The 2023-24 budget for the Bastrop Economic Development Corporation was discussed at the BEDC board meeting at 6 p.m. Nov. 13.

This November, Bastrop voters passed Proposition A to reallocate a portion of the Bastrop sales tax funds for the BEDC to fund residential Bastrop roadwork. The change reduces the BEDC budget by about 75%.

“The budget implication [of Proposition A] is pretty significant,” City Manager Sylvia Carrillo said.

The breakdown

The total anticipated BEDC revenue for fiscal year 2023-24 is $3,352,987 compared to the original $4,745,140 planned without the impact of Proposition A. BEDC Chair Ron Spencer said the fiscal impact of the proposition will require the board to re-evaluate some potential projects.

“We're going to need to really spend some time looking at what we have already committed to, what we're actually obligated to be a contractual versus what we've talked about and discussed and said, ‘Yes, we can do that,’ based on what we used to have as a budget and now some things have changed,” Spencer said. “We're going to need to have a lot more discussion on that.”

A new traffic impact fee will fund road work expenses that typically make up about 50% of the BEDC budget.

“We're going to have to learn how to say 'No.' We've been saying 'Yes' to a lot of things in the past, and because of the current situation, the passing of Prop A,” Spencer said. “We're just going to, unfortunately, on some things going to have to say 'No,' but that's just the way it's going to have to be.”

Also on the agenda

The BEDC approved the expenditure of $164,000 to fund the downtown lighting project at the Nov. 13 meeting. The project includes uplighting of the trees downtown and additional lighting towards Ferry Park.

Design amendments were made to the lighting project's initial plans to outline the Main Street buildings with LED lights or cross street lighting due to overcrowding and Americans With Disabilities Act compliance issues.

"We went through a design with the engineer, and what was decided was additional poles downtown which would carry lights across the street," Carrillo said. "When we laid that out, that was a very cluttered sidewalk in competition with additional signage that's supposed to go downtown ... So that's been scaled back."