San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

September 25th, 2009
Veterans initiative seeks city council consideration

STAFF REPORT

The Texas Veteran’s Alliance, in order to address veterans housing issues, has recommended some issues to be placed on the agenda for the San Marcos City Council.

The alliance said San Marcos, being in close proximity to some of the largest military bases in the country, should embrace the means to recruit retired veterans, active duty soldiers, guard and other component soldiers and veterans. Those groups could use their Post 9-11 GI Bill or other VA (Veterans Administration) compensations and could be persuaded to move to San Marcos, if an initiative were made.

To encourage veterans to move to San Marcos, the alliance has created a Veterans Initiative, which, it said, is germane to city council business. The initiative includes allowing veterans to pay no money for utilities deposits if they are active in the military or can show copies of their honorable discharges.

The initiative additionally posits a city sponsored home buyer incentive program of a $5,000 non-repayable loan to veterans or soldiers looking to buy homes or town homes in San Marcos. This alliance said the program should be as open as possible to include combat veterans, non-combat veterans, active duty or guard, with the caveat that discharged veterans would have an honorable discharge.

The program’s funds, under the Alliance recommendation, would be administered by the city’s development services department with the city as the final arbiter on how much funding to set aside for the program.

The intiative said the Veterans Administration (VA) grant program pays up to 65 percent of the cost of construction, renovation, or acquisition of a building used as a center or transitional housing for veterans. The VA provides grants and per diem funds to operate community agencies providing services to homeless veterans. More information is available on this program at www.va.gove/homeless/.

The alliance has announced that San Marcos Councilmember Chris Jones endorses the Veterans Initiative.

The alliance is also looking for an Associate Student Government (ASG) Senator to support the institution of an ASG Veterans Liason position.


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0 thoughts on “Veterans initiative seeks city council consideration

  1. With Texas State University being recently named a top school for veterans, this sort of initiative makes sense for San Marcos. Of course, in the end, I believe that keeping veterans in town will require the same thing that we need in order to keep Texas State graduates here – jobs.

  2. Has anybody thought how long it will take the City to recover/replenish such largesse, however noble the sentiment behind it? It’s a simple calculation, using one downpayment and the taxable value of one average house. Has the Texas Veterans Land Office gone out of business? Besides new faculty for the Rising Star of Texas, whom else could we recruit to come here? God bless and keep the entire list of veterans and sort of veterans listed, but that could be a mighty big group for “Incentive City” to carry.

    We haven’t even had time to prove up the hotel and all the other beneficiaries yet. Shouldn’t we take it slowly?

    If members of the Council need approval as badly as they seem to seek it, we should maybe form a group to tell them now and then that we all love them just as they are.

  3. Why is the Federal goverment (VA) seeking local goverments to fund part of a program for Veterans? When I volunteered to become enlisted here in San Marcos years ago the Federal goverment had no problem paying for a office building and staff to recruit me. They continue to do the same for our Service members today, including my son. The VA should take care of Veterans. While I love San Marcos, I did not enlist with that goverment entity. When will these goverment handouts end? Should San Marcos pay an incentive for Police, Fire and EMS and other Medical professional staff from other cities as well as our own to move to San Marcos? I say no!

  4. Armydad, your comments are spot on and presented MUCH better than I would have!

    Socialism is socialism. The government handouts need to stop unless they can be directly shown to completely pay for themselved in a short period of time.

  5. Heck, Larry, they are not even loans in the true sense of the word. Loans have to be repaid. This is a non-repayable loan, in other words, a giveaway.

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