Fulshear Mayor Aaron Groff takes to YouTube for state of the city address

By R. Hans Miller | Times Senior Reporter
Posted 5/18/20

Fulshear Mayor Aaron Groff took to the city’s YouTube channel to give his annual State of the City address. During the nearly ten-minute video Groff covered the city’s …

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Fulshear Mayor Aaron Groff takes to YouTube for state of the city address

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Fulshear Mayor Aaron Groff took to the city’s YouTube channel to give his annual State of the City address. During the nearly ten-minute video Groff covered the city’s economy

“Usually we would love to do this in person, but given the circumstances this is the best that we’re going to be able to do at this time,” Groff said.

Groff said that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the city’s economy remains strong. Economic strength includes the development of a number of tracts in the city. Strong development includes development agreements with the Blackburn family and Lou Waters for development on their properties and another agreement is being conducted with the owners of the former Fulshear Farms for the new Cross Creek West development. There is also a development on the Hatcher tract which is in the final stages, he said.

Groff said the development agreements were coming up due to the growth the city continues to see.

“And we do our very best to manage that growth in light of all that’s happening, in fact, even during COVID-19 we are seeing inspections that are exceeding at times 100 a day,” Groff said.

That number is steady when compared to the timeframe right before the new coronavirus pandemic, Groff said.

Fulshear remains fiscally strong, Groff said. Sales tax returns for March were up more than 10% compared to March 2019. However, Groff said the city does not anticipate that same situation for the Month of April because some businesses in the city turn in sales tax proceeds quarterly and that was reflected in the March reports.

“We do remain cautiously optimistic that things continue to stay strong in the city of Fulshear,” Groff said. “It’s been a monumental year here as development not only continues as we manage that growth, but as (residents) know (FM 1093) … is completed.”

Groff said the city was excited about the added mobility the completed roadway brings and thanked Fort Bend County Commissioner for Precinct 3 Andy Meyers for his efforts to push the project to completion.

The Fulshear City Council understand the city needs additional mobility and is working to extend Huggins Drive from Charger Way near Fulshear High School to FM 359 and possibly to Wallis.

“That Huggins project really should begin to see some momentum and movement in the next few days as the (development agreements) get finalized, as right-of-way acquisition is finalized and the county begins work on the Huggins (Drive) extension,” Groff said.

Texas Heritage Parkway – a planned roadway spanning from FM 1093 near Fulshear to the intersection of I-10 and Pedersen Road near Katy – should break ground soon as well after Fulshear City Council approved its portion of the agreement for developing the roadway in March, Groff said.

Katy City Council approved its agreement related to Texas Heritage Parkway during its last meeting, with Katy’s funding in the amount of $6 million coming from the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County which must be used for mobility projects.

The project will occur in three sections which will be built simultaneously, Groff said, giving the area a northwest corridor with access to I-10 in seven to eight minutes.

Groff said the city has also been able to renegotiate the agreements with the Cross Creek Ranch and Fulbrook on Fulshear Creek municipal utility districts. The agreements allow the city financial flexibility to better manage development, Groff said.

The city is moving forward with its Water and Wastewater Master Plan, Groff said. The plan includes partnering with the Gulf Coast Water Authority and with the Gulf Coast Authority to bring a wastewater treatment plant south of Fulshear. Design on the facility is currently underway, Groff said, and he expects the long-term impact of the overall project to be a boon to the area.

Water and wastewater lines have been installed along FM 359, Groff said.

“Those now extend past Rogers Road and will continue to facilitate much-needed infrastructure throughout our city,” Groff said.

City Council and city staff are also in the final stages of reviewing the city’s regulations, Groff said. They believe that, had COVID-19 not hit the area, the city would have been completed with the project, he said. Public meetings are one of the last steps in finalizing the project.

The first phase of the Primrose Park project is done and a ribbon cutting should happen soon to open the park up to the public, Groff said.

“As we continue to move forward, manage the growth and do the best that we can for our citizens, I want you to know that I’m going to continue to push for legislation that holds the (Fort Bend County Appraisal District) accountable in the coming years as property values continue to rise,” Groff said.

Groff said Fulshear’s property tax rate is the lowest in Fort Bend County other than Stafford which doesn’t have a property tax. Groff has said he has already asked the appraisal district to reevaluate their plan to reevaluate property values throughout the city because he believes it is an unfair tax burden for residents.

As part of his legislative efforts, Groff said he is also trying to push to allow a Fulshear representative to sit on the managing board for the Fort Bend Subsidence District.

The city’s tax rate is 0.218510 per $100 valuation according to the Fort Bend County Tax AssessorCollector’s website.

“We’re excited about what’s happening in Fulshear and in this season I ask that you continue to stay safe and to stay strong,” Groff said. “I look forward to seeing you all in person very very soon.”

View the full video here: 

CORRECTION: Groff is working to get Fulshear representation on the Fort Bend Subsidence District Board of Directors. 

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