Parker County Judge Pat Deen gave a presentation at the East Parker County Chamber’s month luncheon this week discussing the state of the county and the top priorities.
“The East Parker County Chamber enriches, promotes and advocates for business growth that enhances our members and community,” EPCCC President and CEO Lisa Flowers said. “Our membership has always been interested in information that directly relates to them and County Judge Pat Deen was able to address this in his presentation.”
Deen said the county’s top priorities are public safety, financial health and transparency, establishing a countywide transportation plan, getting community involvement in defining a long-term community vision, collaboration with all cities in working together and addressing current/future needs in meeting growth.
“We can not sustain growth by just bringing retail here. We have to bring those high-wage jobs here if we’re going to continue to change the dynamics of our county and get the taxes off your back,” Deen said. “Do we want smoke stacks here? No, absolutely not, we want to maintain that rural integrity of who we are while balancing bringing those high-wage jobs. That really comes with a vision in working together and identifying what that strategic plan of growth is.”
Deen said the county’s opportunities include having healthy financial reserves with a good bond rating, having a thriving economy with strong projected growth, having talented and visionary community leaders and revitalizing downtown in improving quality of life and increasing sales tax base.
“We have a really incredible marketing opportunity here around the courthouse to revitalize that downtown area to maximize our quality of life,” Deen said.
Deen said the county’s challenges include water concerns, the need for a countywide transportation plan, existing buildings/assets that have outgrown functional use, relationships with county cities, a long-range plan on growth and emphasis on retail versus high-wage job growth.
“It is the county’s responsibility in making sure we’re all working together and listening to the needs of the community,” Deen said. “More than the thoroughfare plan that we just did, we have a 15-year out plan to add a lane to [Interstate] 20 and if you’re coming or going to Fort Worth at 5 p.m., you know what I’m talking about. The 15-years out is incredible, we’ve got to accelerate that. Ten years ago was too late, we really need to be pushing for that as best we can.”
Deen said the county will hold town hall meetings to gain community input on that strategic plan vision.
“This is your community and this is your county. You need a say in how that community vision is set,” Deen said.
For more information visit the Parker County website at www.parkercountytx.com.