On behalf of the City Council, staff and appointed board members of the City of Hudson Oaks, I want to welcome you to our City website and our new blog feature!
We would love to interact with you and learn ways to serve you better. What are we doing right? How may we improve? Tell us; we are listening! City staff and I will frequently engage in conversation with you through this blog, and we want to ensure that it’s not only informative but forthcoming as well. Here at the City of Hudson Oaks, we take pride in maintaining a transparent and participative style of governing. Reach out anytime by clicking our contact link, connecting through social media, or by giving us a call at city hall.
So, I’ll get us started. I’m going to introduce our new interactive blog with a softball subject, the opening of our new Hudson Oaks H-E-B! We have been waiting quite a long time for the grand opening of one of Texas’ premier grocers here in North Texas, and the executives of H-E-B chose us! That was a pretty big deal for a small city of 2,500 people with NO municipal property tax! Our conversations and negotiations with H-E-B began over seven years ago. Then-mayor, Pat Deen, our City Council, and staff remained diligent but patient throughout the long process of bringing the grocery giant to our city. We kept reading press stories, opinion pieces and social media posts downplaying the possibility of a store opening in Hudson Oaks and, due to the legal nature and sensitivity of the negotiations, we just had to keep our mouths shut and smile on the inside! Mocking those dissenters recently, one of our council members sent me a picture of the H-E-B sign on US180 with the caption, “I still don’t believe H-E-B is coming.” Hilarious, yes, but it just illustrates the level of discipline and confidentiality that our council and staff maintained during the long negotiation process.
Let me touch on a couple of those sensitive negotiation issues. First, we had several landowners involved in contract negotiations with H-E-B for property acquisition. An irresponsible release of information from the city could have jeopardized those negotiations. Second, we negotiated the establishment of a Public Improvement District or “PID”. This PID allowed the City of Hudson Oaks to take out roughly $2,000,000 in bond money to pay for improving roads, laying water and sewer lines to the store site and paving a new parking lot that will be used for city events. The PID allowed the city to take out the debt, but H-E-B and other businesses within the PID boundary that will benefit from it will pay the city back over 20 years.
So, here’s the bottom line, H-E-B will have its grand opening on May 10th! The community is invited to attend and participate in this long-awaited event. Let’s not forget that H-E-B is well known for reinvesting into their local communities by participating in the funding of community events and giving generously to local charities that help feed those in need. I would love to see friends, neighbors, and local business owners welcome H-E-B into the Hudson Oaks family and remind them that they made the right choice to build this store in East Parker County.
Thank you for visiting, and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the H-E-B store, its grand opening and any other topics you would like to discuss right here on our new blog.
Mayor – Hudson Oaks, TX