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Section A: General News


Elmendorf puts brakes on USDA grant/loan project




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Wilson County News
February 26, 2014 | 2,331 views | Post a comment

ELMENDORF -- Because of the breakdown of a deal that would have brought a multi-phase mixed-use development project to the former Butterfield Ranch site here, the Elmendorf City Council has decided to back out of its plans to add a water well and treatment plant.

City Administrator Cody Dailey said after the Feb. 13 council meeting that the council decided to deobligate the funds associated with a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant/loan financing agreement. Dailey said the loan portion totaled approximately $900,000, which is being refunded to the USDA.

Several years ago, he said, the city applied for the funds to pay for the water well and treatment plat at Butterfield II, which straddles the Wilson-Bexar county line. The revenue generated from service to houses that were proposed for construction at the site would have helped repay the money. But without new customers, Dailey said the existing customer base would have been left to shoulder the burden.

In 2012, an investment group -- known as Agua de Vida LLC -- was set to purchase the 250-plus-acre property from Kilowatt Park Land LLC. Proposed for construction were hotels, retail and commercial buildings, and 650 homes. (See “Second time could be the charm for Butterfield Ranch,” Aug. 15, 2012.)

But that deal fell apart approximately two months ago, Dailey said, due to a deed restriction put in place by the current owner stipulating that Kilowatt Park Land LLC must be paid an additional closing fee of $1,000 for every land sale occurring there for the next 200 years. This made the deal unattractive to Agua de Vida, which backed out. However, he said, the company is considering the purchase of a nearby property.

Also during the meeting, the council ordered an election May 10. On that date, residents will elect a mayor and two aldermen. Incumbents include Mayor Manuel Decena Jr. and aldermen Place 3 Jesse Garcia and Place 5 Linda Ortiz.

Other action taken during the council meeting included a decision to approve an ordinance accepting CPS Energy’s proposed 1 percent increase to the franchise fee paid to the city for use of its rights of way.
 

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