EDC Board approves new budget for fiscal 2015

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By Christine Bolaños

The Liberty Hill Economic Development Corp. Board unanimously approved the 2015-16 operating budget at its Aug. 20 meeting.

According to data provided by Chief Financial Officer Amber Lewis, the EDC’s total expenditures in the adopted budget total $678,350. This includes $97,350 for personnel costs, $164,500 for contractual services, $1,500 for materials and supplies; and $415,000 for capital outlay.

Total revenue is $756,500 and includes $253,500 in total taxes and $503,000 in total investment outcome. The difference in revenue and expenditures per the adopted budget is $78,150.

Another important item, though put on hold, was the incentive guidelines and application.

“I went over it with the Board and they took no action per my suggestion,” said Executive Director Kirk Clennan. “I didn’t want to go through it until we had a good solid review. Let them soak it up. The guidelines that the application is based on is 12 pages.”

Guidelines are based on a compilation of best practices from cities of similar size and growth pattern as Liberty Hill.

“We look at a variety of variables including job creation, capital investment, sales tax, quality of company, fit,” Clennan said.

However, the guidelines and application will be back on the agenda at the Sept. 17 meeting.

“We want to absolutely take action on this at the next meeting because from these guidelines and application we’ve presented an economic development plan. I’ve even put that on hold briefly so we can get these guidelines and application done,” Clennan shared. “We’ve received almost 35 inquiries. Our existing and perspective businesses deserve to know what our criteria are and obviously our citizens too.”

All but one of the EDC board positions are coming to an end while one is vacant.

Clennan said it is important for incumbents or any other prospective candidates to submit their applications for consideration.

Applicants must reside within the Liberty Hill ISD.

According to City Secretary Barbara Zwernemann, the deadline to submit an application to serve on this board, any other board or commission in Liberty Hill is 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 21.

This is because the final deadline for submitting agenda items is Monday, Sept. 14. This allows time for council to review information and place names on the Sept. 28 council agenda, Zwernemann explained.

“Usually, all appointments can be made by City Council on Monday, Sept. 28, so new members can attend October meetings,” she said.

As of Aug. 25, Clennan said incumbent Lance Dean had re-submitted an application, though he could not confirm any other applications.

EDC meetings are held at 6:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of the month in Council Chambers, 2801 Ranch Road 1869, Liberty Hill.

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