Reinvestment zone board expands its boundaries

Alexandria Randolph/The Highlander
The Marble Falls Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone Board looks at a map of the city to get a better view of how adding a property across Lake Marble Falls would affect the zone's layout.

By Alexandria Randolph

The Highlander

In a meeting Thursday, June 7, the Marble Falls Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone Board voted in favor of expanding its boundaries across Lake Marble Falls.

While Marble Falls City Council will have the final decision on the matter, the TIRZ Board voted in favor of adding River Boat Gamblers campground and RV park, 200 Old River Road, to the zone. 

TIRZ Board Chair Kyle Stripling didn’t see a downside, he said at the meeting.

It’s not like the city’s requirement to provide utilities service,” said Christian Fletcher, Marble Falls EDC executive director. “With something (a property) that small, there is no downside.”

The only concern about expanding the zone in that direction is “if you continue down U.S. 281, you may bump against the (legal) limits of having no more than 10 percent of the value of the community in the zone,” he added.

Currently, the addition would represent five percent of the base value of all businesses in the TIRZ and just 2.5 percent of the projected appreciating value, directors said.

Stripling also remarked that is was better to add the business sooner “because if they improve in value, we can capture that (tax base).”

Marble Falls Assistant City Manager Caleb Kraenzel said the business owners had “very grand plans down there. They’ve invested in quite a bit of design rendering.”

Board Director Lori Brix asked why the company was interested. 

It’s a source of improvement funds for them theoretically going forward,” Stripling said.

On that note, directors began discussion on potential projects where TIRZ funds might be spent, including a gateway at the intersection of 3rd Street and U.S. 281.

Kraenzel presented schematics to directors for gateway sentinels at the corners of the intersection to mark the entrance to downtown Marble Falls.

Business owner Russell Buster said while he was glad the TIRZ was discussing the project, Main Street business owner had grander dreams.

We were here in 2005. It’s been 13 years, and I’m glad to see this is going through,” he said, however, “I think the value of an archway would accent the area hugely. You never see an archway without knowing there’s something behind it. As shop owners, that’s what we wanted.”

Buster presented examples of the design that was created over a decade ago, which differed from the new sentinel design only by the addition of a metal framework arch connecting the two towers of brick. 

Director Joe Don Dockery agreed the archway was “more substantial,” but wondered how it would affect the cost of the project. 

Kraenzel said the design team felt the value an arch would add “is lost in the power lines. It’s more visual clutter.”

Even if you couldn’t read the sign, you would still see the arch and know it was an entrance to something,” Brix said.

Ultimately, directors decided that more information was necessary before a decision was made.

I’m glad you came today. We hear you very clearly,” Stripling said to Buster. “Everyone in here wants to make the biggest impact we can make with the dollars we have.”

Rate this article: 
No votes yet