Dripping Springs greenlights expanded town center project

The approval of pre-construction services related to the town center in Dripping Springs will pave the way for a project that is anticipated to expand the city’s downtown sector.

On April 16, the Dripping Springs City Council voted unanimously to green-light an agreement to financial assist the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) project team to implement a pre-construction strategy for the town center project. The agreement is not to exceed $15,000. 

In addition, city leaders approved a resolution authorizing the transfer of funds from TIRZ No. 2 to TIRZ No. 1 for the project, which maximizes funding options for the project. 

“The vision is a mixed-use civic center that satisfies the needs of the stakeholders which are the city, public library, school district and county,” Keenan Smith, TIRZ Project manager, said. “We need to all come together and help benefit the breathtaking heart of Dripping Springs.” 

While the moves were key steps in the process, the TIRZ board must still select a conceptual plan for the downtown project, which is slated for the near future. 

Dripping Springs City Administrator Michelle Fischer said an interlocal agreement would need to be approved once a conceptual plan is selected for the next chapter of the project. 

“I’d have to honestly say there is not a timeline right now, but we’re working with stakeholders to satisfy all of their needs and preferred concept plan,” Smith said. 

Deciding the fate of downtown Dripping Springs also offers unique challenges for the TIRZ board.

Dripping Springs City Hall and the school district’s central administration occupy the land to the west of Mercer Street, while the east has a multitude of shops and retail space. 

The goal is to have all of these moving components blend together in one cohesive downtown that acts as the epicenter of entertainment and civic function in the city. 

But as the city continues to grow, Smith said, the stakeholders must also commit to investment in not only TIRZ, but the vitalization of downtown. 

“Our focal point is continuing the mission and vitalization of Mercer Street and have our stakeholders continue energizing the downtown,” Smith said. “Our eyes are on the prize which is to continue to build our little town.” 

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