Sulphur Springs City Council members are scheduled to consider approving $4.4 million in bonds to fund downtown improvements at their next meeting.
The action item is listed on the agenda for Tuesday's regular City Council meeting, which is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in the Council Room of the Sulphur Springs Municipal Building at 125 South Davis St.
The bond issue is expected to be approved after the council considers giving the OK to the creation of a special Tax Increment Financing Reinvestment Zone #1. A board of directors established the TIFRZ during an organizational meeting on April 21.
The vast majority of the bond issue — about $3.9 million — would be used to fund downtown improvements. The remainder of the money is needed for various equipment purchases.
In 2007, city leaders began making moves to revamp the downtown area. A report on downtown noted at that time that more than 70 percent of the buildings in the central core of the city were in need of repairs, restoration and development.
Plans include reconstructing the streets and sidewalks in and around downtown using architectural elements and construction methods employed in rebuilding Main Street, as well as replacing all sewer and water mains found to be “economically depleted.” Other elements of the work, most of which could be completed within the next five years, include designing and creating a park for the downtown square and designing and constructing a covered central market on Main Street.
The bonds would ultimately be paid for with property tax money generated by the expected increase in property values as the downtown area undergoes improvement.
The vote on the bond issue will come after City Council members decide whether or not to approve the formation of the tax reinvestment zone, which is also on Tuesday's agenda.
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