Fort Bend County, TX: voters pass the road bonds; now get to find out what’s in it

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Fort Bend County, TX: voters pass the road bonds; now get to find out what’s in it

Fort Bend County, Texas voters overwhelmingly said “YES” to a $218 million-dollar road bond and thanks to the Texas Open Meetings Act are learning why one road project was included on the 2017 mobility project list.

FBC

On a public document dated August 3, 2017 Project 2-14, the Beltway 8 Connector in Missouri City, was one of 63 road projects published on a list made available to Fort Bend County voters. The $3. 311 million Beltway 8 Connector was described for voters as a “3-lane road, concrete curb and gutter with storm sewer” project from Beltway 8 to Cravens Road in Missouri City.

As reported by Covering Katy November 7th election results show Fort Bend County voters overwhelmingly passed the $218 million dollar road bond.

But why was THAT particular project necessary at this time? Was an economic development and tax abatement agreement in the works that somehow impacted the Beltway 8 / Cravens Road area?

Yep. And the timing of the announcement was perfect. The road bonds were on the verge of passing. Election Day was right around the corner.

One day prior to Election Day, during their November 6th, 2017 council meeting AND in accordance with the Texas Open Meetings Act, voters learned the Missouri City city council considered and approved a series of resolutions authorizing the Missouri City Mayor to enter into two tax abatement and one economic development agreement with an entity looking to open a distribution center in the Cravens Road/ Beltway 8 area.

It turns out BCBP Cravens East, LLP and Best Buy Warehouse Logistics, Inc. were working with the city to build a 550,000 -square-foot facility at the intersection of Cravens Road and U.S. 90 near Beltway 8. From the Houston Chronicle:

Best Buy plans a new distribution center in Missouri City to meet consumer demands of the region’s growing population.

 The 550,000-square-foot facility planned for the intersection of Cravens Road and U.S. 90, near Beltway 8, is slated to open before the 2018 holiday shopping season.”

So according to the tax abatement agreement, Best Buy Warehouse Logistics, Inc not only gets a 10 year, 65% tax abatement on improvements made to the Craven Road site; they also get a $3.311 million dollar road courtesy of Fort Bend County voters—and all with virtually no mention by the local media of how the costs for extra police, fire department and emergency services for the Best Buy distribution center will be borne by Missouri City residents.

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