The City of Magnolia recently implemented its first comprehensive plan, while also growing and expanding its boundaries in 2012. With that plan now in full swing and money problems a thing of the past; the city hosted a review of the past year, Magnolia on the Move, Jan. 8.
"Getting this plan was huge," Magnolia's Economic Development Coordinator Deborah Rose Miller said. "It gives us a roadmap for the future, taking into consideration the entire infrastructure, along with desires of our community partners."
Miller presented the program, along with Paul Mendes, Magnolia's city administrator.
The pair talked about the city's recently expanded extra-territorial jurisdiction, along with the recent triple-a-minus bond rating from Standard & Poor, as well as the city's budget surpluses, saying that it all was proof that Magnolia was clearly focused on the future and putting issues of the past in the rearview mirror.
The number one priority for the city in the future will be transportation and connectivity. Because transportation and connectivity are crucial to the city, its participation in the year-old 249 Partnership, a regional coalition dedicated to the improvement of SH 249, was also highlighted. Mendes was recently named vice chair of the coalition.
The comprehensive plan also outlines a new town center, which Miller said points to continued growth in Magnolia, adding that after the recent Walgreen's opening, more chain stores are expected to follow.
Kendig Keast Collaborative, an urban planning firm in Sugar Land, has been working with the city on its comprehensive plan for a year. Capturing more than five miles in the city's ETJ was just one parallel goal of the plan.
Other accomplishments reviewed at Magnolia on the Move included the utility relocation project along FM 1774, which has readied the city for roadway expansion by the Texas Department of Transportation in progress now, and the fly-over at FM 1488 and FM 149 that is expected to be under construction in 2014. In addition a fly-over at FM 1774 and FM 1488 is expected to be completed in 2015.
Lastly, the report congratulated the Magnolia Community Foundation on giving the city an annual "branding" event, the Magnolia Love Bug Festival. The June festival along with events on the Magnolia Stroll was praised for bringing visitors to the city throughout the year. Moreover, the city's partnership with the Texas Renaissance Festival, now in its second year, was credited with filling Magnolia motels for more than nine weeks last year.