BROADBAND INITIATIVE ENTERS NEXT PHASE
At the July 10 Foundation all-member board luncheon, New Braunfels Assistant City Manager Kristi Aday updated attendees on the broadband-fiber expansion project. Begun in the NBEDC three years ago, the goal is to have more affordable and expanded fiber optic availability in the business corridors of the city.
Magellan Advisors were retained to create a suggested path forward in 2016. Results from a local survey showed a high level of dissatisfaction with current provider offerings and cost. A work group consisting of NBU, City, NBEDC, and Chamber officials have been working on a plan for a public-private partnership (P-3) with a provider.
The preferred model would be to have a certain level of public infrastructure investment as part of the agreement in return for expanded and more affordable fiber-broadband from a provider. Aday stated that an RFQ would be distributed the week of July 16 with a deadline for responses by August 20. In September a review committee will select finalists and interview them. Negotiations would commence this fall with the top finalist.
WATER SUPPLY STRATEGIES OUTLINED
NBU Water Services Director Trino Pedraza gave attendees to the July 10 Foundation all-member board luncheon an update on the New Braunfels Utilities water supply plan. The plan includes an aquifer storage recovery (ASR)project at the New Braunfels Regional Airport.
Pedraza explained current and future NBU-service area water supply figures and forecasted demand through 2038. Without projects such as an ASR, the utility would see demand above their firm yield or availability in 2020. The ASR, once on line, can increase the storage volume by 7,000 acre feet and have a recovery capacity of 9 million gallons per day.
NBU has worked with the city, the FAA, and the EAA to date to move the project forward. San Antonio has utilized their ASR project for years, successfully storing excess water for use during drought conditions. The ASR would be constructed on property at the airport. Data from test wells are now being monitored and final approval will come from the EAA.
NBU’s additional water supply new sources include from the City of Seguin, expansion of their current surface water treatment plant, the GBRA Mid-Basin project, and expansion of the NBU Trinity Aquifer wellfield. Each water supply project above will enable NBU to have water supply in excess of projected needs well into the future.
NEW INFOGRAPHIC EXPLAINS MARKETING RESULTS
Attached is a new infographic showing results from NBEDC staff-led marketing efforts during the 2016-17 city fiscal year. (Click here).
The infographic includes the number of mission trips, web stats, prospect leads, BRE visits, properties listed for free on the NB Prospector site, and the city’s 5 economic development strategic goals (5).
In addition, the infographic outlines the NBEDC investments as a percentage during this fiscal year. Quality of Life tallied 62% of the total funds invested, followed by incentives at 19%, infrastructure at 13%, and marketing at 6%.
ACTIVITIES APRIL-JUNE CHRONICLED
At the July 10 Foundation all-member board luncheon, attendees received at each place setting a page listing highlights from the April-June timeframe (see attached).
NBEDC staff responded to a net 9 new leads and are involved with another 23 “still active” leads or prospects. Taskus is building out their space at the Heritage Business Center #1 for their business resource center, the nearly 400,000 sf STREAM spec industrial building has seen a lot of foot traffic and interest, the new Parkview Plaza office building is ready for tenant build out, the Loop 337 widening project is ahead of schedule, and more.
Investment in the Foundation help make possible staffing for local economic development efforts as well as targeted marketing activities.