City council partners with local home owners to improve neighborhoods

Staff Writer
Stephenville Empire-Tribune

The Stephenville City Council recently developed a Home Improvement Incentive Program in an effort to encourage redevelopment, enhance neighborhood vitality and improve curb appeal in the neighborhoods of our community.

The program is designed to assist homeowners that are considering updating their homes, but are also overwhelmed by the typical costs incurred in taking those steps. Through this pilot program, the council wanted to partner in the reinvestment in the community by offering rebates on renovation projects for qualifying projects.

As the Chairman of the Public Services Committee, councilman Brandon Huckabee worked diligently with his committee to develop the framework of the program. After much consideration, his committee presented the program and the council agreed that the program could make a positive impact in the community.

Councilman Huckabee stated, “I am excited to get this program rolled out for our community. The vision of this is for us to invest into our community in a way that helps our citizens and encourage investment into our community. We have some neighborhoods that are rich in tradition that are hitting the age that some of the houses need investment and this will allow us to continue making Stephenville a great and beautiful place to call home.”

Steve Killen, director of the development services departments, said he commends the city council and city administration for the program and their “willingness to lead by example in regards to property preservation.”

“I am proud to be part of a community that takes such great pride in its heritage,” he said. “Our homes help define that heritage. Unfortunately, some of our properties are at a pivotal point of repair. I am hopeful that this program will be a catalyst in promoting reinvestment in our homes which will lead to improved curb appeal.”

Any Stephenville home owner that is considering a renovation of $20,000 or more is eligible for the program if they meet certain criteria. The program provides the following incentives for approved projects:

1. A 5% rebate on qualifying home improvement costs incurred under approved projects. The maximum rebate is $5,000 per project.

2. A waiver of residential remodel building permit fees.

3. Up to two roll-off containers charged at a discounted rate.

4. After completion of the project and a city inspection, the city will repair or replace sidewalks in public right-of-ways for participating properties based on the assessed condition of the existing sidewalk.

Anyone interested in the program may contact Killen at or 254-918-2200.

“We take such great pride in our community - unfortunately, not everyone has the ability to tackle costly home improvement projects,” Killen added. “This program, which was being explored by our City leadership prior to my arrival, will help offset some of those costs and allow people to protect their biggest investments. And, the entire community will benefit from the results - strong, vital neighborhoods, now that is something to take pride in.”