Is it just me, or did 2014 absolutely fly by? I cannot believe that I’ve written more than 25 blogs since I provided the 2013 recap. The good news is that, as great a year as 2013 was, 2014 was even better—and 2015 shows immense promise. This is an amazing time to be in an amazing place.
Mark Hodges, Executive Vice President of Lone Star Capital Bank, is appointed by the City Council to the EDC Board of Directors. Mr. Hodges was selected to fill the unexpired term of Keith Conrad, who moved outside the ten-mile limit required for board service.
City Council orders a local option election in response to a petition submitted by 491 residents of the city. In their attempt to take advantage of new legislation related to retail sales at microbreweries, the owners of Save the World Brewing Company discovered an arcane TABC ordinance that prohibited on-premises consumption of alcohol in areas of the city annexed since 1988. The plight for signatures became a plight for support in advance of the May election.
The EDC board approves community leverage funding for a wastewater line replacement on Avenue H. This replacement and the corresponding water line upgrade pave the way for the development of the Nunnally project that is currently underway and provide for more reliable service for existing customers in the area.
The EDC formally begins the public hearing process to issue bonds for the acquisition of more than 200,000 square feet of prime Downtown real estate.
With a margin of 74% to 26%, voters overwhelmingly approve the local option election to allow on-premises consumption of alcohol in all parts of the city.
The EDC closes on the Downtown property with the goal of providing better access to Lake Marble Falls and connections between the Historic Main Street District and the lake. Shortly thereafter, the board enters into an advisory services agreement with Cobalt Real Estate Services related to the Downtown project. Board members John Packer, Mark Hodges, and Mark Mayfield are reappointed to their seats by City Council.
As part of its workforce development initiative, the EDC sponsors a target industry forum, conducted by the Center for Occupational Research and Development and coordinated by College to Careers, for more than 60 business and community leaders.
The City’s Development Services Department issues building permits totaling more than $6.3 million in valuation, an increase of 124% over August of 2013.
For the second installment of a five-year performance agreement, the EDC issues a check to Baylor Scott & White Healthcare in the amount of $302,670 for infrastructure reimbursement and job creation. Also, the EDC completes the sale of its property at 1707 Colt Circle to CorWorth Real Estate Holdings as part of the lease/purchase agreement executed between the parties in 2012, and it contributes more than $40,000 in community leverage funding to park improvement projects in the city.
Monthly hotel receipts total more than $817,000, a 33.4% increase over October 2013. Every property in town experiences a double-digit increase over the previous year.
City Council approves a development agreement with Harvard Investments to annex and provide service for more than 300 acres at the southwest corner of US Highway 281 and SH 71. November 2014 is the eighth month of the year to break the previous monthly sales tax record.
Construction of a gravel road to access Phase III of the EDC’s Business & Technology Park is completed. Sales tax collected in 2014 is 1.14% higher than the record-shattering collection in 2013; taxable sales collected for the year total more than $353 million.