KATY (FOX 26) - The historic city of Katy celebrated its brand new look Friday with a new city hall.
The grand opening is a celebration of the wisdom of the past and the excitement of Katy's future.
Katy's Mayor Fabol Hughes told the hundreds gathered for the event that residents could enjoy the new building knowing it was already paid for.
"This gorgeous ediface was build without a tax increase," Hughes said proudly. "We didn't have to bond it. We didn't have to borrow money."
Hughes credits former city leaders with their forethought and frugality, setting aside money over the years so the city could pay cash for the $8.1 million dollar building.
As the current city council cut the ribbon for the official opening, the building's owners, the residents of the city, began streaming into the air conditioning for tours and refreshments.
"It's a gorgeous buidling," said Allwyn Pesek, a 33 year resident of Katy. "I think they've been needing it for a long time. And I love the clock tower. It's the best."
The clock tower is visible for miles above the three story building. The public business is all layed out on the first floor. Mayor Hughes office is on the second.
"This building is emblematic of the growth that's happened here," Hughes told Fox 26 in his very first interview from his new office. "I'm just amazed. It blows me away. It gives us that old time charm that we're trying to capture here."
By all accounts, the look of new new city hall is the perfect addition to Katy's Historic Downtown.
"We have that historic charm on the outside," says Amy Reed, the Executive Director of Keep Katy Beautiful. "You don't feel like you've lost any part of Old Katy, and then you step inside, you walk into modern days, and we're ready to take on what's coming here. That's a lot of great opportunities through the growth that's coming."
Reed is also the Community Relations and Volunteer Coordinator for the city's Parks and Recreations Department. She says, as an employee, moving from the 42 year old, cramped former city hall, finally puts the team of the City of Katy together under one roof.
It is just a building, while the city itself is the people who live and work there, but the building is symbolic and energizing.
"It really reflects the spirit of Katy," says Kay Callender, a long time volunteer for the city and current Vice Chair for the Keep Katy Beautiful committee. "I love the way it looks. I love driving down the highway and seeing the cupala on top."
The city commission chambers filled quickly Friday with residents enjoying a complimentary lunch, but the first official meeting in the chambers is Monday, June 13th.