Three days ago, I was involved in a meeting to clean up Shrade Road. The trash accumulation over the past year is getting out of hand. The contractors working on the tornado damaged houses are a big contributor to the trash inventory. They should help clean up. The city should send their code enforcers into the area. Contractors should not be allowed to throw their trash into the street. There are dumpsters for that. In almost every contract, there is a clean up clause. The homeowners need to enforce it.
Yesterday, I was writing letters to seek federal government aid to build sidewalks along Chiesa Road. I have watched school children for years with damp pants legs from morning dew, and stopping to scratch chiggers, as they come and go from school. This is a disgrace. Our city gives an apartment developer 15 years of tax abatement from city property tax, and then can't pour sidewalks for our kids to use going to school. Somebody needs their butts chewed out. I'm going to show you how.
My favorite, and main, project is the establishment of a Housing Finance Corporation. I have written plenty about it is these pages. If you read forward from "New Horzons" posted on 1/5/17, you will capture nearly all the education needed to form an opinion. I wish to solicit your help.
There is a very interesting article in today's Dallas Morning News, written by Steve Brown, DMN's real estate beat writer. He was reiterating exactly the same points I have been preaching about in these pages. That is, the price of average housing is outstripping our workforce citizen's ability to pay for them. I'm not talking about low income housing. I'm talking about policemen, firemen, nurses, small business managers, etc. In other words, everything that makes Rowlett work. If you think our elected officials make things work, you're mistaken.
Essentially, the HFC is nothing more than a way to finance housing. It doesn't have anything to do with codes, community growth plans, or politician's favorite toy. The only "gift" being bestowed on developers and tenants is that the "debt service" is substantially reduced because of the sale of tax exempt bonds. The city didn't contribute, or pay, any money. The state didn't contribute, or pay, any money, and the Feds didn't contribute, or pay, any money. However, the Federal Government provided tax credits to shelter other income from taxation. So, we just never got the money. But, look at what we got in return. Maybe a $20 apartment million project, or maybe 250 homes. The formulas all vary, but it's all good for Rowlett.
Now, I have been trying in earnest to get City Council to move on the next steps necessary to get state approval for the HFC. It is horribly frustrating. I know the city is busy. That's why I've taken on so much of the work myself. I am qualified for this. I can seek out the information, qualify it, and present it to council. This I have done. So far, all I can get is, "Yeah, I'm for it." And then it goes into a black hole.
I do think there is some territorial positioning going on. That is sad. When found out, you will have an excellent example of a politician or staff member working for his or her own behalf instead of what's best for Rowlett.
We need the HFC. This blog contains much information about them starting on January 5, 2017. Once you form an opinion, go to the Rowlett website (you can Goggle it), click on "Government" and scroll down to "City Council." There is a link to email the entire City Council with one email. Once you understand HFC's, email Council. Go do it. You'll feel good.