The need for large improvements to the city infrastructure and the school system creates the need for high taxes. This continual cycle of growth but with higher costs can be mitigated
Need to grow sales taxes base by bringing in new commercial business while also promoting current Hutto Businesses and shop local initiatives. This means we need to provide additional categories of spending opportunities besides fast/casual food : apparel, sporting goods, family friendly activities (bowling, jump house, mini golf, educational centers, etc.), electronics, another grocery store, higher end restaurants, wine tasting room as some examples.
To help the School system Hutto needs to promote and bring in Business Parks and hopefully several large corporations to help create a tax revenue increase that does not at same time create need for new schools. This would allow the debt service rate over time to go down for not just Hutto citizens but all residents in the school district.
The need to secure water for many years was needed but the issue now is how do you fund the upgrades needed to the city water system to have access to that water.
I served on the water impact fee committee and recommended the increase proposed by the audit. Now we need to have council adopt the rate and not waive it for new development. Current residents should not have to pay for all of the new infrastructure.
It will take time to capture the impact fees. Until those fees start coming in from new development we need to budget tax revenue coming in from new homes being added to tax roles to pre-fund the infrastructure needed instead of raising water rates.
As a city transitions from a small rural town with less than 5k residents to a town greater than 20k population requires a systematic approach to ensure ethical spending of the new tax revenues.
I have seen issues raised from the financial Audit that has created confusion and division in the city. I purpose adopting IRS guidelines for travel budgets. In addition, updating expense forms to use per diem rates and for an input line for why the expense was made.
I have seen questions be raised of dinners or activities occurring that could be excessive or unnecessary. I would state that City Council needs to set an annual budget for marketing and that any activity has a pre and post trip/ event report created for the city stating the anticipated need and the result of the activity. By always staying within budget and having documentation of the need abuse or waste will be eliminated.
In addition to the issues facing Hutto that are immediate we also need to look to the future because growth is coming and we can determine how it comes about.
In a post Covid-19 world, work from home is going to be more mainstream. As such we need to partner with several high speed internet providers to allow citizens choice unlike today. This will create competition and help consumers get better pricing and speeds which is needed to make Hutto an ideal destination for a work from home world.
Hutto Old Town is iconic and one of the front porches of Hutto and needs to be updated to have sidewalks, proper drainage, nice paved streets and parking to allow it to continue be a destination for the community to use. I want more events like Hutto Old Tyme Days in that area and we need it to be welcoming and inviting for all. Lastly, to help all current and future business I want to push for a citywide initiative for shopping local by saying "Shop Hippo" as an official slogan.
As we continue to grow traffic is going to get worse unless we work to implement the mobility plan that is already been created and help pay for it with Traffic Impact Fees from new development. We also need to work with the county to prioritize the loop to reduce traffic from Taylor and points beyond. In addition, get the county to upgrade the county roads that also affect Hutto and work with the 130 toll authority to get access roads in both directions from Gattis Rd to Limmer Loop.