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City council approves wastewater rate adjustment

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

The San Marcos City Council approved wastewater rate calculation adjustments to minimize the impact of Winter Storm Uri on residents’ bills during its Tuesday meeting. 

The new, temporary calculation adjustment will begin this month, ensuring customers are not overcharged in the upcoming year as a result of the unprecedented winter weather event.

Residential wastewater rates are normally calculated annually by averaging the three lowest outdoor consumption months of the year: December, January and February. The average is then used to bill monthly amounts for a full year.

The adjustment will exclude February 2021 from the calculation, accounting for potential distortions in consumption averages because of damaged pipes or faucets that were left dripping during the prolonged freeze.

“We know our residents were impacted in many ways by the winter storm and this is one way we can help ease financial burdens,” Mayor Jane Hughson said. “This temporary change supports residents’ recovery as they repair damages and ensures residential customers are not overcharged as a result of circumstances that were beyond their control.”

Based on a preliminary review of accounts, the city estimates hundreds of customers will save money throughout the year because of the vote to temporarily change the wastewater rate calculation. The change applies to billing cycles for residential customers through the end of March 2022. Commercial services are not billed using the winter averaging formula.

For more information, contact Utility Customer Services at 512-393-8383. 

In other business, the councilmembers approved an ordinance that would allow scooters that have a license agreement with the city. 

San Marcos has been piloting scooters with Spin since August 2020 and the councilmembers unanimously indicated they were in favor of extending the pilot through the end of the summer. 

They also directed staff to work with Texas State to complete an RFP solicitation process and select a single vendor for the new transportation option in San Marcos that could begin operation in the fall of this year. 

The ordinance is the next step in laying the legal groundwork for allowing scooter companies to operate in San Marcos.

They also approved a no objection resolution to the submission of an application for low income housing tax credits to the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs for the proposed Legacy Square Senior Multifamily Housing Project.

The project is located at the corner of Redwood Road and South Old Bastrop Hwy and the resolution ensures the owner of the project would pay annually, $75,000 in lieu of taxes, increasing by $1,500 annually.

The owner of the project made several adjustments to their plan at the request of the council committee, including adding more frequent shuttle services and adding more 30% Average Median Income units.

The councilmembers later approved a Chapter 380 Economic Development Incentive Agreement with 320 Barnes 2020, L.P., a Texas Limited Partnership. The agreement provides incentives in the form of refunds of a percentage of property taxes over three years for the development of approximately 135,000 square feet of space for lease.

The $14,000,000 investment property will be leased for manufacturing, office, warehouse, showroom and research and development. The investment is intended to help address the lack of available spec facilities in San Marcos, which will make the city more competitive for new projects, according to the agenda material. 

The proposed incentive is a three-year rebate of real property tax; year one at 100%, year two at 75% and year three at 50%. The rebate is only paid if the buildings are not leased, incentives void as the buildings become occupied.

The maximum estimated rebate the developer may receive is $79,920 and the minimum estimated tax revenue the city may receive is $63,750 over the three year period.

The city will receive just over $2 million of community benefit over a 10-year period even if the project continues at the lower investment level. This would be around $522,000 for the city, $1.26 million for San Marcos Consolidated ISD and just over $373,000 for Hays County. 

San Marcos Record

(512) 392-2458
P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666