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September 4th, 2008
Tanger Outlet mall causes debate in City Council

In a previous meeting the Council had approved $457,000 for both Outlet Malls, allocating $307,000 to Prime Outlets and $150,000 to the Tanger Outlet Mall. On August 21, Tanger Outlets requested an additional $100,000. Council member Pam Couch wanted to fund only $50,000 of the new request, citing that Tanger had every opportunity to previously request the amount it needed.Council member John Thomaides was completely against the new request and asked the Council to revisit a previous agreement, and perhaps equitably fund the two malls with the $457,000 already allocated. Council member Kim Porterfield echoed Thomaides.
“I’d like to see them funded equitably as well,” said Porterfield.

San Marcos Mayor Susan Narvaiz reminded the Council that both Outlet Malls generated a great amount of taxes for San Marcos, and the Council should consider that when making their decision. However, she shared Couch’s sentiment and added that Tanger did not provide a full detailed presentation of how the funds would be used, like Prime Outlets did. Narvaiz said she is in support of helping the Malls succeed and funding their requests this one time, but not equitably, in the amounts they themselves requested. The Council ended up accepting the new request and funding Tanger Outlet Mall with $250,000 and Prime Outlet Mall with $307,000, for advertising purposes. The City has funded $50,000 in total Outlet Mall advertising in years past.

City Council also concludes their end of a deal. As required by law, the second public hearing for the proposed tax rate was held. Not one San Marcos resident was present to comment or question the proposed tax rate. The proposed ad valorem tax rate of $0.5302 per $100 valuation is the same as last year’s rate, but it is higher than the effective tax rate. The tax rate, along with the proposed budget, is scheduled to be adopted on Tuesday, September 16.

The Council also read, considered and adopted an ordinance amending Article 4, Wreckers, of Chapter 90, Vehicles for hire, Section 90.291, limitations on fee amounts, of the San Marcos City Code to update fees for wrecker services that perform tows in the city; including procedural provisions; and declaring an emergency. All police authorized tows will have a cost of $150. However, if a police officer makes note that extraordinary recovery efforts from an accident scene must be performed, then there is a possibility of, a waiting time a fee of $50 which will be added for every half hour after the first half hour, a winching fee of $50 per half hour, and an additional labor for clean-up fee of $50 per half hour.

All non-consent tows will cost $75. The show-up fee will be $50 for non-consent tows where the owner requests release of the vehicle after the wrecker is in position and ready to connect, but before the wheels are lifted. The drop-fee will also be $50 for non-consent tows where the owner requests release of the vehicle after the wheels are lifted, but before it leaves the property. The show-up fee and drop-fee are mutually exclusive, therefore you may not be charged for both, just one of the $50 fees will apply. This ordinance only addresses fees, not wrecker practices.

By ANDY SEVILLA
Correspondent

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