Hutto economic development board chair removed as changes made to bylaws

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Hutto’s economic development board will now operate within a defined scope of responsibilities, including investments in small businesses and parks, after a series of changes approved Dec. 13.

The board will additionally now operate under a new official name—the Hutto Community Development Corp., or Hutto CDC, after approval from Hutto City Council. Formerly, the board operated under the name the Hutto Economic Development Corp.

Hutto CDC chairman Jason Wirth was voted out by Hutto City Council Dec. 13 after a motion made by council member Tim Jordan. Jordan told council that after private conversations with Wirth, he did not believe the former chair would move the board towards the economic development goals set by council.

The Hutto CDC will vote in a new chairperson at its next meeting.

PARKS AND SMALL BUSINESS LOANS

Among the changes to the Hutto CDC’s bylaws approved by council were direct economic development initiatives for the board to pursue.

Per city documents, the Hutto CDC will implement a small business loan program; develop and implement a business retention program; fund entertainment opportunities for the community; assist the city of Hutto with GAP Financing projects by utilizing its sales tax revenue collections; and assist the city of Hutto with the development of parks by utilizing its sales tax revenue collections.

“At the December 6 City Council meeting, the EDC board asked the council for a more clear direction and you provide it in these amendments,” Steven Harris, Hutto CDC board member, told council during the public comment period.

Further amendments made to the Hutto CDC bylaws include provisions for personnel who work solely for the community development corporation, as well as making the current Hutto City Hall address the Hutto CDC’s official address.

An amendment to limit board positions to only residents who live in the boundaries of the city of Hutto and Hutto’s extraterritorial jurisdiction, or ETJ, was rejected by council.

Several council members expressed doubt in the city’s ability to appoint appropriate Hutto CDC board members with a smaller pool of candidates.

“I personally would rather have someone I know and trust who lives in Round Rock than someone I know who is just a warm body to put on the board,” said Hutto City Council member Terri Grimm.

Council member Nate Killough added that some Hutto business owners do not live in the city or ETJ limits.

“This is just a start of the direction we want to take it, but by no means do I think this is a finished product,” Killough said.

Several changes aside from Wirth’s removal were approved for the Hutto CDC board at the Dec. 13 meeting.

Council member Jordan and Hutto EDC board member Scott Feller both submitted resignations, and those were accepted by council. In turn, council approved the appointment of Hutto City Council member Scott Rose and Hutto Mayor Doug Gaul to the Hutto CDC board.

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Iain Oldman
Iain Oldman joined Community Impact Newspaper after spending two years in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he covered Pittsburgh City Council. He additionally worked with an investigative news organization where he reported on environmental topics and was a featured writer for Epicast Network, a Pittsburgh podcast company. Iain has now transitioned full-time into covering Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto.
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