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Killeen Mayor says city has great expectations in 2023

Mayor Debbie Nash-King delivered her first State of the City address Tuesday where she reiterated how important the 10-year Comprehensive Plan.

KILLEEN, Texas — Killeen Mayor Debbie Nash-King delivered her first State of the City address Tuesday afternoon in the City Hall Council Chambers.

She said the address is important as she wants citizens, business owners and city employees to have an understanding of what Killeen has been through and where it's going, in hopes it will ensure a successful, functioning city for the next decade.

"We should make our city the city that we want to always invite others to come and be a part of our community and it starts now," Nash-King told the chamber.

She said Killeen is moving into 2023 with great expectations.

As the 19th largest city in Texas, there's been a population boom and economic growth. Nash-King said Killeen has seen a population growth of around 30,000 in the last 10 years.

"What does that mean as a city -- with more people may come more problems, concerns, may come more solutions," she said.

But Nash-King know that those come with a price tag, and hopes the public understands that, too. She said the wants and needs of the community comes with a cost as well.

"For us to afford you the top notch services that you demand as a taxpayer, that you should demand, we have to have the personnel to keep up with the growth of our city and that is a positive problem," she added.

She takes pride in the city's work to revitalize downtown Killeen, enhance public safety and create better opportunities for businesses, nonprofits and kids.

Some of Nash-King's 20222 highlights include:

  • Largest tax rate reduction since 1990
  • Final Comprehensive Plan adopted
  • Parks Master Plan adopted
  • More than $1 million in grants awarded to small business, nonprofits, and youth organizations
  • Maintenance on 28 miles of roadways
  • Install of smart water meters
  • Killeen Fire Department saving $23 million of infrastructure responding to fires quickly

You can view the entire presentation shown during the State of the City here.

The Killeen Mayor said for the city to continue seeing success, they need to stick to the 10-year Comprehensive Plan.

"I can not stress enough our comprehensive plan," Nash-King said. "That is what we should follow. Not starting in ten years, but right now. We should stay focused on the mission. There are a lot of needs and wants, but we only have one budget and each council representative will fight for our district, we're gonna fight for the residents."

"We have to keep in mind that we have invested over $300,000 in this comprehensive plan and for as the mayor, I can only speak for me, as what I see as we move ahead, we have to stay focused on our comprehensive planning," she added.

The city is expecting an increase in property tax revenue and the council is considering a bond election in November for big projects.

Mayor Nash-King said to help the city be successful they need funds they're losing from property tax exemptions for disabled veterans.

"It hurts our revenue so, we're only asking the state would you please reimburse us the 100 percent veteran exemption that you put in place," she said. "It has nothing to do with us not liking veterans. We just want the money back. We need it back because if we do not receive it, we will have to raise fees."

The mayor also said for a successful city, citizens need to stay informed and express their concerns to their designated council members as they are their voice in decision making. Find out who your representative is here.

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