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Manufacturing odor prompts clean air ordinance

Monday, May 3, 2021

After receiving many complaints about a manufacturing odor, the San Marcos City Council will discuss a Clean Air Ordinance. 

The councilmembers will consider an ordinance that would provide supplemental regulations for the emission of air contaminants and controlling or abating air pollution in their regular meeting Tuesday. The ordinance would create associated offenses and penalties as well.

The item came about after the city received numerous complaints about a local manufacturing business and the odor associated with their manufacturing process. 

According to the agenda materials, the business is not violating any waste water requirements and there are no enforceable municipal air quality ordinances in place to allow staff to address the odor issue from an enforcement perspective. 

This issue gave rise to the apparent need for a Clean Air Ordinance that would establish standards that the city could enforce against odor and particulate emissions.

In other business, the councilmembers will also consider approving an ordinance that would allow scooters that have a license agreement approved by the city council. 

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, provided they have an agreement approved by the city council.

There will be a public hearing about an ordinance that would amend the project plan for the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone No. 5, also known as the “Downtown TIRZ,” extending the city’s and the county’s reduced contribution rate of the tax increment deposited into the Tax Increment Fund from 70% to 25% for one additional year. 

The TIRZ No. 5 Board met recently on March 22 to discuss the property tax dedication to the TIRZ #5 projects. Due to both the significant property tax assessed valuation and the COVID financial emergency, the TIRZ #5 Board agreed to continue for 2021 Property tax dedication at 25% of both city and county property tax receipts for one additional year.

In the most recent quarterly investment report, there was a nearly $5 million decrease in pooled cash as a result in part by a $2 million land purchase made from the Downtown TIRZ fund.

There will also be a staff presentation and a public hearing about 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 would approve an associated agreement that would ensure the owner of the project would pay annually, $75,000 in lieu of taxes, increasing by $1,500 annually.

The councilmembers will later consider approving a Chapter 380 Economic Development Incentive Agreement with 320 Barnes 2020, L.P., a Texas Limited Partnership. The agreement would provide 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 would be leased for manufacturing, office, warehouse, showroom and research and development. 

According to the agenda material, the investment is meant to help address the lack of available spec facilities in San Marcos, which will make the city more competitive for new projects. 

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 councilmembers will also consider a revised purpose statement for the Council Criminal Justice Reform Committee, updating the scope and purpose of the committee to “work with the county toward implementation of Cite and Divert and to bring transparency to the policing processes in San Marcos as allowed by law.”

The Criminal Justice Reform Council Committee was originally created by the city council in 2019 to work with the county to implement policies related to Cite and Release. 

The city council will discuss the possibility of forming a COVID-19 Recovery Council Committee, and a potential river benefit paid parking district. 

Residents can watch the meeting on May 4 online at http://sanmarcostx.gov/421/City-Council-Videos-Archives or on Grande channel 16 or Spectrum channel 10.

Anyone wishing to participate in public comment should email citizencomment@sanmarcostx.gov prior to 12 p.m. on Tuesday. A call in number to join by phone or link will be provided for participation on a mobile device, laptop or desktop computer.

San Marcos Record

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P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666