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Council again to consider granting Rialto funds
by Gary Kent
Mar 07, 2011 | 1654 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
City Council members, at their 6 p.m. Tuesday meeting at City Hall, are expected to consider approving the second of two readings of a resolution that would allow the city to provide $150,000 in 4B sales tax funds to the Hall-Rialto Preservation Association.

The council held the first reading at its Feb. 22 meeting but failed to approve it when the vote tied at 2-2.

Councilwoman Libby Spires could not vote on a motion made by Councilman David Carabajal to deny approval of the resolution.

Carabajal and Councilman John Fulghum both voted not to approve the resolution after Carabajal complained about the time the project had taken and the amount of money already spent on the Rialto Theater project. Mayor Santiago “Jimbo” Martinez and Mayor Pro Tem Mike Scotten voted against that motion.

But the matter died when no one made a counter motion.

The first reading was sent to the council after the association signed a performance agreement with the Beeville Economic Improvement Corporation containing a clawback provision that would allow the city to recover its 4B sales tax money in the event the association does not have a certificate of occupancy by a certain date.

The association has been trying to reopen the historic, downtown Rialto Theater for about 10 years. It has already sunk about $1 million into the project.

The BEIC board had approved the grant for the theater by a unanimous vote at an earlier meeting and sent its recommendation to the City Council.

The council had scheduled a meeting for a second reading on that resolution for last Thursday evening but the meeting was canceled because of lack of a quorum.

At that same meeting, the council also would have considered approval of the first reading of a resolution that would allow the city to provide the Bee Development Authority with a $1.2 million grant to help finance the construction of a 38,000-square-foot warehouse at the Chase Field Industrial and Airport Center.

The warehouse will be leased by Kay and Associates for the Black Hawk helicopter maintenance operation in which the company is involved along with Sikorsky Aerospace Maintenance.

That project is expected to create at least 100 more jobs at that facility.

BDA Executive Director Joe B. Montez said his board probably will meet at noon Monday to discuss signing the performance agreement offered by the EIC board. But as yet, the agreement remains unsigned.

The matter will be back on the council’s Tuesday night agenda.

Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.
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