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Garland has a lot of momentum and, in his first State of the City address, Mayor Scott LeMay praised residents who in 2019 bought in by authorizing a record $423.7 million in bond projects and presented awards to two for Making Their Mark.
In his keynote from a two-hour Open House event Jan. 28 at The Atrium at the Granville Arts Center, LeMay said the City is making important gains in economic development. He cited more than $750 million in total investment in Garland between new projects, redevelopment of existing tracts and expansion projects.
Some 3,000 new single-family and multifamily homes are in the current pipeline for Garland. About 600 of those are at Riverset, which broke ground last year at Buckingham and Shiloh roads as the largest residential infill project in North Texas.
There’s potential for development synergy across South Garland, the Mayor said, because of a development plan that includes homes, a linear park, and hike and bike trails at Interstate 30 and Rosehill Road.
But as the city approaches build-out, Garland leaders are also focusing on established neighborhoods. A Home Improvement Incentive Rebate program, authorized by the City Council to encourage homeowners to make improvements to the exterior of their homes, will roll out later in 2020.
LeMay reiterated Council’s strategy for quick implementation of bond projects. He pointed to lights that are up at the Winters Park soccer fields in time for the spring season, and design work in place for both the police department evidence facility and the animal shelter.
Some $122.3 million from the bond is targeted for streets. Garland, however, is already becoming an easier place to navigate. A program to retime more than 100 traffic signals is scheduled for completion this summer. The current intense effort to complete street and alley projects at record pace has significantly increased the average pavement rating across the city. “We have slowed the decline,” the Mayor declared.
Garland will also see construction activity in the state’s billion-dollar upgrade to Interstate 635 this spring. And design activities are underway for improvements to I-30.
The State of the City was also a time to reflect on 2019 and most notably, the response to an Oct. 20 EF2 tornado that caused $22 million in damage, mostly to an area just to the southwest of Downtown Garland.
The Mayor praised City efforts to restore services, remove debris from the area and keep residents safe. He presented the first-ever Make Your Mark awards to Lori Barnett Dodson and Carissa Dutton for their roles in organizing volunteers to help in the cleanup.
“Dealing with our second tornado in four years really solidified what this community is about,” LeMay said, noting that the awards represented the many who answered the City’s call in a time of need. “I wish I could reach out to everybody that helped. But honestly, I couldn’t get to all of them.”
Watch the full video of the Mayor’s address.
Pictured: Mayor Scott LeMay, Lori Barnett Dodson and Carissa Dutton