The Kerrville City Council met for the first time in 2019 this past Tuesday evening at Council Chambers within City Hall. The meeting lasted from 6 PM until almost 9 PM with a jam-packed agenda contributing to a longer than average meeting. Some of the highlights of the meeting included the following:
Support state tax rebate to help fund hotel/conference center
Council passed a resolution supporting state legislation to allow Kerrville to become eligible for a tax rebate that would be used to support the funding of a hotel/convention center. City Manager Mark McDaniel explained that this legislation would allow Kerrville to receive a rebate from existing taxes, and that no new taxes are proposed, nor any increase in taxes.
This program is part of the Texas Tax Code Chapter 351 Section 102b, which allows eligible cities to receive these rebates to support specific hotel/conference center projects. The rebate comes from the 13% hotel tax that is currently collected. Currently, 6% of the hotel tax goes to the state, and 7% goes to the city. Under this plan, the 6% going to the state would come back to the city for up to ten years to help pay for a public/private partnership for a hotel/conference center. 39 other Texas cities have taken advantage of this tax program.
Council and McDaniel were careful to explain that no specific site or project has been committed to at this time. A developer would partner with the city to construct such a project. McDaniel also reminded council that a study was conducted in 2018 that researched what Kerrville could support as far as a hotel/conference center. The study concluded that a large demand for space is currently not being met in Kerrville, and visitors and conferences that would prefer to be in Kerrville are actually forced to go to other locations since we do not have the facilities in place. Since that study was completed, the City has worked to develop funding measures to implement the recommendations from that study.
Council voted unanimously to approve this resolution.
HEB plans move foward
Council held public hearings for a zoning change on the HEB Main Street property as well as on the closure of Hays Street between Main and Jefferson — both items to facilitate the construction of a new HEB building oriented facing Lemos Street, and new gas pump stations on the property.
After hearing citizens’ concerns regarding legacy oak trees that would be removed, and concerns about closing Hays Street, the council voted unanimously to pass both the zoning change and the street closure ordinances.
River Trail extension to Schreiner University receives EIC funding
Council considered a request to use EIC funds for about a mile of new River Trail that would extend from G Street to Schreiner University north of the Guadalupe River. The route is pictured below.
In the agreement, the EIC would provide $1.5 million in funding in two installments to allow the city to construct this portion of the trail. Schreiner University would contribute $50,000 in cash, provide a public trail head, and would construct public restrooms near the trail head. The project would be complete by 2020.
Council voted unanimously to approve this funding agreement.
Contract to construct Legion Lift Station
Council unanimously authorized a construction contract with Keystone Construction for $5.5 million dollars to build a new Legion Lift Station. This sewer infrastructure project has sought for many years and will alleviate the wastewater bottleneck that hampered new development in that portion of the city. This project will be paid for with monies from EIC, the Texas Water Development Board, and the city’s water and sewer revenues.
Council appointed new members to the following boards:
- Charter Review Commission
- Animal Services Advisory Board
- Recovery Community Coalition
- Senior Services Advisory Committee
- Planning & Zoning Commission
The next regularly scheduled City Council meeting will take place on January 22.