Thursday, April 18, 2024

France: Economic boom and community engagement lead Flower Mound into a bright future

Note: On the day that the 2023 Town of Flower Mound Annual Report was made available online, Flower Mound Mayor Derek France submitted the following letter.

In Flower Mound, 2023 was full of big milestones and successes that showcased the prosperity of our town. 2023 also marked the first full calendar year that your Town Council and town leadership operated under our new strategic plan. The plan outlines a superior quality of life for our residents, business owners, and community. To achieve that outcome, your Council and I based our decision making, objectives, and initiatives in 2023 on the foundational goal of community engagement; three core goals of public safety, infrastructure, and financial stability and operational soundness; and three community goals of parks and recreation, economic development, and environment and country feel. With that in mind, here’s what happened in your town in 2023.

In a historic move, your Town Council voted to lower Flower Mound’s property tax rate from $0.4050 to $0.3873, making the lowest rate in the Town’s history even lower. Additionally, Council voted to increase the homestead exemption to 12.5 percent. That means, the owner of a $450,000 home in Flower Mound paid approximately $1,525 to the Town in property taxes, which is about $115 less than what they paid during fiscal year 2022-23. The Town’s AAA bond rating was also reaffirmed by both Fitch and Standard & Poor’s.

Meanwhile, the Town’s economic development portfolio continued to diversify with the addition of 98 new businesses, which created an estimated 1,260 new jobs. Sales tax collections rose once again compared to 2022 for a total of $18.4 million. In
2023, Town Council also voted to establish a second tax increment reinvestment zone (TIRZ) in anticipation of development coming to west Flower Mound. This new TIRZ will help bring much needed public infrastructure to approximately 3,962 acres of land out west, expected to be developed over the next 20 to 40 years.

In May 2023, the Town beefed up its Economic Development and Development Services webpages to showcase why Flower Mound is a great place to live, work, and play. The new Economic Development page features the reasons Flower Mound is a premier business destination, including its strategic location, low tax rate, excellent school system, and unsurpassed quality of life. Website visitors can access interactive maps, see the Town’s incentive policy, find out about sites and districts in town, read the Economic Development Profile, and much more at www.flower-mound.com/economicdevelopment. The Development
Services webpage is a one-stop shop for residents and contractors looking to start a project. Visitors can track and submit permits, fill out a development meeting request, report a Code Enforcement violation, view major projects happening now, and much more at www.flower-mound.com/developmentservices.

In another bright spot of 2023, the town was named the “Safest Small City in Texas” by personal finance site, MoneyGeek. To create the list, researchers analyzed data on violent and property crime, as well as FBI crime statistics for smaller cities and towns with a population between 30,000 and 100,000 residents. In 2023, the Flower Mound Police Department responded to 41,118 calls for service, organized and attended 126 community events and educational programs, earned a certificate of reaccreditation from the Texas Police Chiefs Association (TPCA) for maintaining compliance with the Texas Law Enforcement’s Best Practices Program, and much more.

Likewise, the Flower Mound Fire Department responded to 7,321 calls for service, organized and attended more than 140 community events and education programs, earned a certificate of accreditation from the Texas Fire Chiefs Association (TFCA) for the excellent level of service they provide, completed dozens of deployments around the United States and Texas, and much more. These two departments and their work are vital to the safety and security that Flower Mound residents enjoy every day.

Town staff kept busy improving and perfecting Flower Mound’s infrastructure in 2023. The Public Works Department completed more than $16 million in capital improvement projects; plowed more than 77 miles of road during a winter storm that brought ice, snow, and freezing temperatures to Flower Mound for four days; and completed an adaptive traffic signal pilot program along the Morriss corridor.

Finally, Flower Mound’s Parks and Recreation Department had a packed 2023. The Town completed upgrades and improvements at 14 Town parks, hosted dozens of community events, kicked off the design process for the future of Trotter Park, had more than 46,000 participants across all of their athletic programming, and much more. In a significant accomplishment for Parks and Recreation in 2023, the Flower Mound Senior Center became the first senior center in Texas to earn an accreditation from the National Institute of Senior Centers (NISC).

I’m proud of all the work we accomplished in 2023, and I can’t wait to continue that momentum.

CTG Staff
CTG Staff
The Cross Timbers Gazette News Department

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