BURTON CITY COUNCIL TALKS ECONOMIC GROWTH

  

Discussion on how to spur local economic development opportunities was among the many topics addressed during a Burton City Council meeting on Tuesday that lasted over two hours. 

No formal action was taken, but councilmembers explored the possibility of establishing an Economic Development Corporation to dedicate resources toward economic activity.  They also talked about potentially sending out a survey to residents to gauge their feedback on what type of development they would like to see.

Mayor Karen Buck said Burton has experienced a lot of changes in not a lot of time, so it is important to be forward-thinking about the how the city will keep up while not putting an excessive burden on its systems and services.

In addition to the school district’s bond construction, Buck referenced several remodeling projects that are either underway or complete, including at Dollar General, Citizens State Bank, Los Patrones and Brazos Belle.  Other projects she called attention to were the opening of the Burton Bridge Ministry’s furniture store, the Burton Short Stop Icehouse’s open air bar, Fabian Design Studio, reopening of The Cactus, a new business coming to the site of the old funeral home, and plans for a new veterinary clinic to open next year on South Railroad Street.

The council spent time discussing the various aspects of how an EDC would work, including the appointment of a board of directors overseen by the council.  It also reviewed how it would receive funding via sales tax; Buck stated that the EDC would be funded by taking a portion of the city’s existing sales tax, not adding a new tax.

Councilmember Jeff Eckhardt said before too much progress is made in discussions on an EDC, he would like to hear what local residents really want to see in town and suggested putting out a survey for them.  Councilmember Paul McLaughlin agreed that a survey would be a good idea.  City Secretary Angela Harrington asked councilmembers to provide any questions they would want to include in the survey to go out in the mail. 

Three other workshop items were scheduled, those being a simplified subdivision or land division ordinance, a ballpark use agreement between the city and Burton Friends and Neighbors, and the use and rules for Laas-Weeren Park.  However, the council held off on extended discussion, as they needed more information from attorneys Olson & Olson.

Also on Tuesday, the council agreed to select Strand Associates to provide engineering services for the city’s water line replacement project through the Texas Water Development Board’s (TWDB) Drinking Water State Revolving Fund program.  It then chose Langford Community Management Services to provide grant administration services for the project.

Hollie Janecka and Kelly Hajek of Strand Associates were present at the meeting to discuss the project and their expected timeline.  They said with design, construction and having to go through all of the necessary steps with the TWDB, it could take four to five years until full completion. 

In other business, the council:

  • Approved an ordinance to effectively repeal an ordinance that banned alcohol and alcoholic containers on city property, including city parks.  The council moved at its meeting on June 11th to repeal the ordinance, but Tuesday’s action was to approve the ordinance that makes the repeal official.
  • Tabled action on purchasing a new security camera system for Burton City Hall, stating a desire to follow up with bids that included a more appropriate number of cameras for Burton’s security needs.  Councilmember Jeff Eckhardt said one of the bids included eight cameras, which he felt was too many.
  • Approved using $1,525 of the $1,848.92 in the Burton Beautification Committee account to relocate the existing flagpole in Laas-Weeren Park and extend the electric line for lighting.  The flagpole is being moved closer to The Nesting Company on North Main Street to allow for better visibility. 
  • Approved amended budgets for the 2024-25 Fiscal Year to reflect actual income and expenses for the first quarter of the fiscal year.   
  • Approved an interlocal agreement with the Texas Municipal League Intergovernmental Risk Pool to form a joint self-insurance pool to be named the Texas Municipal League Joint Cyber Liability and Data Brach Response Self-Insurance Fund.
  • Approved a resolution authorizing the mayor to execute an access and public utility easement agreement.
  • Approved opening a new checking account with $10,000 from the general fund to be designated for funds received through the General Land Office CDBG Mitigation Program, having all elected officials as authorized signers on the account, giving the city secretary informational access regarding the account, and adding the account to online banking.  City Secretary Angela Harrington said the item was on last month’s agenda, but it needed more specific agenda language in order to be approved.
  • Amended the transcription for the June 4th workshop meeting minutes.
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2 Comments

  1. If the current trend of people leaving other states for Texas due to our having no state income tax, cheap electric power, an ample supply of high-paying jobs, and tax abatements that are easily granted for move-in businesses, then Burton should start to plan on drilling another water well for the city and allotting areas for possibly 300-400 homes to be put into several subdivisions in the outlying areas. Along with that, the wastewater treatment plant will need to be either expanded or new one built, household waste/garbage facilities will need to be looked into, and the school will no doubt be too small within 5 or 10 years. If you believe these are facetious statements, look at what’s happened to Brenham in the last 20 years. There really should be no need to ask any Burton resident what they want, because they won’t get it, and by the time the blessed “economic development” sets up, the property taxes will likely be so high and the land prices so valuable that they’ll sell out family owned land just like people have done here in the Brenham area for the almighty dollar.

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