Claiming to not have enough time to make a million-dollar decision, city councilors along with the city’s Finance Committee will revisit the issue of whether or not to provide economic development incentives to Lowe’s.
The Finance Committee is scheduled to discuss the incentive package and memorandum of understanding (MOU) following tonight’s special council meeting that begins at 5:30 p.m.
At last week’s meeting, the council opted to table their discussion citing concerns that they had had only four days to review the MOU prior to hearing a presentation from a representative of Lowe’s Home Centers, Inc. The retailer, which has publicly stated its desire to build a store in Stephenville on property located on US Hwy. 377, is seeking approximately $1.9 million in incentives from the city.
Jennings Gray, of ROI Consultants, told councilors last week that the retailer is requesting the sales tax rebates from the city in order to cover the costs of expanding the entrance road, installing a regional detention pond and to relocate an existing creek that runs across the property which Lowe’s is eyeing. Of the $1.9 million in incentives, the Lowe’s representative said the extension of Wolfe Nursery Road could cost up to $900,000.
Instead of approving or denying Lowe’s request, the council agreed to forward the item to the Finance Committee which will tackle the issue and review the numbers more closely before taking action to resend the item to council.
City Administrator Mark Kaiser said tonight’s Finance Committee work session, and any action taken, will not grant the retailer tax abatements but only provide the council with a recommendation to proceed or deny the MOU with Lowe’s. The council’s next scheduled meeting is set for April 1, but a special called meeting could come sooner to make a decision on the economic development incentives for the retailer, said Kaiser.
The work session will immediately follow the special council meeting in the City Hall Training Room.
Tonight, the council will consider and possibly take action on an ordinance to authorize the issuance and sale of the city’s Combination Tax and Revenue Certificates of Obligation, Series 2008, amounting to $5,455,000, including approximately $1.4 million for Phase II of the city’s storm water drainage project and $1.3 million for various street improvement projects.
Also up for discussion at tonight’s meeting:
• Consideration and possible action on a resolution to accept the long-term water supply project, Phase II, of the city’s transmission pipeline project.
• Possible approval to award Dowell Well Service’s bid to conduct a water well site evaluation at the Dublin Pump Station.