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Vyve Broadband customers living in Horseshoe Bay will soon see a small reduction in their monthly bills after the Horseshoe Bay City Council voted to eliminate a 1 percent public educational and governmental programming fee. The city has no plans to ever create a PEG access channel, so the fee was not necessary. 

“This would require us to set up a television channel,” Mayor Cynthia Clinesmith said. 

City Manager Stan Farmer said Vyve is agreeable to eliminating the fee starting Sept. 1.

Since the implementation of the PEG fee and the 5 percent cable franchise fee, the city of Horseshoe Bay has received $69,645, which Vyve will now treat as a franchisee fee credit. Vyve will not collect franchise fees until the corresponding payments equal the amount of the franchise fee credits. 

After the amount equals $69,645, Vyve will collect the 5 percent franchise fee again.

“One percent won’t come back, but the 5 percent does,” Farmer said. 

Councilor Frank Hosea was happy with the outcome.

“This is a positive for our constituents,” he said. “It should be communicated.”

The council also approved updates to the major development project review guide after hearing a recommendation from Director of Development Services Sally McFeron and the city’s Development Review Committee. 

This guide is for developers of major projects and to protect the city’s health, safety, and general welfare, according to the Development Services Department. 

“We’re talking about fees and outside consulting services,” McFeron said. 

The guide states that:

  • developers are responsible for all outside consulting services, including engineering review, legal review, and project-related inspections at the city of Horseshoe Bay’s costs;
  • an application fee to help defray the cost of the project specific to staff time spent on technical review and the costs of processing, retention of plans and records will be implemented. In addition, City Hall will collect a matching deposit for the payment of any required outside consulting services. Any money left from the deposit after costs have been paid will be returned.
  • a construction permit that requires a deposit equal to 1 percent of the engineer’s opinion of the cost of construction to cover the expenses of infrastructure inspections at the city and project acceptance requirements will be collected. Any money left from the deposit after costs are paid will be returned.
  • only single-family and two-family residential projects are considered “exempt projects.”

The major development project application fee is $1,000, and the matching deposit also is $1,000. This portion falls in line with what the cities of Marble Falls, Fredericksburg, Bee Cave, and Lakeway are already doing. 

“It looks as if we’ve been kind,” Clinesmith said. 

McFeron noted that the guide is “in effect immediately” after the council approved it, and she believes “maybe five or six (contractors and commercial builders) fall into this guide.”

jfierro@thepicayune.com