Through the looking glass: EIC projects update


If you want to know what Kerrville will look like in one year, five, or twenty, a good place to start would be at the Economic Improvement Corporation’s meetings at Kerrville City Hall. The EIC met on Monday afternoon, January 14, and during the meeting, Deputy City Manager EA Hoppe presented the monthly projects update as well as the multi-year Community Improvement Plan. These updates and reports provide a glimpse into what Kerrville might look like in the near future.

The reason the EIC is privy to such exciting prospective information about future projects is because the EIC holds the purse-strings for 4B sales tax revenue. As you’ll recall, 4B sales tax is a 1/2% tax collected within the city on all taxable goods and services, and those monies must be used for certain types of economic development projects. The total revenue totals about $3 to $4 million per year. Past projects have included things like the Sports Complex and the River Trail. So the EIC oversees one of the largest pots of development money in the area, and therefore many projects start off in front of the EIC to ask for funding.

Here are some updates and information presented to the EIC this week.

Current Project Updates

River Trail Extension

Last week City Council approved $1.5 million in EIC funding for an extension to the River Trail that will run from the G Street trailhead to Schreiner University along the northeast side of the Guadalupe River. Schreiner will construct a trailhead and restrooms and will contribute financially to the project, which could be in use by 2020.

Currently the city is working on a scope of design services and they anticipate that coming back to council in the near term.

Reuse Distribution Lines

With the construction of a large impoundment pond near the water treatment plant, the city was able to provide additional effluent water for irrigation customers like Comanche Trace golf course, Riverhill golf course, the municipal golf course, Schreiner University, Peterson Middle School athletic fields, and the new Sports Complex on Holdsworth Drive.

Some of these lines were damaged in the flooding that took place in recent months. Specifically, the aerial lines that crossed the Guadalupe River near Loop 534 were destroyed. The city is continuing to assess disaster recovery funds for the removal of the aerial pipe bridge and the long-term fix for it. The city just completed an application to the Texas Water Development Board for their assistance in that effort.

In the interim, the city will provide a short-term fix by April to serve the existing customers. A long-term, permanent fix may be a year to two years away.

Tennis Center Improvements

The city has let the construction project for the HEB Tennis Center improvements. That project will begin very soon.

Aquatics Feasibility Study

The consultants are working up various options for the improvements that the community input sessions identified. At this time, they are working up some cost estimates for the various options that are available for the Olympic Pool. Another public forum for feedback will be hosted in February.

Aerial view of the Olympic Pool.

Legion Lift Station

A construction contract was let at the last city council meeting, so the project is moving forward. The bids came in under the estimates. The total bid was about $5.5 million, and the total project cost, with contingencies, is about $7.7 million. This is less than the previously anticipated cost of around $10 million. The difference may be applied to another project.

Community Improvement Plan

Last year, the EIC requested a report from the city about all ongoing and upcoming projects that are on the table (or could be on the table) for EIC funding. EA Hoppe, Deputy City Manager, provided a large spreadsheet and a report with anticipated funding levels for the various projects on the horizon, including the following. These projects are not necessarily fleshed out, but they provide an interesting look at what could be coming to our city in the not-so-distant future. If you’re interested in the city’s priorities for major projects, this is a good place to look.

Watch the video below starting at 33:45 to hear about these plans.