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Year in Review: Stockdale completes infrastructure
The past year saw the completion of a four-year project by the city of Stockdale, along with businesses expanding or relocating into the industrial park and others catering to the influx caused by the Eagle Ford shale oil and gas exploration.
With the completion of the extension of Wheeler Street into the industrial park and water plant improvements for the city, the council increased the city’s ad valorem tax rate by 2.63 cents per $100 valuation to make the necessary payments on a 40-year loan to cover the costs for these improvements.
The council set its budget for the infrastructure loan, but also loaned money to two entities.
The city provided a $10,000 loan to the third emergency services district (ESD) within the county, which includes the city of Stockdale and surrounding area -- ESD No. 3. The interest-free loan, approved in March, was taken from savings designated for the Stockdale Emergency Medical Services. For more about the ESD, see 8A.
In late April, Fox Chapel Oilfield Services LLP entered a lease-to-purchase agreement for 4.32 acres in the Stockdale Industrial Park. In July, the city approved a $130,000 loan to the Stockdale Economic Development Corp. for the construction of a 5,950-square-foot building on the site, as part of a lease-to-own agreement with Fox Chapel Oil Field Services.
In addition, in November, the council voted to allocate $4,000 from the city’s hotel-motel tax to the Stockdale Chamber of Commerce for improvements to the city’s rodeo arena. The chamber has allocated $20,000 for this project.
The loans received unanimous approval from the council, but a March 5 split vote by the council led to a lawsuit being filed. The suit was brought by Victor L. Soefje and Mollie P. Soefje, after the city denied their request to rezone a property from single-family to multi-family district. The Texas Municipal League was named to defend the city.
Ray Wolff, the former Wilson County auditor who served in that capacity for 24 years, was elected mayor and sworn into office June 4. Wolff defeated Johnny Stahl, who had served as mayor since May 2005.
Also, during the May elections, the voters approved a 1/4 of 1 percent sales tax for the upkeep and maintenance of existing roads in the city.
With this additional revenue, the council will hold a workshop to rank the existing city roads for improvements.
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