Local mayors describe challenges facing their cities

By George Slaughter, News Editor
Posted 9/22/22

Managing growth was a key topic of discussion at a mayor’s roundtable at a Sept. 15 Fulshear Area Chamber of Commerce meeting.

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Local mayors describe challenges facing their cities


Managing growth was a key topic of discussion at a mayor’s roundtable at a Sept. 15 Fulshear Area Chamber of Commerce meeting.

Aaron Groff of Fulshear, Bob Hall of Weston Lakes, Dusty Thiele of Katy and Joe Garcia of Pattison were the speakers. The meeting was held at Parkway Fellowship, 27043 FM 1093 in Fulshear.

Groff, elected in 2018, said his city now has over 25,000 people. He said 4,000 new permits for homes were expected in 2023.

Entertainment options are part of Fulshear’s growth. Groff said new restaurants were coming.

“It’s always good to see the public frequent these restaurants,” Groff said. “That’s part of the growth.”

The growth also affects the municipal government. Fulshear’s old City Hall building has been torn down, and will be replaced by two buildings that are almost finished. Groff said he and other city officials looked forward to holding an open house when those buildings open.

Bob Wall said his city has a tax rate of zero. He said franchise fees from utilities and alcohol taxes at the local country club were the city’s main sources of revenue for a municipal budget of about $250,000.

“We encourage people to drink as much as possible,” Wall said, getting a laugh from the crowd. “So, in a nutshell, that’s what we’re all about.”

Thiele, elected to his first term earlier this year, said he didn’t realize that, as mayor, he would need to become a project manager, development expert, and water well expert. Like the other communities, Thiele said Katy continues to grow.

“We’re getting close to where we can’t grow anymore due to extraterritorial jurisdiction,” Thiele said.

The residential growth is coming north of the city, while the commercial development is coming to the west. But while Katy is growing, it is also developing. Thiele said the Katy Boardwalk Project, on the south side of Kingsland Boulevard south of the Katy Mills Mall, remains in development.

“When the hotel and conference center and other retail stores open there, it will be quite a place for the City of Katy,” Thiele said.

Thiele said mobility and drainage remain concerns.

“Mobility has always been a problem because so many people are moving in north of us,” he said. Drainage will also always be an issue. It will always be the number one issue we’re looking at.”

Thiele said the Katy Rice Festival parade is set for Oct. 1. He said the Katy Rice Festival, set for the following weekend, expects to draw between 10 to 12,000 people to downtown Katy.

Garcia, reelected mayor earlier this year, said his community is small but is working hard to prepare for the growth as best it can.

Garcia said mobility was a key issue facing his community, and city officials have spoken with Texas Department of Transportation officials about how best to move forward. He said Pattison officials have also held informal talks with Brookshire city officials about extraterritorial jurisdiction.

Like Fulshear, Pattison is developing a new City Hall. In Pattison’s case, Waller County donated the building to the city and now the city is developing plans to renovate it.

“We are what Fulshear was many years ago,” Garcia said, adding when he visits other communities, he wants to see what they’ve done to manage their growth, and takes what lessons he could for Pattison’s own growth.

“Our community is going to change,” Garcia said. “The eastside will develop first, but we want to keep the central and west sides of Pattison as rustic as possible.”

mayors, Fulshear, Weston Lakes, Katy, Pattison, Fulshear Katy Area Chamber of Commerce


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