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EIC takes action on two new funding applications

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.

Airport Projects

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.

Funding request from KERV Airport.

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.”

Contemplated floorplans and elevations for the homes in the Meeker project.

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.

References

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.

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.

Economic Improvement: What has EIC funded in the past five years?

Recently the Economic Improvement Corporation (EIC) had an opportunity to review all of the projects it helped fund in the previous five years. The EIC approves and recommends projects to the city council, who then approve them again and provide funding. The money comes from 4B sales tax revenue — in Kerrville it’s a 1/2 cent tax approved in 1995 that generates around $3 million per year.

In the last five years, here’s the breakdown on the types of projects:

  • Economic Development – $2,312,924 – 26%
  • Quality of Life – $3,740,170 – 42%
  • Infrastructure – $2,869,683 – 32%

TOTAL: $8,922,777

Here’s full list of projects from 2010 to 2015.
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