Timber Springs proposes unique financing tool

BEAUMONT, TX (News Release) - By Donna McCollum - bio | email

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Most likely, something never tried before in Nacogdoches is about to happen. Archangel, the company developing Timber Springs project, is wanting a municipal management district. It's an innovative method, used often in metropolitan areas, but never Nacogdoches. The economic development tool helps get projects up and running.

"We have been asked to help finance about $4 million, the city and the county, for Archangel," explained Nacogdoches Mayor Roger Van Horn. "With that money they will construct and build public infrastructure."

The money will be used for roads and sewer for multiple homes, apartments, a health care center and a restaurant. "After they pay taxes, we return to them the amount of money needed to finance those areas of construction," said Van Horn.

The developer has invested more than $42 million dollars. It leaves the question, what's the big deal about 4 million dollars. "It's the timing for funding and the ability to float bonds against the municipal management district," explained Joe Geer, Archangel President. "In this economy, in order to get projects created, to get jobs created, we've got to be thinking way outside of the box on terms of how to get projects done."

Timber Springs is expected to create more than 70 jobs and entice new residents to the area. It's a project Nacogdoches economic developers want to happen, even though the project is on its third developer.

City leaders say they have the best relationship with Archangel of all the developers. "There's a trust we have developed," said Van Horn.

Nevertheless, when the word 'district' is mentioned it develops a lot of speculation among taxpayers. Van Horn says the entity, if approved, would in no way affect taxpayers.

Districts have boundaries and right now the boundaries takes in just the Timber Springs development. "It's not going to have an impact to anyone that's a neighbor or an adjacent user. It's going to be just on the property that I'm buying," said Geer.

In fact, even the future residents of Timber Springs won't be paying the tax as they won't own the property.

A lot of governmental approval is necessary to establish a municipal management district. First city council and county commission must approve the contract. Then the district must be established by the Texas state legislature. Districts have been established in Tyler and Dallas according to Geer and Mayor Van Horn.

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