Rambler Newspapers

Serving Irving, Coppell and Grand Prairie

Coppell’s State of the City Address Filled With Optimism

Coppell—The annual State of the City Address in Coppell featured Mayor Wes Mays who took office in May of 2021.

“This is going to be a very exciting year for us,” Mays said. “We’ve got a wonderful and great relationship with the Chamber of Commerce. It’s never been stronger. We’ve got some very innovative and exciting programs that we’re watching very closely.

“We all remember the unprecedented winter storm last February,” Kent Collins, public works director, said. “[It was] something we prepared for, but even under those circumstances, we were dealing with conditions that we’d never had to deal with before [such as] the extended power outages and the frozen pipes in a lot of residents’ homes and businesses.

“We spent most of our time focused on first providing treated water that residents could use and drink. We never had to issue a boil water notice.

“We also spent a lot of time focused on the streets, making sure that residents and businesses [could travel] if they needed to get out and use our streets during icy conditions.”

“Coppell does function on an ‘all-hazards’ approach to dealing with emergencies,” Fire Chief Kevin Richardson said. “We have an emergency operations plan where we prepare for disasters, pandemics, weather events, and in this case, the winter weather. The city did phenomenal job.

“The Emergency Operations Center, located at Life Safety Park, provided a hub for all of our elected officials and all of our incident commanders to manage the facilities and the incident for over seven days with the operation running 24 hours a day. Then [running] partially for several months during the recovery phase. The fire department itself [responded to] over 1,000 emergency calls over that seven-day period.”

City manager Mike Land commented on two pieces of legislation that have or will affect Coppell financially in the coming months: Rule 3.334 and Senate Bill (SB) 2.

According to the Texas Comptroller’s Office, Rule 3.334 states that, “Texas sellers are now required to collect any additional local use tax if they ship or deliver items to an address in another local taxing jurisdiction that has a higher local sale and use tax rate regardless of whether the seller has physical presence (people or property) in that locality.”

“What’s important for our citizens to understand is we have already put in place the reduced expenditures, the reduced manpower, reduced programs and everything, as if the rule were in place,” Land said.

The city has filed a lawsuit against the State Comptroller in an attempt to get Rule 3.334 overturned. The trial date is set for September 2022.

Senate Bill 2 affects property taxes and is called the “No New Revenue Rate.” This bill means any existing property would possibly only generate the same amount of property tax revenue as it did the previous year, even if it has grown in value, which will affect the city’s operation funds.

“While many of the city’s small businesses still need the community support to fully recover from the impacts of the global pandemic, Coppell did experience many exciting openings, groundbreakings and business announcements in 2021,” Mindi Hurley, economic development coordinator, said. “The city welcomed its fourth hotel with the opening of Aloft. The opening of this hotel, along with Four Points by Sheraton, Tru Hotel and Fairfield Inn, provides 519 lodging rooms available in the city of Coppell.

“There are currently two additional hotels under construction and five more hotels that have been approved by city council. Once all of these hotels are completed, there will be approximately 1,400 lodging rooms and additional meeting spacesin Coppell. The city welcomed corporate partners such as 1-800-CONTACTS, Louis Vuitton, Sagent, McLaren, Aurora Operations, Printful and many more in 2021.”

Coppell also won numerous awards last year, including five from Niche, which provides rankings and reviews of municipalities; The National Gold Medal Award from the National Recreation and Park Association; and first place in Texas for National Night Out participation.

“We decided to announce the recipient of the prestigious Cliff Long Leadership Award in advance, so you would know we are rewarding Coppell High School Principal Laura Springer this year,” Ellie Braxton, president and CEO of Coppell Chamber of Commerce, said.