finery located there is the largest in the United States. The Covestromanufacturing site is their largest in North and Central America,producing a varietyof high- tech polymer materials,and the Cedar Bayou plant,in operation since 1963,is Chevron Phillips Chemical’s largest manufacturing site in the United States. According toMayor StephenDonCarlos,the avail- abilityof relativelycheap natural gas over the last several years has allowed several of thosemajor manufacturing facilities to undergomulti-billion dollar expansions.“The petrochemical complexes are taking advantage of cheap natural gas prices to expand their plastics-making facilities,”he reports.“It’s led to over 20,000 construction jobs over the last three years, and,based on the companies’estimates,somewhere around five to ten thousand permanent jobs in our city. BAYTOWN, TEXAS POPULATION: GEOGRAPHIC AREA: MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME: MEDIAN HOUSING VALUE: UNEMPLOYMENT RATE: JOB GROWTH PERCENTAGE: COMMERCIAL TAX RATE: QUICK FACTS | BAYTOWN, TEXAS 72,176 27,416.12 acres $50,200 $101,892 6.6% 1.5% a year 82.203% Baytown’s residents also take sustainability to heart, keeping pace with the city’s commitment to maintain its growing reputation as a leader in environmental education. STEPHEN DONCARLOS MAYOR NICK WOOLERY DIRECTOR OF STRATEGY & INNOVATION RICK DAVIS CITY MANAGER When we saw all this growth happening, we knew there was going to be some pretty significant opportunities for us to make improve- ments in the community. So we endeavored to do our first, real, true community-based strategic plan. Instead of just getting all this new revenue in and sitting in a roomwith City Council and staff and decid- ing where to spend the money, we went out and engaged the commu- nity to find out what they wanted to see. NICK WOOLERY DIRECTOR OF STRATEGY & INNOVATION And that has led to substantial growth in our logistics area.We’ve had an influxof companies buildingmil- lions of square feet of warehousing to both package and ship containers full of these plasticpellets that are beingmanufactured.They’re being sent out by rail and through the Port of Houston–some,overseas,and some tomanufacturing facilities here in the United States,to turn into all sorts of plasticproducts.” According toNickWoolery,Baytown’s Director of Strategy& Innovation,the cityadministrators were careful in deciding howto best invest the accumulat- ing tax revenue as a result of the construction boom. “Whenwe sawall this growth happening,we knew therewas going to be some pretty significant oppor- tunities for us tomake improvements in the commu- nity,”he recounts.“Sowe endeavored to do our first, real,true community-based strategicplan.Instead of just getting all this newrevenue in and sitting in a roomwith CityCouncil and staff and decidingwhere to spend themoney,wewent out and engaged the community to find out what theywanted to see.We did a programcalled Imagine Baytown.We had over 4,000 residents that came out to communitymeetings, or tookonline surveys,and it turned into a great five- year strategicplan for us.And that’s guided a lot of our efforts.” DonCarlos talks about some of the city’s recent in- frastructure projects that are part of the strategicplan: “We have amajor commercial corridor in Baytown called Garth Road,and it’s been the hub of our com- mercial activity for manyyears,”he begins.“It is,right now,a five-lane thoroughfare and it has around a six to eight mile length inwhichmost of the city’s com- mercial and retail areas are located.The problem that