At its last regular meeting of the year the San Marcos City Council unanimously approved an economic development incentive package for HEB. The incentives are in the form of refunds of property taxes estimated at $1,357,445. In return, HEB will effectively double the size of its distribution center and add 320 new jobs. The expansion will add approximately 750,ooo square feet to the existing distribution center. “This incentive package is taking care of a business in our own backyard,” said Amy Madison, San Marcos Economic Development Director. Madison also noted that the proposal was a “performance based incentive” since to receive all the property tax refund, HEB will need to add square footage to its facility and add over 300 hundred jobs.
On the second and final vote, the Council unanimously approved a new ordinance on animals that had generated substantial discussion at its first reading. The law as approved last night had a few changes form the original draft. The requirement to provide “wholesome” food was changed to “adequate” food; bedding for pets was required only in inclement weather; pet owners would only be required to take a class after two instances where his/her pet had been endangered by its owner; and the requirement for restraining a pet in a vehicle was deleted.
In its last major action, the council made appointments to all city boards and commissions. The council reappointed Curtis Seebeck to the ETJ position and Sherwood Bishop and Allen Shy to the in-city limits positions.
The council also approved on first reading a revision of the ordinance dealing with attendance at city board and commissions by a 6-1 vote. Council member Christopher Jones voted no. Under the revision, special meetings, committee meetings and workshop attendance would no longer count for the attendance requirements.
Finally, in a discussion item, the council directed staff to investigate the possibility of forming a city government neighborhood commission. Council members Gaylord Bose and John Thomaides were opposed suggesting that the city use the existing Council of Neighborhood associations (CONA) for dealing with concerns of neighborhoods.
The council will hold a special meeting for its annual review of the city manager, city attorney, city clerk, and municipal judge on December 29 at 5:30 pm.
by Ed Mihalkanin