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  • Friday, October 14, 2016
    Council agrees to loan for land purchase
    The Brenham City Council has agreed to help fund the purchase of 45 acres to expand an industrial park.
     
    Council members voted Thursday to provide a $500,000 loan to the Brenham Community Development Corp. to purchase property at the intersection of FM 389 and FM 332.

    The BCDC is a city entity that oversees a special sales tax that funds economic development and recreational facilities.
     
    In addition to the $500,000 promissory note from the city, BCDC will use $400,000 from its reserve funds to buy the property near its Southwest Industrial Park.
     
    BCDC will repay the city loan over a 10-year period, at an interest rate of 3.25 percent. The city will use $500,000 in electrical fund reserves for the promissory note.
     
    Council member Danny Goss questioned whether the city should make a loan because it has a number of financial obligations, including rebuilding damage from devastating flooding in April and May.
     
    “We’ve got a lot of projects that are going to cost money,” said Goss.
     
    He also said BCDC industrial parks already have “an awful lot of property that’s not being sold. That’s an economic issue that needs to be addressed.”
     
    City Manager Terry Roberts, who also serves as BCDC president, said the tract recently came on the market and is attractive for expansion of the industrial park because of its topography and road frontage on three sides.
     
    Roberts also said the 3.25 percent interest rate on the loan is “more than we’re earning anywhere else.”
     
    The council also:
     
    • Held a workshop discussion on the city’s current zoning ordinances and possible future planned development district projects.
     
    The discussion was initiated by Stylecraft Builders’ proposal for a major housing project on the Highway 36 Loop near Dixie Road.
     
    The project, which is ultimately expected to have more than 250 homes and some commercial development, is outside the city limits, but there is a development agreement in place that would trigger “voluntary annexation” into the city.
     
    Stylecraft president Randy French said the project is being explored as a planned development, which would lock in amenities such as green spaces and biking/hiking trails in exchange for the city allowing some concessions on items such as minimum setback and lot depth limits.
     
    French said his company is looking to provide housing “for people who can’t afford a $250,000 or $300,000 home.”
     
    Stylecraft has already been involved in several other projects here.
     
    Erik Smith of the city’s Development Services Department said the city has not had a “significant” updating of its zoning ordinances since 1995, a topic that came up during discussion of Stylecraft’s proposed project.
     
    Council members said that an update of the zoning ordinances should be looked at, along with Stylecrafts’ project being considered as a planned development.
     
    • Approved the purchase of three new mowers for the city’s parks department.
     
    Cost of the mowers totals $151,122.
     
    • Authorized purchase of a Kenworth haul truck that will be used to transport garbage to a landfill near Altair, Texas.
     
    Cost of the unit is $119,875.
     
    • Approved purchase of a new scoreboard for the baseball stadium at Fireman’s Park.
     
    The new LED scoreboard will be 32 feet long and 15 feet high.
     
    The $60,983 cost will be funded by $35,000 from BCDC and revenue from advertising signage sold at the stadium.
     
    • Recognized city employees for their years of service: Paula Shields, administration, five years; Rhonda Kuehn, municipal court, 20 years; Joe Moore, gas department, 20 years; and Angela Hahn, police department, 20 years.

    Source: Brenham Banner-Press