A year ago, the Magnolia 4B Economic Development Corporation assumed the debt service for moving the utility lines along FM 1774 between Friendship Drive and 10th Street. This act removed the debt from the City of Magnolia, which would have been forced to raise property taxes in order to pay it.
The debt was a result of a $2 million loan from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Special Infrastructure Fund used by the city to move the utility lines, which was necessary due to the widening of FM 1774 within the city limits. Just last week, the 4B Corporation approved a $160,000 interest payment on this loan, which will be paid from sales taxes collected by the corporation.
These types of projects are funded through both the 4A Economic Development Corporation and the 4B Community Development Corporation. The purpose of both corporations is to provide funds from another revenue source, other than just property taxes, which is the only way the city itself can raise funds.
The 4A Corporation is tasked with managing infrastructure projects and the 4B Corporation handles community projects. The corporations are managed by board members who are appointed for a two-year term and volunteer their time. Many Texas cities have similar corporations, which typically raise funds through sales taxes.
The Magnolia development corporations make it possible for the city to provide services to additional areas and overhaul structures that are wearing out, as well as provide parks and recreational opportunities for residents. As Magnolia grows, officials said these projects become more critical to improving the quality of life for the area.
The 4B Corporation manages the Farmers Market, Unity Park and The Stroll. The next event at The Stroll is “A Stroll through the Renaissance,” which salutes the Renaissance Festival and will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, September 29. Renaissance-themed games, food, drinks and crafts will be offered.
The 4A and 4B Corporations impose serious responsibilities on the board members.
As newly-elected 4B Corporation president Pat Zaiontz stated, “This (4B) Corporation is just like a business. We need to watch our spending and pay our debts.”