Following a mid-July move toward the purchase of land that could become the home of the new Pflugerville City Hall facility, officials have moved further toward that pursuit.
On Aug. 10, Pflugerville City Council heard recommendations from the newly formed capital improvement bond committee that centered on purchase and use of 29 acres of land on the northwest corner of FM 685 and Pecan Street, colloquially referred to as the Pfluger Tract.
Bond committee member Amanda Maedgen told council it is the body's recommendation to approve purchase of the land, which is across the street from the H-E-B shopping center, for creation of a civic center that includes a City Hall, recreation center and mixed-use development using a combination of cash reserves for land and general obligation funds not to exceed $10 million.
Furthermore, the committee recommended use of the request for proposal process to explore market-driven options toward the creation of the aforementioned facilities.
City Council approved the recommendations unanimously.
The recommendations came as the next step after a July 13 decision by council to enter into a land acquisition deal with an unnamed broker for an unspecified parcel of land.
At that time, officials said the motion allowed the flexibility for the public to provide input toward acquisition of property that could house a City Hall facility, a recreation center or some other city use.
Officials also said the approval does not obligate the city to purchase the property, but it does give the public a voice at the ballot box during a possible Nov. 2 bond election and provides flexibility and transparency toward the land acquisition.
On July 13, city staff said because the city can withdraw from the agreement until Nov. 17, the action allows council to lock in terms for the land, but it also gives flexibility on funding options and the opportunity to gather resident input on that decision process.
"What I see on the screen today is something I think our community can get excited about," Mayor Victor Gonzales said Aug. 10, adding a new city center would greatly complement all of the other development occurring in the center of the city.
During discussion of the land acquisition, some committee members expressed concerns about overpaying for the land and excessive interest payments that could come with the deal.
Maedgen said for the initial purchase of the property, the committee envisions using cash reserves and existing general obligation funds.
Council Member David Rogers said while he was surprised by the committee's recommendation, he trusts it and is in favor of it.
"My hero, Winston Churchill, said, 'Trust the people,'" Rogers said. "If it's good enough for Churchill, it's good enough for me."