Get Energized in Mont Belvieu

City of Mont Belvieu, Texas
Written by Pauline Muller

There is much more to Mont Belvieu, Texas, than first meets the eye. This high-amenity, quality lifestyle enclave just north of Interstate 10 in Chambers County is fast becoming a popular and safe haven for luxury living.

Home to the planet’s largest known salt dome and generous natural gas resources, this area is well known in the global gas and petrochemical industry as one of North America’s most strategic gas suppliers. From here, the resources are processed using natural gas liquids (NGL) fractionators that isolate a range of products including isobutane, ethane, and propane before these are distributed to domestic markets. This gives the area a secure fiscal position valued at several billion dollars, which means the town of 12,000 people is always open for economic development and diversification.

Due to their geological stability and low moisture content, naturally occurring caverns within the salt dome are used for safely storing the natural resource inside the earth. These caverns’ use as subterranean storage units mitigates the need for above-ground storage tanks, keeping the city’s skyline relatively free of much of the visual impact that heavy industry can have on an area.

Blessed with natural beauty and plenty of Southern charm, Mont Belvieu is experiencing tremendous growth, and those in the know attest to this beautiful place being anything but another industrialized setting. The city considers its mandate to maintain a hometown atmosphere crucial to its success, providing a home for its residents and a prime destination for visitors.

“As we mature into the modern city of Mont Belvieu, hometown… is the people. That’s the fabric of our community, and that’s what really matters,” says Brian Ligon, Communications and Marketing Director.

That philosophy is at the forefront of the city’s planning strategies, and this commitment is most evident in the attention to detail that is given to developing its infrastructure and facilities. From its top-quality schools to outstanding recreational facilities, parks, trails, and much more, excellence is visible everywhere you go around this city. Thanks to its quality of life, more people are relocating here, and more companies are moving in too. As a result, its construction industry is also expanding, with the number of new homes and commercial buildings increasing.

The city’s crown development, Riceland, recently broke ground. The master-planned community will be developed over the next two and half decades and will also develop the town’s central business district (CBD). While the area is crucial to the city’s developing sense of community, it has been hard to pin down over the past 40 years or so. That is because Mont Belvieu’s history took an interesting turn during the mid-1980s, when its residential and industrial areas were separated.

Originally developing on what was once known as Barbers Hill—the land covering the salt dome—the town was moved almost three miles downhill toward the former rice fields. After its local industrial leaders purchased the entire school district, its land, and everything in between, locals invested their capital into the new dream, rebuilding Mont Belvieu.

Establishing new roots along a dusty little dirt track called Eagle Drive, the people of Mont Belvieu grew their city through hard work and determination to create a thriving heart. They succeeded and today, Eagle Drive is a four-lane boulevard flanked by landscaped sidewalks.

While moving artifacts and historic documents into its new museum, Hall of History, the team came across a photograph of an old cabin displaying some interesting yesteryear graffiti, which read, “Welcome to Mont Belvieu. The city without a town.” The irony of this image was not lost on its current administration as it brought the lack of a CBD into the limelight in quite an arresting way.

The image became a conversation starter and, in one sense, has become a spark that continues to fuel new developments. As part of re-establishing the heart of this place, Mont Belvieu was proud to open a new city hall and a new fire station to complement the rest of its town services in the newly developing CBD not long ago. The impact on local life is significant, with people feeling a renewed sense of novelty and excitement around these new developments.

Of course, people here care about their town and for some, change is not always welcomed. But for future generations, the groundwork being laid down now will pay dividends for many decades to come. “We are going back to having that hub of community, which we are excited about. Mont Belvieu will be a city with a town,” Ligon says, underlining how much locals care about this community.

Apart from the many services and facilities, residents also benefit from contract-free, high-speed internet as a utility option for just $75 per month. Once nothing but a vision placed out of reach by commercial companies that paid the community little attention due to its comparatively smaller size, MB Link became the first municipally-owned, gigabit-speed fiber optic internet service in the state. As fewer than 20 percent of the city’s residents opt to use national service providers, the numbers reflect just how fantastic this service is, with its impressive speed, personal touch, and attention to detail.

However, there is more keeping folks connected than just the internet.

Locals are particularly invested in supporting the Barbers Hill Independent School District and its individual schools. Many of its attendees live well beyond the footprint of the city itself, also coming from three smaller communities to join schools in the city. Football on Friday nights is at the heart of weekend activities, as people gather to take in the game after a long week. In addition, the city’s churches strengthen the ties among residents as people rally to support and nurture their faith-based communities and beyond.

A well-equipped and strong parks department also provides locals with all the opportunities they need to enjoy the outdoors under impossibly blue skies. City Park is the home of the city’s legendary Fourth of July celebration and hosts a Little League complex and monthly concerts in May, June, and July. The celebration “is about the postcard of Americana that you look for. When the fireworks go off, you realize how much you love being in Mont Belvieu,” Ligon says.

Another marvelous addition to its parks system is the 200-acre Hackberry Gully Regional Detention Park, which will function as a stormwater detention facility that incorporates 70 acres of interconnected ponds. An eight-acre dog park offers running space for large and small dogs, giving pet owners a chance to connect. Eagle Pointe, the city’s fully equipped recreational center, offers some of the best country club-style golf in the area, community meeting areas, an indoor pool, basketball courts, a gym, a recently revamped wave pool, and much more.

Mont Belvieu is also proud of its modern seniors’ center, Hilltop at Eagle Pointe. Its lively events are so popular, they are even attended by locals like Mayor Joey McWilliams, who was born and raised here. As proud locals, the McWilliams family is just one example of how multiple generations return to the city to raise their families and maintain the continuity that holds communities together. Now, increasing numbers of new arrivals conclude that this is where they, too, want to raise their children and expand their family trees.

The city’s sense of self is undeniable and so is its strong community spirit. With so many lovely places to gather and even more opportunities to do so, there is a lot to be said for the value of belonging here.

For Mont Belvieu, continued growth is inevitable as more people discover the merits of calling it home. With the safety of its citizens at the forefront of everything it does, the city is known for being proactive and vigilant. While the city’s local fire department provides sophisticated paramedic services, it is looking to expand its offerings with improved medical facilities and other related services, ensuring that its emergency resources are always up to standard.

The people of Mont Belvieu are passionate about seeing this lovely footprint in east Texas flourish. That is evident in how beautifully this city is kept. In response to this sentiment, the city of Mont Belvieu extends an invitation to residents and visitors to find and cultivate the unique energy that sparks individuals to become the best they can be for the benefit of all who call this verdant city home. It may at first be a surprising place to discover such a high standard of living. Yet, once folks are settled in and comfortable, they are usually here to stay for good.

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