At Monday’s regular meeting of Kerrville’s Economic Improvement Corporation (EIC), the board took action to move forward with two new applications for economic development funding, and approved the multi-year funding agreement with Kerr Economic Development Corporation (KEDC). The EIC voted unanimously to move forward with an agreement that would fund two projects at the KERV Municipal Airport, and also voted unanimously to proceed with a “terms sheet” for an affordable housing development.
KEDC Funding Agreement
Last month, the EIC directed staff to amend the proposed funding agreement before them to add a multiyear component to the KEDC contract. EIC provides about 2/3 of KEDC’s $213,500 budget. The KEDC operates as a nonprofit and their mission is to support and expand business entities in Kerr County — new and existing. On Monday, the EIC voted unanimously to approve the revised funding agreement, which changed the terms from one year to three years, but giving the EIC the option of appropriating (or not appropriating) monies in the second and third years of the contract. The board believes that adding a multiyear component signals to the KEDC that the EIC is committed to the long-term success of this organization and their economic development efforts.
The KEDC also presented some of their efforts over the previous month, including some specifics about a business that is considering relocating to Kerrville. This Tier 1 supplier (meaning they supply parts and services to a large manufacturer) is considering relocating to Texas from the midwest, and Kerrville is the only community in the state that they are considering. Gil Salinas of KEDC informed the EIC that this company would soon make a “site visit” to Kerrville to see what our community has to offer by way of employees, infrastructure, and building space for their operations. This particular company would add approximately 60 well-paid jobs that also include good employee benefits.
Another lead is in the pipeline, according to Walt Koenig of the Chamber of Commerce and on behalf of KEDC. This lead, code-named “Oasis,” would also add about 50 or 60 primary jobs in the manufacturing sector and would provide an economic benefit to the entire hill country. This lead is still in the works and KEDC hopes to land both of these exciting opportunities in the coming months.
Members of the Airport Board presented statistics about the economic impact of the airport on the community as a whole, stating that the airport and the related jobs there have an impact of almost $40 million on the Kerrville and Kerr County area. They requested funding for two separate projects: 1.) Site work for future box hangars; and 2.) Renovation of an existing building to make ready for future tenants.
The EIC voted unanimously to proceed with a funding agreement in the amount of $375,000 for these improvements.
Workforce Housing Development
The EIC heard a presentation from investors and developers involved in the “Meeker Project,” a potential development which includes up to 35 moderately priced homes near Meeker and Poplar Streets in the eastern half of Kerrville. These homes would be built by local builder Travis Page and would be priced at approximately $159,500 to $203,000 per home, categorized as “workforce housing.”
The developers, 2J-PAGE Development, LLC, has requested approximately $701,000 to offset the public infrastructure costs such as roads and utilities. According to the developers and the City of Kerrville staff:
This development could serve as a catalyst and model in providing additional attainable and affordable housing in the community to retain and attract employees for Kerrville’s local employers (both primary and non-primary) to sustain, as well as expand, their local operations. In addition, this development could help in recruitment efforts to attract new employers to the area. Supporting the need for more attainable and affordable housing is identified in specific Action Items in the Kerrville 2050 Comprehensive Plan…Quote from agenda bill for Item 4C, EIC Agenda for September 16
The EIC heard the presentation and convened discussions in executive session (a closed, non-public portion of the meeting where members discuss ongoing negotiations). Following executive session, the EIC voted unanimously to direct staff to create a “terms sheet,” meaning a list of terms and requirements that must be agreed to before a funding agreement can be contemplated and approved.
- EIC Website
- Agenda Packet for 9/16/19
- KDT Article about airport plans
- Kerrville Economic Development Corporation website
DISCLOSURE: Your author, Aaron Yates, is a board member of the Kerrville Economic Improvement Corporation. The opinions and statements herein represent the views of Aaron Yates and not necessarily the views or positions of the EIC as a whole, or the City of Kerrville.