The money, Sellers told the council, would be used to extend wastewater service to the site of the development that Sellers described as "an industry looking to relocate to Kyle."
The announcement was part of a Texas Capital Fund Program public hearing at which no one chose to speak.
According to the Capital Fund’s website, a number of the grants it offers are matching grants, although the program under which Sellers will be seeking funds seems to come under the heading of "Infrastructure Development" which, according to the website, "provides grants for infrastructure development to create or retain permanent jobs in primarily rural communities and counties." The word "matching" is notable for its omission in that description.
After the council adjourned its astonishingly short 16-minute session, Sellers said: "It’s a matching by employees, basically. If there’s a certain number of jobs generated, it’s not matching. There has to be a certain number of employees committed and that will be 66. So if this company brings 66 new employees to this area, it’s non-matching."
He said, at the most, there could be a 20 percent matching component (which translates into $200,000 from the city’s pockets based on the $1 million figure), but Sellers said he was working with the company looking to relocate to come up with "creative ways" to keep the city’s monetary contribution at the absolute minimum.
He said the official announcement of the project should come "very soon. You’ll see it."
The only other items on the council’s agenda tonight were:
- A citizen comments period during which anyone could come and talk about their problems with the proposed budget and/or tax rate but no one did.
- A first reading on that FY 2016-17 proposed budget that passed 6-1 with council member Daphne Tenorio casting the lone negative vote, which was not completely unexpected. She told me she voted against it because (1) it eliminated transportation subsidies, (2) new positions were created she felt were not needed and (3) she objected to the implementation of a stormwater fee. When I reminded her the stormwater fee would be set later and was not part of the budget, she told me "The city just needs to do a better job of taking care of the infrastructure it has." Later she added: "One of my biggest concerns about the budget is the lack of cushion. Last year we spent as much as we could. This year we did a better job of having some cushion. I just worry we won't have enough in case of a major issue." The city unanimously approved one amendment to the budget that will have absolutely no effect on this year’s revenues or expenditures — to rename placeholder item for the 2020 Capital Improvement Program. That item, Item 31 on page 237 of the budget proposal, was mistakenly labeled "City Square Fountain" for reasons not important enough to take the time to explain. The amendment changed the name of the item to "Splash/Skate Park." Be that as it may, that’s an item that’s four years down the road and who knows what the political makeup of the city council will be in four years or who will be the city’s CEO when 2020 comes around.
- A first reading of an ordinance, approved unanimously, to lower the tax rate by a penny. The council did acknowledge, however, that even with the reduction in the tax rate property owners’ tax bills will still be considerably higher this year than last because of increased property values coupled with the fact that the one of the eight governmental entities taxing Kyle property owners, Hays CISD, which accounts for 54.3 percent of the total tax bill, is not lowering its tax rate. In addition, the Austin Community College District will be raising its rate slightly ($.0015 per $100 taxable value). It accounts for roughly 3.5 percent of a property owner’s total tax bill.