Weatherford Democrat

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February 8, 2014

Baker Hotel’s redevelopment close to reality

Mayor and City Manager discuss the City’s plan to finance its portion of the Baker Hotel renovation and how it won’t raise taxes

(Continued)

“The council’s opinion at this point is if we do this, if the public agrees to do this, then we want the impact to the public to be (either) negligible or basically nothing,” he said. “We’re betting that the economy is going to continue to expand. We know we’ll probably have to tighten our belts a little (until then), but we’ve done it before. I think (the 4B Economic Development sales tax) is something we need to do to prove to (the Baker Hotel Development team) that we’re with them.”

Howerton said the 4B plan would not only ensure that the Baker project becomes a reality, but also has the potential to finance further projects to attract business to Mineral Wells and improve the city as a whole.

“We fully believe that if we put this in place, working with the developer, we can make sure the Baker project gets done,” he said. “Assuming the Baker deal gets done and we’re generating more money then what’s needed to pay off the debt for the Baker, then we can begin to generate a war chest for economic development. It could do things such as provide incentives for businesses or industries that are looking to come into Mineral Wells.

“We could also use it for infrastructure improvements, which we do need at this point. So, not only is it the avenue that helps us support the Baker project, but maybe, over time, as well it allows us to generate an ongoing fund to help our industrial solicitation projects.”

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