The Huntsville City Council tackles a brief eight-item agenda when it meets in regular session at 6 p.m. today at City Hall.

Four items are on the consent agenda and another four on the statutory agenda.

The agenda does not include the council considering the Ravenwood Village Development Proposal.

The 150-acre project was delayed Feb. 5 when developer Jay Williams, president of the Houston-based Property Commerce, notified city manager Kevin Evans that “he said he was not ready to take the project to the City Council level at this time.”

Williams was scheduled to outline his plans for the site located west of Interstate 45 and near the intersection of I-45 and Smither Drive at a workshop prior to the council’s Feb. 6 meeting.

Williams’ decision canceled the workshop in addition to meetings scheduled by the Huntsville Economic Development Council and the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone Board of Directors.

The two groups were scheduled to discuss and/or act on the TIRZ agreement and the 380 Agreement involved in the project.

A city council vote on the project was initially set for tonight.

Early Monday afternoon, Evans said the Ravenwood project remains on hold.

“The project is not dead,” he said.

When Williams delayed the project, Evans said, “He said he will call me when he has more information.”

In the conceptual site development plan, 88 of the 150 acres would be developed to accommodate 32 potential retail businesses, including Target, and the remaining property would be residential, providing 175 to 200 homes.

With controversy surrounding the TIRZ and 380 Agreement, Evans said “the TIRZ builds public infrastructure while the 380 is a grant that offsets, in this case, extraordinary development costs.”

He said the 380 Agreement is used statewide to attract businesses.

“The developer only gets paid if the stores produce,” Evans said. “Both of these are performance-based develoment incentives. They only get paid based on what they produce, and if they don’t produce as much as they say they will, they wont’ get paid as much as they said thery needed.

“If they produce more than they said they would produce, we cap it. They only get what they make a deal for. They don’t get any more. We cap it with an amount and years.”

Evans said fasibility challenges such as topography and geology are serious challenges to major large developments here. It costs more to develop here than in a lot of other places.

“Our job here is to take a developer that is interested, show him what we have, tell him what we can support. We have to look at the project and make sure it is financially feasible.”

Evans said the project on hold is “way more financially feasible. It is an exceptionally financially feasible project for this community.”

Should the opportunity present itself, Evans said the community and the City Council has a decision to make.

“Evans said retailers wanting to build in Huntsvile already know their market potential here “because they know they are getting money from this community anyway.

“Most of those people are interested in us because their zip code readers are giving them the same zip codes that Target has.

“This will increase the retail variety, it will increase the restaurant variety, all of whom already know that a lot of people leave here every year to shop at their facilities in the south.

“They know that the growth they have in those facilities is going to be overcome pretty soon. They are going to bring their services to the market that is already enjoying them.”

Evans said a positive aspect of the proposal has “the community discussing it. Something that has a great potential for this community has folks in town talking.

“A lot of folks who have been on the sidelines for a long time are talking about this issue and that is always a good thing.”

The City Council provides residents the opportunity to comment on agenda items (5-minute limit) at the meeting’s outset and make general comments (3-minute limit) near the close of the meeting.

City Secretary Danna Welter said requests to make comments have to be submitted prior to 6 p.m.

Public comment cards are available outside Council Chambers.

 Tonight’s agenda items include:

• Approve Joint Election Agreement with Huntsville Independent School District and Walker County Hospital District for the election to be held on May 12, 2007. 

• Consider ordinance amending the fiscal year 2006-07 annual budget.

• Consider resolution assigning the authority to issue single family notes to Walker County as a sponsoring political subdivision of the Southeast Texas Housing Finance Corporation.

• Authorize the city manager to enter into a contract with Alsay Inc. to perform repairs on Water Well 14 in an amount of $57,529.00, to be funded from budgeted funds.

• Approve ordinance approving the Texas Department of Transportation Municipal Maintenance Agreement, authorizing the city manager to execute such agreement.

• Approve ordinance 2007-02-20.3 Title 20, Motor Vehicles and Traffic of the Code of Ordinances Traffic Schedule Amendment, by removing the no parking designation on Avenue O between 10th and 11th streets.

• Approve resolution supporting Montgomery Meadows Phase II with in-kind services not to exceed $151,228 by waiving the requirement to extend water, sewer and street improvements.

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