Letter from Councilman Gaspar

In Letter to the Editor by Reporter News

The Manvel Reporter News article dated September 4, 2013 addressed the Manvel City Council’s action to table the request for the use of a right of way by the Lakeland subdivision and Mr. Dan Rucker’s opinion regarding the responsibilities of both the City and a developer building in the city.

As a city councilman, I want to remind the public that we are here first to work for the taxpayers and, secondly, to encourage development that is in line with the goals, plans, and requirements that have been developed by Manvel residents and adopted by the City Council. I would strongly encourage developers to consider moving to Manvel so that they can benefit directly from the residential and commercial development coming to our city.

Anyone who has a direct financial interest in an organization that builds residential subdivisions would agree with Mr. Rucker’s comments because he discussed ways to maximize the return on investment that developers are making in residential and commercial developments in the Manvel area by attempting to reduce or eliminate the expenses associated with complying with as many current city requirements as possible. I understand the investor is primarily interested in making a profit on the investment, but the City has to concern itself with how that development will fit in the overall plan for the city long after the developer has completed his development and has moved on to his next project. A subdivision will remain for decades after the developer has left and any future issues that have to be resolved for that development will have to be paid for by the citizens of Manvel.

I want to let the taxpayers of Manvel know that we, the Manvel City Council, have maintained the same tax rate for years, in part because past city councils have approved plans that require developers to pay for improvements that are needed by their developments and will benefit the neighboring areas of the city. These improvements include the construction of roads and thoroughfares, drainage, and water and wastewater systems that will provide for current and future needs. These citywide systems require significant planning and should not simply be left to the developers to determine where roads should go, where access points should occur, or what size and type of infrastructure systems should be installed. There are many examples of poor planning that have to be corrected after commercial and residential developments have been built. It is always more costly and more difficult to build a citywide system of roads, drainage, or utilities after development has occurred instead of planning where improvements will be needed so they can be built as the developments are constructed.

The City’s vision for the future includes the needs of current residents, as well as, new development that will come to Manvel. Educational facilities, and especially regional sports facilities, are a magnetic for economic activity. The sales tax revenue that can be generated by visitors will help the city fund needed improvements and services that would otherwise have to be funded through locally generated property taxes. In addition, these customers will provide additional revenue for local businesses that they would not have otherwise had access to, if the venues were not located in Manvel. The city welcomes these businesses and encourages them to locate or expand in Manvel.

We, the Manvel City Council, will take the necessary time to make informed decisions regarding appropriate development requirements and plans that will benefit the city as a whole. There may be times when developers may not like the requirements that the city has adopted, but we believe they are in the best interests of our citizens and our city.

Adrian Gaspar
Manvel City Council

Print Friendly, PDF & Email