Dripping Springs looks to tackle drainage problems

The City of Dripping Springs looks to fix drainage problems through Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones (KXAN Photo)
The city of Dripping Springs looks to fix drainage problems through Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones. (KXAN Photo)

DRIPPING SPRINGS, Texas (KXAN) — After last year’s historic flood, many cities all over Central Texas realized they had a problem with their drainage system. In Hays County, major cities are combating the problem in their own unique ways.

In the city of San Marcos, they’re preparing to split up a $25.08 million federal grant that will specifically go to projects that will prevent future flooding. In Kyle, the city is looking to charge each resident a $5 drainage fee that will help improve infrastructure and repair what has already been damaged.

Over in Dripping Springs, the city is looking at something they’ve never done. “We are in the process right now of creating a TIRZ,” said Dripping Springs City Administrator Michelle Fischer. “This is just a type of funding mechanism that we kept coming back to. We really spent a lot of time over the past years looking at how we would do it, what areas would make sense, what types of projects make sense to look at potentially doing through TIRZ funding.”

A TIRZ is a Tax Increment Reinvest Zone. “It defines an area to collect a portion of ad valorem taxes from. As those values increase, that money is set aside and used for projects to enhance that area; it would make that area more attractive to develop,” said Fischer.

She says the money can go towards projects that will improve roads, parking and drainage. All problems the city says can be fixed through a TIRZ and without increasing taxes to residents.

“They won’t see a change. What they might see is if we are able to fund some of these projects, they will see some improvements that will definitely make their property more attractive and the area more attractive,” said Fischer.

If passed, projects could start as early as next year.  The city of Dripping Springs will hold a public hearing for all those with questions or concerns. That meeting is set for Nov. 29th at City Hall.

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