STAFF NOTEBOOK

School construction has economic impact on City

Over the course of its two-year construction, the new Liberty Hill High School site will have employed as many as 2,500 workers.

Architects say the influx of workers certainly has an economic impact on the community.

“Liberty Hill restaurants and convenience stores must certainly be seeing a boost in sales,” said Daren Kirbo of Huckabee Associates, the architectural firm for the project.

Kirbo said at peak construction times, there are 250-300 people  working at the 96-acre construction site west of Liberty Hill on State Highway 29.

“They all have to eat, they’re buying gas and other things, and it’s impacting local businesses,” he said.

Kirbo gave an example of the economic impact of a school construction project in Hays County in 2005. He said during that time, a Dairy Queen restaurant on IH 35 became the highest-performing restaurant in the franchise chain.

In addition to purchases made by individual workers, Kirbo said the project is utilizing local businesses for lumber, tools and various services.

Construction on the new high school began in September 2011 and is scheduled for completion in June 2013.

City sales tax revenue down in March 

While it stands to reason that more workers in the area are likely to spend money in Liberty Hill businesses, the State Comptroller’s Office reports the City of Liberty Hill saw a decline in sales tax revenue in  March.

In fact, when comparing sales tax revenues for March 2012 with March 2011, the City saw a 53 percent decrease. This month, the City of Liberty Hill received a check for tax revenue generated in March in the amount of $43,568. Last year at this time, the payment was $92,450. In the first three months of the year, the City has experienced a 7.14 percent drop in sales tax revenue from the same period in 2011.

Among cities in Williamson County, only Liberty Hill and Round Rock saw declines in sales tax revenue in March. In Round Rock, tax revenue was down 5.92 percent over this time last year.

The City of Jarrell saw the largest spike in tax revenue among cities in Williamson County this month. Compared to this time last year, Jarrell’s sales tax revenue increased by 55 percent.

Early voting begins Monday in city, school elections

  Voters residing in the Liberty Hill Independent School District and the City of Liberty Hill may cast ballots early beginning Monday, April 30.

While early voting continues at designated polling locations throughout Williamson County until Saturday, May 5, Liberty Hill area voters may vote early from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on May 2-3 at the City Council Chamber, 2801 RR 1869.

Liberty Hill voters who prefer to vote on Election Day, May 12, will cast ballots at the LHISD Administration Building, 14001 W. State Highway 29.

In the newspaper’s coverage of school and city council races, every candidate was invited to submit an article announcing their candidacy for office. The Independent accepted many of those articles and published them without space restrictions, unedited in previous editions.

Unfortunately for voters, some candidates chose not to introduce themselves to our readers. At a critical time in our community’s growth, it is disappointing that some appeared to believe they did not need to make an effort to connect with voters, to let them know of their ideas on numerous important issues facing the school district and the city.

Before you go to the polls, take a look at the candidate profiles submitted to The Independent. They can be found on our website, www.LHIndependent.com.