Economic Development Corporation to discuss budget

In News by Reporter News

The Manvel Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) is scheduled to discuss the 2016 fiscal year budget at its regular monthly meeting this week. Corporation members are pleased to expect a significant increase in revenue in the coming year due primarily to city voters authorizing the return of a full 1/2 cent sales tax allocation as was provided upon the Corporations inception. Voters supported the repeal of a temporary 1/4 cent sales tax that provided revenue for maintenance and repair of municipal streets that was approved by voters in 2011. The repeal allows the full portion to be returned to MEDC to promote positive development opportunities for the city. MEDC will also see improved revenue resulting from the general increase in sales tax receipts in Manvel.

This year’s budget was approximately $300,000 with project expenditures nearing $1 million for water and sewer infrastructure on both sides of SH 6. Revenue for the next fiscal year should be well in excess of $600,000 giving the corporation increased opportunities to promote economic development for the city.

In 2013 MEDC committed $1.6 million toward water and sewer infrastructure improvements along SH 6 that are vital to the city’s ability to land a large grocery store or other big box retail establishment. For years prospective commercial developments were turned away due the city’s inability to fund the construction of the needed utility services. MEDC members generally consider continued infrastructure development as a primary focus in the near term. The city’s wastewater treatment plant is nearing capacity and current volume would prove insufficient to accommodate a large retail or commercial development. MEDC members favor a proactive approach to impending development and the critical need of increased water and sewer capability well displays the type of improvement a better funded MEDC is expected to focus on during its budget discussions.

Projects funded through MEDC produce real benefits to tax payers that go beyond mere physical improvements, such as a grocery store, that citizens would enjoy for many years. The tax burden on residents is diminished as the city does not have to fund the project through bonds or debt obligations that usually result in an increase in the local property tax rate. MEDC is funded by sales taxes; a significant portion of their projects are funded by non-citizens.

The public is always welcome at MEDC meetings and encouraged to attend. Meetings are customarily held the second Wednesday of each month at Manvel City Hall. Meetings begin at 7 p.m.

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