State of the City
By Mayor Karen Hunt
October 24, 2014
What an amazing year it has been! It is an exciting time for me to present the State of the City and provide a recap of all the great accomplishments that occurred last fiscal year. And, we are looking forward to a year that promises to be just as exciting.
The short video gives you a high-speed glimpse of a year long effort that continues to keep Coppell as a community of choice!
To recap, the City is in great financial shape! Coppell has a AAA rating from Moody's and S&P. Coppell's debt per capita is $1,831. (The State of Texas debt per capita for 2013 stands at $13,083, while the US debt per capita is $16,178.) It should be noted these results do not happen overnight or even from one year to the next. City Staff, the present City Council and the Councils before us have worked diligently over the years to ensure Coppell is continuing to move in the right direction.
Lowering the property tax rate does not attract the attention like that of a potential increase. This is huge!! For the third year in a row, Council lowered the rate this year resulting in Coppell’s lowest tax rate since 1990. While it may not happen every year, we always take a look at how it impacts the customer, the citizen. We do not want to cut the rate to the point where it negatively impacts the quality of life. Again, with a focus on planning, and with the help of the City staff and prior councils, we have set ourselves on a path that is conservative and responsible. It is in our program of work to look at the potential for a tax rate cut every year.
Some highlights of things have happened during the past fiscal year.
• Old Town Coppell is vibrant. The Farmers Market has moved and the excitement in this area of town continues to show progress. If you have not been to Old Town Coppell, you need to go!! The Farmers Market continues to add new activities to keep people visiting any Saturday morning.
• A dog park, who would have guessed? My dog now asks to go to Waggin’ Tails Dog Park! It's a great place to visit and play, and is proving to be a wonderful addition to our park system!
• We had 83 businesses open their doors, or existing businesses expand during the last fiscal year. These are names like Amazon, Norwex, Coriant USA and more. We are pleased that local restaurant favorite Guero's has decided to stay in Coppell only changing their name to Esparza's. We have welcomed new, great restaurants like Black Walnut and Simmer. These are just a few of the companies that have chosen Coppell as their new home, and even better, have decided to stay! That is awesome!
• Because of the active business atmosphere, the City bought the building next door to Town Center, renovated the interior, and staff opened the doors of 265 Parkway Blvd, making it easier for developers and businesses to “open their doors!” All the necessary departments needed to review and/or approve plans, permits and certificates are located in one building. It made sense and has greatly improved the development, new business process in Coppell.
• Voters reauthorized and broadened the use of the 1/2-cent Coppell Recreation Development Corporation sales tax allowing the City to move forward with multiple projects that have been on the wish list for many, many years. The expansion of Andy Brown Parks system, the expansion and reimaging of the WT Cozby Public Library and many more projects will be paid for by sales tax. Improving these assets will continue to provide a better quality of life that everyone expects and deserves. The trail system will also be a recipient of this sales tax. The Trail Master Plan will ultimately connect Coppell in such a manner that you can move around the City on the trail system, as well as connect to Irving and many other cities.
• National Night Out is just one way that City Staff and elected officials stay connected with citizens. We had 70 parties going on all at once, across the City. One of the perks of being an elected official in Coppell is the chance to visit the neighborhoods and the people. Way too much food! But, it is special to be able to talk to everyone!! Some neighbors are new and this gives everyone a chance to welcome them. That’s what Coppell is about!
Many good things are coming to Coppell! More restaurants are coming to Old Town Coppell including Twisted Root and Quincy's. Naterra, Calvary Construction, and Four Points by Sheraton are on the list for new businesses. A second hotel is also planned, A Fairfield Inn and Suites. This is just a short list of potential businesses, we expect many more.
It is the City's intent to continue its focus on Old Town Coppell to ensure that it is a desired destination and ultimately a success for residents, businesses and visitors. We will continue to focus on Coppell 2030 (a high level, strategic plan developed by previous, forward thinking councils and citizens), that will carry Coppell into the future securing its success as a community of choice and as a family community for a lifetime!
It has been an amazing year. The next one looks to be even better!
Mayor Karen Hunt