STAFF WRITER JARED FIELDS
MARBLE FALLS — Marble Falls Economic Development Corp. board members heard updates about city projects, the progress of Baylor Scott & White, and a new brewery at their regular meeting Sept. 5.
Bramer Owens, vice president of Operations Hill Country Region for Baylor Scott & White Health, gave an update before being presented with a ceremonious $72,994.34 check.
The payment is the final one in a five-year performance agreement with the EDC, which actually went to six years.
The Marble Falls EDC agreed in 2012 to reimburse $2.5 million for Baylor Scott & White to create jobs and extend utilities to the hospital south of town. Years four and five fell short of job projections, so a sixth was added. Baylor Scott & White projected adding 446 total jobs to Marble Falls facilities. Owens said during the meeting that projection was exceeded by seven jobs.
In other business, the board approved a Community Leverage Program application from Bear King Brewing in the amount of $25,000.
The money will help offset the company’s estimated $117,000 in construction around the building, 207 Avenue G, to improve parking, lighting, sidewalks, and landscaping.
Members also received updates on the brewery’s plans, including a potential opening date.
“I’m thinking beginning of October we’ll probably have soft openings,” said co-owner J.D. Guidry.
A full grand opening could come later in October, he told the board.
Guidry also told the board that Beer King’s capacity is just over 200 people, and the menu will feature “mostly tacos” with burgers, salads, and appetizers. He also hopes to add a wing night.
In non-action business, City Manager Mike Hodge’s report looked ahead to upcoming projects in the city. Since his last update in June, Hodge said 17 new residential buildings have been permitted at a total value of $3.5 million.
Phase 1A of the parks upgrade is moving forward with the lakeside beach design finalized. Water work to the proposed hotel/conference center should be complete within 30-45 days, he said.
The Lower Colorado River Authority has lowered lake levels in Inks and LBJ the previous two winters. An LCRA spokesperson previously said the decision to lower Lake Marble Falls will be announced in October or November. Hodge, however, told the board that low storage in lakes Buchanan and Travis could delay the lowering of Lake Marble Falls.
If rains don’t raise the reservoirs’ levels, the beach construction will not be affected, Hodge said. Planned work to boat ramps will be though.
The combined storage of the two reservoir lakes currently is 1,358,850 acre-feet, or 68 percent full. Hodge also said new bathrooms for downtown have been ordered with installation coming in “another couple months.”