Council adopts economic development program

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By SHELLY WILKISON

The Liberty Hill City Council adopted a resolution Monday authorizing a Chapter 380 Economic Development program for the city.

City Manager Greg Boatright explained a Chapter 380 agreement would allow the city to provide economic incentives to large businesses or industries creating a significant number of jobs along with facilities. He said small businesses like Major’s and Bella Serra — both restaurants whose requests for financial incentives were rejected by the Economic Development Corp. — would not be eligible for the program.

“Individual business would not bring this type of impact,” he said. He used Dell Computers as an example of a company that has a Chapter 380 agreement.

The program is authorized by Chapter 380 of the Texas Local Government Code.

Also Monday, the Council discussed the after-school congestion impacting traffic flow in the downtown area. Councilmember Liz Rundzieher said parents picking up children at Liberty Hill Elementary School block businesses along Loop 332 and RR 1869, often for more than one hour prior to school dismissal. She asked if city staff was looking for a remedy.

After discussing various options that appeared unreasonable, the Council voted to authorize Boatright to discuss the program with Liberty Hill ISD.

“We can’t do anything to get them off the road,” Boatright said. “Getting parents to comply is big issue.”

Police Chief Randy Williams said the backup is so bad that the school has at times asked for the department’s help in directing traffic so that school buses can exit safely.

In response to a request by Councilmember Wendell McLeod, the panel voted to appoint him and Councilmember Ron Rhea to a committee to work with staff on creating guidelines for a rainy day fund.

The Council also approved a site plan for Stor & Save Development at 14774 State Highway 29. The seven-acre commercial property was recently part of the city’s involuntary annexation. The business will offer mini-storage units, RV storage and office space rentals.

In other matters, the Council adopted the Holiday Calendar for city employees for fiscal 2015.

The panel also approved the addition of David Bonessi as a reserve police officer, and the quarterly investment report for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014.

Public hearings were held on voluntary annexation of the BLW Tract, the Forman Financial Tract, and the creation of a Public Improvements District (PID) with Liberty Parke. Although developers were present, no one from the community addressed the Council.

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