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Dayton TIRZ No. 1 looks for a refresher

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    Members of the Dayton TIRZ No. 1 Board are sworn in at a joint meeting of the board and Dayton City Council. The Vindicator | Russell Payne

In a joint session of the Dayton City Council and Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone No. 1, the two bodies heard from Gulf Inland Logistics Park representatives, a project of CMC Railroad, about the local TIRZ to refamiliarize everyone with the TIRZ program. In many ways, the meeting amounted to a refresher of that body and its goal in developing infrastructure in an effort to bring economic development to the area.

The city created the TIRZ on Nov. 13, 2018, and has a 25-year term that runs until 2043, but that entity’s mission was sidetracked due to the COVID19 pandemic and other market conditions. With the pandemic seemingly behind us, it has become time for the developers of Gulf Inland to once again set out on their mission of creating the necessary infrastructure to make that 2,640 acres development a reality.

The first action taken was the swearing-in of that board and electing its leadership to move forward. Arlene Langham, Lester Ray Wisegerber, Wendell Null, Walter Chrisco, Bob Edwards, Bessie Conn, and Felix Skarpa were all on hand, while Wesley Pratka was not in attendance to take the oath. Once the board members in attendance were sworn in, they chose Langham as their chair and Skarpa as the number two in command. The entire board consists of nine members, eight appointed by the Dayton City Council, and the Liberty County Commissioners Court appoints one member. The county seat is currently vacant.

CMC is authorized to spend up to $68 million on the project for approved roads, water, sewer, and any other necessary public improvements constructed in the area, which would be partially reimbursed by the city and county through the TIRZ, with the city taking over ownership of the infrastructure. Current projects are underway on Stilson Road, where they have already begun running water and sewer, and all property has been acquired to start a project on Rolke Road. Those two projects reflect just under a million of the total $68 million designated.

Now that things are back in motion, the board should be meeting regularly soon, as they work with Gulf Inland on projects they hope will bolster the local economy.