.”