City of Rhome looks to create EDC

By Richard Greene | Published Saturday, November 10, 2018

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As the Metroplex and Fort Worth creeps up U.S. 81/287, the Rhome City Council took two steps Thursday to prepare for future growth.

The council directed its attorney Carvan Adkins to draw up paperwork to create a Type B Economic Development Corporation (EDC). The council also voted to pursue an impact fee study by Kimley-Horn.

“We’re playing a little catch-up. But this council wants to be ready to move forward and get ready for the growth,” said Rhome Mayor Michelle Pittman di Credico after the meeting.

By creating an EDC, the city would direct a portion of its 2 cents of sales tax collections to projects that promote economic development. The Type B sales tax provides a wide range of uses, including funding quality of life improvements – such as ballfields, parks, affordable housing or water supply facilities – and infrastructure improvements for industry and business development.

“The Type B is what we need to try to get. It will allow use of sales taxes for infrastructure that will help us get businesses in,” said councilman Kenny Crenshaw.

“There’s a lot of things we can do to make the town better.”

Adkins told the council, “The key is does it promote economic development?”

The council could direct increments of 0.125 percent of its current 2 cents of collections to the EDC.

The council would need to appoint a board of seven directors. Three must not be employees or members of the city council. The directors do not have to reside in the city. The directors would recommend expenditures that would require city council approval.

“This would not only be beneficial to attract new things but would also allow us to improve the older part of Rhome,” said Mayor Pro Tem Elaine Priest.

The council also greenlighted the pursuit of the impact fee study that is projected to cost $124,900. The city has $45,000 in the budget this year for the study.

Currently, the city only charges water and sewer tap fees.

Crenshaw characterized the need for the fees as “pay to play” and would keep current residents from subsidizing future growth.

di Credico also added that a portion of the costs of the study could be applied to the future fees.

In other business, Adkins discouraged the city giving tours of the old Rhome school building at this time due to the lack of lighting.

“It’s a liability issue,” he said.

He said he and city staff will be checking with the city’s insurance carrier about options.

The city will be getting quotes on doors and windows to secure the building.

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