The city of Mineral Wells has been visiting taxing entities to present resolutions that would extend partnerships in the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone by 15 years.
City Manager Randy Criswell and Economic Development Director David Haus presented information to the Mineral Wells ISD board of trustees Monday night.
“As you recall the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone in downtown Mineral Wells was created a few years ago. We have for a long time watched and worked with downtown developers hoping we would begin to see the reality and the impact of that Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone and we are beginning to see that,” Criswell said. “Recently we have had lots and lots of conversations with The Baker Hotel development team and other downtown developers with regard to potentially extending the term of the TIRZ.”
The Mineral Wells city council and TIRZ board approved an expansion of the TIRZ area by 615 acres in October. Cities can create a TIRZ where conditions exist that substantially impair an area’s growth and where development and redevelopment is not likely to occur but for public infrastructure enhancements financed by a TIRZ. TIRZ No. 2 was created by the Mineral Wells city council in August of 2008.
“We’ve recently expanded the TIRZ and the other taxing entities, we’re going to be asking them to participate in that, but we believe that y’all can’t participate in that extension of the boundaries of the TIRZ,” Criswell said. “We’re asking you to adopt a resolution to extend the original TIRZ and your participation in the original TIRZ for a little bit longer because we think we’re about to see some really amazing things down there and we would certainly like continue the partnership.”
The participation agreement originally had an end date of 2039 but will be expanded to 2044 with the new resolution.
“In the MOU that was signed last year between the city and The Baker group, we agreed to extend it 10 years,” Hawes said. “I looked at the numbers and didn’t know if 10 years was going to be enough because they were slowly getting started. They’re really getting it done, but to be on the safe side we extended it 15 years — better safe than sorry because you can always cut off your participation early.”
The resolution was unanimously approved by the MWISD board of trustees.
“These guys are looking forward and pushing us as a community forward into really great things and I think the expertise that you both have — and the experience you both have that you bring with you — the city of Mineral Wells is very fortunate to have you,” MWISD Superintendent John Kuhn said. “Mineral Wells ISD wants to be a partner with you in what’s coming. I’m extremely excited about the next 10 to 15 years in this town.”
Criswell and Hawes presented to the Palo Pinto County commissioners court as well on Monday to extend the partnership in the TIRZ by 50% in the new expansion.
“You’re participating 100% today, we would like for you to continue the participation for an additional 15 years in the original part of the zone where The Baker, The Crazy and the downtown area is, and only at 50% in the expanded area,” Hawes said. “I can’t guarantee there will be any increment at all in the expanded area. I do know we have a developer who’s purchased 100 acres in the expanded area and it’s their intent to do residential development. We’re working with several other entities to come in and do both commercial and residential development.”
Hawes said they expanded the TIRZ area to include agriculture value because of the incredible potential of the land. Another asset pointed out was the Mineral Wells Airport.
“We’ve been talking to the judge over in Parker County and we see great benefits for Parker County and Palo Pinto County to do a development plan for the airport to stimulate people flying in and out and business flying in and out,” Hawes said. “We have a runway that can handle a 737 airplane, but this 379 corridor could become a very important commercial development for the county.”
The Palo Pinto commissioners did not take action on the item at Monday’s meeting because it was not placed on the agenda as an action item. The resolution will be brought back to a future meeting for consideration.