Council finalizes Liberty Parke PID agreements

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By SHELLY WILKISON

Following an hour-long workshop Monday, the City Council approved a number of resolutions and ordinances finalizing the implementation of a public improvement district for the Liberty Parke subdivision.

Three years ago, developers came to the City of Liberty Hill proposing the creation of a PID, which would help the neighborhood inside the city limits improve infrastructure and offer more amenities. The burden of repayment of PID bonds is borne by the property owners of the neighborhood and not the property owners of Liberty Hill.

The actions taken Monday created the financing and reimbursement agreement between the City and CCD Liberty Parke LLC with consent by LGI Homes, the builder in Phase 1 of the development.

The City receives fees from developers that can be used to improve infrastructure throughout the city.

Ordinances were approved creating the one-time assessments on lots, which will be the responsibility of the homebuyers.

Resolutions were also approved authorizing the execution of the landowner agreement and the conveyance of redemption and waiver of agricultural valuation between the City and the development.

Developer Randy Rollo told The Independent following the meeting that the builder has about 12 homes under construction now at Liberty Parke.

“This just finalizes the deal,” Rollo said of Monday’s council action. “This was a formality to finalize the process.”

He said PID funding was important to the development being able to offer certain amenities and develop the property as they envisioned it.

Rollo said the funding will help the neighborhood have wider streets, sidewalks, fences, an amenities center, a landscaping package and an improved entryway.

“We feel it is very much an upgraded entry level community,” he said, “and we’re proud of it.”

In other business Monday, the Council authorized the City Administrator to negotiate a professional services agreement with Halff Associates, Inc., to provide engineering, surveying and professional design services for park improvement projects.

City Administrator Greg Boatright said the City received six proposals and narrowed it to the Halff firm, which is local.

Utilizing funds generated by tax notes, the City is building a swimming pool and walking trail at City Park on CR 200.

Boatright said the company will project actual costs for each project.

“We need to get this designed to know what that (actual cost) is going to be,” he said, regarding the need to retain the company’s services now.

The item was approved by a 4-1 vote with Councilman Wendell McLeod opposed. Councilmember Liz Rundzieher was not present Monday.

The Council also authorized Boatright to negotiate a professional services agreement with Langford and Associates for the purpose of writing grants for the City.

Boatright said the City is now in a position financially where it can provide matching funds when seeking grants, a common requirement.

“The matching part has been a challenge in the past. Now, we have the resources to do it, and it changes our ability to pursue them (grants),” he said.

The Council also approved the appointment of Kathryn Mitchell to the position of Utility Customer Services Representative at the rate of $17 per hour. The position was previously approved by Council and budgeted.

Assistant City Administrator Amber Lewis said Mitchell will act as a receptionist, answer phones and handle some accounts payable.

Lewis, who also serves as the City’s chief financial officer, said revenues are up after the first quarter of the fiscal year compared to this time last year.

She said sales tax is up by 26 percent, property tax collections are up 70 percent and municipal court revenue is up 45 percent, while permit revenue is down slightly primarily because of administrative reclassifications.

Because of growth, revenue generated by connection and use fees for wastewater and sewer have increased, although water sales continues to decline, down by 16 percent from this time last year.

Lewis said sales tax revenue has more than doubled what was projected for the year in the current budget.

The financial report showed $794,000 available in Economic Development Corp. funds.

“The auditor has advised that they (EDC) needs to start spending that,” she said. “We have some projects for them.”

Lewis said the City’s General Fund is under budget with expenses after the first quarter.

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