Gregg Ranch, city's first PID moves forward

By Glynis Crawford Smith

The Highlander

Following a lengthy presentation on the city's first foray into a Public Improvement District (PID), the Marble Falls City Council approved moving forward on the request for PID for the Gregg Ranch Development.

The development of 242 acres of land bounded both by US 281 and Texas 71 has been long in planning and a year ago the developer, Harvard Investments, submitted the request to follow the PID model for financing. The council's action provides for a March 20 public hearing for public comment on the petition and creation of the district.

Rick Rosenberg of Development Planning & Financial Group, Inc., who guided the council through a workshop on the proposal, praised the work of the city to establish its formal PID Policy adopted in 2015.

“It is very detailed,” he said.

It transfers the cost of infrastructure development to the property owners of the development.

As proposed, that will require an arrangement with the Burnet Central Appraisal District to collect the annual payment on those costs that are designed to be levied over 30 years.

“It will (ultimately) result in $212 million assessed value, providing $1.3 million assessed property tax to the city,” he said, with confidence that the shortage of finished lots in the Austin area would be a draw to Marble Falls.

He said the city would own and maintain the $23.9 million of PID funded streets, utilities and (park) trails and the PID would pay for the estimated $7.5 million in equipment and materials required for the service.

“There are many opportunities to review the process in the city,” said Rosenberg. “If you are not happy with it, you can stop it.”

The council did not approve the request from from Lone Star Aggregates for a development plat on 518.6 acres of land located west of US 281 and south of Texas 71.

The property is located, in part, in the Marble Falls city limits, but it extends into the extraterritorial jurisdictions (ETJs) of Marble Falls, Horseshoe Bay and Round Mountain. The Marble Falls Planning & Zoning Commission judged it does not yet meet the standard for review.

The council also approved adding two full-time maintenance technicians for the Parks and Recreation Department (PARD).

Like the police department, the PARD took part in a reduction of force during the 2013/2014 budget process. This budget year, with PARD Director Robert Moss assuring the council that long-delayed maintenance, growth of the park facilities and plans to move forward with more, would require more workforce.

Before the council approved hiring in-house personnel, however they asked for a long process to evaluate whether the work could be out-sourced. Tuesday night they made their decision and two more parks workers will be added to the city payroll.

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