5 takeaways from Thursday night's Hutto City Council meeting

An official from Titan Development updated Hutto City Council on the progress of the Innovation Business Park development.

An official from Titan Development updated Hutto City Council on the progress of the Innovation Business Park development.

Hutto City Council's regularly scheduled Thursday night meeting featured a full agenda as key developments in the city move forward. The following are the largest takeaways from Thursday's council meeting:

1. Hutto and Williamson County enter into public financing agreement for Hutto Co-Op
At Thursday morning's rescheduled Williamson County Commissioners Court meeting, Hutto city officials watched as commissioners approved a financing agreement to help construct infrastructure necessary to the Hutto's new Co-Op District. Commissioners entered into an agreement with the city of Hutto to create a tax increment reinvestment zone, an economic development tool in which a public or private entity invests in public infrastructure for a given area.

Part of the public funds will go toward improvements on Hwy. 79. Council voted Thursday night to award a contract for construction on some of those improvements, which will cost $196,000 and will be completed in conjunction with TxDOT. Construction will begin in August and will conclude in December.

2. New wastewater rates officially adopted
Hutto residents will see a 25 percent price bump on their wastewater rates in their upcoming utility bills after council members approved new rates. The new rates, recommended by a consulting firm hired by the city, aim to balance a growing deficit in the city's utility fund. A $4 drainage fee will also be adopted into the city's rate schedule.

3. City council and planning and zoning commission hear work session on Master Mobility Plan
Council members got an early look at portions of the city's Master and Mobility Plan, a strategic document designed to plan the city's transportation infrastructure. The early discussion identified needs within the city's mobility plan, including walking and biking paths, more transit options, additional signals along Hwy. 79 and more.

4. Innovation Business Park to move forward in February
Titan Development Director of Development for the Texas Region Charlie Fulton updated Hutto City Council on the latest developments at Innovation Business Park, the $100M speculative building park being constructed off Alliance Boulevard. Fulton told council members that Titan Development has leads and interest from potential tenants for the site and reported that site work will begin in February. The company expects to have its first building completed by September.

5. Hotel Occupancy Tax proceeds to be use for KOKEFEST
Hutto will use $250,000 of Hotel Occupancy Tax proceeds to secure and promote the second annual KOKE FM KOKEFEST, which is scheduled to be held in August. The HOT funds were granted to Gar Broadcasting LLC, which expects to draw between 10,000 and 15,000 people to Hutto's Fritz Park for the two-day country music festival. According to city documents, HOT revenue can be used for the promotion of tourism and the hospitality industry "through the encouragement, promotion, improvement and application of the arts".
By Iain Oldman
Iain Oldman joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2017 after spending two years in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he covered Pittsburgh City Council. His byline has appeared in PublicSource, WESA-FM and Scranton-Times Tribune. Iain worked as the reporter for Community Impact Newspaper's flagship Round Rock/Pflugerville/Hutto edition and is now working as the editor for the Northwest Austin edition.


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