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1) City Council unanimously approved naming the festival site near the Brazos River and Hwy. 59 The Crown Festival Park at Sugar Land.
The site can accommodate large-scale community and civic events, said Teresa Preza, Sugar Land's tourism and destination services administrator. A task force, composed of council members Amy Mitchell, Carol McCutcheon and Bridget Yeung, was formed to identify potential names for the site.
"The rationale behind the name is the connection to Imperial Sugar, which is essentially our history; the crown, which is reflected in the center of the star in our logo; the ability to shorten it to a catchy name as in The Crown or Crown Park for common use; and also the minimal use of something along these lines with a regional or comparable facility," Preza said.
The idea for the festival site first came about with the Visioning Task Force in 2007 and was an adopted project in the 2013 bond election.
2) Council approved three agenda items pertaining to improvements to be made in Sugar Land Town Square Plaza.
Representatives with Planned Community Developers proposed a reinvestment opportunity with goals including improving the experience of Sugar Land Town Square shopping, increasing sales with existing retailers and heightening Sugar Land Town Square's reputation among prospective tenants, said Phil Wagner, Sugar Land's director of economic development.
"We have a lot of events in Town Square, and that attracts a lot of people, but those are primarily on weekends and in the evening," Wagner said. "The goal is to really try to increase sales and get people out of the office buildings to come down when the weather is nice, have lunch in the plaza and make it an enjoyable experience."
The proposal outlines ways to make the plaza space more inviting, Planned Community Developers President Les Newton said. Some artificial turf will be installed along with elevated decks that will have tables and chairs to increase seating in the area.
A canopy structure to provide extra shade and a pedestrian bridge next to the fountain with the statue of Stephen F. Austin will also be added, Newton said.
The total cost of these improvements is estimated at $1.5 million, Newton said.
3) An ordinance was passed, calling for the May 5 election of mayor and two at-large city council members, providing for early voting and notice of the election.
Candidate filing is open, and will end Feb. 16 at 5 p.m. After election day, general election canvassing and oath of office will take place May 15. Any runoff elections will be voted on June 16.