Marble Falls targets downtown area for revitalization

CONNIE SWINNEY • PICAYUNE STAFF

The boundaries of a newly installed board called a TIRZ (tax-increment refinance zone) encompasses an area of Marble Falls, detailed in the community’s downtown master plan, which will be eligible for redirected tax funding for public improvements and infrastructure upgrades. Map courtesy of Marble Falls Economic Development Corp.

The boundaries of a newly installed board called a TIRZ (tax-increment refinance zone) encompasses an area of Marble Falls, detailed in the community’s downtown master plan, which will be eligible for redirected tax funding for public improvements and infrastructure upgrades. Map courtesy of Marble Falls Economic Development Corp.

MARBLE FALLS — City officials have created a new board to propose public improvement projects in an effort to revitalize the downtown area.

The Marble Falls City Council launched a tax-increment refinance zone (TIRZ) on Jan. 20 by appointing six downtown property owners to the board, recommended by the Marble Falls Economic Development Corp.

“It’s not just Main Street defined in the downtown master plan. The zone itself matches the downtown district,” EDC President John Packer said. “There’s some actual sidewalks down there that don’t make codes for safety and access. That would be an example where (funds) can be used in that area to help improve those situations.”

The city will use re-appropriated taxes collected in the downtown district in hopes of attracting development and potentially increasing property values.

Officials hatched the TIRZ from a so-called tax-increment financing (TIF) concept.

“The board’s first step is to set up what projects they all feel are important,” Packer said. “The hope is that it attracts people to invest money in that area, possibly developers to make improvements, new developments.”

The boundaries for the TIRZ district extends from the heart of the city in and around Main Street to just past Huber Mining Co. to the west; a number of businesses fronting U.S. 281 to the east; northward to RR 1431; and south across Lake Marble Falls, including a portion of Los Escondidos Road and the Marble Falls RV Park.

Potential funding for the first round of proposed projects would be based on 75 percent of an incremental tax for taxable values within the district.

The TIRZ board will utilize the amount of the district’s increased property values from 2013 to 2014, about $3 million. This would generate about $15,000.

“(TIRZ) keeps a certain percentage of those funds in that area to be re-invested in that area for things like public improvements and infrastructure for that area,” Packer said. “Any kind of improvement will obviously raise the property values in that area. It will be beneficial to Marble Falls to improve that district.”

The following property owners or their representatives were appointed to the TIRZ board of directors: Lori Brix, Charles Johnstone, Scott Martin, Rebecca Nunnally, Terry Pilley, Dave Plante, Kyle Stripling and Joe Don Dockery.

The board also allows for a state senator and a state representative appointee. Sen. Troy Fraser (R-Horseshoe Bay) selected Stripling while State Rep. Marsha Farney (R-Georgetown) selected Dockery.

The council is reviewing applications for one more board member.

connie@thepicayune.com

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