City of Lockhart strikes deal with drug chain

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By LPR Staff
Editor/POST-REGISTER

In an effort to continue wooing a national drugstore chain, the City of Lockhart last night agreed to offer three years of personal property tax abatement to the company.
Price Waterhouse Coopers, a consultant for the commercial development located at 200 S. Colorado recently approached Economic Development Director Sand

ra Mauldin, asking her to present the abatement request to the council.
“A company out of San Antonio owns the property, Walgreen doesn”t actually own the real estate,” she said. “And there will likely be a request for a property tax abatement at a later time. Right now, though, Walgreen wants to discuss an abatement on the personal property, equipment and such.”
According to Mauldin, when Walgreen opens the planned drugstore later this year, they will create 25 new jobs and generate $1.23 million in taxable sales. She suggested the abatement of ad valorem taxes would be a powerful negotiating tool in drawing the retailer to Lockhart.
The council agreed to allow the tax abatement at a rate of 25 percent for the first year, 50 percent for the second year and 100 for the third year. Representatives from Walgreen will visit the council in May to discuss other aspects of the project, including construction, staffing and store plans.
In other business, the council had extended discussion regarding a power line that LCRA plans to build through Caldwell County.
According to City Manager Vance Rodgers, LCRA opened dialogue with city staff several months ago, but did not make formal announcements at that time because the route for the line had not been determined. However, Rodgers said, on March 27, the City received a letter giving formal notice of LCRA”s intent to build.
Rodgers warned the council that one of the proposed alternatives would bring the transmission line inside the city limits, a possibility he said would have a negative impact on commercial development along the SH-130 Corridor.
Rodgers also noted Martindale has taken issue with the one route that would be most beneficial to Lockhart, because it could potentially be a detriment to Martindale”s development.
The council agreed to protest the construction to LCRA, and asked Rodgers to watch the situation and keep the council and the community apprised.
In brief news:
The council approved a resolution that will allow for the city and county to hold a joint election on May 12, 2007. According to City Secretary and election coordinator Connie Ortiz, ballots for the Lockhart City Council Election will be available at early voting locations in both Lockhart and Luling.
They approved the purchase of a 55-foot bucket truck from Terex Utilities of San Antonio for the price of $64,000.
After requests from property owners, the council opted to rezone three tracts of property, one on West San Antonio Street, and the other two on Blackjack Road (FM 20 East).
They agreed to leave the current juvenile curfew ordinance in place. Under the current ordinance, it is a Class C Misdemeanor for a child under the age of 16 to be on a public street or place within the city between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. without a parent or guardian, unless they are out for an errand for said guardians or working at a job.
Staff accountant Robert Eggeman presented a report on the city”s investments during the fourth quarter of 2006. According to Eggeman, the recent review showed the city”s investments to be in good order, and to have increased by $4 million over the prior quarter.
The Lockhart City Council meets on the first and third Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. in the Glosserman Conference Room at Lockhart City Hall. The meetings are also televised on Time Warner Cable Channel 10.

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