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Agnes Street contract approved; Board offers candidate the Executive Director job

Author: 
By Terry Hagerty – Contributing writer/photographer

During their regular meeting on August 20, the Bastrop Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors announced they had offered the vacant Executive Director post to a candidate. In other action/discussion, the Board awarded the Agnes Street Extension project to an Austin company (the lowest bidder), approved the Fiscal Year 2018-19 budget, and gave an update on the City’s recently enacted moratorium on new development.

Executive Director Candidate – After coming out of executive session, the Board announced they were offering the vacant Executive Director post to a candidate, and would have an announcement soon on whether acceptance had occurred. Previously, the BEDC had hired – at a fee of $28,000 – Strategic Government Resources, a search firm based in Keller, Texas, to recruit and interview candidates and narrow the field with the input of a Bastrop search committee. Previous Executive Director Shawn Kirkpatrick had resigned in April.

Consulting engineer Tracy Bratton (Terry Hagerty Photos)Agnes Street Project Contract – The Board of Directors approved awarding the bid for the Agnes Street Extension project to C.C. Carlton Industries. Among five bidders, C.C. Carlton came in with the lowest bid, at $1,033,124.  The BEDC’s consulting engineer, Tracy Bratton with Bowman Consulting, said all five bidders had experience working on Bastrop projects. Other bidders (from high to low) were: Austin Engineering ($1,368,299); Liberty Construction ($1,180,831); DNT Construction ($1,093,741); and Lowden Excavating ($1,047,974). The project is expected to get underway in early September and involves street extension and drainage projects.

BEDC Board of Directors

Moratorium on New Development – The Board discussed the recent City Council-enacted moratorium on new development within the City. The action comes in the aftermath of devastating floods the past few years, resulting drainage challenges in several areas of town, and a desire, City officials have said, to have a “strategic reform” of land-use regulations. The Council on August 14 called for a moratorium on new development (with exceptions – see below) and also voted to enact an emergency-drainage ordinance, to evaluate the potential impact of developments on storm-water flow throughout the city. The measures are meant to initiate a “strategic and holistic reform of Bastrop’s land-use regulations,” according to officials. The actions taken by City Council are the first steps of an initiative called Building Bastrop. While the moratorium is in place, the City will be reviewing its “regulatory program”, to include development codes, drainage and capital improvement plans, and uniformity of the permits process. There will be exceptions/exemptions which allow work to proceed for “no-impact projects”, ongoing projects for which valid City permits have been issued; and grandfathered projects – “as provided by State law.” The City has also scheduled a public open house for Tuesday, Sept. 18 at 6:30 p.m. at the Bastrop Convention Center. Community members are encouraged to attend. The public can also share feedback and questions at any time by contacting the Building Bastrop hotline at 512-588-8181, or by email at buildingbastrop@cityofbastrop.org.

The BEDC Board approved the FY 2018-2019 budget. Fiscal Year 2018-19 Budget Approved – The Board also approved the final draft of the Fiscal Year 2018-19 Budget by a unanimous vote after a presentation by BEDC Assistant Executive Director Angela Ryan. Sales tax revenues of approximately $2.45 million constitute, by far, the largest part of total revenues. The three biggest expenses for FY 2018-19 include: infrastructure projects ($1.78 million); projects/programs/grants ($825,514); and city projects/services ($627,100). The budget also includes a projected end-of-year Fund Balance of $3.22 million.