Saturday, December 25, 2010

Airport proponents silent

Private airport proponents fall silent
By Davis McAuley
December 16, 2010

Bastrop, TX - When the Bastrop City Council met Nov. 9 it heard a presentation from developers of the proposed Central Texas Airport, planned for some 1,500 acres west of the city between the Colorado River and the intersection of FM 969 and FM 1704 south of Elgin. City officials have heard nothing from the developers since, however.

Developers, led by Austin-based Carpenter and Associates, asked for Bastrop’s consent to annex the tract to an existing water control district and for support to change state law to give the water district additional powers when Texas lawmakers meet in Austin next year. Proponents said the airport will create thousands of jobs and boost tax revenues of the Bastrop and Elgin school districts.

After hearing from the Carpenter group and a number of opponents who live in the proposed airport area, the council decided it would consider the project only on certain conditions, including a requirement that proponents pay the city’s cost to engage expert consultants to evaluate the proposals.

In an interview today Bastrop City Manager Michael Talbot said the city has heard nothing from the Carpenter airport group since the November meeting. He declined to speculate on what that silence might mean.

Under current state law, the city’s consent is required for the creation of new taxing districts in Bastrop’s extra-territorial jurisdiction (ETJ), which includes the proposed airport site. The Legislature, of course, could decide to revise or revoke the city’s ETJ powers in some future session.

Talbot said the city would “respond appropriately” to any such effort in the upcoming legislative session beginning in January.

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