Los Fresnos News

City Approves Preliminary Plans to Create a TIRZ in Los Fresnos

Commission Members Selected as Board of Directors for the Zone

by MB Wright, LFN Editor

Lance Elliott of TIP Services of South Texas reviews the TIRZ map designating the properties that fall in the zone.  LFN Photo

Lance Elliott of TIP Services of South Texas reviews the TIRZ map designating the properties that fall in the zone.
LFN Photo

The Los Fresnos City Commission has moved one step closer to finalizing the establishment of a Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone TIRZ with the approval Tuesday night of boundaries of the zone, selecting a Board of Directors and naming the zone “Reinvestment Zone Number One City of Los Fresnos”.

A public hearing was held to hear from interested residents and business owners, however no one spoke to the council.

“Over a period of 25 years, the projections show the city could realize over $10 million in TIRZ revenue. This provides for funding that would go directly to drainage and street improvements, to municipal and park facilities and other designated capital improvements,” explained City Manager Mark W. Milum.

Lance Elliott of TIP Services of South Texas has been hired by the city to set up the TIRZ and coordinate a partnership with Cameron County. The county will contribute a portion of their revenue from the area to be added to the fund.

Cities and counties create these special districts to encourage new investment in areas that otherwise might not attract development. When developers make improvements, property values increase. In a TIRZ, the taxes on the increase in property values are set aside to finance public improvements in the zone.

Commissioner Tom Jones said he liked the idea of the fund and those feelings were echoed by Commissioner Javier Mendez who said he totally supported the concept. These funds will only be available for public improvement projects.

“We are experiencing an economic boost right now and the additional sales tax will offset the slight loss in property tax revenues, in addition we will capture additional county tax revenues,” commented Milum.When asked by Commissioner Yolanda H. Cruz how this would affect the general fund, he said it would not.

Milum noted a few projects that must be done immediately including tieing Evergreen Street to Whipple Road, the lift station for Walmart and the new apartment complex. Elliot told the commission that the city could be reimbursed at a later date from the fund for expenses of qualified projects.

All six of the council members were appointed to the TIRZ board and there will be one additional members selected by Cameron County.

The council will hold a special meeting Tuesday, December 17 to finalize the completed documents and maps and then they will be sent to the county for their consideration.

In other action, the council selected Grant Works, Inc. as Project Administrator for the city’s recent Texas Community Development Grant.

Former Police Chief and sometime city Santa, Antonio Lopez was nominated by the council for the RGV Walk of Fame at BorderFest.