Hutto and Taylor form corporation to attract industrial development

Jun 5, 2014
Community Impact

Hutto and Taylor officials said they see big industrial development potential in the rustic belt of farm and pasture land separating their two cities

That vision led to leaders from both cities uniting in April to create a nonprofit government corporation that is meant to encourage companies to look at the area for possible expansion

The corporation is in essence a formal agreement between the cities to work together. It allows any person or business looking to build on the open land to deal with a single taxing and permitting body instead of navigating the different taxes and regulations of both cities

The joint nonprofit entity is called the Frame Switch Local Government Corp. Potential development in the area between the cities could include a number of small industrial projects or a single larger development, Hutto Mayor Debbie Holland said

The existence of the cooperative venture, named for the area located between Hutto and Taylor, will not have any immediate operating costs, Holland said. The corporation may have some basic administrative costs in the future that the cities will share

Hutto City Manager Karen Daly said the two cities will share the risk and any economic losses or benefits that come from developing the area

Taylor interim City Manager Jeff Straub said growth in the area is inevitable, and the land between the two cities along Hwy. 79 is a logical development location

FM 3349 to the south of Hwy. 79 and CR 101 to the north of Hwy. 79 form the boundary that separates Hutto and Taylor, Straub said

Dealing with the corporation should minimize many hurdles, such as differing tax rates and permitting processes that a business would otherwise face if it had to negotiate separately with both municipalities. The corporation will also help the two cities cooperatively bring utilities such as water and wastewater services, to the area

Daly said she hopes industry will develop in the area as opposed to more residential growth.

“I would hope it would be industry because industry helps balance our tax base,” Daly said. “Our largest employer is the school district, and my goal is to make sure that our [next potential] largest employer is not tax-supported in the future.”

Holland said Hutto has also made an agreement involving the nearby railroad tracks to help develop the area. About two years ago Hutto put together a memorandum of understanding with Union Pacific Corp. that would allow for a new line to come off the main tracks and “circle some acres,” Holland said

The spur would be helpful for moving freight and would make the location more attractive to heavy industry. A site for the potential spur has not been chosen, and no plans have been made to add extra tracks, Holland said

Any industrial development would be expected to add to Hutto’s residential growth, which is near an all-time high. Will Guerin, Hutto’s director of development services, said more than 50 new homes were built in Hutto in March and April

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