Infrastructure development is on its way to Pflugerville
A unique financial partnership has been proposed to help move the Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Pflugerville and Costco projects forward, city officials said.
The new hospital is under construction and slated to open mid-2018. The Costco store is in the planning stage and will also open in 2018. Both will go along SH 130, across the highway from Stone Hill Town Center: the hospital at the northeast corner of Pflugerville Parkway, the Costco at the southeast corner of Kelly Lane.
City officials said the infrastructure needs are costly for that area.
The proposed agreement includes the city of Pflugerville, the Travis County ESD No. 2/Pflugerville Fire Department and the Pflugerville Community Development Corporation.
The agreement has the fire department and development corporation partnering with the city to provide approximately $6 million for infrastructure costs for the projects. In the next 30 days, the agreements will be before the Pflugerville Community Development Corporation, the ESD No. 2 board and the City Council. Both the ESD and development corporation benefit from sales tax revenue sharing.
“We asked for help,” Pflugerville City Manager Brandon Wade said. “The fire commissioners were very welcoming with that. While they don’t do economic development, they understood the importance of these projects. It saved our City Council from having to choose the hospital or Costco.”
While the city and community development corporation partner on many projects, bringing the fire department into the mix makes sense, said Fire Chief Ron Moellenberg.
“This is an opportunity with good partners,” Moellenberg said. “We have a vested interest in the hospital, obviously, and Costco is a good opportunity. This is our chance to stand together with the city and PCDC and help the city grow.”
Moellenberg has seen most of Pflugerville’s growth. He started as a volunteer in June 1977, becoming the first paid employee of the department in December 1986.
“As a volunteer, I remember it was said Pflugerville would never grow beyond 30,000 people,” Moellenberg said of his hometown of 53,000. “Obviously, it has. And it makes us a busy department. We have 100 uniformed personnel and we average about 8,000 alarms per year. It’s not a small department or a small city anymore. We have to think outside of the box and figure out collaborative ways to accomplish goals.”
Amy Madison, executive director of the Pflugerville Community Development Corporation, has partnered with the city on many projects. She said this one shows strong leadership and confidence in the direction the city is headed.
“When we operate as a team, it pays dividends for the people we serve,” Madison said. “We have a chance to really achieve something here. A project like this will strengthen the ability to bring primary employers to the city.”
As the city grows, Moellenberg and Wade agreed the fire department and ESD No. 2 will grow with it. Currently the city has four stations, five fire companies and two Advanced Life Support teams. Housing and business growth will force the department to grow.
“We just added 24 new people to the department,” said Moellenberg, whose father-in-law was a charter member of the Pflugerville department. Both of his sons are in the department, while his daughter teaches in Pflugerville.
“This is our city,” Moellenberg said. “I’ve been blessed to be part of the department and we can accomplish a lot here. This project benefits us, so it only make sense to be part of it.”
Another Pflugerville development the city has coming in the near future is a 308,000-square-foot Living Spaces store and warehouse. An announcement is expected soon.
Wade said the developments will bring new business, and the city looks forward to more rewarding partnerships.
“We can all come together and it will benefit all of us,” Wade said. “It’s great having the fire department as part of the team.”
Joe Warner, Community Impact, 6/6/17, communityimpact.com